Proper artificial lights are in my opinion BETTER than sunlight. 365 days of light at the correct intensity and day length! Most major greenhouse growers have artificial lighting.
If I recall your using 4 fluorescent tubes Ram?? Unfortunately with normal fluorescent tubes you can never get the intensity to mimic the sun. Intensity is what you need to produce rich red color in traps. Maybe if the plant was a few inches from the tubes that would do the trick....
I grow my Cephs 6" from a 4 bulb shop light with an aluminum foil skirt around it. They are out in my garage in near ambient temps (high 30s to mid 50s F) and humidity (60-90%) and are growing well even in the cool temps, each new pitcher picking up 1 or 2 mm on the previous one, and are coloring up very nicely. I match the light cycle to the local daylight times and I am going to use a small "personal" swamp cooler to keep the temp. down and humidity up this summer. I have seen a lot of people have this plant die back or just plain die after being exposed to temps above 95-100. They are really fun, if slow, plants. Good luck.
I can't get the ceph any closer to the lights simply because of the construction of the terrarium... Oh well...
Perhaps I will look into building up a corner with some wood, and planting the ceph higher up in the tank... that might be of real benefit... and hiding the stand and making it look natural wouldn't be all that hard...
But it is a project for the future!
Why not just grow it under a shade cloth outside?
LOL plants are not supposed to get 365 days of correct proportions of light,if they were then i am sure the weather circumstances would be quite different,but if thats the way you do it fine by me but i wouldn't go as far as saying artifical light is better than the sun because we don't really know what is going on in plants,for all we know artifical light might not meet all their needs,but never the less i couldn't be bothered with a debate.
What's wrong with 365 days of light at the ideal intensity for growth? Because a plant in the wild has sunny days and cloudy days should we give those plants in our care occasional days of less than ideal light? WHy? So they can grow at a less than ideal rate?
hmm well actually yes we do know exactly what is going on inside a plant. We know exactly what wavelength of light activate which various chlorophylls and other light activated pigments. We know how photoperiods affect flowering cycles and can be manipulated down the the day with commercial plants such as pointsettia etc.
Artificial lights can be designed to include more light in the proper wave length than even the sun has and less of the harmful infrared light that can burn plants. More energized chlorophyll = faster growth.
If you don't want a debate fine.... but I do hope you think about some of the questions I raised.
I was unaware of any over the counter light sources that could rival the sun in intensity (Percieved here on earth I mean of course)
Last I heard NASA was the only group that had generated such light sources, they are wavelength specific LED's designed to generate the exact wavelength to grow plant A or plant B in a hydroponics bay on the way to Mars. These light sources are not commercially available as of yet.
Am I wrong? Is there something better out there?
Who can answer me this... what is the most efficient light producing 'thing' on the planet. I will give you some hints...
It is alive, it puts out light, but nearly zero heat waste (like all man made lights do).
the most effekive lights avaible are "low-pressure-natrium-lights", which produce 183 lumen / watt.
But the spectrum is very narrow and in the photosyntetic ineffektive range.
Second effektive lights are HIGH-pressure natrium lights, which produce up to 135 lumen / watt.
The spectrum is very good for plants !
The drawbacks are the prize and that the light is yellow.
I use one 70W light for an 120cm x 60cm terrarium (there is also some light from an east facing window) and the results are VERY good.
Heliamphora pitchers direct under the bulb turn reddish and form "big" and deep red lids, which is the best sign for enough light. The Nepenthes are growing on the ssides where the intensity is lower.
There is a German articel about the best lights for carnivorous plants :
Martin, can you use lights like Actinics and normal lights in conjunction with this to normalize the appearance? Or is the 'yellow' light just to intense to overcome?
Also, I have heard that these lights are incredibly expensive to run...
A few years ago I had a 2.5m aquarium that I set up in the living room of the little apartment I was living in at the time. I FILLED it with plants and tried to make it look like an Amazon river scene. I suspended three sodium vapour lamps from the ceiling above it.
The plants went off big time. The tank was fantastic - *so green and lush looking. My Neon Tetra's spawned continuously.
Those lamps produced some serious heat, I didn't need to use a heater as the lamps did the job as well as lighting the tank.
I didn't think *they were too yellow, but I had the water going through peat which added a slightly yellowish tinge anyway so I wouldn't have noticed.
Also, as you pointed out Ram, they almost doubled my electric bill. I think that they are what people use when they grow "crops" hydroponically inside where they don't want people to see them, not that I have ever done that [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
Sunlight is roughly 10,000 lumens / meter squared. (or roughly a 3' x 3' area). A 175watt metal halide bulb puts out roughly 10-12,000 lumens SOOO to equal sunlights intensity if all the light that bulb puts out lands on a block 1 meter x 1 meter. In actual practice though light is lost to the sides and reflectors over the bulb are not 100% perfect. You can see though with readily available 400 and 1000 watt bulbs out there, how easy it would be to through huge amounts of light onto a small area of space.. more than full noon sun can provide. Of course the challenge of keeping the plants from being fried alive exists. But I am only theorizing here based on technical data.. NO one in their right mind would take a 1000 watt high pressure bulb and use it to illuminate a 9square foot area.
As for High pressure sodium and Metal halide... If your using a single bulb and the plants do not get much supplimental sunlight. Metal Halide provides the closer match to Sunlight spectrum and better growth. This does not mean that High Pressure Sodium produces bad growth. High pressure sodium however is used more often because it is cheaper on the electric bill, and the bulbs last twice as long as the Metal Halide, while still giving very satisfactory results.
The basic difference is that the Metal Halide with more blue in it's spectrum will give shorter stocky growth and better leaf growth. While a High Pressure Sodium with more red light spectrum produces better blooming and enhances elongation of stems. Most of the Hydroponic companies these days will sell HPS if your supplimenting a Greenhouse and a dual fixture for indoor growing comprised of one metal halide and one HPS bulb.
I would imagine that you could use an actinic to very effectively balance a HPS bulb or other similarly yellow/red bulb.