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Thread: Low light levels

  1. #1

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    Hello, Zach here
    As most of you know, I am a collector of pinguicula and drosera (I also keep many other species as well). Well, most of my collection (about 95%) is grown on a shelf placed in front of a large west facing window. It is nearing winter now, and I get zero light from that window, depsite being quite bright in the spring and summer.) The plants have shown a reduction of leaf size, and i am guessing it is due to the low light. I was wondering if anyone knows of a rather inexpensive form of way to use artifical lighting. I have one terrarium under gorwlights, and those plants seem ok. What is a good, cheap brand for lights? Can any flourescent light, if bright, work? Thanks-Zach
    Taproot, Anti-Flag, The Casualties, Alkaline Trio, Eleventeen, Deadsy, AFI...what's not to love?

  2. #2

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    I had the same problem. As the sun moved south, my house blocked the sun from my plants on the porch. So, I just went to Home Depot, picked up two 6500k 4ft fluorescent lights, put them in the shop light fixture my dad happened to have laying around in the garage and made myself a simple frame from wood. I now have it suspended several inches above the plants on a timer from 6 AM to 8 PM. It seems to be enough light for the plants to do well, though I'm sure they would like a little more. I have not had them there long enough for the coloration to change, but I have noticed another wave of sundew seedlings sprouting with the increase in light levels.


    SF

  3. #3
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    2 of those 2tube shoplight fixtures would work nicely. They need to fairly close to the plants though since regular 4' fluorescent tubes are not overly intense.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    Oh yeah, costs. I think it cost me 6 bucks for two light bulbs and three bucks for the timer, one dollar for bolts. I happened to already have the fixture, so I don't know how much that would cost. I figure 11 bucks is a fair price to pay to keep my CPs growing!

    SF

  5. #5

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    Tony,

    2 ft bulbs are more intense than 4ft bulbs?? I thought they were the same thing, one was just longer.

    SF

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    Snowy Faclon,
    I believe that he means two of the twin-tube four foot shoplight fixtures... I hope that clarifies it!! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/unclesam.gif[/img] Ciao!
    I am back..

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Eh? er guess I better reread what I wrote.

    actually kind of interesting because a linear fluorescent bulb of similar diameter puts out a certain amount of light per linear length. Which is why you get 20w for 2', 40 for 4', 80 for 8'.. ok so that's a bit off topic.

    What I was trying to say was that 2 of the 2tube 4' fixtures would give sufficient light but even using 2 fixtures they would still need to be fairly close since light intensity for a standard fluorescent tube is not very high.

    Or something like that anyway..

    T
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  8. #8

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    My light rack uses 3 - 4ft light fixtures each holding two bulbs for a total of 6. Each bulb produces 3300 lumens and are a mix of cool and daylight bulbs. Depending on the size of the plant, the tops are between 2-10 inches from the lights.

    The lights fixtures cost $7 each. The bulbs $2 for the cool and $7 for the daylight versions. A timer was in use but was moved to another setup. Just waiting for the kind I like to become available again, $5 for the timer. The chains cost about $4 and the rack cost about $25 to make. The light rack is constructed from PVC pipe and some scrap wood. If you want the directions for making the rack I will send you the site I got them from. My rack is about 6 inches taller than what the plans call for.



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