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Thread: Lighting for high-humidity conditions

  1. #1
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    So the other day one of my friends sold me a really nice, never-out-of-the-box Gro-Pro greenhouse for super cheap. I just built a greenhouse on my porch, so I wanted to use this one inside. My apartment is very dry, especially in the winter, so the vinyl cover is a real godsend for my high-humidity plants, like the Neps. Right now, I have all those plants in terrariums covered with cheap semi-transparent plastic, and I think it cuts into the light. I want to make the greenhouse into a lowlander terrarium.
    It's big, about six feet tall and three across, so putting lights above it is pretty much out of the question - they'll have to be mounted inside. That's fine with me, because it means greater lighting efficiency. However, I know that not all lights are safe to use in moist environments. I'll be keeping the terrarium shut to max out the humidity, and I eventually plan to add a fogger, so I want to find lights that are safe to use near the dew point. I know at least a few people here have large tanks or special enclosures (I'm thinking fridges for highland plants) with internal lighting - what do you guys use, or how do you otherwise compensate?
    I've already found one (expensive!) fixture that fits incandescents. It's fully sealed with rubber gaskets and made specifically for wet exposure. I'm not sure if I could use a high-power compact fluorescent in it, because it's a sealed glass enclosure and I'm not sure one of those bulbs would fit inside. Could someone with some of those big (30+ watt) CFL bulbs please measure their diameter and length for me, so that I could check them against these fixtures?
    Thanks,
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    brisco225's Avatar
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    Joe, I am in a similar situation. My highland nepenthes live in one of those vinyl greenhouses in my garage. I have the cheap fluorescent shoplights inside the greenhouse for light. They are hooked up to a powerstrip that I purchased from Home Depot that came with a GFCI device. That is what I am doing to help minimize any electrical/water interaction.

  3. #3
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Well, that's what I figured on doing at first, but my roommate seems to think that it's a really bad idea, and he's worked a lot of construction before so I'm guessing he has a reason (even though he hasn't really articulated it.) The lights I want to use are freebie 4-bulb fluorscent recessed fixtures from a house I helped demolish. They look like crap, and I didn't pay for them so I could care less if they get corroded and stop working or something. I just have this thing about fire hazards, I don't like them so much. :)
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    i have 440 watt vho system if you'r interested.

  5. #5
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    I have a $70 a month power bill with just my fluorscents, if you're interested. Wish I could help you bud, and thanks for offering, but I'm a starving student. That fixture would more almost triple my power consumption.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    endparenthesis's Avatar
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    Get some Fluorex fixtures. 65w 6500K compact fluorescent. Sealed for outdoor use. $25-$40 each.

  7. #7
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Oh really? I didn't know Fluorex were outdoor fixtures... I'd always seen them dismissed as unreliable so I never gave them much consideration. If they're sealed, though, I think I'll take a look. Am I remembering correctly that they use custom bulbs? What's the fixture rated for?
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  8. #8
    endparenthesis's Avatar
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    You can open the specs here: http://www.lightsofamerica.com/floods.htm

    I bought one a long time ago... it did burn out after a number of months, but it was still under warranty so I got another one for free. That one has been running strong for over a year.

    The ballast is in the fixture, so you do need custom bulbs. They're about $10 each (the first one comes with the fixture).

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