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Thread: Experimenting with Terrarium Lighting (Not 101)

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    Experimenting with Terrarium Lighting (Not 101)

    Has anyone experimented using colored flourescent lights to supplement their growing spectrum? I have one of those spirally flourescent bulbs in red, and I've been putting it over my pings during their normal photoperiod (along with 3 tube flourescents) and sometimes at night. The bulb produces almost no heat, and I read recently that the red end of the spectrum encourages flowering. I was also wondering if it could help color up my VFT 'Red Dragon' as well as some of my Neps and Darlingtonia.

    Does anyone see a reason I shouldn't do this? Could it be beneficial?

    Also, when selecting tube flourescents, which is more important, amount of lumens, or CRI and Color Temperature?

    Thanks for any advice,

    Dionysos

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Im no expert but from what Ive read and learned light spectrum is a complicated subject, there is more to it then just photosynthesis, one wavelength can stop plant growth, while another can retard botrytis growth by over 80% etc etc

    lumens is a measurement of visible (to us) intensity

    FWIW, personally I use a combination that includes a fluorescent gro-bulb that uses a rare earth red phosphor, I did use the daylight/softwhite combo...it worked well but I like the combo I use now better

    IMHO optimum lighting is a balance of the correct wavelengths and intensities, more of the wrong wavelength can be counter productive


    Av


    ......Plants need both red and blue light for photosynthesis. Green light is not used or absorbed, which is why most foliage looks green in sunlight.

    Plants are frequently seen with foliage of a variety of other colours from shades of red, brown, purple through to black. These colours are caused by other pigments such as betacyanins and anthocyanins produced in response to environmental stress, as a mechanism for filtering tropical sunlight or as the endpoint of selective breeding of desirable cultivars. These pigments are incidental to photosynthesis, but may well only be produced in plants grown in the strongest light especially with a high blue and ultraviolet content.

    Red light is very important to plant reproduction. Photochrome pigments absorb the red and far red portions of the light spectrum and regulate seed germination, root development, tuber and bulb formation, dormancy, flowering and fruit production. Therefore, red light is essential for stimulation of flowering and fruiting.

    Blue light stimulates chlorophyll production more than any other colour, encouraging thick leaves, strong stems and compact vegetative growth. Carotenoids, the yellow-orange pigment in plants, absorb blue light and control leaf fall and fruit ripening. Riboflavin, containing another pigment, absorbs violet light and influences "phototropism", the movement of plant foliage in response to light.


    http://faculty.fmcc.suny.edu/mcdarby...osynthesis.htm

    http://www.succulent-plant.com/light.html

    http://extension.missouri.edu/xplor/...ort/g06515.htm
    Last edited by Av8tor1; 04-02-2007 at 10:33 AM. Reason: add urls

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    abcat1993's Avatar
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    Is it possible to make an artificial light that's "better" than the sun? I mean, like stronger and more beneficial light.

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    A yellow M&M Jefforever's Avatar
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    Well I've seen photos of people using colored flourescent lights for various cps but I've never used one. Why not just use the standard? Tried and true

    - Jeff

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    chloroplast's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, lumens, CRI and color temperature (K) are not good parameters to use to determine the amount of emitted light useable to a plant for photosynthesis.

    Roughly speaking, lumens is a measure of how much of the emitted light is visible to the HUMAN eye. CRI is a measure of how the object "looks to the human eye" under an artificial light, compared to how it would look under the sun. K has a nasty definition, but sufficed it to say, of the three, it probably most closely approximates PAR.

    The best parameter is PAR (photosynthetically active radiation). This is how much of the emitted light is useable for photosynthesis. Unfortunately, PAR is not listed on bulb packages.

    That said, I used to use cool white bulbs....now I use daylight bulbs. I've seen slightly better growth/color under daylight. But I got these bulbs at a great discount and probably won't buy them again if I can't get them for the same price in the future.

    Hope this helps,

    Ken

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    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abcat1993 View Post
    Is it possible to make an artificial light that's "better" than the sun? I mean, like stronger and more beneficial light.
    I don't know about better than the sun, but there is certainly some buzz going around about LEDs.

    xvart.
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    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    白人看不懂 Drosera36's Avatar
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    I agree with xvart, the sun is what they know, how can can anything be better?

    I've seen the results of LEDs and they're really amazing, although very expensive (I think).

    -Ben
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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Chloroplast makes some excellent points, and for reasons I mentioned IMHO even PAR doesn't give the complete picture...while many bulb types and combinations will suffice what is truly optimum depends on too many variables to have any one "black and white" right answer..

    Av

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