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Thread: Lighting Help

  1. #1
    Katherine
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    Lighting Help

    I have a new grow rack, and I'm trying to work out how to light it.
    I currently have access to:

    a 20W compact fluorescent
    an 8W fluorescent tube

    Which obviously isn't going to be enough! But what is 'enough'?

    I'm planning to grow lowland nepenthes on the top and highlands on the bottom. I've heard highlands need more light than lowland nepenthes, but how much light is this? Is it possible for me to have lots of small lights to add up to the wattage, instead of 1 big tube light?
    I'm looking for measurements in Watts.
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    HPLH's Avatar
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    if your growing the lowlands in a terrarium you might be able to use 2 compact flourescents. also you can move the rack infront of a sufficient window and put the highlands on another rack. just a thought. somone with more experiance will chime in later im sure.

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Kath,

    What is enough is a wide open question. What is the area you are trying to illuminate, What is the distance to the bulbs, What is the light requirements of the plants, What is the PAR value of the bulb you are going to use, What is the PUR value of the bulb/reflector combination you are going to use, Is the plant in flower, Is it actively growing, what is the photoperiod etc etc etc

    When it comes to lighting, substrates or fertilizers then black and white answers are rarely available... there are just too many unknown and interdependent variables that must be considered

    But, as a baseline... 20w per square foot would be a good starting point IMHO ( 10w per sq. foot would be an absolute min IMHO)

    Light is the single most important variable in plant growth IMHO, if you don't have enough light then nothing else you do can make up for it

    There is an old hillbilly saying, its hard to turn doo doo into ice cream, and even if you could.... who would eat it

    In other words, don't skimp on lighting... get what you can with what resources you have available to ya...

    Have a look at this ref, it is basic but a very good start

    http://geocities.com/butchtincher/research1/grolux.pdf

    HTH's
    Av

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I don't know much about footcandles and such but petshops sell lights that are designed for plant growth and wavelengths.

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    HPLH's Avatar
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    2: 40 watts on each shelf would be great!

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    Katherine
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    Ok. So aim for 40W on each shelf. I just wasn't sure, because I've heard of lowlands wanting less light, and highlands wanting more.
    Drosera Arcturi-The Alpine Sundew...

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    You can always move plants closer or further away from the lights. Raise a pot up to get it closer.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    HPLH is suggesting a 2 tube fluorescent fixture??. Which I think for you would be the energy saver ones that put out 36 watts each tube for a total of 72. The old ones used to put out 40watt for each tube.

    Have you read through the two sticky threads on lighting and calculating light?
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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