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Thread: Is this enough light?

  1. #9
    mcantrell's Avatar
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    These are a T8 fixture setup, not T12, but I think there's enough room for it to mount T12s. What's the CRI number mean? I grabbed the only bulbs available at the time (Lowes here has a really poor selection), will try and find some more next time I go shopping.

    4 bulbs total in one fixture, only 1 shelf. I am considering setting up a second shelf, but that will be a while.

    The plants were JUST moved under here and have not had any chance to grow with the light, I figure a month will be enough time to figure it out. They look spindly because this is the original setup:






    They had been growing in that condition for about 6 months, and a similar condition before that for years. The VFT and Sarrs were kept closer to the window glass and are doing ok, but I have every intention of moving them outside as soon as weather permits. Since it just hit 70F on the porch here, that might be soonish -- but then again, it was 20F out this morning, so maybe not.

    The Cape Sundews have red dew, but not much, so... hoping this will help.

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    mcantrell's Avatar
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    Apparently CRI is the amount of red in the light, interesting.

    Well, I'll look for more and better bulbs Tuesday at lunch, Target might have some. For a 4 bulb setup, what should each bulb be? Any specific suggestions? 3000 Lu each? 90 CRI? A mixture?

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    A single 4 tube fixture should do plenty well combined with the window. Naturally the closer to the lights the better, which is indeed tricky with various sized plants. The shorter plants/pots you could raise up a bit but it can become quite a balancing act lol! I think you will deffinately see a marked improvement in a few weeks time.

    CRI is short for color rendition index. Basically the higher the number the truer the colors on an object compared to the object under sunlight. So theoretically a high CRI number would give you light that is similar to sunlight. The thing to remember though is that all these ratings such as CRI, Kelvin temperature rating etc are all based on what humans perceive. Plants see light in a completely different manner and only care about red and blue wavelengths the most. Blue is most important for growth so the K rating is probably the best to use to gauge how much blue light the bulb in question emits. The higher the K the more blue the bulb. But since red is also important to plant health you only want to go so far... Off the top of my head warm white is around 3k, cool white 4k sunlight/daylight 5k -6.5k

    Are the sunlight/daylight worth the extra expense over coolwhite? Personally I think so but that is something you will have to decide for yourself if you want to shell out some more $$ for a bulb that will put out more light useable by your plants.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    IMHO, there is a lot of "fuzzy" tribal knowledge around this subject

    read and learn my young apprentice...
    http://www.aquabotanic.com/lightcompare.htm

    Note: the ref is a little old, it predates the influx of the newer T5 format...

    (edit: I replied prior to see tony's comments)

  5. #13
    mcantrell's Avatar
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    I think the K rating is why these 4 I have in there right now are called "Sunshine" bulbs -- they're 5000K and 86 CRI. It's not quite 90 CRI but then again, they're being supplemented by sunlight, so... Balancing act.

    They were like $5 for 2 bulbs so I'm not too worried about it. The only other ones nearby were "cool white" bulbs which I was thinking about getting too -- but I thought I had originally bought them, so I bought 2 Sunshine bulbs today -- whoops.

    It doesn't seem super overly bright, I can still look in the general direction of the rack, for example. I was expecting it to be too bright to look at.

    I guess I won't know for a week or 3, but man, I'm anxious now. I repotted the Darlingtonia in a bigger pot and pure LFS -- it came from my source in California potted in peat and perlite, but this puts it a good 4 inches closer to the lights, so, we'll see. The pot is an insulated foam planter -- in theory this will help it survive outside here.

    I did take some (about half) of my Darlingtonia seeds out of the fridge -- they've been in there 6 weeks stratifying -- I figure it's a good time to start now. I put about 1/4th of the seeds in my Live LFS container and 1/4th of them in my cutting rooting container (the container I have my sprouted Cape Sundew and VFT cuttings in trying to root). The remainder went back in the fridge just in case.

  6. #14
    sea bear returns! theyellowdart's Avatar
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    Go to WalMart, they usually sell daylight t12 bulbs there (what I use with a mixture of cool white bulbs).
    If you can't find those, aim for a bulb with somewhere around 3000-3500 lumens.
    For a perspective, the daylight bulbs have 3050 lumens, 6500 k color temp, and 75 cri; cool whites have 3350 lumens, 4100 k color temp, and 80 cri.
    You can probably shoot for anything between the numbers listed above for lumens if you find a different bulb. As for color temperature, I'm not too sure. (However I know that this is not to be over-looked, as plants do not take in/utilise certain colors of light... i.e, a wrong colored bulb will end up being a total waste and just promote nuisance growth.)

    Matt

    edit: Didn't realise a few people already beat me to the punch...
    Last edited by theyellowdart; 03-07-2009 at 06:21 PM. Reason: giant robot monkies
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    Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

  7. #15
    mcantrell's Avatar
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    The 4 bulbs I already have are 2800 Lumens, 5000K color temp, and 86 CRI, which is pretty close. I will look around for something over 3k Lumens and closer to 6.5kK color temp, though, I'd like to get 2 of 1 type and 2 of the other to ensure a good mix.

    The sun has set here and the lights keep the rack just about as bright as the sunlight does, so I think this is a good fit. I am going to try and figure out my digital timer next, so I can set up exact photoperiods.

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