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Thread: How many lumens to grow CPs? (and do lumens matter?)

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    Nepenthes newbie
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    How many lumens to grow CPs? (and do lumens matter?)

    I have a few questions regarding lighting..I was thinking about possibly buying a 2 pk of 23W, 1600 lumen daylight CFLs to grow nepenthes and sundews (I only have my N.vent..going to purchase more CPs along with the lights)

    I'm pretty confused...here are my questions ;
    1.Do two 1600 lumen bulbs together result in 3,200 lumens? Or are lumens not cumulative
    2. Do lumens even matter? And if they do , would these lights be sufficient by themselves?
    3. If not, what (cheaper) lights would you recommend? These are for a single terrarium filled with a few potted plants..approx. 2' x 1.5' x 1' (very inaccurate guess..I'll mesure later)

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    Lucky Greenhorn Lil Stinkpot's Avatar
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    Lumens are a measure of how bright a light is. yes, they matter, a lot. I have had very, very bad results with CFLs. I'd try for something stronger. Here is where I let the experts come in with the hard numbers.


    ETA: Ninja'd by Not a Number. Hah!
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    Sphagnum Guru Wire Man's Avatar
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    With CFLs I never go below 1800 lumens.

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    yes they are cumulative.....you are asking for a simple answer to a complicated question. it all depends on your setup......if you have good reflectors then you need less lumens also you need to consider the distance between your lights and your plants aka the closer the lights are the more lumens the plants actually get. need to look at color too. Just a general guess but start off with around 6-7000 lumens and go from there. but i would encourage you to read a little more.

    im assuming your measurements are in feet.......a couple cfl's are good for like a 10 gallon aquarium that is surrounded with reflective material but not much else beyond that.

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    I've been using twin 26w 6500k cfls for my cephalotus and Nep for over a year now.

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    Nepenthes newbie
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    Would a single 6500 K, 2 000 lumen T5-HO be good enough?
    Should I just buy two? Or four?

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    Hi Dante,

    It really depends on what you're trying to grow and where you setup will be housed. For example, you won't need as much artificial light output if your plants a sitting next a window compared to growing them in a basement.

    I'll try to answer your questions below and give you a few examples of how I grow some of the plants you mentioned.


    1.Do two 1600 lumen bulbs together result in 3,200 lumens? Or are lumens not cumulative

    Yes, lumens are cumulative.

    2. Do lumens even matter? And if they do , would these lights be sufficient by themselves?

    Lumens do matter. And the example you gave above would be sufficient, say for a small plant. CFLs are very good for small starter plants in my experience. They're great for targeting light in one direction or small area. It's when you have tall plants or larger specimens when it's good to have some tubular lights that can spread across a larger surface.

    3. If not, what (cheaper) lights would you recommend? These are for a single terrarium filled with a few potted plants..approx. 2' x 1.5' x 1' (very inaccurate guess..I'll mesure later)

    For your small terrarium CFLs may be a good choice if they're the only light available. I wouldn't recommend putting a small terrarium like that next to a window. You'll end up with baked goods

    Here is what I use and received good results. My 'grow rack' is next to a west facing window with a thin curtain draped to defend against the scorching heat rays. Since the window only gets the hottest sun in the late afternoon I supplement with two 32W 6500 K T8s. How do you like all those numbers ??

    Untitled Bought these as Wal-Mart

    Untitled You can see I grown Nepenthes, Cephalotus, Heliamphora, and Sarracenia seedlings with this setup.

    Untitled A primary example of when a CFL is perfect is for targeted light like this micro terrarium with my Nepenthes Veitchii

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