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Thread: Favi's Heli Thread

  1. #25
    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    I should have also been more clear.... by efficient I mean not in the light reflected by the plant as much as light never reaching the plant in the first place.

    Using a linear T5 as an example, without a reflector approximately 60% of the bulb is pointed somewhere else besides the plant. This means 60% of your plant lighting electric cost is wasted.

    With CFL's this is exponentially higher since most of their energy is pointed right back on the bulb itself due to their coiled or loop design.
    They were designed to light rooms in a 360 degree fashion, which they do reasonably well. Compared to incandescent, they are much more efficient at this due to less energy being converted into heat instead of light.

    By comparision, linear fluorescent bulbs allow us to redirect most of that lost energy back to the plant with proper faceted or parabolic, first surface, mirrored reflectors. This is not possible with coiled/loop CFL's, so by their very design they are inefficient as a plant light if we consider lumens per watt that actually reaches the plant as the metric.

    However, the design inefficiency of CFL's is mute if you are trying to light a single specimen plant or two instead of an entire rack. Obviously, it would be more wasteful to use a 4 foot long linear bulb to supply the light to one or two plants.

    In regard to your statements, I have made those exact statements years ago concerning excessive light and its effect on photoinhibition, so I do understand you point of view pretty well: http://icps.proboards.com/post/10490

    I understand... no worries, and same here mate

  2. #26

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    In regard to your statements, I have made those exact statements years ago concerning excessive light and its effect on photoinhibition, so I do understand you point of view pretty well: http://icps.proboards.com/post/10490

    That's cool, thanks for the link. I don't often visit the icps forum, I'm sure I'm missing a lot of useful posts. In emails or on facebook, I've spoken to several great longtime cp growers who were unfamiliar with this research, so I thought it was worth discussing here. My hope was to broadcast it generally, because I think it's intrinsically interesting biologically, and practically relevant for the horticulturist. Clearly you had the same aim in mind years ago, so thanks for calling my attention to that. I'm glad we are on the same page.

  3. #27

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    The other thing I should say (to all, not to anyone in particular) is that I'm not holding up my own practices as a model for anyone. I can produce evidence that this is how this plant looks after x years under 4 t12's, or this is how this plant looks after x years under 27 watt cfls. So I can say to another grower, if you like how that plant looks, if that's a satisfactory result for you, then you can get that result with that light. But the fact is, I am a lazy and superstitious grower, and I would never suggest otherwise. I started using shoplights because old books said they would work. I found that they did grow plants, and they were cheap up front, so it was easy for me to just keep adding more and more over time. I think I am running 30 t12 shoplights now, for potted plants and sterile cultures. This is obviously madness, and a tremendous waste of electricity. I have no defense for this. Alabama is a coal state, I felt especially bad about this, but luckily I was able to buy 150% wind and methane power. It's still wasteful, that doesn't excuse my wastefulness. The number of lights has gotten so large that the prospect of switching to a more efficient light system seems daunting in upfront costs. I have always chosen to add more plants and grow them tolerably well under cheap (upfront, but expensive in the long run) shoplights , rather than direct those funds to more efficient lights for the plants I already had. I have no defense for this either. I definitely never made some principled decision to avoid driving my plants with sufficient light to achieve intense color throughout. I made lazy decisions, and the results I get are simply a consequence of my lazy decisions. I'm just not going to pay for more lumens per square foot, nor for higher lumen/watt efficiency, and the prospect of wasted/reflected light had nothing to do with that decision. More generally, I am superstitious, like any good ball player. If something has worked sufficiently well for me in the past, I stick with it, and avoid trying new things that may well give better results. This is at best an understandable approach. I have never been an optimizer, unless effort or upfront cost was the variable to be minimized. So none of my comments in this thread should be taken as advocacy for doing what I do, beyond saying that this light will give this result, if you want that result, you can get it with that light. Nor am I claiming that on the basis of the photoprotection research, I decided to supply less light to my plants. That is not at all how I made my decision. I ought to run the numbers and determine how long it would take to recover the upfront cost of more efficient lights, but I'm scared to know the answer. I'm not eager to quantify my foolishness/wastefulness in this way. There is no defense for this. I smoked 2 packs a day for 20 years, that kind of sums it up.

  4. #28
    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    We are on the same page.... to a point :-)

    If I put a Nepenthes on my Heliamphora rack, it simply cannot survive the intensity.
    But my Heliamphora seem to absolutely love it.

    Many variables come into play...

    ymmv, use what works best for you
    Last edited by Av8tor1; 06-19-2014 at 11:31 AM.

  5. #29

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    Butch, it's not clear to me precisely where our disagreement lies. I suspect that in any case, I'm going to keep doing what I do, and you're going to keep doing what you do, in which case it may not matter. That's not intended to be a cop out; if you want to discuss the disagreement, I'm all for it, please just tell me specifically what we are disagreeing about. If it's specifically having the horticultural goal to get tepui summit coloration, well sure, it's clear we don't share that goal. On that point, he who pays the band calls the tune, as far as I'm concerned. I know for sure that my plants have good leaf form, grow, clump, flower, fruit, and yield viable seeds, despite the fact that 2 shoplights per 2x4 foot shelf supply far less PAR than they get in habitat. A single shoplight per 2 x 4 foot area makes sterile cultures germinate, grow, and multiply. To me this is evidence that they are happy and healthy, or at least sufficiently happy and healthy to do all those things. I freely admit, I don't know whether it is possible for them to be happier or healthier. For me good leaf form growth divisions and seeds are a satisfactory return on investment. In portland I got cool temps for free, here I am running ac 24-7-365, there are no basements in the floodplain. So I'm not claiming to have some principle based or optimal goal, I'm just kind of overextended as it is, that's what determines my goals.

  6. #30
    Keith's Avatar
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    Firstly before I forget, I think I broke the Thank You button thanking too many times. Having said that, Thank You Butch for the link in post #18. I found it very useful!
    @Favi: I love a good fixer-upper! I have never grown Helis and don't know much about 'em, but that looks like quite a nice sized plant and should show us some nice changes as it perks up a bit in the coming months. I look forward to watching it grow!
    @mike: I enjoyed the lengthy explanation of the effects of light intensity on plants. You have given me food for thought on the subject. However, I believe you spoke correctly when you addressed your reply as a "threadjacking". I am sorry to hear of your recent run of luck, but please have some decency man and let Favi have his thread back.

    @ Favi: almost forgot, I really liked how you put the sequence together in the first post! Nicely done sir!
    My Grow/Want Lists
    -The horticulturalist formerly known as Shortbus-

  7. #31
    killerplantsguy's Avatar
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    First off, great job Favi! You responded to your plants' needs and are being rewarded with handsome pitchers.

    The "light intensity" debate has been very interesting. In my case, I do the best I can with what is available. I have some
    heliamphora in a highland/intermediate greenhouse, where the temperature suits them well, but the light levels are a bit low.
    The leaves are mostly green with red highlights. Occasionally, the pitchers show slight etiolation.

    The rest of my heliamphora are in the laundry room under artificial light = t5 or a cfl floodlamp. They have a lot more red colors in
    the leaves, but the warmer temps seem to result in stunted growth and no flowers. (The mature plants in the greenhouse flower regularly.)

    The end of this month, I will be attempting an artificial light setup in a cool basement. Hopefully, this will produce the best results for me.

    Thank you to Butch and Mike for their thoughts and photos. I've been enlightened and will continue my efforts to improve my cultivation
    methods.

    Favi, keep up your efforts and and look forward to your future posts, and I should also apologize for contributing to the "hijack" -- I saw the response
    by shortbus after I saved this.

    Good growing,
    Paul
    Last edited by killerplantsguy; 06-19-2014 at 04:43 PM.
    "You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus" - Mark Twain

    "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something." - Pancho Villa, last words.

  8. #32

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    Hello Shortbus,

    well, fair enough, I apologize for offending you. On my reading, the conversation had already shifted from what lights can work, to what color one should demand from their plants. So once we are talking about lighting and what color one should demand, to me it seems relevant to discuss the science of plant coloration, and its implications for choosing lights. Maybe that was poor judgement on my part. FWIW, Favian wrote me directly and thanked me for all of the information, so it seems that he at least did not view my behavior as indecent. But I take your point, threads are free, I could have easily started a new one. I'll try harder in the future to do so.

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