I am in a new apartment and get no direct sunlight so I went to Frank's and bought an "Ott-lite." Anyone ever use one of these? Supposedly it is "full-spectrum" lighting and therefore should be good for my plants. It is 13 watts and looks like a small florescent bulb. The sucker is bright, though.
Right now I have it on a timer running about 10 hours a day. The plants are coming out of dormancy so I will increase that gradually over the next few weeks. What does anyone recommend? How long should I run the light each day?
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For the length of time the light should be "on" I would recommend 14-16 hours during growth and 8-10 during dormancy. That is what has worked for me.
As for brands, I have never heard of the one you have so I can't help there. My best advice in this situation would be to monitor your plants closely and watch for signs of too little light. The bulb I have found that works the best (for me) is just a generic one I found at Lowes calle 'Sunshine.' It comes in an orange sleve with yellow writting on it and my planys and reptiles have done better under this light that they ever did under the fancy full spectrum-ultra UV/IR-reptile-plant growth light. Just my experience though.
Hope this helps
Is the 13 watt bulb a tube flourescent or conventional bulb flourescent? VFTs need very good lighting to thrive. I would recommend tthat you keep the bulb very close to the flytrap.
Currently I am growing my pings, drosera, and utrics 5-8in under 2 40watt 4ft tube flourescents and they are doing great.
I have used a 40watt 'Ottlite' before and I wasn't satisfied with it.
My plants grew spindly under this light, so I switched to a 40watt GE plant and aquarium light and the plants grew fine afterwards. Guess the ottlite didn't put out enough lumens for good growth...
I believe that Phil & jeff reccomend the use of plant bulbs and cool white. SUn bulbs can easily burn a plant.
Here's how we do it:
we have 2 commercial fixtures w/8 lamps over a 4' x 3' shelf about 10" above the plant tops.
We rotate the bulbs to make sure we get the widest spectrum possible from artificial light.
We're doing this:
cool white, grow lux, cool white, warm white, cool white, grow lux, cool white, warm white
Our experience is, that cool white is the best overall (we use philips) however for fuller growth, the warm and grow lamps seem to give the plants just enough extra spectrum for flowers to bloom and stay healthy for long periods. We have some utrics that have been in bloom for over a month... with the buds just NOW starting to fall off. So I think it's working quite well.
HOWEVER, when moving to this spectrum of light, we did discover that it was too intense for most nepenthes, but perfect for flytraps and sarracenia. The sundews, butterworts and nepenthes are on racks where the lighting is almost 3' above the plants.
As for the sun bulbs. They work well when you don't have them right on top of the plants. In the case tony was talkin' about, I'm not sure of the position or wattage of the bulbs... but we did have a rack with sunbulbs and cool white about 12" from the plant tops and it totally messed up the flytraps. But we also have a 16 hour/day cycle which may have been too much.
We'll still use sunbulbs in some cases... instead of the warm white... so in that rotation above, I would exchange the warm for the sun. We'll probably do this with the taller sarracenia that we have to grow indoors.
Anyway, if people start shoving metal halide or high pressure sodium down yer throats as grow lamps... our experience shows that they're WAY too hot for the foot candles they produce and significantly more expensive to operate. Though they are good as supplemental lighting in a greenhouse where the days need to be extended... just not for primary growth. (of course, that IS my opinion only [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] )
If you're working with space for just ONE light.. I would suggest cool white.. as it seems to be the best overall... when using by itself.
Hope this helps!