I've been out of Neps for a couple years but after starting with Lithops and Cacti I've gotten the plants back in the blood! So this is the highland Nep/Orchid & CP chamber I want to setup, I will have 3 times the floor space of my old highland chamber with this design and mounted mini orchids can be hung the entire height as well.
The shelf is 4 ft L x 2 ft W x 6 ft H - levels spaced 2 ft apart
Braces/frame will be built of 1" x 4" pine
The actual shelves will be egg crate to allow any hot air from the lamps to rise up and out at the top (the lid will have a gap on the side farthest from the air inputs. In my theory it should swirl up and out...
Back and Side walls will be covered in reflective waterproof insulation sheeting which should help maintain the night temps once they drop after dark with the incoming night air.
It should simulate a giant insulated lunch cooler!
Fronts will be sliding glass panels with a reflective panel that can be put up with velcro when I'm not looking the plants or want to sleep. My bedroom is the coolest area of the condo (plus it has the proper window access for the intake fan) so the highland chamber always has to go in there.
The grey tube going up the side is a 4" diameter dryer duct tube with a T elbow poking through the wall for fresh humidified air to be blown onto each shelf from a fan placed at the loose end at the window. An additional "vent booster fan" could be placed on the vertical portion if I don't get good air flow at the top with just the fan at the window.
The Blue box is an ultrasonic humidifier which has the outlet hole plugged with a tube that directs the fog into the incoming cool air duct. It will run on a humidistat to keep the air moist but not soggy.
Each shelf is 2 ft x 4 ft with a 20" vertical height to play in (lamps will be on chains for height appropriate setting). The top lamp will be kept out of the chamber to give the top shelf the most vertical space as well as help keep it as cool as possible but the lower two shelves will have the lamps inside in the 80% RH environment.
What I need are some suggestions as to what lamps would be good for this setup?
Is a single 32" long, 96 W / 6500K power compact fluorescent (the long U shaped ones used for saltwater reef tanks) in an angled reflector enough to light each shelf properly for Neps? The lamps of this size is seriously spanking my recent cacti/mesemb acquisitions on a couple 36" x 18" x 18" shelves. Even the ones who've been grown outside are coloring up within days under a single tube of these lamps hung at their farthest setting (!). I mention these lamps as my first choice for this setup because they have the heavy duty waterproof end caps for use over reef tanks compared to a shoplight or two over each shelf which may not hold up to the incoming cold, wet air. Or will they?
Anyway, what do you guys think about the lighting situation for this setup?
Any other areas of concern you can find in my design (like a fire having the lamps in a high RH environ)?
I'd appreciate any info from today's Nepaholics! Esp. anyone growing on shelves.