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Thread: CFL overload?

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    growingnepenthese.blogspo t.com truncatacole's Avatar
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    CFL overload?

    So I just moved my plants (7 Nepenthes mostly highlanders with one intermediate + 1 H. tatei) into a terrarium. The plants got spread out to fit in the tank so I thought I would need to add another light to make sure they are all getting what they are used to... but now I'm thinking that it might be too much light.

    in a 55 gallon "long" tank I put three 55watt CFLs(300 watt equiv I believe) spaced out evenly over the plants so each plant is under about 1.5 bulbs. The bulbs are probably 9-10ish inches away. So an extremely rough guess is that each plant has about 80 watts (cfl watts which works out to something like 450 equiv watts by my understanding) approximately 9" above. Is this overload? All of my plants like bright light but I'm concerned this might be too bright. Any opinions?

    The neps are more hardy and already used to bright light like this but the new H. tatei is a newbie to the setup so I'm reevaluating things.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 02-24-2011 at 03:35 PM. Reason: Nomenclature adjustment

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    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    with highland plants, dews, and Heliamphora, there's no such thing as too much light....too much heat though, that's a different story... i used 4 55 watt CFLs for my 20 gallon long.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 02-24-2011 at 03:37 PM. Reason: Nomenclature adjustment - Heliamphora, not helis
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
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    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    Like amphirion said, when using fluorescent lights, even compact fluorescent lights, it is quite difficult to provide too much light, and CF's don't usually radiate high levels of infrared, like incandescent and some other light sources, which could overheat and cook plants.
    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

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    Tastes like chicken! Exo's Avatar
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    I've burned Nepenthes before with just pure light intensity...so it is possible if you have enough light to do it, I did it with my 8 bulb HO T5.
    Some days it just isn't worth chewing thru the restraints.

    My growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...255#post961255

    Video of my birth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xc5wIpUenQ

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    growingnepenthese.blogspo t.com truncatacole's Avatar
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    well I think I'm ok then. I'm working on managing the temp, at the moment the high gets to about 85 but i wouldnt want it any higher than that so I'm looking at adjustments to drop it down a couple degrees.

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    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    I've only had plant leaves and flower stalks become damaged by heat/light, when they grew up and actually touched the fluorescent lamps. I usually run my fluorescent lamps by "overdriving" them with pairs of electronic ballasts, to force more current through the lamps than they are rated for - producing more light and heat. Overdriven fluorescent lamps are warmer (produce more infrared/heat), than non-overdriven lamps.
    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

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    icemansyr's Avatar
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    I'm currently using CFLs in two different grow chambers. One I use just as a supplemental light and it's about a foot from the plants. The other CFL runs full-time and is about 1-1.5 ft. from the tops of the Neps. I think the 9" distance should be fine as long as you maintain proper humidity in the tank. You'll probably notice the leaves of your Neps (as well as the pitchers) coloring up real nice. As the plants get taller though it would probably be wise to move the lights further away. The manufacturer's recommendation for one of the current CFLs that I'm using is to space the plants 18-20" from the bulb:

    http://www.growlightsupply.com/105-w...500k-p-83.html

    Another brand that I've used, Mega Light, I've put the plants 9" away and haven't had any problems. I wouldn't really recommend this bulb though, half the ones I received in the mail were broken and one of the ones that did work ended up shorting-out and beginning to smoke while I was home one day. It freaks me out because up until then I left that particular bulb running even while I wasn't home. So be careful with the brand you use. I still have one of their bulbs but I only run it while home. The other brand I have run while I'm not at home w/o any problems. Overall, the Neps I've grown under the CFLs have been doing very well so far.

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