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Thread: Artificial lighting timing

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    Nanthawat's Avatar
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    Artificial lighting timing

    I was wondering if I can have the lights be on for several hours and off for one hour and come back on for several more hours, maybe repeating this for about 3 times before the lights go off for the night.
    Will this effect photosynthesis greatly?
    Mainly I want to cut cost of electricity bill.

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    zesty. BioZest's Avatar
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    I don't think it would be a good idea to have the lights going on and off like that all day. It seems unnatural to me, might mess the plants up... I don't really know though. You can try it and see how you plants respond, but I haven't heard of anyone doing this in the past. What kind of lights do you use that take up all this power?

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    Unless you are using a lot of really high wattage bulbs or something that is generating a lot of heat that your AC is then cooling you may not be burning at much cash as you think. I know I'm paying about $.10 per KW/hr. Basically that means I can run a 100W bulb for 10 hours a day for $.10, so 2 T5 HO 48" bulbs cost me around $.15 a day to run. Anytime my cental air/heat kicks on I burn more than the entire day of running costs for those 2 bulbs.

    I would figure out the math first and see if its worth the savings, you should be able to easily get your KW/hr rate off your electric bill and do some rough math to get a ballpark estimate.

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    Nanthawat's Avatar
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    Well it's just ten 26w bulbs but since I am a very cheap person I like to trim things here and there.
    I know with aquatic plants doing the on/off thing is possible, but I don't know if it is for Nepenthes.

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    zesty. BioZest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nanthawat View Post
    Well it's just ten 26w bulbs but since I am a very cheap person I like to trim things here and there.
    I know with aquatic plants doing the on/off thing is possible, but I don't know if it is for Nepenthes.
    If you ran the lights for 10 hours a day that would be approximately equal to 2.6 kWh per day which, according to the residential average cost/kWh in October 2013 would cost you about $0.32 cents every day and about $115 per year. Another option for you could be to for, say, the first and last hour of the photoperiod have half the lights on simulating dawn/dusk. This would cost you an average of $0.28 per day and save you about $10 per year.

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    I do have some of mine on a dawn/dusk thing and have never seen any positive or negative effects.

    There is always secret options #C, if you have a Ceph (or similar overpriced easy to grow plant) take a few leaf pull every year and make them pay for your extra electric bill. Its about time some of those pricey lazy plants started pulling there own weight imo.

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    pebes's Avatar
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    during the summer i have my lights turn off for around 2 hours during the hottest part of the day. i do this so that the terrariums cool a bit. i see no negative side effects.

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    I think that the fluorescent bulbs might burn out faster, so it may not be cost effective in the long run.

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