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Thread: Best light type?

  1. #1

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    I am planning on buying a new 10-20 gallon terrarium for my new neps and sundews. Can anyone tell me what would be the best kind to get. (fluorescent, incandesant, coil?)
    And also, what would be the best wattage for these size of terrariums?

    Thanks
    Just remember that you are special... Just like everybody else.

  2. #2

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    I don't know what is best, but a shoplight with 40 watt bulbs will work fine, lol.

    Cheers,

    Joe

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    The Wal-Mart here has 24" under cabinet type fluorescents. I use two of those with foil making a reflector. They are only $8 with the bulb.
    -Nick
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  4. #4
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Steer clear of incandescents, I know that much. They're way too hot and dim. Otherwise, it really varies with the bulb, so far as I can tell. There are fluorescents, high-output fluorescents and HPS bulbs which all give similar performance with respect to certain parameters (lumens, photosynthetically active radiation, etc.)
    Ordinary fluorescent shop or strip lights are the most efficient, in my opinion; they give satisfactory output (exceptional output if you set things up right,) are easy to find, have bulbs and fixtures both relatively cheap, and run cool enough to not burn plants. I have two double-bulb fluorescent shop lights with ordinary cool and warm bulbs in them; when I get some money, I'm going to invest in some high-output fluorescents for my succulents and high-light CPs.
    For a tank as small as ten gallons, you could always get some of those incandescent fixtures that clip on to flat surfaces, and put compact fluorescent bulbs in; my roommate is growing a D. capensis and several strains of eucalyptus with such a setup. Strip lights or short shop lights would probably be a better choice for a 20 gallon tank.
    For ordinary fluorescents, go with 40 watts. For compact fluorescents that screw into incandescent sockets, go with as much as you can get, I guess. I know they have grow-bulb versions which are probably of the appropriate wattage, but household models are as low as 15 watts, which is a waste of a socket in my opinion. If you buy a household ('warm-white,' 'cool-white') compact, go with at least 25 watts (often sold as the equivalent to a 100 watt incandescent.) I don't know about any other types of bulbs, but in the greenhouse thread there was a big post on lighting, I think... if you use the search function I think you'll find that this question has largely been answered already.
    Best luck!
    ~Joe
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    To add on, keep in mind kelving rating too. Kelving rating lets you know what kind of light it produces (white, warm, blue).

    Plants use more of the light in the 5,000-7,000 kelvin rating for photosynthesis. Nepenthes specifically being tropical benefit most from the 5,000-5,500 light spectrum (the closer to the ecuator you are, the lower the kelvin rating (~5,000 being the lowest, ~7,000 being the highest) Northern US plants benefit most from ~6,500 light spectrum. Most flourescent or compact flourescents are 3000-4000.

    Don't get hung up on the numbers just try to get something thats as close to 5,000 as you can find and afford. It isnt something thats you totally need but it can make a difference.

    Just something to think about when buying lights for your plants.
    They say if you play a Microsoft CD backwards, you hear satanic messages. Thats nothing, cause if you play it forwards, it installs Windows.

  6. #6
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Now there's something I hadn't heard before... thanks for the tip AE!
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
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  7. #7
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    I use the fluorex 65 watt compact flouresct flood lights. You can get the fixtures at Home depot, Costco, Walmart...shop around, as the prices vary, but you can find them CHEAP. They are perfect for a 10 gallon tank.

    Specs: 65 watts, 6500K, ~6900 lumens (if I remember right....might be a little more than that). Another benefit of these lights is that they are only warm to the touch, instead of sear-the-flesh-off-your-hands hot.
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    In my other terrarium i only have 2- 11 watt coils, is that enough light? My plants seem to be growing very fast, but I really have nothing to compare there growth with.

    My terrarium comes with a top, and it only can fit a certain size light in it. Is it possible to get a light that is about 12 inches long, but has more power then 25 watts?
    Just remember that you are special... Just like everybody else.

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