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Thread: Indoor lighting

  1. #1

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    Although I don't need lights for growing, I was curious about eventually setting up a indoor growing room with colder ultra highland stuff eventually. Can anyone demystify the use of correct lighting for best growth, coloring, and photoperiod for setting up such a room?

    Also while we may also be on the same topic. What about refrigeration units that can handle humidity and temperature fluctuations?

    Thanks for your expertise help in advance!

    Michael
    Morticia:\"Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc, 'We would gladly feast on those who try to subdue us.' Not just pretty words. but words to live by!\"

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    Somewhat Unstable superimposedhope's Avatar
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    For frogs (or any reptile)light is needed. Only certain lights are actually beneficial to anything than a human. With this in mind I am going to attempt to explain the various uses for certain lights, their purpose, and so on. When getting a reptile pet of any kind light is an absolute must have item. You may also opt for live plants which are another kind of light.

    1) UV lights; Their are 3 kinds of UV (Ultra Violet) lights available to the consumer. Each with varying uses.

    1a) UVA: UVA is a light that is useful to plants mostly and humans. These can be used but generally there are better lights for plants.

    2b) UVB: UVB is the light that you are gonna need for keeping reptiles. UVB is a radiation that is helpful to the body of reptiles in processing calcium and other bone nutrients. It is NEEDED! It helps build and maintqin healthy bones and bone structure. Without UVB, eventually all reptiles will perish in captivity. UVB is also found in natural daylight but unless your reptile is sitting in a S.window it is very unlikely that they are getting enough. Lack of UVB is the cause or helper in many crippling and deadly problems incountered in captive reptiles. ABSOLUTE MUST! UVB lights can be found in many stores, most often pet stores, manufactured by many companies. ZOOMED, ExoTerra (Hagen), Jurrasic,etc... Most commonly found as a 6"-48" T12 or T8 long tube fluorescent, very blue in color. Price anywhere from $3US to $50US depending on size and amount of radiation output. Lowlight = Low UVB output, Desert = High UVB output.

    1c) UVC: UVC light should be avoided for terrariums or general exposure to living organisms. UVC sources are what cause sunburn and possible cancer. These sources are generally sold as a sterylizing agent. Exposure to UVC while kill skin cells, microbes (bacteria, fungi ,etc..). Most uses are for sterylization of water, and air in ducting systems where smell can be a problem. DO NOT USE FOR REPTILES!

    Most people upon planning of a terrarium or chamber for a pet reptile will be thinking of live plants as these tend to add natural beauty and color pattern as well as being generally healthy for living things. (See topics on TOXIC PLANTS).
    To keep a plant alive long term light is going to be necessary.
    Let me start by saying while there is far more technicality in spectrum and wavelength I have no intention of getting into that for all beginner purposes.

    2)T12,T8 - Common Fuoro tubes: These come in varying lengths from 6" - 72" and full spectrum, Warm or Cool. Full spectrum lights tend to be a yellow/orange in color, Warm are gonna be redder in color (actually pink to the eye) and Cool are gonna be bright white or possibly blue in color. These lights are worthy of mention cause for many years hobbyists kept plants under these lights very successfully. The problem being that for PAR (Photo Active Radiation) to be effective the lights have to be place within an inch or 2 no more. Any farther than an inch and you really are not benefitting the plant. Comparable to survivng as opposed to living.

    2a)T5: HO (High Output) These lights are ALOT brighter than the standard fluorescent tubes. They are collectively refered to as HO or High Output lights.These are relatively new on the market and are great lights coming in a wider range of spectrum for intensive hobby applications. These lights are also easily spotted as being smaller diameter than their predescessors (T12 and T8). These lights are a bit more pricey but worth it when specific spectrums are desired and compact nature is a must. Most popular with AQ Reef keepers but quickly catching on in the plant industry as well. Prices to drop as availability increases. www.google.com for more info on these if interested.

    2b)CFL and VHOs: CFLs (Compact Fluorescent) and VHO (Very High Output) are the brightest of fluorescent lighting. These lights are typically capable of growing full sun annual and perrenial plants indoors. They are well know for their spirraling and curly-Q shapes. These lights are diffwerent in one aspect from theothers and that is these lights are usually referred to by their wattage and not by length as the others are. The lights are commonly found in 7wtts all the way up to 120wtts. Some are self ballasted and others are not. These lights have become a favorite among plan collectors because of their compact nature and intense lighting capabilities. One 65wtt of these lights will generally provide enough PAR light for 6cuft. These are the lights used most often for growing orchids and such in deep chambers. These lights can be found under several names by several manufacturers for several applications. Some are for street lighting, some are for plants, some are for AQs and variuos other uses. Most of these lights will do well. It should be mentioned that these lights are found in War and Cool. Cool is the most effective single bulb but a warm and a cool bulb provide better spectrum and even coloring (CRI (Color Rendering Index) to the eye and is more accurate for a plants natural light requirements. These lights are often found at Hydroponic shops and plant supply stores for very expensive prices but a little research on your own can turn up a very good light marketed as a street light for a 1/4 the price or better.
    P.S. These are the lights I use for my tanks

    3) HID (High Intensity Discharge) These are for professional use ONLY! If you are reading this to learn then you haven't enough knowledge to use these lights yet. These lights are EXTREMELY bright and HOT. I cannot stress enough the HOT part. These are a fire hazard in the wrong hands as well as dangerous to unaware animals and children. It needs to also be noted that these lights will chalk up an electricity bill by double digits at a time. Very expensive to run on 12hr cycles or more. Before considering use of these lights you must first consider: Ventilation and heat buildup, cost, protective measures and more. I give this as a reference as possible lights but far more research than this NEEDS to be done before even considering use of these ultimate lighting systems.

    *There is also such a thing as Over Driving a fluorescent light. This one of those things that are possible but at your own risk! It is basically multiplying the input to a fixture Lowes, etc..) 48" double strip light(Usually like $7-$10, sold for garages) and an 18" or 12" strip light inand it forces the fixture to pass on this multiplyed power to the bulb. Pesonally, I use this for my UVB bulbs in taller tanks. This way I can get away standard 18"fluoro fixtures.

    Well, Here it is.
    It's not my fault if you hurt yourself!

    1) Start with a twin 40wtt/48" light fixture.
    2) Open the shell of the fixture, clip all the wires. (If your wire map on ballast is faded you might want to right it down)
    3) Now you need an 18" fixture, the ones that use 15wtt, 20wtt,so on.
    4) Do the same as above with the 18" as well.
    5) Reconnect the ballast to the 18" fixture, remember that it has twin out puts, instead you need to double the outputs to each side.
    6) Make sure no wires are touching each other and that you use something to cover exposed wire.
    7) If any wires touch not only will it hurt if your apart of it but it will kill the ballast possibly.
    8) You just need a bulb that has the spectrum that you want.
    By my use I would say that If your bulb has 1 yr of use plants wise then you over drive it and it is 20wtt running on twin 40wtt ballast; That leaves you with 80wtts on a 20wtt bulb. Since 80 divided 20 = 4, We have quadrupled its output and therefore its life is cut down to 1/4 of its 20wtt life.

    1yr bulb = 3month bulb rotation on over drive X4



    Take care
    and
    Good Luck
    Joe
    \"There is nothing here of interest to any nation, as a matter of fact there is nothing here but humans!\"

  3. #3

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    THANK YOU x 100!
    That was an excellent synopsis of lights. With one small minute point, that reptile enclosures need a lit and unlit/dark so reptiles can escape light when it is getting too much, especially if heat is given off. Any way, one of my goals is to one day devote a room to the ultra highland stuff, steal its pollen and breed them with ultra lowlanders like crossing N. villosa (ultra highland) with N. bicalcarata or truncata or ampullaria (red of course) and so forth.

    I will reread this material and take a lot of notes. is there any good reading-books I can purchase?
    I know there is a wave of new aquaria keepers of fresh water aquariums with living landscape plants and very few fish. Would any of these kinds of books help with the way that lighting is set up for non-aquatic plants (i.e. nepenthes)?

    Michael
    Morticia:\"Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc, 'We would gladly feast on those who try to subdue us.' Not just pretty words. but words to live by!\"

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    If your talking about something as large as a room then you really need to consider high intensity lighting. Either Metalhalide or metalhalide/hps combination or high intensity fluorescent, HO, VHO or compact fluorescent. You get the most bang for your buck with high wattage hps but hps alone is not the best light for solo use as it has alot of red in the spectrum. Metal halide is better balanced for all around plant growth but not quite as efficient on power use (lumens/watt). And as Joe mentioned the room will require quite a bit of cooling just to offset the heat from the bulbs.

    Next best option imo is the newer high wattage compact fluorescent daylight bulbs. I have seen some 135w 6500k bulbs out there in nice reflector units.

    The T5 high output fixtures are probably what your hearing as the new wave for aquarium keepers. They are thin and slim and you can pack them nicely under the hood of a tank. These are nice bulbs but I don't think the expense is worth it if you have room overhead and don't need to maintain the slim profile. btw HO bulbs are not a new thing.. the T5 is. regular T12 come in HO and VHO and have for years. (In case your wondering HO is 2x the watts, VHO is 3x roughly)

    oh yeah.. plants don't use UVA. The peak absorption for chlorophylla A, which is the primary chlorophylla plants use for gathering energy, is 420nm the UV range starts at 400nm. While there is probably still a little absorption of light below 400nm it is considerably less than at 420nm. So don't go buying UVA bulbs as they will serve mostly to just give you a tan. They will appear quite dim to your plants however hehe.

    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  5. #5
    Somewhat Unstable superimposedhope's Avatar
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    Thats true about the UVA but I mention them only because you run across them at pet stores for plants and while they serve very little purpose, a plant and just visual are all they could do. I do not by any means tell anyone to use them for anything I can think of except a complete UV spec.

    Michael,
    I am with Tony, if a room is what you're lookin to do then Metal Halide is the way to go and HPS if you want to detail with truer color and spectrum to your plants. I have a chamber that I use 2X 65wtt cool and 2X 65wtt warm VHO CFL bulbs and the color of light in the tank looks very "real". I have started seeing 200wtt CFL for decent prices. Usually they are marketed for street lighting or something to that effect. They are indeed very bright and comparatively they expel very little heat, very efficient with use of energy into actual light.

    Joe
    \"There is nothing here of interest to any nation, as a matter of fact there is nothing here but humans!\"

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    Somewhat Unstable superimposedhope's Avatar
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    BTW Michael,
    If you search the forum you will find some very helpful and interesting topics on Highland chamber conversion from many different items. Also I'll say it again.

    Check out Pot Growing Forums. Who would know better how to efficiently run a "Grow Room" reguardless of your intended crop. Who else better knows how to efficiently build a chamber which houses (and hides) your plants. I have run across many plans for almost self sufficient chambers for less than $200 with lighting.

    Joe
    \"There is nothing here of interest to any nation, as a matter of fact there is nothing here but humans!\"

  7. #7
    Somewhat Unstable superimposedhope's Avatar
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    The following links may contain drug references. The Forum in the following links require that you be at least 18 yrs of age to veiw. Neither I or ********** are responsible for content in the links.

    That said this is an excellent DIY chamber that is easily adaptable to other plants. Check it out.
    Upgrades

    C13 construction

    Joe
    \"There is nothing here of interest to any nation, as a matter of fact there is nothing here but humans!\"

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    Michael,
    You want to grow highland stuff up to size and bloom it. No flourescent light will do the job. You will need something like the Agrosun 1000w. which is the closest thing to sunlight. We've got one. Got it for experiments with cuttings. We established cuttings in record time with 16 hour days. A light this size covered a 10 foot by ten foot area when hanging 7 feet above the floor. This is the kind of space you'll need, because you will need many large mature plants just to get occasional blooms. We used it to quickly establish hundreds of cuttings in a few months. The cuttings were placed in clear plastic tubs used for storage with the clear tops. Immediately below the light we still needed shadecloth-after all, they were cuttings. Of course, there is light intensity falloff as you move away from center. It really worked.
    The downside: huge electric bill...I mean triple digit dollars. Not only did the light eat up the juice, but the fan and air conditioner needed to keep the room below 90 F contributed as well.
    We have considered doing exactly what you describe-breed highlanders with lowlanders to create hybrids with wide temp tolerances, but considering the added cost of more electricity eaters (refrigeration or more ac tonage), I'll leave it to someone with deeper pockets.
    Also, saw your thread on flasking Nep seed. I know its done, and the most informative website is the Monkeypots forums, but we also have a ton of questions on that topic.

    Trent and Michelle

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