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Thread: Energy saving compact flrocent bulbs

  1. #1

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    In another forum the suitability of these compact flurocent bulbs for supplemental light came up, and I found the following info. Hope this is of help to anyone.

    I was kind of interested to see about the light quality of these bulbs. I went to the OSRAM website (manufacturer of an energy saving bulb I had laying about)

    They describe the bulb as a "Compact Flurocent Lamp"

    I downloaded the product data sheet for the bulb, however it does not give distribution of the light frequency for the bulb. It does give the folowing details :
    General Description

    Technical - Light Technical Data

    Luminous output in lumen 400 lm

    Technical - Colors

    Colour appearance LUMILUX INTERNA
    Colour rendering group 1B
    Colour rendering index (Ra) Min. 80 Max. 89
    Colour temperature in Kelvin 2700 K


    As the bulb is described as a 'Compact Flurocent', I'd imagine that the wavelength is similar to a 'normal flurocent' tube, COMPARED against an incandesant bulb.

    Also, I heard that the reason incandesant bulbs are not suitable because they give light off too much light in the far red spectrum (infra red + heat) which disturbes the plant.

    I found this info about light temp:

    The color temperature of sunlight starts and ends at about 2200K, a red-orange light. Light temperature rises as the sun rises in the sky, getting progressively bluer. At mid-morning and mid-afternoon, say 10 am and 2 pm respectively, color temperature is about 5500K. The average person perceives this as neutral in color, and this is the temperature that most daylight film is balanced to. At noon, on a clear day, color temperature rises to about 6500K. On a hazy day, with no direct sunlight, color temperature can rise to 7500K.

    also

    fluorescent lights (typically 4000K, but can vary widely)

    also

    5K - 7K Kelvin: Strong Blue Light
    Promotes bushy growth. Ideal for rapid growth phase of plants.
    Greatly enhances all-around plant growth when used with super
    high output, high pressure sodium or 3K warm metal halide lamps.

    4.2K - 4200 Kelvin: Cool white Flourescents
    Can be used as supplimental blue lighting when used with a 3K
    source.

    4K - 4000 Kelvin: Neutral Metal Halide
    Best single source for plant growth, producing shorter, bushier
    growth than 3700 Kelvin and color rendition. Used in general
    plant lighting.

    3.7K - 3700 Kelvin: Softer Metal Halide(coated)
    This coated lamp is used in general plant lighting and for more
    rapid growth than 4000 Kelvin produces.

    3K - 3200 Kelvin: Warm Metal Halide
    Highest photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) value of all HID
    lighting for all phases of plant growth. PAR watts account for the
    nutritional value of light and are a direct measure of the light
    energy available for photosythesis.

    2.7K - 2700 Kelvin: High Pressure Sodium Lamps
    Redder color mix, used for propagation, blooming, supplemental
    greenhouse lighting.

    So I guess it would be ok as a supplemental light source, its 2700k, which is described as "Redder color mix, used for propagation, blooming, supplemental
    greenhouse lighting."

    Jacko

  2. #2

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    That's good info, but 2700 is far to close to the red end of the spectrum to be that usable for photosynthesis, which requires higher wavelengths. I should know, I tried one before researching [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img].

    Most CFLs will come as 4000K bulbs and can be very useful for a supplemental light source. They give out a better range of usable light for the plant. I personally use a 6500K "daylight" CFL for my own terrarium. From what I could gather in my research, that's going to hit upon the best color range.

    Remember that CFLs, due to the way they work, are much more efficient than regular bulbs. You get more light for less power. So a 25 watt CFL will just about match a 100 watt incandescent. As supplemental lighting for your plants, I'd think a good 25 or 30 watt CFL would do, though I'd try for something more in a 50+ watt range if it will be your sole light source.

    Just thought I'd drop in my $0.02 (adjusted for inflation). [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/alien.gif[/img]

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    I've got a question - all these fluroescent strips fit into the strip holders. Where does the power come from? I can't find any that just plug into a wall socket. As you can tell, I'm no electrician!
    Alexis Vallance, U.K.
    Plant gallery
    Grow list

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    Alvin,
    It's something called a "balast." I'm not sure how it works, but that's what it's called [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] Anyway, if you can find a "self-balasted" flourescent, it should have a plug.
    I found 4', twin tube ones at HD for less than $8. They are self balasted, and I just plug 'em into my wall socket.
    17 Nash Rd.
    North Salem, NY 10560

    YOU! Outta my gene pool!

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    Alvin. The CFL bulbs look like this. I think the ballast is inbuilt?

    They screw into a light socket, not a plug socket.
    Here a few pics of the sort of thing I'm talking about...




    hope this helps,

    Jacko

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Correct on the screw in type having a built in ballast. Unfortunately this adds to the cost as you are paying for the ballast every time you buy the bulb. They do make compact fluorescent bulbs that fit into pin type fixtures which have separate ballasts. The drawback here is there are bunch of different bulbs and pin configurations that don't often match up. So you may be limited in bulb choice.

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

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    Quote (Nicholas_Bostaph @ Sep. 09 2003,3:14)
    That's good info, but 2700 is far to close to the red end of the spectrum to be that usable for photosynthesis, which requires higher wavelengths. I should know, I tried one before researching [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img].

    [/QUOTE]

    I was reading a similar thread (should have checked it first really) and here a reply by Tony Paroubek

    It is in : Pet Flytrap Discussion Forums > General Discussion > Greenhouses, Terrariums and Bog Gardens > Fluorescents vs. compact fluorescents...

    http://www.**********.com/cgi-bin....7;t=239

    Group: Moderator
    Posts: 1698
    Joined: Oct. 2001

    Posted: Sep. 06 2003,12[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif[/img]2
    HPS is used in most greenhouses as a supplement to sunlight, extend the day for long day plants, and to induce flowering. The bulbs are not there to grow the plants! If your plants are growing solely on artificial light then normal HPS alone is not what you want (or bulbs similar to HPS spectrum). It can be used but must be supplimented with metal halide or some other bulb capable of high levels of blue.

    Keep in mind that spectrum is only a general measurement to judge what color light a bulb produces. The only way to know for sure exactly what the bulb produces in usuable light for plant growth is to look at a spectral graph of the bulb.

    Watts mean very little other than how much energy the bulb uses when lit. Lumens is a measure of how much light is emitted and a better way to compare between bulbs.

    Seedling - Your setup sounds like a good mix between the 3 bulbs your using.

    Tony


    Surely the 2700k light temp, being the same as HPS, would be suitable as a supplemental light ? No doubt a 4000k would produce more blue light = more usable light for growth though.

    Jacko

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    Jacko,

    I'm sorry, I may have misunderstood what you meant by "supplemental light". What I meant was that a 2700 bulb won't provide much energy for the plant because they can't really photosynthesize much with it, though they will get some. It would work fine if you have them in sunlight for a good amount of the time. I thought you might have been like me. I put my plants in the sun on the weekends, and when I get home from work, but that's only a few hours/day on average so I need something they can live off of for the rest of the time. Tony is right though, a spectral graph is infinitely helpful in making a decision on a bulb.


    Sorry for the misunderstanding. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

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