The Orchid Forum, for the UK and Europe (previously known as The UK Orchid Forum) • View topic - Advice needed for new lighting setup
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:36 pm 
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Hi everyone. It's been a long time since I last posted here (not that I was a particularly regular poster anyway) but I hope it's ok to pop back in and ask for some advice!

I've finally moved my orchids to a proper growing area as I moved house and haven't got windowsills (or my sister's old bedroom) to keep them in anymore. The only available corner is far too dark so I need some lighting. I've never used lights before and have googled myself into such a state of confusion that I need to ask for help. :crazy:

Here are some photos:
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The unit is 180cm tall, 60cm wide and 40cm deep with a gap of approximately 45cm between each shelf. There is not much space between the plants and the shelf above.

It's located in a very visible place from my living room and sofa so I don't want red/blue bulbs or anything orangey, something daylight coloured would be best. I don't want anything that gives off heat or needs replacing too frequently or is too expensive... I know what light levels I need to create but I'm not sure how to work out what I need to achieve it, eg. what kind of bulbs, wattage or how many...

I grow mostly Phals but I also have a few small Neofinetia and one Angraecum sesquipedale, Leptotes bicolor and Prosthecea cochleata which will probably all go on the top shelf where the Gromit figures are at the moment.

I'm eager for suggestions so I hope that's enough information. If this was your grow area what would you do?

Thanks :)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:13 pm 
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Has anyone used the Sun Blaster T5HO kits before?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 2:41 pm 
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I would use straight forward Gro-lux tubes on each shelf. The only difference between T5,T8 etc, is the diameter of the tubes.

Ed



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:31 pm 
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Do they produce a very pinkish light?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:58 pm 
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It's the light many butchers use to make their meat look 'redder'. Which means it will bring out the colour of your orchids but also be beneficial to growth. Not very pinkish!!

Ed


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:07 pm 
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I think, to make something suitable for permanent 'display', you might be looking at expensive.

An alternative might be to make something 'rough and ready' for growing (that can be hidden away somewhere) and just transfer the plants to the front room as they come into bloom.

If you are determined to light up the unit then you might want something approximating 'warm white'. The 'daylight/cool white' types can be a bit stark for a living space I think.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:20 pm 
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I was looking at 6400k tubes but if that might be too stark then would a 2700k one be better?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:18 pm 
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I have used a Maxibright T5 4ft x 8 6400k tubes in my grow tent but have now reduced this down to operating with only 4 tubes as I think that it was producing too much light for my Draculas and Masdevallias. The 6400k is a very bright bluish white light which apparently is suited to growth but the 2700k is required for blooms. The units operate with very little heat produced but I'm not sure that you will have sufficient space under the shelves as they need some ventilation and hang from supporting wires but I guess that these could loop around the shelf to put the unit closer to the shelf it is hanging from. I think that I'm going to balance the light by adding some 2700k tubes in a fifty/fifty split. I think all the manufacturers Maxibright sun blaster etc use the same units so it's only the badges and the prices that make the difference. Personally I think these units might be a little bright for the living room so you might want to look at coloured LEDs. To give you an idea of how bright the T5 units are think of an aquarium and then think of raising the hood and exposing the lights.

Dave


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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 3:36 pm 
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phraggy wrote:
I would use straight forward Gro-lux tubes on each shelf. The only difference between T5,T8 etc, is the diameter of the tubes.

Ed

Where would be a good place to buy these from?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:48 pm 
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you can usually get them from an aquatics centre/or garden centre that has a fish shop in it.
we have them at klondyke-strikes Garden centres. but I've only seen T5's at about 30cm & T8's at 60 & 90cm.
most aquatic centres should have Growlux as these have been around since the dawn of time, or when I kept fish in the 70's 80's.
Barnie.

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