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 Post subject: Which light unit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:34 pm 
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Hi everyone,

you have probably had this question many times before but I think that lighting technology has moved on a little from the previous threads on this. I have just purchased a new grow tent, 2 x 1 x 2m height and wondered what light unit to get for a 2 square metre grow area. I was originally considering a 4 ft 8 tube T5 but on reading another thread it looks as though LED is also a possibility. M y intention is to have my slippers and brassidiums on a table about half a meter off the floor and my masdevallias and Draculas hanging down from a mesh above the other orchids probably about 1 to 2 ft below the lighting unit.What unit would be best and also what power output for the growing area? Any help would be very much appreciated.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Which light unit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:48 pm 
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I have got a HeatWave 4 tube and am impressed with it, I think it states It covers a 1M square, it is bright.


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 Post subject: Re: Which light unit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:55 pm 
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Light by night


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 Post subject: Re: Which light unit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:47 pm 
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Thanks Keith. Are the LED units any good as mentioned in the other thread?


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 Post subject: Re: Which light unit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:12 pm 
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Not sure on LED, there are mixed opinions out there. It will be costly to equipe your area with LED as the unit will be expensive. Personally I hate the light LED give off but if it works and is cost effective long term them maybe worth while. You need to really research.

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 Post subject: Re: Which light unit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:19 pm 
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That's interesting... I am also planning to replace my indoors-lighting sitting on top of tanks (Envirolights), to something else more energy efficient and was pondering a bank of LEDs.

Can you say something about the Wattage of the T5 bank you are showing there? What does it actually draw, and what is the equivalent in normal tubes? I get so confused with all the T-somethings and whether they are equivalents, energy-saving, or old-school, or whatever :/

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 Post subject: Re: Which light unit
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:40 pm 
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Love your light Keith. I personally use gro-lux lighting which gives off both red and blue spectrums in proper ratios. From research I have found that Led lighting can be good for seedlings but for slightly larger plants it has a tendency to make them 'leggy' being high on the blue spectrum.

Ed



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 Post subject: Re: Which light unit
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:02 am 
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My tubes are 54 watt each, the heat wave can be used for other applications like over fish tanks etc

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 Post subject: Re: Which light unit
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:03 am 
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I have it on roller hangers so it can be easily adjusted with growth and maintenance.

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 Post subject: Re: Which light unit
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:19 am 
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A very interesting thread.
Keith, why do you use light on your plants at night?
Perhaps you don't have any that need darkness for a minimum number of hours?

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 Post subject: Re: Which light unit
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:44 am 
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It is extending the day length so I get a total of 10 hours per day.

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 Post subject: Re: Which light unit
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:07 am 
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I bought two differnt LED lights recently from Alibaba and am very pleased with the results as everything seems to be growing and flowering much better. I only have them on from about 5pm for 5 hours as they receive natural light the rest of the day so it is just as a booster really and should be especially welcome on dull winter days. I have no idea really how long they should be on before I just took a guess as there isn't much information out there for my specific requirements. I know that you should allow for shorter daylight to simulat winter but I figure it is darker in the morning anyway.
1 is 270w and is suspended about 1m above the plants and therefore covers a wider area but with less intensity http://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/6165646803.html
The other is a grow bar type and is only 40W but is suspended just above the plants. I use this one for the Paphs and the stronger one for the Catts. http://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/6180520765.html
Personally I love the way the orchid house lights up pink at night and glows like a beacon in the night. Not so sure I would like it inside my house though.

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 Post subject: Re: Which light unit
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:27 pm 
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Ah, okay. that makes sense.

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 Post subject: Re: Which light unit
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:19 pm 
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Rob-Rah wrote:
I get so confused with all the T-somethings and whether they are equivalents, energy-saving, or old-school, or whatever :/


I doubt that you would be the only one ;)

While I find threads about lighting systems interesting, they can end up going in circles.

I'm currently experimenting with LED's (but I'm not part of any organised religion). I will change back to 'tubes' if I'm not happy.

Just looking at my plant 'hospital' (18" tank). It has an 18W LED strip and I'm more than pleased with that. Everything seems to be growing well. Even the Ang. magdalenae that my Dog ate :)
I have another 3ft tank with 30W of similar LED strips and I'm still 'on the fence' with that one, As most seem to be doing well, I'm in no hurry to change anything atm but will probably go for more (power).

In the end I would guess that 'if it works don't fix it'. If eg Keith finds that a particular unit works for a particular situation then go with that. Real growers with real plants every time for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Which light unit
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:31 pm 
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I think I'm right in saying that the difference between T5's and T8's is simply the diameter size of the tube and virtually nothing to do with luminescence.

Ed


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 Post subject: Re: Which light unit
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:43 pm 
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Ed yes thats correct. The tubes are in increments of an eighth of an inch, hence a T 8 is one inch diameter ie 8 x 1/8 and a T5 is 5/8 of an inch.


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 Post subject: Re: Which light unit
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:55 pm 
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Hi Ed, T5's are more efficient but more expensive, the T stands for tubular and number denotes the tube size in eighth of an inch.
The below was found on the internet so is not my own work.
There are several different factors that determine levels of efficiency. Quality of light measured in CRI (Colour Rendering Index), quantity of light measured in LPW (Lumens per Watt) and CU (Co-efficiency of utilization.) The numbers being used for CU are general for those used in the low level (12 feet and under) multi-residential environment so there can be fluctuations.
CRI levels:
LPW levels:
CU (Generally):
T12 = 62CRI
T12 = 78LPW
T12 = .46CU
T8 = 85CRI
T8 = 92LPW
T8 = .76CU
T5 = 85CRI
T5 = 103LPW
T5 = .90CU
Considering these general factors, it is obvious that T5 is the best. But, how much better? With all factors weighed equally, a general presumption can be made, that:
a. T8 is 40% more efficient than T12.
b. T5 is 51% more efficient than T12.
Yet, T5 in this environment is only 9% more efficient than T8. This would never justify the substantial increase in fixture, lamp and ballast costs.
T stands for tubular and number is size in eights of an inch
T12 = twelve eighths of an inch in diameter or one and one-half inches thick
T8 = eight eighths of an inch in diameter or one inch thick
T5 = five eighths of an inch in diameter or five eighths of an inch thick

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 Post subject: Re: Which light unit
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:24 pm 
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Decided to take the plunge and opted for a Maxibright T5 4ft 8 tube unit as the smaller version appears to be doing ok in my smaller grow tent.


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