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Compact Fluorescent/LED Bulbs for Grow Chamber

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by rico, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. rico

    rico Active Member

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    I hope I'm not cluttering up this section with stuff that's already been covered but I couldn't find anything in searches so I decided I would make a post.

    During summer my orchids take a vacation outdoors but in the winter they grow in a "grow chamber" I made myself. The "chamber" is basically a three tiered rack that has been covered/sealed with clear vinyl plastic. The bottom level is the shortest and all it has is a bin that the vinyl plastic "runs" into so as to direct water into a bin. This way no water gets on the floor. The next level is slightly taller than the bottom one and is where shorter plants which don't require much attention stay during the winter. The top level is the largest (it is as tall as the bottom two levels combined) and is split down the middle with another sheet of clear vinyl plastic. This is the level where I add hanging plants and mounted plants. The plastic divider is there so I can have a dry side and a wet side.

    After purchasing a fluorescent grow light for a set of terrariums I have and noticing an improvement in growth, I would like to buy some bulbs for this grow chamber. After thinking about some options, I have decided that the best idea would be for two single bulbs to hang down into each chamber. I am hoping to find grow lights that are in the form of the compact fluorescent (spiral) lights so they can illuminate in every direction. From my experience with the other fluorescent fixture I believe that the light should be cool enough as to not cook the plants in the chamber.

    Does anyone know of any grow lights that come in a compact fluorescent form? Also, if there are none that are fluorescent, do LED lights come in styles that illuminate in every direction? I appreciate any help I can get, Thanks!
     
  2. carl

    carl Active Member

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    Look in the aquarium and terrarium sites. Lots of stuff there.
     
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  3. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I haven't used them, but there are screw in LED bulbs that have diodes on all sides so you get 360° lighting. I don't know if they would be suitable for water and mist.
     
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  4. rico

    rico Active Member

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    Marni, I thought that if I was going to spray plants (and if the light was hanging) I could move the bulb out of the way while I sprayed. I'm glad to hear there are 360 degree ones, the only ones I saw in a few searches were panels or individual bulbs. Thanks Marni and Carl for the help!
     
  5. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Carter, why do you want A-type bulbs? Without reflector, you probably waste lots of light. Doesn't flood-light type work better (BR40/PAR38 etc)? In either case, there are still quite a large differences among valves in efficiency. So you might want to pay attention to lumen/W (related to heat:light production). I haven't shopped around for those for a while, but Walmart's GreatValue series was decent last year, also I noticed one of EcoSmart bulb from HomeDepot has exceeded 100lm/W finally.
     
  6. rico

    rico Active Member

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    Naoki, I was looking for a light that illuminates in every direction because of my setup. In the chamber I have made I hang plants on the side and there are plants sitting on the bottom. Because of the enclosed nature of it I thought it would be hard to set up and get good coverage hanging individual spotlights. And even if I did, the height it would be at would also reduce the light intensity. If I had a 360 degree LED fixture or a compact fluorescent bulb I could hang it down "in" the plants and not looking down from above them.
     
  7. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I see. It is like vertical LED lighting in horticulture!
     
  8. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

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    You already have a flourescent fixture right? I have a grow chamber consisting a 75 gallon fish tank with a T5 4 ft 4 bulb fixture on top with T5 led retro fit grow light bulbs. You can get regular daylight led retro fit bulbs (available in t8 and t12 too) and use those. I have eggrcrate light diffuser as shelving and latttice for hanging mounts. Even though the Leds are all pointed down, there is enough light going out at an angle to keep the mount on the side well lit.