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Growing Area in the Balcony of Apartment

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by Iris, Nov 18, 2020.

  1. Iris

    Iris New Member

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    IMG_3897.JPG Bought this huge shelf system at a warehouse. My husband installed a LED panel light (3700 lumen). IMG_3897.JPG
    The red and yellow pots were spray can covers, we drilled holds for air circulation and drainage. Plants are labeled with a photo of its flowers and the name when ID is confirmed. IMG_3902.JPG
    It is a work in progress. I like the fact that the shelf unit has wheels. So I can move the whole thing inside the apartment when bad weather is announced. IMG_1938.JPG
    We installed a green net around the balcony. In summer, orchids are protected from direct sun light. IMG_3677.JPG IMG_3902.JPG
     
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  2. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Very nice! I don't know about you, but when I see empty shelf space I feel the need to get more orchids.

    You may need lights for the lower shelves as the upper ones get more plants.
     
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  3. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    I think you’re going to be very happy growing on that kind of shelving unit. I have used them myself. In fact, I bought one over the summer, adding a second set of wheels, and made two, 2-shelf units so I can move my plants in and out off the deck and into the kitchen.

    Marni is right that you’ll want lights for each shelf, as the plants will block the light penetrating to the lower shelves.

    Unfortunately, that LED panel you have is simply not providing enough light, even for the top shelf. Instead of the chips emitting light straight at the plants, they are oriented around the perimeter, “shooting” inward, where they illuminate baffles that scatter the light. While it may look pretty bright to the human eye, the output is quite low. A couple of years ago, one of my wholesale suppliers sent me one like it, and I was excited to try such a thin, clean design, but it just wasn’t appropriate.

    Take a look at theorchidhobbyist.com. Jeff Young, the owner, is an orchid grower and he invested some serious money in a PAR meter and spectrophotometer so he could design LED lamps specifically for orchids, and the ones he has made are quite inexpensive, yet the “best bang for the buck” out there. I used to have custom-designed LEDs made for resale, and these are far superior.
     
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  4. Iris

    Iris New Member

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    Thank you, Marni. I was thinking about adding another light too. But then read Ray's and after it I'm not quite sure.
     
  5. Iris

    Iris New Member

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    Hi Ray: Thank you so much for all the info you provided. Visit the suggested website and now I'm wondering how I can adapt my light system. I live in a tropical island but my orchids receive sunlight 2-3 hours in the morning and indirect light the rest of the day. Thought this light would be enough as a supplement. Very happy I decided to share these photos with you guys. Warm regards, Iris
     
  6. Cor van Honk

    Cor van Honk Member

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    Hi Iris! Who was it again that said "great minds think alike"?
    Here in Holland professional growers occasionally upgrade their greenhouse lighting and dump their old ones in the second hand market. I bought a few Philips greenpower light bars for a song to help my babies through winter. Even with one per shelf it makes quite the difference. They are light in weight, stay cool and are perfectly waterproof. Happy with it.
    The LED panel you are using is available in "plant specification" light (purplish) and is used in growing very young plants here from seed to first planting in full soil. Indoor lettuce growers use them a lot. But they are expensive and a full six shelve tower will be a small fortune. But there too, I keep my eyes peeled at the second hand market.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    As a supplemental light source, it might provide enough light, but it’d still be hesitant to trust that.
     
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