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lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Posted by patrickalan Zone 6/NJ (My Page) on
Sun, Feb 13, 11 at 15:28

I am going to invest in supplemental lighting for my Windowsill area where I grow my orchids. I have done alot of reading and still can't determine which is better - a 'spot' light type of fixture with a CFL bulb, or a 2-ft fixture with T5-tube. I don't have a large growing space
so don't need 4-6-8 bulbs or tubes. 1 bulb or tube would suffice for my needs.

Does anyone use the bulbs or a 1-tube T5 fixture ????


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

  • Posted by jamcm Ottawa Area, Canada (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 14, 11 at 8:14

Hi Patrick,

I currently use both. The real difference between a CFL bulb and a T5, or any fluorescent tube, really, is the area covered and the light intensity dispersed through that area. Simply put, a CFL bulb will really "light up" a one foot area or so. A T5 fixture will take the same light and spread it out over four feet - more area is covered, but the light level is lower over any one part of that area. There are other differences - a CFL is more flexible, since you can move it wherever you want to accommodate whichever plants you want, whereas a T5 is straight, all plants under it get more or less the same amount of light (a bit more light in the center, less at the ends), if you bring it up because of one tall plant, you're bringing it up for all other plants. You can more easily move a CFL aside, whereas a T5 will require more permanent installation. CFLs are pretty cheap and easily available anywhere.

I guess what I'm really saying is that it all depends on what you're trying to grow in that windowsill. Also, what direction does your window face?

Hope this helps!

Julie


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Hi Julie -

My windowsill is 4-ft high and almost 4-ft. wide. It faces SOUTHEAST, so it gets bright Morning Sun. I grow Neofinetia falcata in pots on the sill, which is 14-inches deep, and I grow Aerangis and Angraecum MOUNTED on both of the inside walls of the windowsill. So, this supplemental light is Secondary lighting for the growing area.

I ended up getting both the CFL bulb fixture, which is a Clamp-on type fixture, and the T5 2-ft. 1-tube fixture for the ceiling.

I'm hoping this helps.

Thank you again, Julie.


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

If you haven't attached the 1 tube fixture which is only 2 feet long, take it back for refund or another CFL fixture.

Attached to the ceiling it will provide almost zero fc's at the grow area. IMHO it will be a waste of electricity and the portable CFL will provide more bang for the buck.

Brooke


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

  • Posted by jamcm Ottawa Area, Canada (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 14, 11 at 12:29

I agree with Brooke. The thing with lights is that the light level drops by half every foot you travel from the light source. While it may still seem bright to you, as Brooke said, a T5 fixture hung from the ceiling will actually not put out any usable light for your plants. It would have to be hung no more than a foot or so above your plants. And given the way you describe how you're currently growing, I also think that another portable CFL would be better.

Julie


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

I have to agree with Brooke.

I use T12s and CFL's (spirals and the long tubes)...
In regards to a T12 light (my experience is with T12's), a 2' fixture is pretty useless in regards to lumen output. Huge lumen output drop-off between 4' and 2' fixtures. I have to assume the T5's are the same. In any case, the T5 bulbs would need to be within a few (4"-8") inches of the tops of the plants.

Not sure where your setup is located in the house, but generally the T light setups can be made to look 'pretty', but the CFL's are pretty much ugly in a main living room. There are lurkers who use IKEA octopus lamps for multiple CFLs and indicate it looks pretty nice, maybe one of those folks will speak up. In my growing area, I use the butt-ugly brooder fixtures for a couple of my 65-85watt CFLs, wouldn't want those in a main living area unless your SO is very understanding :-)

I like CFL's over T lights, IMO more flexible as far as placement and more bang for the buck if you don't mind the ugly.

Trade that 2' fixture in on a 43WATT (or higher) CFL setup.

Bob


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Hi guys,
Thank you all for your replies.

The T5 ceiling fixture with the one-tube will be less than 1-ft above the mounted orchids. Why would this be "useless" to the plants????

The fixture is a Compact Light System which includes a 125 watt CFL bulb (6400k CFL). And it will illuminate a 3' x 3' supplemental growing area. Why is this "useless" ???

The Clamp-on CFL Fluorescent Grow light is 2700k providing 2650 lumens and is full-spectrum. This in combination with the above ceiling fixture will definitely benefit the plants.


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

That's fine. Your post suggested you were hanging the tube from the ceiling which would be too far away...

Jane


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

patrickalan,

The 2' T5 produces about 2K lumens, the 125WATT CFL probably in the 8-10K range. Seems like an easy choice with all other things equal?

FWIW: I've been growing under lights for @8 years and IMO, 2000 lumens @12" over plants is wasting electricity. Get it closer (4"-6") if you really want to help the plants. As mentioned above, the drop-off in intensity is staggering the further the distance between. The 125 Watt CFL can easily deal with the 12" spacing, probably even 24"+.

Good luck,

Bob


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

  • Posted by jamcm Ottawa Area, Canada (My Page) on
    Tue, Feb 15, 11 at 10:04

More information is always better... It seems we all assumed that your plants were lower than they are and that hanging the light from the ceiling would render it useless. Not so in this case. Sorry.

I will however reiterate that light levels drop by half every foot away from the light source. This also means that it already drops by a quarter 6 inches away. On top of that, packaging can be misleading - a light stating that it produces 2000 lumens produces a TOTAL of 2000 lumens. If you really want to know how much, or actually how little, light gets to your plants, you'll need to borrow a light meter from someone - you'll be shocked. I was. Then I bought more lights. And I don't know that anyone said CFLs would be useless - I'm pretty sure we all said to go that route rather than using the shorter T5, which may not even put out 2000 lumens.

Having said this, you're only supplementing what should be pretty good light from a SE window, so you're not starting from scratch and don't need tons of light. This also means that you don't have to worry about the light colour, aka full spectrum - sunlight is naturally full spectrum and free. All you need is a bit more light, any light. Full spectrum is often a tag put on lights to charge you more.

Hope this extra info helps. Would love to see pictures when you're all set up.

Julie


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

I will however reiterate that light levels drop by half every foot away from the light source. This also means that it already drops by a quarter 6 inches away.

That isn't quite right. For a point source of light, the intensity drops by 75% for each doubling of distance from the source. For a linear source of light (like a fluorescent), the intensity drops by 50% for each doubling of distance. But the bulbs we use are too large to be considered true point and linear sources. And when you throw in reflectors, these laws become even less applicable. Still, they help people understand the exponential nature of light loss with respect to distance. I also think they help illustrate the need for a good reflector.

The T5 ceiling fixture with the one-tube will be less than 1-ft above the mounted orchids. Why would this be "useless" to the plants????

Linear fluorescents generate the most light near the middle of the bulb. They are very weak at the ends where your mounted orchids are.

The fixture is a Compact Light System which includes a 125 watt CFL bulb (6400k CFL). And it will illuminate a 3' x 3' supplemental growing area. Why is this "useless" ???

The fixture should generate a lot of light, but if you mount it at the top of that 4' tall window, only a small portion of it will fall on the 14" depth of the sill.

I think the bottom line is that you have a difficult area to light if you're trying to cover the sill and sides of the window without blocking the window itself. I would just go with a few CFL spotlights mounted close to the plants, not at the top of the window. It may not be the cleanest look, but it is easy and efficient. You'll have to weigh your priorities to see what's best for you.


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

With your set up the T5 will be great. I grow under them and have no problems with growth and blooms on very high light plants. They also look much better than those huge CFL's which I've used with a lesser amount of success.


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Thank you all so much for your input. I think I need to upgrade the CFL bulb for the Clamp-on fixture ....it is coming with a 2700k bulb......I think I need to geta 6500k bulb..

Let me know your thoughts. Than I will have the ceiling fixure with a 6500k bulb, and the Clamp-on CFL Grow Light also with a 6500k bulb.

Or...the only other bulb offered for the Clamp-on fixture was a 40w 5000k bulb.

What do you think ?


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

The 'k' of a bulb is classifying it's color. The lower the number, the more apt to cause a plant to bloom, the higher the number the more vegatiative growth it induces. (I think?)

Everything else being equal (mainly Watts), the 2700k bulb should be OK in a supplemental lighting situation as the available light from the sun will handle the rest (Julie mentioned this above also).

Bob


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Ok, I was given a 30w 3500k CFL bulb that I can also use in the CFL fixture (not the ceiling mounted fixture).


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Hi -
The update is that I decided to use (2) clamp-on CFL Light fixtures, both with 6500k spiral bulbs in them. They are suspended 18-inches below the top of the windowsill, which puts them 15-18-inches above the tops of the orchids sitting on the windowsill.

The Mounted Orchids on both inside walls of the windowsill receive enough natural light in the 8AM-1PM time frame. After that, a 3rd CFL fixture is used to provide supplemental lighting.

The CFL fixtures stay on 15-hours per day. So far I think this is working out very well.


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

I use both types of lighting, depending on the orchids and setup. In my indoor greenhouse I have T5, which work well. In fact, on sunny days, I now turn off the upper T5 because it is too bright for some of my orchids. The window behind the greenhouse (which the light is filtered in) faces Southeast. For my gastro and an elephant bush I use a CFL (lamp from Ikea) that I believe is equivalent to 100 watts. For neither setup, I do not leave the lights on more than a about 4-5 hours.

Sarah


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Sarah your Masdie under a T5 is not going to be happy. They can be grown in Phal light and need to be cooler than a Phal.

Putting it next to the gastro would be much much better.

Brooke


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Thanks Brooke. I don't normally have the T5 on the top shelf on, as I stated. I turned it on just for the photo. Though, I have been pondering moving the masde because of the temp. :)

Sarah


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

CFLs vs two 4' T8s: For 4 years, I had two 4' T8s suspended 10-15" above my plants in a 4'x4' E/SE window w/ okay success. I ignored suggestions that 4 bulbs are the minimum in such a situation.

No orchids needed high light. Lots bloomed annually; some never bloomed.

Slow forward :) to a few months ago. The T8 fixture broke, and I replaced it w/ three 40W (or so) spiral CFLs in those silver brooder fixtures about 18" above the tallest plant.

OH. MY. GOSH!! The difference is jaw-dropping. Orchids blooming more than once a year and orchids blooming that never bloomed. More flowers on some that bloomed annually.

Leaves on some were showing signs of too much light, so this last week, I increased the distance between the lights and the plants by as much as 8" - we'll see.

Lighting is the only variable that changed. I'm sold.

Your reality may differ.


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

WOW. I'm so glad you posted your reply! I feel so much better, whitecat8!

I have (2) of those CFL clamp-on fixtures - both with 6500k spiral bulbs. One is a 26w bulb, the other is a 32w bulb. Everyone has been telling me to go with "tubes". I don't have the means to do that, so I'm sticking with the spiral CFL bulbs.

The only thing I need to do now is move the fixtures down a bit closer to the plants -- right now they are about 30-inches above the plants.

Thanks for your post.


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Patrick,

Tons of people grow orchids successfully with tubes. My results would have been significantly better if I'd had four 4' T8s instead of two. The only reason I switched from my inadequate set up was the fixture quit working.

For your CFLs, my suggestion is to move the lights closer to the plants gradually so as to avoid burn.

I'm glad my info is helpful. Let us know how it goes for you.


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Hi -

Well, I seem to have the reverse problem now ---- Some of my orchids are turning "Yellow". A brand new Angraecum scottianum, and even my Brassavola Nodosa, and my sophronitis cernua have had leaves turn yellow from to much Light. I don't seem to have the "burning" problem. I have a "yellowing" problem.

Right now, the 3 CFL spiral bulbs are providing 2500-3000fc of light (to the orchids on the windowsill).
The mounted orchids on the inside walls are getting higher light levels because the CFL fixtures are closer - hence the "yellowing" of the leaves. I have to increase the distance between the two end CFL fixtures and the plants.

So, how far should the side CFL fixtures be away from the mounted orchids ? 18-inches ???


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Don't mean to sound corny, but has anyone used a floor lamp with cfl bulbs? I saw a very old forum on Garden Web today where that was in the dicussion. Brooke, I believe you were involved. "Debbie" was asking about Help with Selecting Grow Lights. I need that help, too, and don't want to hang something from the ceiling or have some unattractive set up in my kitchen and foyer. These areas are just not getting enough light. New to orchids---as two weeks. Been reading everything I can, and found this web forum----thank goodness. Thanks for your help.


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

This is what I have done over the years. Not terribly attractive in a living-room, but you don't need to have as many floor lamps as I do. These floor lamps were inexpensive (Target-Home Depot) with CFLs, twisted screw in bulbs.

This photo shows the floor lamps being used while my orchids are in large windows. I drag the lamps out in Nov to supplement light. I continue until Feb.
Photobucket
Most of these plants are spiking or getting ready to flower. I want to keep them going with the additional light.

This shot shows the same floor lamps in another room which has more natural light. Again, I'm attempting to keep new growths strong and spikes growing.
lights

Jane


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Lin, so everyone will get to see your question, I suggest you start a topic just for it. Whitecat8


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

  • Posted by Lin_ none (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 5, 11 at 15:39

Sure, Whitecat8. I'll do that. That is a better idea. Thanks. And thanks to Jane. Hope I won't need that many lights. Yikes. (lol)


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cfl bulbs or t5 tubes: A New Twist On An Old Question

I live in Tucson, AZ where the Summer temperatures can hit 105 to 110 degrees, and the RH can be in the single digits in the late morning, rise to 100% during the afternoon "monsoon rains", then falling back to 20 - 30% during the overnight hours. Besides living in a rather inhospitable environment for growing Orchids, I live in a rental unit that has a North facing view (which cuts down on the internal heat in the apartment somewhat), however the porch does have a west facing opening as well which allows for late afternoon west light to flood the porch for a few hours each day. That said the prospect looks as though I will probably have to resort to at least *trying* to grow my Cattleya under lights come this Fall. I have read the pros and cons of the T5 - vs - CFL debate. This is were I hope someone can help me:

At *most* I'll probably have no more than 3-4 Cattletas, probably in the 5-6 inch pot range. I am *looking* at buying the Hydrofarm JSV4 Jump Start T5 Grow Light System. The heart of the system is the 54W T5 6400K 5000 lumen, T5 bulb /w/ reflector. On the positive side, the 6400K light produced is very close to that of natural sunlight -- indeed it is called a "full spectrum" bulb; it uses a total of 54W of power; and it produces very little heat. I'd simply hang the T5 bulb 4 - 6 inches above the 3 to 4 plants as has been suggested on this forum. The down side is that it would be 4 feet long.

An alternative is to go with a low wattage CFL that could fit inside a standard desk lamp with a positional shade. The problems here are: most of these desk type lamps are rated for 60 W incandescent bulbs. I've used 100 W bulbs in my current desk lamp but after about 6 months you end end up burning up the contacts and switch. Last year I put a 40 W CFL into the same lamp, which now produces almost the same light as my 100 W incandescent bulb did. I have found a 40W 5000K CFL (ACF Greenhouses : http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/accessory/lights.shtml ) for $14.95 as well as a 40W 2700K CFL for the same $14.95. If you want a true full spectrum 6400K CFL bulb then you need to buy a 125W bulb that will cost $49. ... plus I suspect some type of lamp that does not fry at 125W. The advantage of the CFL is that you can spotlight a single plant, but you will also likely need several lights -- one for each plant. In my case assuming I have my maximum 4 plants, I will need 4 - 40W lamps using a total of 160W producing near full spectrum (5000K) light.

Given that I will have so few plants (right now I only have 1) is it smarter to go with the Jump Start 4' T5 6400K Grow Light System; or would it be smarter to go with the 40W CFL 5000K desk lamp bulbs?? Tubes or Bulbs: Which would be better for me?


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

  • Posted by jamcm Ottawa Area, Canada (My Page) on
    Thu, May 5, 11 at 8:51

Hi Sam,

The thing with orchids is that you can't stop at just one. We've all tried. It's a true addiction.

I would however suggest that all you need for now are bulbs. And I really don't see why you'd have to get full spectrum bulbs. In your case, you're supplementing light. Your plant will get some red and some blue light, it just doesn't get enough actual light. A plain old 40W CFL bulb from Lowes/Home Depot will do the trick just fine. And leave some money in your wallet for a second orchid.

Julie


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Dear Julie,

Well *the* Orchid arrived this morning. Welcome to Tucson, little Orchid... it was *only* 95 degrees today, 3% RH, Dew Point of 1 degree -- can you say DRY??? The first 100 degree day can't be too far away..... The orchid was in very good shape, but probably is going to need to be re-potted come this Spring... it looks as though it is growing both backwards and forwards at the same time, with the new growth going one way and the developing eye heading backwards over the pot. Roots everywhere.

While I hope this will not end up being the ONLY orchid, this is however my 2nd attempt at growing Cattleyas in Tucson. My 1st attempt several years ago ended in disaster and the plant died, but then again I tried the same culture techniques I used in the West Indies where I grew them with no problem, only I watered it more often (see above). This time I have done extensive research hoping NOT to repeat my first experience. At the moment the orchid is sitting on a temporary "humidity tray" made from a cheap plastic overflow tray filled with some colorful fish tank gravel. Temporary because of Archimedes' principle of displacement. I have ordered a true humidity tray with a grid for the plant/s to grow on. This will be the first time I will have ever used a "humidity tray" -- Lesson 1 (learned the hard way): don't assume one can use the same culture techniques in vastly different environments.

OK I can probably find a cheap desktop lamp into which I can screw a CFL, one problem I am so far aware of: Not all CFLs that one can purchase at Lowe's or Home Depot produce the same color light. For example the one I use for my computer desk ( not sure the wattage but < than 60 W ) produces the same intensity as the incandescent 100 W bulb it replaced. It is a bit "warmer" than a similar bulb of the same wattage which was not only "colder" but gave me eye strain. Both bulbs were made by the same company -- I stand corrected (I found the package): It is a "soft white" CFLs bought at the Home Depot, 23W, 2700K bulbs (and, of course, made in China :( SIGH! ). Now would a 2700K bulb be enough or would a 6400K full spectrum 5000 lumen T5 tube be better?!? I can always order the 5000K 40W bulb from ACF Greenhouses if necessary. If this was a Phalaenopsis I could probably get away with more (orchid) sins, but this is a Cattleya that needs -- or so I am told -- 3000 - 5000 lumens of light. What are you using?!? Do you have any Cattleyas growing under lights?!? Sadly I fear come the Fall / Winter (Yes Julie, when it drops to a high of the lower 60 in the day and the upper 30's at night, I call it Winter!!! ) I doubt there will be enough quality light of enough duration for growth and flowering, so... the issue of the T5 tube -vs- the CFL bulb is an issue of some importance, and something I need to start thinking about now, not when the Fall / Winter arrives. I'm simply trying to plan ahead. Right now however Summer is coming and I should (I hope!!) have enough late afternoon light coming through the western facing opening on the porch that growing under lights should not be necessary. Once I bring *the* plant -- maybe *plants* if I am REALLY lucky, and this one has not died -- inside how many hours per day do I need to keep the CFL light on each plant?!? Please understand this is all new to me -- Sigh this is where I really miss the West Indies: you put the Orchid out on the porch or window sill, water and feed it ever now and then, and they grow.

Thank you for your comments; *any* help/ advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated. While I've grown Orchids before, for all practical purposes I might as well be thought a newbe. Had I not seen the proof that it could be done, I might have wondered what possessed me to try an grow an Orchid in Tucson, AZ, it seems like insanity!!! BTW in case you are wondering the Cattleya that arrived today is suppose to be a Deep Red Blc (Blc. Chia Lin 'Shinsu #1' AM/JOGA). The next one that will -- I hope -- join it is one I had a lot of luck with: Blc. Ports of Paradise 'Emerald Isle' which is a GREEN Orchid!!! After that.... *maybe* one or two others. I'd like to add either a light peach or orange -- that or maybe a nice looking splash which are quite exotic looking. And that would be the sum of my "collection". There is only so much room in a 1BR apt. especially when you have both a small but domineering CAT, and a rather LARGE Service Dog.

Let us both hope the "Orchid Addiction" does not bite me too hard. I solved the "Where do I put the Orchid/s?" problem: I found a 4 foot x 20 Inch folding table. In Summer it can be set up out on the porch where it can be positioned so as to catch the most late afternoon sun; in Winter it can be moved into the BR. It will hold one 12 x 22 inch Humidity Tray which will hold 3 - 4 Orchids; and leave enough room for either the CFL table lamp/s or the 4' Jump Start T5 system, plus have just enough room left over for a small oscillating fan if I need one. After the 4th Orchid I'll start having space problems. Right now however my most immediate problem is making sure I've done all that is possible so that this *one* plant will survive before I even start thinking about adding another one. As the Beachboys once recorded, school is almost out and the "Endless Summer" is about to begin.

Sam


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

  • Posted by jamcm Ottawa Area, Canada (My Page) on
    Fri, May 6, 11 at 12:04

Hi Sam,

Well it sounds like you've gotten a really healthy plant! And did you know that Cattleyas bloom on the new leads? If your Cattleya has multiple growing points, then you could have multiple spikes! And Ports of Paradise also has an amazing fragrance to go with those amazing green coloured flowers.

Anyways, I just reread your first post - I somehow got it in my mind that you had south windows. That'll teach me to try and do ten things at once.

Cattleyas are high light plants, there is really no getting around it. Well, there is, but I'll get into that below. I don't know that even a porch that gets "late afternoon" light is enough. I'd usually tell people that they need a spot that gets full morning sun, mid-day sun or sun all afternoon long, not just at the end of the day. However, this is where talking to people in your area, or who have similar conditions, can be most helpful. My conditions much further up north are quite different to yours.

The true difference between a T5 and CFL bulbs is the area covered. I think I mentioned it above for Patrick, but a T5 spreads out the light it produces over a four foot area, while the CFL focuses all of it on about a one foot area. They might put out the same total amount of light, but under a T5, there's less light available at any one point along that four-foot stretch. You also need to get the light somewhat close to the plant, and with tall Cattleyas like you want to grow, that's not so easy with a T5 that is just a straight stick. I do have some high light plants under T5s - but I have 8 tubes over that single shelf. They all bloom, but I sometimes feel as if I should wear sunglasses to look at them. I don't think you're looking to go there, as it's quite expensive and takes some room. A CFL bulb in a fixture with a flexible arm, or something like what Jane is showing, gives you the flexibility of aiming the light where you want it, it's easier to move (when spikes come, for example) and it's just plain prettier. I would say you'd need at least three CFLs to get the light intensity you'll need for your Cattleya. You could for example get a mix of CFLs - two "cool" (aka blue light spectrum, anything above 6000K) and one "warm" (aka red light spectrum, around 3000K). Or if you really want to get a 5000K bulb, don't go to a greenhouse or hydroponics place. Go to a place that specializes in industrial lights and has a retail counter. You can get bulbs of the the same light colour for a fraction of the price because there's no marketing mark-up.

And finally, you asked whether I grew Cattleyas. I do - I have about twenty or so of them. Only two of them, though, are "Classic" Cattleyas - the big ones that are well over a foot high in height and that have big floofy flowers. I just find that they take so much room, so much light and they only usually flower once a year for a month or so. I have limited actual windowsill space, as most of my collection is under lights and so the plants have to fit under them, and I do supplement the windowsill light, since even a E-SE window isn't enough light for them. Most of my Cattleyas are actually what we call "mini Catts". These plants are under a foot high, flower two or even three times a year, and don't take as much light as the regular Cattleyas. Mine get just a bit more light than my Phalaenopsis. Yes, admittedly, the flowers are not as big, not as many are fragrant, and there's less floof, but there are also fewer losses and it is much less effort. It may be something to consider, especially if you have problems with your Blc. Chia Lin. And an even greater advantage to consider: you can fit three plants in the same space your Chia Lin takes.

I'm enclosing a link below to a culture sheet produced by the Canadian Orchid Congress. I find it's a good resource of indoor growers.

Hope this all helps.

Julie

Here is a link that might be useful: Canadian Orchid Congress - Cattleya Culture Sheet


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Dear Julie,

Well you are right, normally... in AZ however south facing windows is where all the light and HEAT comes into the house. Truly wish I had an East or ESE window so that I got morning sun, but... even the western opening with the late afternoon sun might be too much, just got back from playing chess and found the plant on its side when I got home. Too much wind, have never liked cheap plastic pots, as every one tends blow over. Plan to re-pot the plant in good ol' fashion clay pots when I do that task more likely in the Spring so that it can't be blown over so easy. For now however what I have is "good enough". Checked the leaves, and they were warm, but not hot. Checked the water level in my cheap "humidity tray" that I filled just this morning to just below the top of my gravel, and it is now almost half gone..... Can't wait till the real deal gets here. Checking and filling the "humidity tray" looks like it will be a daily task.

Thank you for the idea on where I can find a 40W 5000K CFL. Might try to find a goose neck flexible desk lamp (or floor lamp? ) over the weekend at a yard sale. Thank heavens I have no plans to get as many plants as Jane has -- 3-4 would be more than enough for me. I really like Sarah's indoor "greenhouse". The ingenuity that some people show is inspiring. One thing I am now *considering* is maybe get the T5 system *and* combine it with various CFLs, it seems clear to me at last that I'm going to have to use CFLs come the Fall, first however I need to get through Summer. IF -- a very BIG IF -- it makes it through the Summer and is still alive, then and only then will I consider adding another brother. Blc. Ports of Paradise 'Emerald Isle' is, as you have pointed out, a wonderful orchid, but best of all is quite hardy -- my last one came back to life after surviving a Cat 4 hurricane.

I'm going to try and make contact with someone in the "Tucson Orchid Society", they said in their latest news letter to e-mail them if you have any questions... but of course they have no listed e-mail address, or a listed phone number..... of course.

Thank you so very much for your help. I have a very strange feeling the issue of T5 tubes -vs- CFL bulbs is going to remain a significant topic especially for beginners or for people who like me have had orchids before but never had to do "anything" beyond feeding and watering them. I truly wish the AOS or someone would put out a rigorous in-depth book on growing the various orchid types (species and crosses) under lights, since no two types or species require the same type of lighting conditions. Most times what I have found just glosses over the subject, and most of it is still back in the stone age of T8s and T12s, with little or no mention of T5s and CFLs.

Got to go. I'll keep you posted. In the meantime have a Happy Mother's Day.

Sam


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lighting: Just Bought Some 26W 6500K CFL Bulbs

Dear Julie,

Just got back from WalMart. I think the T5 Tubes -vs- CFL bulbs debate is almost over: I was able to buy 2- 26W 6500K CFL bulbs that produce 1600 lumens each for $5.44. They are screw in bulbs. They are made by GE. And Yes, they are made in China :(.

A CAUTIONARY tale: I also looked at some some flex neck desk lamps. I *was* going to buy one of them for between $8 - 12. They say they are rated for 40W incandescent bulbs. "OK", thought I, "26 W is less than 40W, so I can use this lamp". Then I saw next to that 40W the following message, "... or a 13W CFL". So.... I spent $22.97 and bought CFL desk lamp rated 23W or equivalent to a 100W incandescent bulb, got it home opened it up only to discover that that CFL has "pins" and does not screw in, so I'll be taking the lamp back. SIGH!!! Long story short: If you are going to use a flex neck incandescent lamp, you are going to want a lamp that can handle at least 60 -75W incandescent bulbs, 80 - 100W would be better. Second You might want to consider a floor lamp a-la the ones that "Jane" has... at least if you are growing Cattleyas even a 19 inch desk lamp would be too short to shine from the top down. That said if one could angle the light in from the sides.... The two bulbs I bought would produce a combined 3200 lumens of light, which, at least in theory, would be enough for a single Catttleya.

Please feel free to re-post this message if you feel it would be of value to someone.

Sam


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

  • Posted by stefpix 6b NY %5BBrooklyn NY (My Page) on
    Mon, May 9, 11 at 9:52

Sam,

3200 lumens are not 3200 foot candles. I believe 2 26W CFLs are not enough to bloom Cattleyas...
stefano


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lighting: Advantages of cfl bulbs over t5 tubes

Stefano,

You are correct in stating that lumens are not equal to foot candles, however they are related and can be converted one to the other.

Foot candles measure the amount of light falling on or illuminated by a light source that is 1 foot away.

A lumen is about the light that is emitted -- the power if you will -- by the light source.

By definition 1 foot candle equals 1 lumen per square foot.

That brings us full circle back to which is better to use: A T5 tube that produces a true 6400K spectrum, but whose lumens are spread over the length of the tube and the height of the tube over the plants of various size; or the use of a CFL that could direct the light to a specific plant covering a smaller area, but none of which could be called "full spectrum" lights. The best I could find was a 40W 5000K CFL. Contrast that to something like the JSV4 54W, 5000 Lumen 6400K full spectrum 4' Jump Start Light System is also more efficient producing ~ 92 lumens per Watt, the lumens still have to be spread over the entire 4' length of the tube.

With the full spectrum 6500K CFL I found made by GE that produces 1600 lumens , yielding ~ 61 lumens per watt, any perceived advantage the T5 tube might have had is now marginalized. The advantage of both the T5 and the CFL is they produce a very low amount of heat, allowing them to be placed or hung very close to the leaves of the plant. The advantages of the CFL -vs- the T5 has been pointed out in this on-going discussion. The total lumen output of the two 26W CFLs (each being 1600 lumens) is equal to 3200 lumens. Cattleyas need (depending on which authority you read) anywhere from 2000 - 2500 foot candles on the low side to about 5000 foot candles on the high side. 3000 - 3200 foot candles are considered adequate for blooming. While the number of lumens will become diluted the further away from the source, one goes the fact that you can direct almost all the rated lumen output from the CFL over a very small distance -- 3-6 inches has been suggested -- then the foot candle per unit area should be expected to be higher than with a T5 tube, Yes?!? Even assuming you are correct that there are not enough foot candles produced by *2* CFLs , at $5.44 I can add another 2 CFLs and direct that light to the same spot, Yes? With *4* CFLs I'm still using about the energy output of a single 100W incandescent bulb. The *one* BIG advantage of using CFLs now would seem, at least to me and I'm far from being an expert -- for that you would have to ask someone like Julie, Jane or Sarah -- is that you can selectively mix and match the quality or type of light the plant receives from almost straight full spectrum 6500K growth light to the warmer 2700K - 3000K light needed for blooming (if I got that right ) by simply screwing out one bulb and screwing in another. You can't do that with a T5 tube. To my limited knowledge then with the addition of a full spectrum CFL, logic would dictate that if one is to grow Orchids, including Cattleyas, under lights exclusively, or even as an adjunct to some natural light the plant might receive each day on the porch, then the versatility of the CFL would be a major advantage over the T5 tube. The major drawback is limited to the number of plants you have and the number of acceptable lamps into which you can safely use a 26W CFL (see previous post). Just MHO.

Sam


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Sam,

FWIW, I use flouros (older 16 bulb T12 set-up), CFLs (85 watt spirals and 65 watt tubes) and HPS (250 watt) lighting during the winter months. If you really want to get serious with the light to your catt(s), look at 65-85 watt CFLs (4000-6000 lumens) and chicken brooder fixtures :-) Butt ugly, yet very effective. I think most who use CFL's use at least the 42 watt variants, IMO the 26 watters would just sustain a high light plant, but it wouldn't really thrive. Also, a single 42watt would concentrate it's 2800 lumens more directly at a single plant, if you are lighting multiple plants then maybe the multiple 23's. (But I'd personally just set-up another butt ugly chicken brooder/85watt CFL combo :-) )

Just my opinion and good luck out there in the dry heat...

Bob


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Bob,

I noticed someone asked this question before but what does a "chicken brooder" fixture look like?? The one link that was posted no longer worked.

The other problem that I have been having is finding any fixture that will accept more than a 23W (though 26 is close enough) CFL, with the typical fixture being only a 13W CFL. I looked. Typically it will say something like 40W Incandescent bulb *or* a 13W CFL. Apparently there is a greater fire danger associated with the use of some fixtures than others. If you can find a fixture that is rated for 100 -125W incandescent bulbs they will accept a 23W -26W CFL. I've found nothing that will accept anything over 26W CFLs.

If I end up with more than 3-4 orchids that would be a lot. Currently I have only *1* plant. My initial plan *had* been to go with the JSV4 54W T5 5000 Lumen, 6400K Jump Start Light System. Given that I live in AZ this is more for supplemental light to complement whatever natural light I get on the porch, especially come the "Winter". After reading this thread I shifted my position and was *probably* going to use both the JSV4 T5 *and* CFLs. Now I am leaning more towards using *only* CFLs. The trick is to find fixtures that will a) accept at least a 26W CFL. b) one that will accept screw type CFLs of greater wattage (like the 40W 5000K CFL). It has to be realized that growing anything under lights does have its limitations. One is it tends to be a very expensive proposition. Even a 4 T5 tube fixture will set you back a hundred or more dollars. Optimally I would like to find something that is both ubiquitous, and fairly cheap. Wouldn't mind the so called "chicken brooder" but have no idea what one looks like or where one finds one. At the current time ideally I am looking for the "Octopus" lamp with its several flexible heads. Not perfect but it beats the alternative of finding several single lamps that will accept a 26W CFL.

The advantage of this thread is it promotes open dialogue. Unless you are a BIG time orchid grower who can afford to sink real money into a light system, for the average Joe who has but a few plants, growing under lights becomes an expensive proposition. Finding a cost effective solution becomes an important consideration. The JSV4 T5 Jump Start system can be had from Amazon for $54.53; and 2 26W 6500K CFLs producing 1600 lumens each can be had from your local WalMart for $5.44. The advantage of *both* the T5 and the CFL is both produce very little heat which allows the lights to be hung within inches of the plant allowing virtually all the lumens to be converted into the prerequisite foot candles of light necessary for both growth and blooming. I *still* do not know which is better: T5s or CFLs, but my current thinking is that the CFLs have the edge because the light can be concentrated on a particular area, which can not be done with the single T5 tube. BTW using the higher wattage CFLs seems to be the way to go but finding the bulbs as well as the fixtures so far has proved elusive. I did not find either at the Home Depot, my next stop is Lowes when I get around to it. I'll keep you posted as to what I find.

It would be an interesting experiment to see if one could use stock CFLs found at places such as WalMart to grow orchids "under light". Given my finances, I might be forced to become the unwitting guinea pig for such an experiment.

Sam


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Below is the link to a lamp that will hold a 42 watt (equiv to 65 watt incandescent). You have to make an extender to direct the light toward the plant because the bulb extends below the hood.

The high output T5 isn't a cool running light fixture. The CFL is cooler than the T5 but it too will heat up an area if you use multiple bulbs.

The chicken brooder fixture is actually called a work light. All big box stores carry them.

Trust me, you aren't an unwitting guinea pig, many people grow under lights with all manner of set ups.

Brooke

Here is a link that might be useful: Ikea


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Sam,

First: I grow in a spare bedroom, so 'good looking setups' are not critical to me.

OK now: I've found 65 watt spiral CFL's at Lowes most times of the year. I've run into some higher wattage CFLs at Hydro stores, but those hydro boys charge the big bucks as they think they are selling to another group of 'growers' :-). Along with the chicken brooder fixtures for large spirals (see link below) I use a fish tank hood fixture for a 2/65Watts tube (2G11 base) CFL set-up, you may be able to find one used for a reasonable price. As Brooke mentioned, you will want to extend the sides of the fixture if the bulb sticks out too far, huge waste of light when it goes out to the sides. I do this with my 85'ers and the brooder fixture(s).

There are lots of options for lights, I will probably try LED's next, that is once the cost comes down a bit.

Personally, I don't think I'd bother with the single tube T5 for high light plants.

Bob

Here is a link that might be useful: Chicken Brooder Fixture


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Thank you Brooke, and thank you Bob. You both give me hope. Thank you Brooke for the link to Ikea, that is just the thing I am looking for; thank you Bob for the "brooder" picture. When I go to Lowes I'll see if they have them. (Home Depot did not when I checked last week).

While I'm still hoping to get away with growing *the* plant relying only upon the late afternoon sun light that falls on the porch, and NOT have to worry about adding any "supplemental" light, my inner voice is saying, "Use the Electromagnetic Force, Luke".

Well I've had the plant now a full week and it has not died, indeed there is some signs that it might be growing!!! Still too early to tell.

No spare BR for me Bob; indeed my "Orchid Room" consists (so far) of a 48x20 inch collapsible table that can be moved around, and a home made "humidity tray" made from a *cheap* plastic plant tray to which I add colorful fish gravel. I have carved out a space on the porch where I'll store a few pots, food, etc. once they get here. In the "Winter" I'll have to bring the "Orchid Table" and Orchid/s inside and probably set it up in the BR. I'll keep you all posted as to my experiences.

Sam


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

I agree the thing with lights is that the light level. While it may still seem bright to youa T5 fixture hung from the ceiling will actually not put out any usable light for your plants. It would have to be hung no more than a foot or so above your plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: Flower Gardening


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

A single T5 is pretty useless. I use 8 bulbs in one growing area and 4 in another. I can pretty much bloom anything under them and some plants have to be at least 2 feet away or they get to much light.


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The 'Experiemnt' Gets Underway

Hi Julie, Stefano, Bob, Brooke, "AileenEdword", and "smwboxer" (... and both Sarah and Jane if they are reading this):

First I want to Thank each and every one of you, your ideas have had a tremendous impact on me. Julie you were right: Orchids are sort of like potato chips, you can't have just one: I got a call from a friend who lives in FL, and we got to talking about "the plant" and she said she would like to contribute to my "collection" so... sometime next week Plant #2 "Blc Robert Ferguson "Florida Sunset" is expected to arrive. The flower is suppose to be lavender-pink when it opens, slowly becoming an unusual coral-salmon color. Bob: Thank you for the tip and picture of the "brooder" fixture, hope to find one soon, but first... Brooke you have been a God send. Your support has meant a lot. While I still feel I have set out on the ill fated Titanic -- growing Orchids in Tucson still goes against all logic, as I live in a desert, home of the giant and mighty Saguaro Cactus -- I am now hopefully optimistic it can be done. Gone are days of living in a tropical paradise, of setting the plant out on the porch, feed, water, and watch the plant grow and bloom, to one almost akin to living in hell... and trying to grow Orchids. Now to rephrase Dickens, "These are best of conditions; these are the worst of conditions"... at least for growing Orchids. While having a north facing view saves me on my electric bill, especially in the Summer, it is not very good for the growing of plants, yet my western porch opening allows me to catch a few hours of the afternoon setting sun.

Today at long last *the* REAL humidity tray arrived, along with some potting mix, Orchid Food, some pest control and some cinnamon for treating Orchid wounds. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for all the water in the humidity tray to evaporate.

I have started a diary which I have titled, "A Poor Man's Journal: Growing Cattleyas in the Desert Southwest". This way I'll figure out what works, as well as what does not. As a result of this forum I have abandoned any idea of using the T5 based "JSV4 4 foot Jump Start T5 Light System with its 6400K bulb (BTW the bulb and reflector does not get hung from the ceiling as some think, but rather from a ~ 2-1/2 - 3 foot high stand), and going with straight CFLs which are going to be used to *supplement* whatever natural light comes through the western opening on the porch. With the admonitions that the two 26W 6500K CFLs I bought last week will not produce enough light for plant growth in the back of my mind, I nonetheless decided to buy two cheap WalMart 15" flexneck table lamps, screwed in the CFLs and placed the lights within 2 inches of the leaves, one high, one low so that the entire plant is covered. Given that the CFLs are a supplemental light source, not my primary source which I still consider being the natural sunlight I get each day, I figured, any additional light can't hurt, and the sooner I start the better. I then turned on the lights. General comment. Holy @$&# Batman!!!! Those two lights together are BRIGHT!!!!! ... and COLD!!!! The light from them is almost glacial but they call them "Daylight". Brooke: that link you listed to IKEA is very much appreciated, while there are no stores here in Tucson, there is one in Mesa, and I have friends who comes down from Pinetop and / or Show Low, AZ. I plan to ask them to buy me two of those lamps the next time they come down (whenever that may be) that you linked me to, and once I have them, then use the poles to clamp the "brooder" light onto, if and when I can find one.

Given that the CFLs are supplemental light I now have a few questions I hope someone can answer:

Question 1: Given that I get 3-4 hours of afternoon sun, how long should I leave the CFLs on?? I've read 16 hours, but that is if one is growing them totally under lights. Right now as soon as the sun sets I haul "the plant" off the porch and put it in the BR and then turn on the CFLs. When the Dog, Cat, and I go to bed, so does the Orchid; when my apartment comes to life in the morning I turn on the CFLs then wait til the afternoon when the afternoon sun starts creeping onto the porch then put "the plant" back out onto its humidity tray to soak up the afternoon rays.

Question 2: Since we are moving into Summer, this is the growth phase for this Orchid ( blooms Fall to Winter ) [ and the one that is coming is likewise listed as a Fall to Spring bloomer]. I figure to keep the CFL light at 6500K... at least least until June 21st then slowly start adding in 2700K - 3000K light. Does anyone know at what ratio of 6500K CFLs to 2700K - 3000K CFLs I should mix and at what frequency? Say by July I have 4 lamps ( or some number n ) and decide to start adding in the warm 2700K - 3000K lamps slowly increasing their numbers, while phasing out the 6500K "Daylight" lamps ie. July: 3 are 6500K, 1 is 2700K; Mid August: 2 lamps are 6500K, 2 lamps are 2700K; October: 1 lamp is 6500K, 3 lamps are 2700K; Mid November: all lamps are 2700K. Or do I need at least 1 6500K light at all times while increasing the number of 2700K - 3000K lights?? Since I want to mimic Nature's Clock, I need to turn "Off" the Growth phase, and turn "On" the Blooming phase.... that is IF I got that right.

Question 3: This is sort of related to Question 2: Do I need to slowly reduce the number of hours of "Light" and increase the number of hours of "Dark" ?

Your comments are all greatly appreciated. I might not be able to implement all your ideas but they are all considered and are of great value. Given that I'm totally LOST, your comments at least give me that most valuable of commodities, HOPE, hope that I CAN grow Orchids in what is has to be considered an inhospitable environment under less than ideal conditions. While I still feel I have set sail on the doomed Titanic, at least I know the direction I'm heading, and have located the lifeboat... Just in case.

Thank you all for your help, now.... FULL SPEED AHEAD!!!

Sam


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

HI Sam,

When it comes to lights, I'm pretty much a minimalist where as you seem to be a 'tinkerer'.

Anyhow:

1. What you are currently doing is fine.
2. I mix cool and warm year round, about 50/50.
3. I do reduce the hours in the fall and then ramp them back up by mid-winter. I normally run my lights for 16 hours a day, but will slowly reduce down to 12 in Sept/Oct and then back up to 16 in the fall/winter. I do it for my phals, not sure if catts need the same treatment?

A lot of people say a humidity tray is useless, I personally think they are beneficial when using gravel, keeping it wet and having multiple plants sitting on the tray, so keep water in the tray and get more plants ;-).

BTW: If it were me, I would position both lights over the plant, maybe with the plant centered between them. You might get some funky-angled growth if you keep a light at the side.

Good luck,

Bob


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Wow! This post is extremely helpful.


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Update: Growing Cattleyas In The Desert

Well the experiment goes on. Have run into many, many problems....

Well yesterday we hit 100 degrees for the first time this year, and very likely today as well, then it is 3 days in the low 90's then it is back to the 100's far as the eye can see. Summer is here!!!

Caveat emptor: Yes, Cattleyas can be grown in the desert southwest... what they don't tell you is that most if not all of them are grown in greenhouses. The good news is that Plant #1 is still alive after almost 3 weeks and Plant #2 is still alive after almost 2 weeks. My western light is starting to prove too strong, and the low humidity is causing the plant's pseudobulbs to dry out very, very fast. The temperatures have risen almost 10 degrees on average over the course of the past 3 weeks. Supplemental light right now has taken a back seat to trying to keep the plants alive. I am *almost* ready to toss in the towel and give the plants to a friend in Show Low, AZ where the temperature is on average almost 20 degrees cooler and the humidity is almost 20 degrees higher... that or give them to a friend who has a greenhouse :(. Still as Bob pointed out -- by trade -- I am/was a "tinkerer"..... I kind of like trying to solve the unsolvable problem. Just because no one grows Cattleyas on a porch in the desert southwest, and only grows them only in greenhouses, does not mean it can't be done. Strong light, low humidity, and high temperatures, are a major problem that I thought others had solved, which they did... sort of: they grow them in greenhouses. I'd need an itty bitty greenhouse that would fit on a 48" x 20" table to house no more than 5-6 orchids max ( 3-4 is the most likely ) and I've never seen one of them. So... I need to figure out a non-greenhouse way of doing the job....

In trying to solve the problem of too much western light, I was able to find some "sheer curtains" that could be purchased at WalMart for $4 and change. That would diffuse the sun, allowing most of the light to pass while -- hopefully -- providing enough light for growth before the sun sets. If worse comes to worse I could double or triple it to cut down the light. A shade cloth *might* be over kill, and what % of shade would I need on a setting sun? Comments PLEASE!!!

Likewise I *may* have solved the humidity problem. Has anyone out there got any experience with using a desktop Cool (as opposed to Warm) Humidifier?!? That *might* kill two birds with one stone: first it would provide humidity in and around the plant, second it would -- I hope -- lower the temperature in and around the plant. I can get one for between $30 - $50. Sears, Home Depot, Ace... they all carry them or can order them. Comments PLEASE!!!

I find I have gone from an orchid paradise, to an orchid hell. If I can solve the light, temperature, and humidity problems, adding supplemental light via cfls and / or T5s will be a breeze!!!

Sam


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Sam, you can get those floor lamps at many stores such as HD, Walmart, Target...that's where I bought mine. I like the octopus lights because you get 5 lights on one pole.

I'm not sure how many orchids you are trying to grow, sounds like just a few. You could keep your orchids in a bunch with other plants to raise the humidity around the plants. Little micro climate. You could use a small fountain or small, table-top humidifier (the type you use on a desk at work) to increase humidity around the plants.

Mine grow indoors all winter with humidity around 8-15% - dry as a bone. They survive and even flower.

I grow more plants than you, but I cram them together with each other and with my dirt-houseplants to increase humidity. I do run steam vaporizers but they really don't do all that much unless I keep them running constantly, which I don't. But they definitely help.

I use my lights on plants which are spiking or making new growths. I do not bother with plants which rest during winter.

Another question - do you have lawn or some sort of ground cover outside? If so, why can't you move the plants outside to a shady spot under a bush or tree which gets watered occasionally. This will keep the orchids cooler and provide humidity. No matter how hot and dry the air, the ground will give off moisture. Just a thought.

Orchids in office

Here is a shot of some Catts under my octopus lamps. You can see the small, steam vaporizer. I paid $8.00 for the vaporizer (I like those as they don't have filters.)

Good luck,
Jane


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Sam is your house not air conditioned? Outside air temp doesn't mean anything inside an air conditioned house.

You don't need shade cloth or even a curtain for the window, pull the orchid back slightly from the window. Two feet from a sunny ESE window in KY registers 600 fc on a light meter which is barely enough light to grow a Phal.

If your pbulbs are dehydrating it either needs more frequent watering or the roots are gone.

You are making this too hard. Stick your orchid in a window where it gets about 6 hours of light, water when dry, and ignore it.

Brooke

PS - If you think growing in a house in the desert is hard, it is much much harder to grow in a g/h. Lose your cooling system and you have cooked plants in 20 minutes.


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Dear Brooke and Jane,

Brooke: Yep, the apartment is air conditioned (live in the desert without air conditioning or a swamp cooler?? Forget the plants -- you'll cook!!! Today it hit 100 degrees with single digit humidity, come Thurs. it is expected to hit between 101 - 103 degrees, same single digit humidity. ) Unfortunately I have only *1* Window... facing North of course. If I put the plants out on the porch I then have a western as well as a northern exposure (the Eastern exposure is cutoff both by a solid wall as well as by the apartment cross the hall... of course.) Yep I do water the plants. The humidity is so low that trying to figure out *when* to water becomes the challenges. One plant came planted in some type of bark, and the other -- I kid you not -- came planted in rock!!! I watered one plant 4 days ago and it was bone dry today (yesterday really); the other (the one planted in rock) 3 days ago. My only clue so far is to check the weight of the plant planted in bark, as well as to watch the pseudobulbs. BTW as an aside, someone who does have a greenhouse did loose his A/C and the temperature hit 115 degrees for a short period of time, but somehow he did not loose any plants. The gentleman put it thus: "...during the hottest time of the year, EXPECT something to fail. !If it doesn't, it was a great summer. !If it does, it's what you expected."

Jane: You might quickly become the love of my life. Are you growing those Catts ONLY under lights, or do they get natural light as well?!? At least you answered one question I was wondering about: That of using a humidifier to raise humidity. Since I've never used one, if used indoors does it create a mold problem?!? Believe it or not some people have mold problems here. In the West Indies mildew was a constant, indeed when my cistern over flowed the interior walls weeped, and I'd end up mopping up water. Here they use "drywall" which tends to be prone to mold problems, as opposed to either poured concrete or concrete block.

You are right. I only have a few plants -- two so far!!! Assuming I don't lose these two I want to add my favorite Orchid of all: Blc. Ports of Paradise 'Emerald Isle' to the collection. I've grown that orchid so many times that my collection would be incomplete without it. After that.... the only way the number will increase is when I -- hopefully -- re-pot the first two in the Spring, at which time I plan to subdivide both.

Both plants at the current moment are sitting on a humidity tray, and I have been told, that is not enough, unless I have several plants grouped together. Two plants I surmise don't constitute a "group".

Could I put the plant outside in a shady spot where it might get watered? The answer is yes and no -- mostly no since I live in a huge apartment complex, though the complex does have a huge lawn that has sprinklers etc., they are also converting more and more green into xeriscaping to cut down on the complex's water bill. Put an orchid outside under the trees, and I could say goodbye orchid since someone would swipe it no doubt. So... I'm back to square 1: Figuring out how to grow on my porch, while overcoming the restrictions imposed by my environment; OR growing them ONLY under lights inside the apartment.

I love your Octopus (Octopi ? Octopuses ? since you have more than one hehehe) lamps. Are you using "Octopus" in the generic form, or as those made by IKEA??. Once I figure out the immediate problem then I'll deal with the problem of lighting once again.

At least one more part of the puzzle has now fallen into place: Adding a humidifier to raise the humidity + the humidity tray should solve that problem.

In closing, I must be doing something right so far -- that or I've been simply lucky -- but both plants are showing signs of growth.

Thank you both very, very much. If I get the chance I'll post a picture. They say a picture is worth a thousand words...

Sam


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Dear Brooke and Jane,

Brooke: Yep, the apartment is air conditioned (live in the desert without air conditioning or a swamp cooler?? Forget the plants -- you'll cook!!! Today it hit 100 degrees with single digit humidity, come Thurs. it is expected to hit between 101 - 103 degrees, same single digit humidity. ) Unfortunately I have only *1* Window... facing North of course. If I put the plants out on the porch I then have a western as well as a northern exposure (the Eastern exposure is cutoff both by a solid wall as well as by the apartment cross the hall... of course.) Yep I do water the plants. The humidity is so low that trying to figure out *when* to water becomes the challenges. One plant came planted in some type of bark, and the other -- I kid you not -- came planted in rock!!! I watered one plant 4 days ago and it was bone dry today (yesterday really); the other (the one planted in rock) 3 days ago. My only clue so far is to check the weight of the plant planted in bark, as well as to watch the pseudobulbs. BTW as an aside, someone who does have a greenhouse did loose his A/C and the temperature hit 115 degrees for a short period of time, but somehow he did not loose any plants. The gentleman put it thus: "...during the hottest time of the year, EXPECT something to fail. !If it doesn't, it was a great summer. !If it does, it's what you expected."

Jane: You might quickly become the love of my life. Are you growing those Catts ONLY under lights, or do they get natural light as well?!? At least you answered one question I was wondering about: That of using a humidifier to raise humidity. Since I've never used one, if used indoors does it create a mold problem?!? Believe it or not some people have mold problems here. In the West Indies mildew was a constant, indeed when my cistern over flowed the interior walls weeped, and I'd end up mopping up water. Here they use "drywall" which tends to be prone to mold problems, as opposed to either poured concrete or concrete block.

You are right. I only have a few plants -- two so far!!! Assuming I don't lose these two I want to add my favorite Orchid of all: Blc. Ports of Paradise 'Emerald Isle' to the collection. I've grown that orchid so many times that my collection would be incomplete without it. After that.... the only way the number will increase is when I -- hopefully -- re-pot the first two in the Spring, at which time I plan to subdivide both.

Both plants at the current moment are sitting on a humidity tray, and I have been told, that is not enough, unless I have several plants grouped together. Two plants I surmise don't constitute a "group".

Could I put the plant outside in a shady spot where it might get watered? The answer is yes and no -- mostly no since I live in a huge apartment complex, though the complex does have a huge lawn that has sprinklers etc., they are also converting more and more green into xeriscaping to cut down on the complex's water bill. Put an orchid outside under the trees, and I could say goodbye orchid since someone would swipe it no doubt. So... I'm back to square 1: Figuring out how to grow on my porch, while overcoming the restrictions imposed by my environment; OR growing them ONLY under lights inside the apartment.

I love your Octopus (Octopi ? Octopuses ? since you have more than one hehehe) lamps. Are you using "Octopus" in the generic form, or as those made by IKEA??. Once I figure out the immediate problem then I'll deal with the problem of lighting once again.

At least one more part of the puzzle has now fallen into place: Adding a humidifier to raise the humidity + the humidity tray should solve that problem.

In closing, I must be doing something right so far -- that or I've been simply lucky -- but both plants are showing signs of growth.

Thank you both very, very much. If I get the chance I'll post a picture. They say a picture is worth a thousand words...

Sam


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Sam, here's the scoop. You live in an arid environment. If you are getting mold, you couldn't possibly be living in an arid environment unless you have leaking water somewhere. A small vaporizer does not produce enough moisture to raise my humidity above 20%. I only use it because I have some plants with exposed roots which will dry up over the long, dry winter.

The photo shows some plants being carried over winter. They are growing with window light and supplemental. They get moved outside in Spring. I could never bloom them under those lights. I want to keep new growths or spiking growing until I can get them into higher light.

Those octopus lamps were purchased at Home Depot, Target or Lowes whenever they are on sale. They were cheap yet they do the trick. The plants in the photo were warm growers which I moved into a small, warm room for a few weeks to keep them growing.

If your plants are drying out that fast, you need to add some moisture retentive media to your pots. Sphag or small bark works well. I would not grow any plants in rock in such a dry environment. Repot them and soak your bark before using.

If you need more light, you need to get them close to the window, if they can't go outside. If you want to grow totally under lights, you need stronger lights and should check out the 'Growing under Lights' forum for advice on the best lights for your situation.

Brooke is right - you are making it too complicated. Change your potting media, increase you light, by whatever means you can manage.

Jane


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Update from the Desert South West

Just a quick Update: The *planned* "orchid table" ran into a problem. I hung the sheer curtain, and while sewing in some heavy chain to weigh it down my cat found the needle and swallowed it!! After emergency surgery to save her life, I am now some $1,800 in the hole. The cat I am very , very happy to report has recovered and is back to her old self; my wallet, on the other hand will take some 10 - 12 months to recover. SIGH!!!! The humidifier I *was* planning to buy has now been put on hold. In the meantime I am sure you know if you have been following the news, about the massive wildfires burning in AZ. We are also experiencing a string of high temperatures that are out of this world: 111, 110, 108 degrees. etc. which is well above our normal high high temperatures (about 105 degrees).

A major step I have taken in trying to culture orchids in the Desert South West is to allow them to "talk" to me, rather than following formulaic rules of orchid culture. Now I watch their pseudobulbs and when they start to shrivel I know it is time to water them. This time period as two days, especially for those plants growing in rock (!!). When this happens I promptly sink them into my stainless steel kitchen sink which I have first sterilized with bleach, then rinsed and rinsed again to make sure any trace of chlorine has been removed, then and only then do I fill the sink with clean water into which I then soak the plant for an hour or more. I do this with each of the three plants so there is no cross contamination. This is a vastly different approach to watering orchids when I was living in the West Indies; there I simply put the plant under the tap opened it up and waited until the media was wet and I saw water flowing out the drain and side holes.

In spite of being told that one can ONLY grow Cattleyas under greenhouse conditions here, and the fact that I'm trying to grow them on a porch with both a primary north and a smaller secondary west facing view, and against all odds, one of the three orchids (Blc. Robert Ferguson 'Florida Sunset') not only had a bud form within a sheath, but said bud is now actually emerging from the sheath. The really funny thing is that it started to emerge the very day the dew point reached 54 degrees and the seasonal monsoon rains began falling on July 3rd. We have now had our second consecutive day of heavy rains -- over an inch fell at the "official" site at the airport today. Where I live it came down in sheets for over a half hour or more. While it is way too soon to tell if I'll actually get the plant to flower, I'm nonetheless astounded that a bud formed at all under my less than optimal growing conditions; with that said it it developed and remained in its protective sheath, now comes the crucial period, as it emerges from within that sheath, and gets exposed to the harsh desert environment. The BIG threat is of course "bud blast", while I have my fingers crossed that somehow this will not happen, there is a high statistical reality that it will. Still there is indeed some hope that it will bloom against all odds, the fact that it has emerged just as both the RH and dew point have risen, and the monsoon rains have started gives me with that hope. The porch where it is growing provides it shelter from winds reaching 40-70 mph, and the sheer curtain slows the wind down somewhat as well as providing some protection from the very strong western afternoon light. Air circulation is NOT a problem as I have good air movement across the porch. The plant at this time still receives only the limited early morning light, which, while not much, seems to be enough for at least some growth to occur, but I suspect NOT enough for continuous vigorous growth, so I still have that problem to deal with, still I'll take what I can at this point in time.

One always becomes at least semi-excited when an orchids comes into bud, but it was no big thing when I was living in the West Indies -- it was an expected thing, as was the idea that the orchid would then go onto bloom. This time however it is vastly different: I trying to grow an orchid in an extreme environment -- an Orchid Hell -- not under greenhouse conditions, and the orchid not only developed a bud, but the bud is now emerging from its protective sheath. Somehow I am appreciating the process much, much more this time around, as I truly did not believe I would get this far under these conditions, still.... I have a bud, now emerging from its sheath, and I can only hope that it will survive and go on to bloom. I'll keep you updated.

Sam


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Sam, I'm glad your cat is okay! What an emergency!!

Good luck with the catt! I find that they aren't as tricky as some people make them out to be. They just need bright light.

Sarah


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Thank you Sarah for your kind remarks. I too am extremely happy the cat is alive and well. It was very, very scary for me for over a week. Too bad it financially set me back so much. Still, better that than the alternative. Tomorrow I take my Service Dog in for *his* shots. Oh well, easy come, easy go......

The other catt.... just checked this morning the bud is now almost 75% emerged from its protective sheath!! I've got my fingers crossed that it will go on to bloom on this first try. Even if the bloom is whimpy, I would be quite pleased nonetheless, if for no other reason than I will have proved that Cattleyas *can* be grown on a porch in our inhospitable environment, where conventional wisdom is saying they can only be grown under greenhouse conditions, or in window culture with either south, or south-easterly windows.

Regardless I'll keep you all posted as to the out come. BTW once the bud has finally emerged from its sheath, how long do you think it will take for the bud to start opening up into a bloom?? I can't seem to remember.

Yours,

Sam


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

The buds on my catt usually open pretty quickly. I grow mine in an indoor greenhouse, with one T5 above it. The humidity isn't always super high, so I usually mist the plant with water each morning. This past March, I moved it in a bigger basket (which is still quite larger, but still...woo!).

On a side note, I can't normally afford elaborate greenhouse setups (I scored the indoor greenhouse from Ikea's bargain room), so I ask for them as gifts. It is a good way to build upon your orchid collection. I've also asked for giftcards to Parkside Orchids. :)

Sarah


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HELP!!! Disaster in the Desert

Note to Self: Never underestimate Mother Nature.

I Need some help here: As I mentioned it is Monsoon Season here. Well the afternoon storm just came through with "microburst" winds... and it came right across my porch!!! The orchid in bud (Natch) which *was* on the "orchid table" one second, I watched in horror as it lifted up, fall over, then blow clear off the table to land on the floor 27" below!!! The impact jarred the entire plant out of its cheap plastic pot; about 1/8 - 1/4 of the rock "medium" was lost; the bud shows a indentation across the face (so it is a safe bet I can kiss this bud goodbye). I still have one more sheath no bud in it yet that I can see, but I suspect one is developing. So in summary:

I have a plant with two sheaths: One in bud, and one I suspect starting to develop a bud.

The plant blew clear off the table and crashed to the floor, between 1/8 and 1/4 of the rock "medium" was lost, and the plant jarred out of its pot.

The root ball does not want to now fit back inside the pot it came out of (of course).

In short this is a mess!!!!! As a precaution I moved the sister plant and the other plant planted in bark medium (and the cheap plastic put inside a clay pot so it would not blow over) on the floor. That may have saved them both from a similar fate as the rain blew 4' onto the porch and soaked the entire "orchid table". God how I hate cheap plastic pots. Still I *thought* the rock medium was hefty enough to hold it down. Were it not for the fact that I have another sheath possibly developing a bud in it, I simply re-pot the whole mess into new medium in a HEAVY clay orchid pot ballasted with rock on the bottom. This was -- is -- the plan for next Spring when I do all my re-potting... right now I have to get through this disaster. Suggestions PLEASE!!! (Yea, I know most people don't face this problem who grow in greenhouses, but I hope someone has some practical suggestions. I still can't figure out why the root ball won't fit back into the pot it came out of, and no it won't fit into a clay pot of the same size because the clay pot is narrower on the bottom.)

On the positive side... I learning NEW things about cultivating orchids in the "orchid unfriendly" desert environment. I'd probably never would have learned these things without these constant and sudden challenges... plus I am meeting great people over the internet as a result. Still I *really* could have done without this particular headache, plus I really *was* looking forward to see if my first bud was going to bloom... Sigh....

Sam :(


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HELP!!! Disaster in the Desert: Follow-up

Just solved the problem of why the plant did not fit back into its pot: more of the rock "medium" fell to the bottom of the pot and this elevated the root ball. Now I at least have the root ball back in the pot...

Sam


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HELP!!! Disaster in the Desert: Update

SIGH!!!! Examined the plant... 2 of the 8 leaves were cracked all the way through in the fall. The plant has already sealed the wounds, but you can see the damage from top and bottom of the leaf. Neither of the two new leaves seemed to have sustained injury but the bud does show a good indentation; I suspect it is toast... Will have to watch the two cracked leaves and may need to cut them off....

Sam


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Sam,

As they say Mother Nature can be a b***h. Clay pots and tight grouping should help. You can always use a bungee cord or something to tie them down or together to help also.

If the broken leaves are bending 'severely' (60-90 degrees) at the crack and the crack is across the entire leaf, I'd go ahead and cut/break it off at the crack and dust the cut with cinnamon from the kitchen cupboard.

Your dented bud may surprise you, these can be pretty tough plants.

Good luck.

Bob


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Disaster in the Desert: The Morning After

Thanks Bob, I like the idea of bungee cording the plants to the railing.

The two leaves with cracks through them are on only one side of the leaf only, so they may or may not survive.

Just took the dog out for his morning walk. There is a tree about 10 feet from my western opening, and the tree was split in half. I suspect that the same wind that grabbed my orchid planted in a 6" pot of rock and lifted it off the humidity tray then pushed it off the table was probably the same one that cleft the tree in half. I suspect I'll see more damage later.

Sam


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Disaster in the Desert: The Morning After

Thanks Bob, I like the idea of bungee cording the plants to the railing.

The two leaves with cracks through them are on only one side of the leaf only, so they may or may not survive.

Just took the dog out for his morning walk. There is a tree about 10 feet from my western opening, and the tree was split in half. I suspect that the same wind that grabbed my orchid planted in a 6" pot of rock and lifted it off the humidity tray then pushed it off the table was probably the same one that cleft the tree in half. I suspect I'll see more damage later.

Sam


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SURPRISE in the Desert

Well, two days after the disaster... on tonight's news estimates put wind speeds in excess of 60 mph and gusts over 70mph. Trees were blown over or uprooted, entire telephone poles were snapped in half, roofs blown off... and then there is the tree 10 feet away that was cleft in half. I guess I was lucky that only *1* of the three plants got picked up and blown off the table and crash to the floor. That it *had* to be the one in bud... today however I had a SURPRISE!! Early this morning when I opened the blinds, it appeared that, the bud had begun to open, but without my glasses on I could not be certain, so I went put on my shorts and glasses and went out on the porch to check; sure enough it was starting to open!!!

I was going to post a picture, but don't know how to upload an image. The funny thing is that the bud clearly got dinged -- I can still see the mark -- but somehow it is still able to, at least start, to open. Right now, while the bud is unfolding, the interior looks like it will be quite pink, but it should turn a Coral-Salmon Pink after it opens. This has been a true SURPRISE!!! If I can find out how to upload a photo I'll do so.

Sam


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Hey Sam.

Congratulations on all your successes.

Until you repot next spring, one option is to put your plastic pots inside clay pots that are quite a bit larger - maybe 2" of space on the side. Put stones in the bottom to give more weight and to raise the plastic pot to the same height as the clay. You can add stones around the bottom of the plastic pots so they stay secure. Not much is going to withstand 70-mph winds, but they won't be as vulnerable to weaker winds.

Because potting medium in clay dries faster than in plastic, my suggestion is to ask orchid folks in your area which type pot might be suitable.

I'm in the Minneapolis area where winter RH is usually in the low to mid-teens inside. Two cool-air humidifiers in the orchid room (a smallish bedroom with a door that closes) did little for the RH, plus they were a pain to keep clean, so I stopped using them. Around the same time, I quit filling the humidity trays and just used them to catch drips after watering. There was a small decline in RH. Maybe my conditions are weird for some reason, and others have humidity increase significantly.

One thing that'll do it for sure is to create a greenhouse effect. It can be done for way inexpensive.

Photobucket

Photobucket

If aesthetics don't matter right now... that's PVC stuff. If you make 2 parallel lengths like my single light stand out of a much smaller-diameter PVC and drape some clear plastic sheeting over the frame, your card table's good. Kinda unwieldy, but hey. Way higher humidity. Home Depot has the glue that holds all the joints together. If you use it, make sure you know the safety precautions.

Hope this is helpful.

Whitecat8


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ?? 2nd message

Hey Sam.

Congratulations on all your successes.

Until you repot next spring, one option is to put your plastic pots inside clay pots that are quite a bit larger - maybe 2" of space on the side. Put stones in the bottom to give more weight and to raise the plastic pot to the same height as the clay. You can add stones around the bottom of the plastic pots so they stay secure. Not much is going to withstand 70-mph winds, but they won't be as vulnerable to weaker winds.

Because potting medium in clay dries faster than in plastic, my suggestion is to ask orchid folks in your area which type pot might be suitable.

I'm in the Minneapolis area where winter RH is usually in the low to mid-teens inside. Two cool-air humidifiers in the orchid room (a smallish bedroom with a door that closes) did little for the RH, plus they were a pain to keep clean, so I stopped using them. Around the same time, I quit filling the humidity trays and just used them to catch drips after watering. There was a small decline in RH. Maybe my conditions are weird for some reason, and others have humidity increase significantly.

One thing that'll do it for sure is to create a greenhouse effect. It can be done for way inexpensive.

Photobucket

Photobucket

If aesthetics don't matter right now... that's PVC stuff. If you make 2 parallel lengths like my single light stand out of a much smaller-diameter PVC and drape some clear plastic sheeting over the frame, your card table's good. Kinda unwieldy, but hey. Way higher humidity. Home Depot has the glue that holds all the joints together. If you use it, make sure you know the safety precautions.

Hope this is helpful.

Whitecat8


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

WC8,

Looks like some pretty extensive notes on some of the tags.
What ya tracking?

Bob


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

No clue, Bob. The pix are from 2006. I've always kept a spreadsheet so don't know what else I imagined needed tracking. :)


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Test


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Adding Photos to Message Test

Yada, Yada, Yada Test

OK you wizards tried to post a photo to my message and no can do. What magic did you use???

I'm told to "preview" the message then hit "Browse" to upload a photo, only I don't see any "browse" message box pop up.


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

You might find some answers if you read the info. found by putting Uploading Images in the search box on top of this discussion page.

Failing that where are your images stored? Flickr, Photobucket......?


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Here you go Sam...

I believe that WC8 used the Photopoint/(Photobucket) method listed.

Bob

Here is a link that might be useful: Embedding photos in posts


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RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Sam, yes I use Photobucket. It's easy - really. :)

Tip: PUT THE SHOT(S) you want to upload to the Orchid Forum on your desktop, if it's not there already.
*****************

Sign into the ORCHID FORUM. Open the thread into which you want to upload the picture; create a follow up message.

PUT THE CURSOR where you want the top of your picture to begin. CLICK. Leave about 8 lines of blank space below that spot.
*********************

Open a new window or a new tab.

FIND PHOTOBUCKET and create an account.

After you sign up, there may be some intro stuff. If you get questions about creating albums or some such, say no right now. You can do that any time.

There will be a BLUE PBUCKET MENU BAR near the top. The bar on the right is green and says

UPLOAD NOW

Hit that.

The next screen will have a larger green button in the middle that says

SELECT PHOTOS AND VIDEOS

Hit that.

(This time, ignore the option to Hold down Command and select multiple files this time.)

You'll be taken to the list of items on your DESKTOP.

DOUBLE CLICK on the shot you want to upload.

It shouldn't take long - a few seconds, for it to appear on the Pbucket screen where you just were.

On the right of that screen is a blue button:

SAVE AND CONTINUE TO MY ALBUM

Hit that.

In another few seconds, the image should appear on a new Pbucket page with your ID name and the word "album" on the top left, so "DesertLynx's album," for example.

Without clicking your mouse, move it over the shot. You'll get some choices:

The name of your picture with an EMPTY CHECK BOX to the left.

Ignore it.

Then A BLUE MENU BAR that says Share Edit Delete Move

Ignore that.

Then 4 choices:

~ Email & IM

~ Direct link

~ HTML code

~ IMG code

Still without clicking, move your mouse over

HTML code

CLICK ONCE on "HTML code."

The word "Copied" should appear briefly in the box to the right.

You've finished with Pbucket, but don't sign out yet, in case something messes up.
*******************

Back to your follow up on the ORCHID FORUM.

Go to the spot where the cursor was earlier and click on it again.

Do whatever you do to PASTE AN ITEM - right click mouse, etc.

PASTE

A few lines of text should appear, beginning with < a h r e f = but without the spaces between characters. Your user name will appear near the end.

Add your message to Orchid Forum members, if you haven't already.

Now, CLICK ON THE "PREVIEW MESSAGE" button below this draft of your follow up message.

Your picture should appear in the Message Preview.

If so, YOU DID IT!!!!!!!

Post that message!

Hope this is helpful, WC8

PS If you hit a snag, let us know, and probably we can help fix it.


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Desert Lynx RE: lighting: cfl bulbs or t5 tubes ??

Sam, gotta ask, do you have a Desert Lynx cat? I've looked at the breed some; ran across them on the Song Dog Kennels' site for American Indian Dogs (no wolf blood). Thanks


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An INTERIOR Greenhouse / Wardian Case?!?

Hi Everyone. It has been an "eventful" year since I last posted. I *was* doing quite well up till the point I made the mistake of re-potting the orchids. I picked the correct time to do it etc., etc., etc., -- indeed it was "by the book", and even had my homemade "book" opened throughout
the procedure. Long story short: every last one of them DIED, including the one I got to bloom. I swore off orchids for good... that was until I met someone with the Tucson Orchid Society, who connected me with someone else at the TOS, etc., suddenly I found myself a member of
the Tucson Orchid Society. I am rebuilding my small collection with the exact same plants that died, and a few new ones including a seedling. One advantage of joining the TOS is they have a "Cat"(tleya) person
who is willing to help me next year when it comes time to re-pot my one and only (so-far) orchid ( Blc Chia Lin 'Shinsu #1' AM /JOGA ), and it is
in dire need of re-potting!! (I also have a seedling but it is being raised in a joint and protected environment until next year, so it has not been counted... YET!!) This time I will have expert advice as I go through the procedure. Me?!? I suspect it was not so much my technique -- though it very well might have been -- so much as it was the combined shock of the re-potting plus the extreme environment it which it was asked to re-establish itself in. The next time after the re-potting I hope the gentleman will temporarily house the orchid in his greenhouse just long enough until it can re-establish itself.

I have one question for Sarah: I am very impressed by her "indoor" greenhouse -- the one with the shelving, and what *appears* to be some type of heavy duty transparent plastic on 3 sides. Is that what I am looking at?!? If so was this some type of do-it-yourself project?!? How much did it cost you to put together?? If commercial, where did you get it from and how much did it cost?? It really is quite impressive. In many ways is similar to a poor man's Wardian Case, which would solve the problem of supplying adequate humidity. I do have one question: Given that I live in a rental unit and the walls are made of Dry Wall, management would frown on mold on their walls -- they frowned on my hanging up sheer curtains on the porch to cut down the the HOT western afternoon sun, so mold on their interior walls is probably a non starter. Still the idea of having a small interior greenhouse shows great promise. I like your design.

Has anyone else built an interior Wardian Case aka an interior greenhouse?? What types of problems did you encounter?? For those of us who are renters, have restricted space, or for whatever reason where building an external greenhouse is not possible, the building of an INTERIOR greenhouse / Wardian Case by a window might just be the just the ticket.

I have attached to this post the picture of Blc Robert Ferguson 'Florida Sunset' that I got to bloom last year. This was the orchid that you may recall rode the wild Wind Called Mariah... that went flying, then crashed to the floor while in bud, the damage which can be seen in this photo. This will be my third purchase (I almost forgot the seedling, plus I have a raffle winner ).

DesertLynx


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