Cattleya jenmanii and light intensity

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Cattleya jenmanii and light intensity

Both PeteM and I created Slippertalk chains in the last several years about our plants from this cross (‘Canaima’s Lipstick’ HCC x ‘Kathleen’ AM). Here is a picture of the fourth blooming of my plant, followed by information about the light intensity this plant has received.

IMG_2264.jpeg

I use an Apogee MQ500 full spectrum meter to measure the peak photon flux density (PPFD) within the photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) spectrum of light. PPFD is measured as micromoles of photons/m2/sec (won’t mention the units again). Daily light integral (DLI, moles of photons/day) is obtained by multiplying the PPFD by the total number of seconds the plant is illuminated per day.

I have grown indoors under LED lights for the last 12 years. My mature unifoliate Cattleyas are currently under Spider Farmer SF600 fixtures at a height that produces about 350 PPFD at the top of the leaves during summer but I raise the fixtures to reduce the intensity to 250 for my cooler winter period. I also vary the day length for my fixtures from 12.5 in summer to 11.5 during the winter. This variation in PPFD and daylength produces a DLI range from 14 in the summer to 10 in the winter. I haven’t read anyone recommending a higher DLI for Cattleyas. This intensity does not cause leaf burning but red/purple leaf coloration does occur on some plants with darker lavender flowers.

In contrast, my younger and shorter Cattleyas, including this jenmanii, have been under LEDone panels (2’ x 2’) for several years. The panel is set to 29 W output and has three different color correction settings labeled 3,500 K, 4,000K, and 5,000K (I use the 4,000 setting). I don’t measure any variation in PPFD with the different color settings, but there is a difference in flower coloration to my eye. One inch below the lighting surface of the LEDone panel I measure 200 PPFD.

The jenmanii shown in this post spent the last year getting 175 PPFD at the top of the leaves (DLI varying from 7-8 through the year). It has grown and flowered acceptably, and I have had other shorter Cattleyas bloom under the same light intensity. I suspect that many orchids can grow and bloom acceptably outside their optimal ranges for light, temperature, moisture, and nutrition.
 

DrLeslieEe

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Nice flowers… to produce 3 good blooms under this condition proves your point. They don’t always require strong light to be healthy.

The flares are a nice touch too. I find that using sea kelp during bud development can increase the amount of flare production. Ever tried that?
 
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Nice flowers… to produce 3 good blooms under this condition proves your point. They don’t always require strong light to be healthy.

The flares are a nice touch too. I find that using sea kelp during bud development can increase the amount of flare production. Ever tried that?
Leslie, I use monthly Kelpak for all my orchids.
 

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Stunning semi alba. Excellent under light details. Would love one like it. For all you with AOS award access, just want to show do not always trust award pics. Most of the time they are excellent but natural light trumps all. This is Leslie's jenmanii 'Dante's Inferno' AM/AOS 82 pts. Nov.5/2022. Black background is AWD pic and pond scene is pic by me. Natural light shows the real color intensity. Both pics are same plant. Oh by the way it is in xself pod. Ask Leslie in a couple of years.
 

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Stunning semi alba. Excellent under light details. Would love one like it. For all you with AOS award access, just want to show do not always trust award pics. Most of the time they are excellent but natural light trumps all. This is Leslie's jenmanii 'Dante's Inferno' AM/AOS 82 pts. Nov.5/2022. Black background is AWD pic and pond scene is pic by me. Natural light shows the real color intensity. Both pics are same plant. Oh by the way it is in xself pod. Ask Leslie in a couple of years.
David, I have done some fiddling with pictures and lighting conditions (and did a post some years back). Even outside light is variable depending on time of day. The light can fool the camera and even our eyes. I take all of my pictures under diffuse light that has a color temperature of 4000 K, which is roughly midmorning or midafternoon sunlight. Northern hemisphere noon light is almost 5500K. Do you remember what time of day it was when you made the outside photograph? I decided not to standardize pictures to outside light since too many of my orchids bloom during times when it isn't safe for them to be outside.

I have always wondered about the lighting conditions in the award centers.Many award photos don't look particularly good. Lighting would seem to affect judging as well as photographs. Do they try and standardize the lighting for the judging sessions?
 
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I just retook the pictures using the three different light settings of the panel the plant is under. I am using an iPhone14 without using autofocus, color correction, or zoom. The panel is about 7 inches above the flower. The light intensity is identical for all photos.

Here is 5000K setting:
5000k.jpeg
Here is 4000K setting:
4000k.jpeg
Here is 3500K setting:
3500k.jpeg
To my eyes there is a change in the coloration of the lip and of the characteristics of the white petals/sepals.
 

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David, I have done some fiddling with pictures and lighting conditions (and did a post some years back). Even outside light is variable depending on time of day. The light can fool the camera and even our eyes. I take all of my pictures under diffuse light that has a color temperature of 4000 K, which is roughly midmorning or midafternoon sunlight. Northern hemisphere noon light is almost 5500K. Do you remember what time of day it was when you made the outside photograph? I decided not to standardize pictures to outside light since too many of my orchids bloom during times when it isn't safe for them to be outside.

I have always wondered about the lighting conditions in the award centers.Many award photos don't look particularly good. Lighting would seem to affect judging as well as photographs. Do they try and standardize the lighting for the judging sessions?
I believe it was late afternoon at end of October/beginning November in Toronto. When judging I don't know photography details but most are very good. For true color most judges like to see flowers in natural light. Earlier in the summer the judges raved over how taking gaskelliana 'Carlisle", into natural light made the flowers absolutely glow contributing to it being awarded.
 

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I believe it was late afternoon at end of October/beginning November in Toronto. When judging I don't know photography details but most are very good. For true color most judges like to see flowers in natural light. Earlier in the summer the judges raved over how taking gaskelliana 'Carlisle", into natural light made the flowers absolutely glow contributing to it being awarded.
That would probably have been fairly red shifted light like the 3500K above or even more. It would help make the flower color more red/lavender. That is why it is not quite specific enough to say “natural light” - the time of day matters, plus the angle of the sun in the sky. Noon in Toronto will be noticeably different than noon in June because of the changed sun angle. I think we are back to your initial comment - award photos, or any orchid photo, is very dependent on the lighting and may not faithfully represent what the plant looks like in person in broad spectrum white light.
 

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I agree with David that the lighting for the award photo of jenmanii rubra ‘Dante’s Inferno’ AM/AOS didn’t capture the rubra colour as well as under natural light. If you read the award description it would match the natural light photo. Unfortunately most centers take photos of flowers under lights and may not reflect the true colors. Even with great photographers, it may look off.

Bringing the flower to natural lighting when being judged sometimes can make or break the award, either positively or negatively. I’ve seen both happen.
 

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I just retook the pictures using the three different light settings of the panel the plant is under. I am using an iPhone14 without using autofocus, color correction, or zoom. The panel is about 7 inches above the flower. The light intensity is identical for all photos.

Here is 5000K setting:
View attachment 37606
Here is 4000K setting:
View attachment 37607
Here is 3500K setting:
View attachment 37608
To my eyes there is a change in the coloration of the lip and of the characteristics of the white petals/sepals.
White flowers tend to be easier to render true to life color. White is not tricky to the camera. Whereas dark red flowers are a nightmare to cameras and they try to adjust crazily. Case in point are coccineas. They go haywire and produce a color so bright red or out of focus.
 

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thanks for the post and info. My plant is on the same schedule under leds, started opening up earlier this week. I divided it earlier this year and was able to produce two flowers this round. Will have to get plant and full bloom picture and update my original post when I get back into town.

B37EEB72-C664-4759-919C-FA5EDFDD0793.jpeg
 
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Let me add to this photography chat. We often take plants out in natural light in order to get them away from the fluorescent lights of the judging room. Fluorescent lights can add a slightly rosey tone, sometimes bluish tone depending upon which fluorescent tubes are in place.
Outside, the light can give us a truer look at the real colors of the flower. There we can make a more accurate assessment.
The most common thing that I also see under natural light is a better rendition of a flowers texture. Substance is substance, inside or out. But it is the “texture” that the outdoor light most often reveals. Outdoors we can really see what we call Diamond dust, or sparkling of the flowers. Fluorescent lighting often lessens these things. Judges in my experience often refers to this phenomena as “the flowers really popped” under outside light! This can easily add a few points making the difference between 74 points and 75 points for an HCC. Or make a 79.2 HCC into an 80 point AM.
 

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