Hello all, I'll be retiring in a few months and dedicating more time to orchids, orchidariums and vivariums. I'm going to start with some "light boxes" which are just waterproof all white boxes with LED grow lights. I'm looking at the Spider Farmer or Mars grow light LEDs. The orchidarium light boxes are about 8' long, 5' high and 2.5' wide. I've got Paphs and Phrags coming in March/April which hopefully gives me enough time to build the orchidariums, put in misting/ventilation/lights and try to get a controller to automate things. I'm not a very technical person but I like what automated systems can do.
I've grown lots of plants in my life, my favorites have been lilies. I'm relatively handy and will build the orchidariums and vivariums myself. I think people like lots of pics of DIY builds which I am happy to provide. At this point I see slipper orchids in bloom rotating into the lower part of a large vivarium (low Paphs, the Phrags will be closer to the lights), and when blooms are spent the slippers will be rotated back into the orchidariums for recovery/rebloom. I anticipate several different climates in the recovery boxes. Some orchids need cooler nights to simulate seasons, some need drier conditions. That's why several orchidariums will be needed to supply one vivarium. I also think I'll put some high light Cattleya/Vanda types up high and some Phals in the middle. I'll have to see how the foot candles measure up in each box.
Please don't think the above specs mean that I know much about orchids. I don't. I'm pretty much a beginner and would like lots of advice. Growing indoors is relatively new to me, I've mostly been an outdoor flower grower. I have a greenhouse but have been disappointed with it. It gets too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. I have some 275 gallon totes in the greenhouse for rainwater collection. I don't want to house rare or wild plants, or anything that puts more collection pressure on an overstrained world.
I can take a deep breath now because I think I've run out of things to say! Thanks in advance for help and advice from friendly people.