Help with choosing artificial lighting

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Katahdin

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I grow my cattleyas with weed lights (mars hydro). There are advantages and disadvantages to using the high output LEDs.

The main advantage is that the fixture price for a given PAR output is very low. It is far cheaper than using the custom orchid/houseplant lights such as Orchid Hobbiest.

The main disadvantage is that even for the highest light orchids you need to position the lights far above the foliage - I have mine about 3.5' above the plants. These will absolutely not work for shelve style setups.

The light height is nice for growing large vandas and cattleyas such as c. warscewiczii, etc.

Finally I will say that the quality of Mars hydro lights is not great. After about a year of use a good number of diodes have failed, and one time I was mildly electrocuted by a fixture.
 

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