I'm thinking of new lighting: halides?

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smartie2000

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I am thinking of getting a metal halide or high pressure sodium fixture, but I don't know which one is generally better for orchids. I don't know too much about these fixtures really so I need some help. Can I pass with 200W or do I have to go with 400W? I see so many fixtures for sale on ebay...

Currently my grow area is about 6 x 5 feet, with four shop lights hanging from the ceiling of the basement. It is just a room I created by hanging thick plastic around it, so size is flexible. I'm finding the shop lights to be clumsy and annoying as they swing around when I get a plant. Also they don't provide room for spikes to develop. Wattage will be nearly the same too since I have 4 x 80W = 320W shop lights anyway.

I will defintiely be able to use the extra space for taller plants and spike development (and even for higher light stuff). I'll probably have a layer of mylar for reflection too.
 

smartie2000

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I was reading on reef sites and metal halides are supposed to give more lumens for wattage, and if I understand correctly then I can assume fluorescents are less effecient then. I am already using 320W so shouldn't I already have a heater if the statement on the reef site is correct?
 
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Elena

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I've been using Envirolites this winter. The heat is not a problem with these and the plants seem pretty happy under them although this is my first light set up so I can't really compare them with other lights. Not sure if these are available in US/Canada though.
 

smartie2000

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If im thinking correctly, halids/HPS seem hotter because all the heat is in one concentrated area, while shop lights seem less hot because heat is dispersed over a large area. I still burnt plant leaves on shop lights.

I'm still not sure whether halide or sodium is better because I haven't had the experience. Halide are supposed to be blue, while sodium is redder.

hmmm... if I get this lighting I can hang larger catts and a vanda :drool:

according to "Understanding Orchids" 250W is only good for 3'x4'x4'. I could only use this wattage if I hung my paphs all over the walls and stuff.
I don't have enough plants to completely fill a 400W room (unless I take everything off the windowsills), according to Jason Fischer's Website I can do a 8' x 8' area with their PL sodium fixtures
 
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GaryB

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Go with the 400W MH. You have 30 sq. ft., the 400W MH is about 40,000 lumens, and you will end up with the right intensity for paphs. If you have multiflorals, put them in the middle where the light intensity is higher.

Please note: 400W produces the same heat regardless of technology; MH, Fluorescent, HPS, etc. Why? Because in the end all light becomes heat (If it didn't, you could turn off your light after a couple of seconds and the light would continue to bounce around the room forever!).
 

Ron-NY

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I would go with the 400 HPS for it is the red/orange part of the spectrum that is needed for blooming.

I would also choose the 430 Watt Philips Son Agro HPS light bulb which has a 30% increased blue spectrum in addition to the red/orange spectrum needed for flowering and budding. The Son Agro lamp offers the benefits of a Metal Halide and HPS lamp since it combines the two spectrums. The 430 Son Agro light bulb can be used with a 400 or 430 Watt HPS ballast.

The ballast produces a lot of heat. A remote ballast placed outside of the growing area will decrease heat issues. The cord from the ballast to the light is usually 6 feet long, I believe.


You can get quite a bit of info here: http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/guide3.shtml
 

Ron-NY

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Fren, I don't know. The company that I gave you the link for has a toll free #, ask them that question and any others that you may have. I am sure they are knowledgeable.
 
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jblanford

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Fren.... I've been doing a test w/CFLs, and so far I'm happy. heres what I did I replaced a 400W/MH with a unit I made it has 2 105W/CFLs for a total of 210Ws they are 5000K daylight good for Phals & Paphs. I always measure in FCs. heres my results, hope this is of some help. Jim.

400MH..................210w/CFLs
12" 1000 fcs........ 12" 1600
24" 600 .............. 24" 800
48" 200 .............. 48" 400

Now also remember you could use 4 of these lights and still only be at 420 Watts.
 

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littlefrog

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How much do the 105W CFLs cost? Did you just drill out a HID hood, or did did you make that fixture special? It is a nice looking hood...

I'm strongly considering retiring my 400W MH lights and putting in a few banks of fluorescent tubes. Probably T8 shoplights with a new bulb that I like (Phillips XLL-Alto). Twice as much life and a very nice output intensity. This is what I am using over my frog vivs.

I'm pretty sure that my paphs and phrags grew better under fluorescent tubes than in any other conditions I've tried. MH or greenhouse. Of course I'll grow most of my paphs in the greenhouse, but I think for seedlings the tubes are optimal.

Anybody want some 400W MH lights? You'd have to pick them up...
 
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jblanford

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Hi Rob...I made the reflector box from a tub that I purchased at Ikea for about $12.00. The bulbs use regular household sockets. The bulbs can be purchased at
1000Bulbs. I drilled holes in tub for heat but there is hardly any. The bulbs have an 8000hr life span. Here is my other set-up I bought two 2 bulb fictures and screwed them together to make one 4 bulb ficture 8ft long, it works great it's a combo of Philips Colortone X Altos. Need anymore info let me know. Jim.
 

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GaryB

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Fren.... I've been doing a test w/CFLs, and so far I'm happy. heres what I did I replaced a 400W/MH with a unit I made it has 2 105W/CFLs for a total of 210Ws they are 5000K daylight good for Phals & Paphs. I always measure in FCs. heres my results, hope this is of some help. Jim.

400MH..................210w/CFLs
12" 1000 fcs........ 12" 1600
24" 600 .............. 24" 800
48" 200 .............. 48" 400

Now also remember you could use 4 of these lights and still only be at 420 Watts.
Something is not right.

A 105W CFL is rated at 6700 lumens. Two would give you just over 13,000 lumens. A 400W MH is 36,000 to 40,000 lumens, which is about 3 times the light of 2 105W CFLs. Unless the MH bulb is old, the reflector is poor, or something, the CFLs cant give a higher reading than the MH.
 

smartie2000

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I'm pretty sure that my paphs and phrags grew better under fluorescent tubes than in any other conditions I've tried.
Interesting statement. Perhaps I maybe better off keeping things the way they are based on your experience.

I found some cheap halides on eBay, but have a feeling they are crap. Has anyone used these cheap eBay fixtures?
 
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Corbin

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Please note: 400W produces the same heat regardless of technology; MH, Fluorescent, HPS, etc. Why? Because in the end all light becomes heat (If it didn't, you could turn off your light after a couple of seconds and the light would continue to bounce around the room forever!).
I have a real problem with this statement. Grab a 100W incandescent light that has been on for a while and then grab a 100W fluorescent. I think you will definitely see that the incandescent is much hotter. A truer statement would be that all light generates heat when striking an opaque object.
 

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