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Discussions about fluorescent, LED and other types of grow lighting for Venus Flytraps and other plants

Moderator: Matt

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By Steve_D
Posts:  3913
Joined:  Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:06 pm
Post your fluorescent or LED growlight brands, suppliers, links to websites, your comments, reviews and comparisons here.

Hopefully a lot of Forum members who grow carnivorous plants under artificial light will be able to compare experiences and help those who are thinking about using artificial light or supplementing the natural sunlight. I'll update this "sticky" heading topic (it will always stay at top) to compile a list of growlights mentioned, URLs to websites, etc.

Happy Growing! -Steve

Growlights referred to in this and other discussions in the Artificial Lighting category as well as other categories of the FlytrapCare Forum

LED (light-emitting diode) Growlights
LED GrowMaster (steve_d)
Sunshine-Systems GlowPanel 45 (steve_d, JHT-Union, goldslinger) ... oductId=10
Hydro Grow LED X-treme Series 1-watt and 3-watt per LED growlights (steve_d)

Fluorescent Growlights
Sunblaster HO (high output) T5 (5/8" dia.) growlights (PeatMoss)
HTG Supply 4-foot HO T5 fixture and bulbs (newbie14, Ae9803) ... ixture.asp
Sun Blaze T5 HO Fluorescent Grow Light 4ft w/4 6500K Blue Bulbs 216W (54 watts each bulb) (Matt)
Fluorescent shop lights with standard T8 (1 inch diameter) bulbs (Matt) ... 294937087_

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By Darkrai283
Posts:  2491
Joined:  Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:28 pm
I have a LED growlight panel but have stopped using it since the day before yesterday since I got got a 24watt T5 fluorescent light fixture.
LED panels seem to have too much red bulbs compared to blue for me. You have to position your pots under the blue LEDs to make sure they get enough while getting a bit of the red light as well to encourage flowering. LEDs panels are pretty weak and you have to have it kinda close to the plant since the red light will overpower the blue as it travels further which means that the plant will only get the red spectrum light which doen't inhibit growth.

I would recommend to use red & blue LED grow panels for other houseplants which aren't as picky and don't need that much light than CPs. I wish there was just an all-blue/white LED panel which would be alot easier to use than a panel which has loads of red LEDs and very little blue LEDs. (I know some companies sell all blue/white LED grow panels but are quite rare and cost way more than the original red & blue grow panels)

In my opinion, I think fluorescent grow lights are better since it only one specific spectrum across the tube and not scattered like the red & blue LED grow panels/lights.

^ Its just my view ;)
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By Matt
Posts:  22323
Joined:  Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:28 pm
Good idea Steve!

I have yet to use LED lights, but I hope to set up the ones you sent me soon Steve.

For fluorescent lighting (being the cheap person I am), I've always went for whatever was the least expensive in most cases. Most of my indoor grow racks have "Lights of America" standard shop light fixtures ($10) with T8 bulbs ($10) that can be purchased Wal-Mart, Home Depot or Lowes (can't remember the brand name on the bulbs but they're the cheapest ones they have rated at 6500K color temperature). On a 4 foot wide x 20 inch deep shelf I use two of these fixtures. The plants grow quite well under them.

In terms of electricity cost, here's the math:
  • Each bulb draws 32 watts
  • 4 bulbs on for 16 hours a day is (4 bulbs * 32 watts * 16 hours = 2048 watt hours) 2kWh per day
  • In a typical 30 day month, that would be 60 kWh.
  • Electricity prices here in Oregon are 5 cents per kWh.
  • Total cost for one 48" x 20" grow area is $3 a month
At $40 for the entire setup (covers about 8 sq. ft.) and only $3 a month to run on a 16 hour photoperiod, that's a pretty economical option.

The only other experience I have with lighting is my HO T5 setup. I went "all out" with the lighting for my terrarium, purchasing the "Sun Blaze T5 High Output Fluorescent Grow Light 4ft with 4x6500K (54 watt) Bulbs 216 Watts" from here:

It covers the same amount of area as the two T8 fixtures, but costs quite a bit more ($160 versus $40). Additionally, it uses more electricity at 3.5 kWh per day (also on a 16 hour photoperiod). That means it costs $5.25 to run for a month. Not as economical and honestly I can't tell a difference in the plants growing underneath these HO T5s when compared to the plants under the cheap T8 bulbs.
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By jht-union
Posts:  3205
Joined:  Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:43 pm
I use the grow panel 45 for my terrarium and it works pretty well, i reccomend this product. It gives very nice coloration to plants and i love it, green plants turn red with the grow panel 45. The price is quiet high for one grow light, but the reward is greater.
Steve provided the link above, but here is again: ... oductId=10

I will provide more information later.
By PeatMoss
Posts:  392
Joined:  Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:01 pm
I use three foot sunblaster T5 HO bulbs. I have two terrariums with two bulbs each. The terrariums are 3 feet long and two feet deep. The lights are very powerful and provide good colouration for the plants while producing a minimum amount of heat. I also like that you can hook a bunch up in series and use only one plug.

Two thumbs up!
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By bombsboy
Posts:  584
Joined:  Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:57 am
Ive seen many setups with CFLS (if you dont know what that means, you will remember if you look at the link below) hooked up to adapters hooked onto those multi-power lines.
Im thinking of setting that kind of thing up soon. Do you think its okay?
I cant really find the post with someone's grow rack, maybe someone will stumble upon it.
hooked up to these\
strapped to the top of each row on these ... CCoQ8wIwAQ
or something of that sort.
By backerrobert
Posts:  165
Joined:  Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:31 pm
I Live in South Africa and doubt my Brands would be of any help to anyone. But I was wondering if someone could give me an honest opinion on my lighting setup. I have 4X23W Cfl bulbs and two Osram Fluora (for more blue and especially red light). This is in a small box approximately 0.245m^2 and the plants are not more than 6" from the lights. They are doing fine but I don't know if they could be doing better? Everyone I ask has a different opinion,... My nepenthes has been under the light for 3weeks and one of it's side shoots seems to be making a pitcher, but the main plant isn't? Don't know if that means something?
By PeatMoss
Posts:  392
Joined:  Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:01 pm
Backerrobert, the nep is probably still adapting to its conditons so that should be fine. Otherwise the best indication are your plants, if you have sundews are they red, do they have dew, if you have flytraps do they look healthy? The best indicator of wether or not your setup works is the inhabitants of the setup themselves.
By backerrobert
Posts:  165
Joined:  Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:31 pm
my sundews are quite red and they become more red and got more yellowish leaves now. The venus flytraps are still adaptin bt they look healthy, just not very red.
By Bontrap
Posts:  7
Joined:  Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:57 am
So I am still a newbie at all of this.
I obviously know that VFTs love the sun which i find difficult to get where and i also very much would like to have them in the house (which is why im routing for artificial lighting).

As I live in the U.K, a lot of the recommended lights aren't available here. What is it I am looking for in lights.
I know they have to be of a certain temperature (usually given in kelvin I believe) but i dont understand the 'cool white' or 'hot white' Etc.

I also see alot about T5 bublbs or lamps. What is T5?

Anyway, some bullet points would be great. Thanks! :roll:
By Godly
Posts:  47
Joined:  Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:33 am
I just recently bought Lighthouse Blackstar 240w HO LED which I've just been using on some new plants I received. ... igh-Output I switched over one of month old flytrap(adult size,I only have had it under the fluorescent light T22 sun blaze) from a fixture and after the first day show great sign of growth that the florescent fixture couldn't provide.

I also purchased a tek light 2ft 4tube light fixture which I will be adding to the mix to help give my plants more power. Im still in the process of comparing/contrasting LED's to florescent lighting even though seems a little unfair. Growing only a couple of Dionaea, Drosera, and Sarracenia plants under the LED only while all the others are under florescent lighting.

I personally think so far that LED will be much better for growing since its much more intense but also better in the long run even if the initially investment is pretty spendy.
By hooofi
Posts:  94
Joined:  Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:15 pm
Hello everyone, I would like to comment on LED lighting as well. I've started using LED bulb for one VFT. It's kind of an experiment. Parameters of the bulb - 6500K, 380 lm, 4W. I know that the power is rather low, but I must say it seems fine to me and the plant is doing great and growing to my highest expectations for the conditions I have in my country. I can't get the panels I have been reading about on and finding on the web here in the Czech Republic yet. That's why I'm going to make my own panel with combined diode belts in cool white (6500K) for growing and warm (2500K) for flowering. The panel will be designed according to neccessary lighting demands of the plants and the energy input will be minimal. Tell me if I'm doing something wrong but I've been under the impression that the only factor of the light which I should be concerned about is the temperature. Wish me luck and leave any comments or thoughts. Martin.
By pyrotuc
Posts:  100
Joined:  Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:45 pm
so, after reading up some, i think we should well define the parameters and units for describing a lighting system. i propose:

lumens (how bright a lite is)

color/temperature( 6500k, 3700k, etc etc) K scale seems most used

heat/temperature (since this affects how close the plant can be from the bulb, but maybe we should just ask 'distance from light'. i include this as you could get LEDs much, much closer than say, an incandescent spotlight, thus determining how close your plant an be affects how many of those lumens the plant will actually get)

for florescent, it may be useful to include its rating as its equivalent output, CFLs generally say designed to replace XXwatt incandescent.

as far as lighting goes, i think this defines the variables that would determine plant growth.

of course, if you know extra specifications to your light system, throw em in too, but i think these factors will allow us to compare lighting systems.
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