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

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By Intheswamp
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Posts:  3058
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#441998
I did a little *very crude* testing of the four different types of lights I have for my plants. I did say...*very crude*. :mrgreen: Basically I used the Photon app and held my iPhone beneath the lights at ~12 inches and took a reading of PPFD and DLI. From what I've read here and yonder, if you can hit between 15 and 20 DLI you should be good to go...hitting up around 30 DLI and things do really good. I'm shooting for somewhere around 20 DLI. I haven't been hitting it for most plants but they seem to be doing "okay". Here are the results of my little test. :roll:

Viparspectra XS1000............................. 12" 680-PPFD 28-DLI
3-panel LED garage light 8000-lumen... 12" 365-PPFD 16-DLI
........."............"........................................... 6" 755-PPFD 27-DLI
3 - 48" Wmart LED 5000k 5000 lumen.... 12" 240-PPFD 9.5-DLI
Yescom 225 White LED........................... 12" 190-PPFD 8.4-DLI

Like I said, this was a *very rough* test. :mrgreen: I'm sure the math won't make the respective PPFD and DLI numbers match up correctly as I was hand holding the iPhone and probably not real accurate. But, for comparative purposes it gives me some food for thought. The extra 6" reading for the garage light was on a whelm, but shows that cutting the distance in half is getting close to doubling the illumination....inverse square law. So, close enough for my *very rough* test. ;) The Yescom coming in as the weakest light surprised me...I might do some more testing on that. Btw, if anybody wants to shoot holes in the test...please do!!! :D

In regards to the Yescom's and the 3-panel garage lights. If you catch the garage lights on sale at Costco or somewhere else you can get a pair for about $30...a Yescom 225 white panel costs roughly $25 each. The garage lights have twice (from my rough test) the illuminating power. Right now, though, Costco doesn't show having any in inventory. Looking around I see other model/designs of the 3-panel garage light that have similar specs for less than $10! Right now the ones like I have seem to be priced too high at places I've looked. Kind of interesting to me, just thought I'd throw that out to ya'll. The ones I've got look like this:
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Now, I'm trying to figure out how to utilize what I have. Being as the Yescoms *appear* to be the weakest, I'm thinking of using them close to seedlings and sprouting seeds. The three 48" shop lights are a little stronger so maybe use them similarly. The garage lights are definitely bright and cover about the same area as a single Yescom covers, but have almost double the strength....maybe use them for older, larger plants. And finally, the lone Viparspectra XS1000...I figure I will dedicate it to "precious things"...special seedlings, plants, whatever. Basically, I have no idea what to do, so if you have an idea throw it out here.

My shelf system is actually an old merchandise shelf from an old Gulf gas station. I've only got two shelves on it, but have more. I figure one more shelf will max it out, though...pots of moist peat moss might be a bit heavier than air filters and cheese crackers, if you know what I mean. ;) With the garage lights hanging from the ceiling I'm thinking of moving the taller plants to that shelf, plus maybe some leaf-cuttings or whatever. The other (eventual) two shelves will be for the shop lights on one shelf and for three of the Yescoms on the other shelf. The remaining Yescom will go beside the Viparspectra over the desk. Here's an older shot of the shelf and desk. Say "Hi!" to John Doe while you're looking, he's faithful to keep a lookout for me, but a real quiet guy...kinda strange in a two-dimensional way. :mrgreen:
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Anyhow, that's my plan and I have no idea if I'm sticking to it. Feedback, if you managed to last this long through the post and don't have a booming headache, is appreciated! :mrgreen:
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By Intheswamp
Location: 
Posts:  3058
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#442060
Well, right or wrong I made some changes last night. 8-)

I removed the 48" shop lights and raised the lower shelf a bit. I then hung three of the Yescom whites over that shelf. I added another shelf down below and rehung the shop lights for it.

The shelf that's using the Yescoms is only 7-8 inches beneath the lights. I remeasured using my trusty iPhone and Photon app and measured the three Yescoms at 7 inches:
#1- 225 PPFD 10 DLI
#2- 235 PPFD 10 DLI
#3- 250 PPFD 11 DLI
Am I missing something here with the Yescoms? It just seems that I would be getting better readings than those. For example, the garage lights measured 600 PPFD and 23 DLI. :?

So, it looks like the Yescoms will be reserved for stuff that I can get really close to the lights...small plants, seedlings, germinating seeds, etc.,. The 48" shop lights are kind of a wildcard...I only had two lit up last night so the Photon reading for those is kind of inconclusive...but, using only two of them gave me a rather low reading at 7" of 145PPFD 5.6 DLI. Looking at my first post, three of the shop lights gave a reading of 240 PPFD and 9.5 DLI at 12" so I figure they'll be better than the Yescoms once I get the 3rd light online.

I'm seriously eyeballing another of the Viparspectra XS1000, that sucker is a torch!!! At 7" from it I get 990 PPFD and 40 DLI @ roughly 85% power. Higher elevation and stronger illumination would allow larger/taller plants to be lit good, plus smaller plants tucked around the larger ones should get plenty of light. Ya'll like the way I'm rationalizing this? :mrgreen: Now to try that rationalization on SWMBO. :shock: ;)

Moving the old shelves around ain't an easy task...they just don't hook in easy. Lots of pushing and pulling and beating and fussing and... Well, it's aggravating. I had one casualty from the mass chaos...my D. binata multifida extrema. I had trimmed all the flower stalks off of it a while back. It only had a single pitiful small leaf unfurling when I mowed the flower stalks down. I repotted it to see what it would do and it had produced several leaves and *was* looking good. I had moved it to the top shelf (naturally at the end of the shelf) and while I was shaking and battling the lower shelves I heard something loudly hit the floor!!! :o It landed upside down. No photos were taken for fear of offending the weak stomached. After I finally got the lights and shelving changed around I gathered the poor plant up, scooping soil and plant into the pot as I picked it up. Heck, I couldn't even see the plant...it was buried in the peat and perlite!!!! :cry: I managed to extricate it from it's grave and proceeded to repot it in its pot. It was covered in peat and perlite, looking ghastly!!! :( So, I brought in the trauma team (OCD-Me) and began picking chunks of grow mix off of the leaves. After I had it fairly well cleaned up (as well as you can imagine) I took my pump spray bottle and began spraying it off. I pretty much got it cleaned up, and of course removed all the dew drops along the way. Anyhow, I got it looking better, though there's still bits and pieces of grow mix on it. I then watered it heavily, letting its water tray fill up. I emptied the tray and added clear water to it. It will be interesting to see what it looks like today...to see how quickly it begins producing dew again. That little plant has had a hard life...but it has got three healthy leaf-cutting offsprings growing up good...if I don't dump them out, too!!! :roll:
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By Intheswamp
Location: 
Posts:  3058
Joined:  Wed May 04, 2022 2:28 pm
#442085
The lights seem to be doing good. I kinda tested out the new Yescoms last night...I forgot I had bypassed the timer switch while I was working so they stayed on roughly 24 hours. :oops: On the bright side, the binata mother plant is a mama grizzly!!! :mrgreen: 24 hours after her "calamity" and she's back making dew!!! :D
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