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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 johnray
Posts:  19
Joined:  Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:38 am
Hello. I recently moved to Oregon for school and had to leave behind the California sun shine that my plants loved so much. I've been wanting to get into some grow lights for my plants that really want more sun. Just a little set up for a few of them in a space about 2 feet X 1 foot. It does get sunny in the summer that I can eventually put them out into, I'm just worried about the winters.

My 'picky' plants that im worried about are a Nepenthes and a soon to be added Heliamphora minor (want to get one for my self for my birth day next month). But I would use my grow area for seedlings and the like as well once I get the set up going. Flowering isn't really a problem, by the time plants are ready to flower, there should be sufficient temperatures and real light out side in the spring/summer.

While at Walmart looking for some fixtures I found a 24 inch Light of America 'portable' Grow Light 75 watt light output that only uses 17 watts energy for $10. I bought one and a timer and took it home to try and do some research. Nothings really coming up for carnivorous plants, every time I try and search something, It's just websites about growing pot and the like.

I'm open to adding another light if I have to. I feel like it's too good to be true since everyone suggests 50-150 dollar fixtures.

I'm a complete noob when it comes to indoor lighting, so thanks for the help guys.
By David F
Posts:  1649
Joined:  Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:41 pm
This setup works wonders for me! Make sure you get two different colored bulbs for healthy plants that show great colors.

It's doesn't produce too much heat, and you can get the plants almost in between the bulbs for maximum light (makes VFTs turn very red.)
David F liked this
By johnray
Posts:  19
Joined:  Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:38 am
Thanks for the quick reply!

Which bulbs should I get (i'll go and pick up another lamp from Walmart soon)

How far away from the plants? 5 inches or so?

T8's are fine, right?
By David F
Posts:  1649
Joined:  Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:41 pm
I got the closest to 6000k I could find, and then the next one down from that, probably 4000k or 4500k

Five inches would be okay, but closer is always optimal especially when the lights make minimal heat.
By David F
Posts:  1649
Joined:  Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:41 pm
Lighting for a growing plants should not be chosen on color temp alone. It is true that 'full spectrum' bulbs are referred to as bulbs between 5000 Kelvin (K) and 6500 K and are considered to be best for plants. Yet this does not indicate what wavelength in nanometers the bulb is actually emitting. If you want to optimize plant leaf development (blue light) and stem elongation and color (red light) you need light in both the blue and red spectra for photosynthesis. You need a mix of blue and red for your plants, and green for you (brightness as perceived by humans). If your lighting looks extremely bright and your plants seem ultra-green, it means that you have lighting that outputs strongly in the green spectrum. Do not equate this with good lighting for your plants, because plants don't use light in the green spectrum for photosynthesis. Sunlight peaks in the blue spectrum at 475 nanometers (nm). This is a shorter wavelength than red light and is used by both plants and algae. As light passes through water the intensity decreases. The shorter wavelength blue light penetrates water better and more quickly than red, which is slower and absorbed more quickly. Chlorophyll, the photosynthetic pigment used by plants traps blue and red light but is more efficient with red light at 650 – 675nm. Blue is used at the same rate as red because it is more available for reasons mentioned above.

^^^^ ... hesis.html


The *Bluer* a the light emission, the more the photosynthesis is used by chlorophyll, though you want something in the 4000 to 5000 spec as well.

Hope this helps

By Chhewy
Posts:  127
Joined:  Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:38 pm
So if we were using two fixtures T8 fixtures would it be beneficial to run one 6500k and one 4000k in each fixture? A total of 2 6500k and 2 4000k bulbs? Would this be more effective than all 6500k lights?
By David F
Posts:  1649
Joined:  Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:41 pm
@Chewy, yes as long as they are the same brightness.
By johnray
Posts:  19
Joined:  Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:38 am

I'm curious, how many of these lights do you have running over your plants. Did you replace the bulbs with anything else? The ones that came with mine are 7800k, and every one seems to be recommending 6400k. I've had this one over my nepenthe for around a week, but I think I need more power, but don't want to pour money into a dead end.

I got this for like 3 bucks from a store in town. ... ural-light
Last edited by johnray on Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By David F
Posts:  1649
Joined:  Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:41 pm
If you refer to my growlist, I grow 1/2 or more of my plants under this single fixture, it really does it for me and is a great investment for sundews and VFTs. I don't have much experience with pitchering plants; however, I've been extremely satisfied with this product for over a year!
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