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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 Rudy1776
Posts:  83
Joined:  Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:57 pm
#363079
Howdy everyone!

So I have a relatively new grow light setup. I have two Yescom lights, one hanging from a shelf on a small rack. The plants have been doing great under the lighting! However, my question is what is the best way to setup the light timing?

I currently have my growlights on a timer from 6:30 AM until 8:30 PM, 14 hours total. Would keeping this timing all year work? Any plants that need a dormancy, I plan to toss outside with the others - I live in Houston so we get a decent enough winter. Any that do not need dormancy, like some Sundews and Nepenthes, I plan to keep them under the growlight without ever changing the timing/photoperiod.

Any thoughts/advice is appreciated! I really want to keep it as simple, yet beneficial for the plants as possible.


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By Shadowtski
Location: 
Posts:  4272
Joined:  Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:19 am
#363085
I've used a variety of timers and my favorites are astronomical timers.
They turn on your lights at your local sunrise time.
They turn the lights off at local sunset.

The advantage is your plants get seasonal cues for flowering and dormancy.
Some of the cheaper ones have the USA divided into 3 zones, North, Central, and South. https://www.menards.com/main/electrical ... c-6471.htm
You pick the zone closest to your location.
More expensive models allow you to program in your latitude and longitude, these give perfect sync with local sunrise/sunset. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003A ... UTF8&psc=1 (This model must be wired into a box and connected to an outlet. Not recommended for anyone unfamiliar with home electrical work.)

If you are obsessive about control, you can set up a Raspberry Pi to control your lights based on sunrise, civil twilight, navigational twilight, and astronomical twilight.
This is a major project and involves a steep learning curve in several disciplines and programming languages.
A PI based system allows you to have multiple channels of independent control.
You can have a tropical channel, a subtropical one, and several temperate zones.
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By evenwind
Location: 
Posts:  1370
Joined:  Sun Jul 07, 2013 4:16 pm
#363095
I keep it really simple. I try to adjust the timer for daylight + 2 hours. But I only get around to it maybe 8-10 times a year. So not at all exact but I honestly don't know if the plants care all that much.
By mcgrumpers
Posts:  248
Joined:  Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:39 am
#363114
Shadow, do you have a raspberry pi system set up? If so, what kind of relay do you use to control an outlet?

Rudy, here is another option: https://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-HS103P2- ... B07B8W2KHZ
They can be programmed to run either on a fixed schedule or by daylight hours bases on your location.
By Propag8
Location: 
Posts:  397
Joined:  Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:43 pm
#363116
I personally run 16 hours for the growing season 6.00 am till 10 pm. You could reduce the time to 12 hours for the last month before you place them outside just to ease them into shorter photoperiod.
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By Shadowtski
Location: 
Posts:  4272
Joined:  Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:19 am
#363117
mcgrumpers wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:06 pm Shadow, do you have a raspberry pi system set up? If so, what kind of relay do you use to control an outlet?

Rudy, here is another option: https://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-HS103P2- ... B07B8W2KHZ
They can be programmed to run either on a fixed schedule or by daylight hours bases on your location.
For a single channelsystem, I use this: https://www.amazon.com/Iot-Relay-Enclos ... ics&sr=1-1

I also have some 3 and 4 relay Hat boards for multichannel use.
By Rudy1776
Posts:  83
Joined:  Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:57 pm
#363121
Shadowtski wrote:I've used a variety of timers and my favorites are astronomical timers.
They turn on your lights at your local sunrise time.
They turn the lights off at local sunset.

The advantage is your plants get seasonal cues for flowering and dormancy.
Some of the cheaper ones have the USA divided into 3 zones, North, Central, and South. https://www.menards.com/main/electrical ... c-6471.htm
You pick the zone closest to your location.
More expensive models allow you to program in your latitude and longitude, these give perfect sync with local sunrise/sunset. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003A ... UTF8&psc=1 (This model must be wired into a box and connected to an outlet. Not recommended for anyone unfamiliar with home electrical work.)

If you are obsessive about control, you can set up a Raspberry Pi to control your lights based on sunrise, civil twilight, navigational twilight, and astronomical twilight.
This is a major project and involves a steep learning curve in several disciplines and programming languages.
A PI based system allows you to have multiple channels of independent control.
You can have a tropical channel, a subtropical one, and several temperate zones.
Howdy Shadow,

This makes sense, I saw elsewhere you use astronomical timers. Unfortunately; my timer does sunrise and sunset but it is sunrise OFF, sunset ON (like for lights).

With that said, I CAN adjust the timer manually every week or two to replicate the sunrise sunset. My question/concern with doing this is: Will this trigger dormancy/unhealthy photoperiods for my plants like Nepenthes or some Sundews... that don’t need dormancy? So if I adjust to the sun’s settings, would that just induce dormancy just the same as my outdoor plants?

I hope that makes sense!


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By Shadowtski
Location: 
Posts:  4272
Joined:  Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:19 am
#363123
I have grown tropical and subtropical plants under temperate lighting photoperiods.
I have never seen long term ill-effects from this.

If in doubt, split your collection and light each section differently.
By mcgrumpers
Posts:  248
Joined:  Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:39 am
#363341
Shadowtski wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:30 pm
mcgrumpers wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:06 pm Shadow, do you have a raspberry pi system set up? If so, what kind of relay do you use to control an outlet?

Rudy, here is another option: https://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-HS103P2- ... B07B8W2KHZ
They can be programmed to run either on a fixed schedule or by daylight hours bases on your location.
For a single channelsystem, I use this: https://www.amazon.com/Iot-Relay-Enclos ... ics&sr=1-1

I also have some 3 and 4 relay Hat boards for multichannel use.
Very cool, thanks for the info! Do you have links to the hat boards? Do they also have outlets or are they just regular relays that take in wires?
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By Shadowtski
Location: 
Posts:  4272
Joined:  Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:19 am
#363348
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072X ... UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01G0 ... UTF8&psc=1

No outlet attached on these hat boards.
Also, a word of caution:
One of these requires a output channel set up as a sink from the PI to turn on. (I think the three channel board was this way.)
The other is standard Turn On when the PI outputs 3.2 volt on each relay channel.
The documentation that comes with the boards is minimal, at best.
This project was a real learning opportunity.

Mike
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