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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 newbietocp
Posts:  3
Joined:  Sun Nov 08, 2020 4:19 pm
#368608
I'm still a newbie and have done some research into lighting. I've read this post how-much-light-do-you-really-need-t31035.html but still confused about what's not working with my set-up.

My current set up is a 35W 3500K Canagrow LED grow bulb (https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07Q78 ... UTF8&psc=1) on a gooseneck clamp light. I have it almost directly above at 12-14" from my drosera spatulata and adelae for 12hrs a day.

According to the manufacturer:
8in --> 2224umol (0.2m2)
12in --> 1045umol (0.5m2)

From there, I calculated my DLI and it's 45.12.
I used this DLI calculator: https://www.waveformlighting.com/hortic ... calculator
According to this chart, my droseras should be good, no? https://curiousplant.com/light-carnivor ... ts-part-2/
But I still have very little dews on them and tbh, they look pretty "crisp" today, especially the adelae.

I've asked questions in a carnivorous plant group on Facebook and was told that I need better grow light (6500K, 50W, 2000lm at minimum) or have my current light even closer. But I have limited space so I have very few options in terms of new light: either a clip-on light or an easy strip light with minimal screwing/drilling involved. I don't have anywhere to hang a complete grow light panel.

I've done some research on light and here are a few options that would work for my space.
- Option 1: 100W, possibly 5000K https://www.amazon.ca/Sunlike-Spectrum- ... P1YR9DT3JC
- Option 2: 150W, 2600lm https://www.amazon.ca/Spectrum-ECRU-Equ ... RAGAS3CJPB
- Option 3: Sunblaster 12" LED strip light, 6400K https://www.amazon.ca/SunBlaster-090070 ... 186&sr=1-9
- Option 4, not ideal for my set-up but I can make it work since the panel is small and thin: 100W, 3500K, YGROW brand. Someone in the review uses this for their CPs https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07WFFPP1D/?co ... _lig_dp_it

So my questions:
- How come I still don't have enough light for my CPs with that DLI? Where did my math go wrong?
- Would having my current light too close harm my droseras?
- Out of the light options I've researched, which one would you recommend? If none of them are good, which ones would you recommend? (I prefer staying with LED since they last longer).

I'm almost there, just need a bit more pointers. Thanks in advance for the help!

Here's what my set-up looks like, there is distilled water in the glass bowl up to 0.5in of the nursery pots.
20201108_114547.jpg
20201108_114547.jpg (2.46 MiB) Viewed 757 times
By Apollyon
Location: 
Posts:  652
Joined:  Tue May 05, 2020 2:49 am
#368609
I'm by no means a light expert when it comes to measuring lux and the like but what I can tell you is Drosera are not as needy as Sarracenia and VFTs under lights. However, looking at your setup only one of those plants seems to be catching the majority of the light. The rest of the plants are only catching a little of it, the most effective area will be the center. If you can, I'd center the gooseneck above the plants and give it an even distribution. But I would bring the light down as well. Provided it doesn't generate too much heat for your plants, the most it should do is cause them to color up more. Also, those rocks at the bottom may cause you unnecessary trouble. If there are trace minerals, the water will leech them and send it up to the plant, causing possible harm.

I grow a lot of plants inside, not just CPs. 6500k (blue) is the color temperature plants utilize for effective photosynthesis. 3000k (red) is the light used for flowering. If you can and want to run fluorescent, I find combining them gives me healthier plants overall.

As far as LEDs go, if you can mount a cheap yescom 225 white panel (~12 x 12 in.) I've had good success with drosera, pinguicula, and cephalotus under them. Those are 25 dollars. If you want to do a small T5 24in strip you could do that too. The thing most important is that the lights are bright enough for the plants, if your plants are sitting on the edge of the projected light, they'll never grow well. The pots I have at the edge of my trays are much less vigorous than the ones further in.
By newbietocp
Posts:  3
Joined:  Sun Nov 08, 2020 4:19 pm
#368612
Thanks Apollyon!
I actually only have 2 plants in that glass bowl for now. The smaller cups are empty and they're for the sarracenia seeds later (currently stratifying).
I have the light more on my spatulata than the adelae because it seems the adelae needs less light but I'll try to have it directly above like you suggested. I'll look into the strip light too.
How often do you have to change the bulb for the T5 strip lights?
By Apollyon
Location: 
Posts:  652
Joined:  Tue May 05, 2020 2:49 am
#368619
newbietocp wrote:Thanks Apollyon!
I actually only have 2 plants in that glass bowl for now. The smaller cups are empty and they're for the sarracenia seeds later (currently stratifying).
I have the light more on my spatulata than the adelae because it seems the adelae needs less light but I'll try to have it directly above like you suggested. I'll look into the strip light too.
How often do you have to change the bulb for the T5 strip lights?
They say fluorescents lose their efficiency after around 6 months, though T5s apparently maintain their output for longer. I'd wager about 8 months or so. You can get bulk packs of bulbs for cheap on amazon though. I purchased a replacement sets at the time I bought the fixture. I think 12 of them were like 20 something dollars, I can't recall. Those are 4 foot bulbs though, a smaller set would probably be cheaper. T5s are effective with drosera too, I can say that with confidence. My fixture is a 52wx4 and puts out about ~20-21k lux at the plant level. I keep the plants about 14inches or so away and they have no trouble coloring up. I use 3 6400k bulbs and 1 3000k bulb on the shelf I measured.

There may be other factors at play here though. Water type/quality, temperature, and humidity problems can be catastrophic.

https://www.carnivorousplants.org/grow/guides/sisters will give you some information on Drosera Adelae. I would also look into the other species and make sure you're giving them appropriate conditions. a 1010 tray with humidity dome from bootstrap farmer might help your cause (it's smaller) or you could do a 1020 tray or even a 10 gallon aquarium. Most Drosera do well in humidity enclosures.

If you need to, you can always bag the plants in ziplocks or clear plastic with a rubber band around the pot. I often have to do that after receiving something new or if I'm planting seeds and have no space. Humidity is the friend of most carnivorous plants.
By mcgrumpers
Posts:  243
Joined:  Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:39 am
#368641
Something is fishy about the numbers you used in your DLI calculation. A DLI of 45 is way too high for a 35W bulb to produce unless it has a ridiculously narrow beam. Led grow light specs can be misleading and aren't always accurate. In this case, they don't even have the right units on the PPFDs (they say umol whereas I would have expected to see umol/s/m^2).

Several people on this forum have used yescom 225 panels successfully. Have you considered those?
By newbietocp
Posts:  3
Joined:  Sun Nov 08, 2020 4:19 pm
#368642
Yes, I saw that people recommend yescom 225 white panel but I can't find it where I am (Canada), only blue&white panel or blue&red panel but they are still quite expensive and I'd like to stick to a white light so I can admire my plants. I'm trying to look for alternatives that won't break the bank. Are any of the options I researched comparable to the yescom panel?
By Z_Y
Posts:  44
Joined:  Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:19 pm
#368649
I recommend Mars Hydro lights, I got the TSL2000 300W one with a dimmer that I dim down to only 100W, and my cephs and helis get really red even at that 1/3rd power. Running at such lower power also keeps the LEDs lasting longer and reduces heat.

If you're ok with ordering from Aliexpress, note that on Nov 11 is China's version of black friday, so there should be some discounts on LED lights. I plan to pick up a second grow light on that day.
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By Matt
Location: 
Posts:  21530
Joined:  Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:28 pm
#368654
Z_Y wrote:If you're ok with ordering from Aliexpress, note that on Nov 11 is China's version of black friday, so there should be some discounts on LED lights. I plan to pick up a second grow light on that day.
Thanks for mentioning that website. I've never heard of it before. I took a look and couldn't seem to find the Mars Hydro TSL2000 on there. Have you found it? If so, can you post a link? I've been wanting to pick up one of those as well and have been waiting for a deal on it.
By hungry carnivores
Posts:  428
Joined:  Sun Apr 05, 2020 7:31 am
#368657
Watch out. Since AliExpress comes from China, there are lots of scams on it (since tons and tons of goodies are manufactured there). It's very easy for a seller to buy an IDENTICAL looking thing, but with terrible specs, slap a counterfeit sticker on it, and sell it to you. I've been ripped off twice this way.

Now I'm not saying that Chinese products are bad or anything.. just that the proximity of sellers to the source of goodies makes it so much easier to scam than, if say, you were buying from a seller in the States, or from Canada.

I use a DIY setup with several lamp sockets on a little beam over my tank, and it worked for me, costs about 40 dollars for 10000 lumens in my tank. Anybody looking for cheap products, go to homedepot and buy some cheap garden spotlights. Use the stake and a drill to drill through a beam, put the stake through, and bolt it in, cut the remaining stake off. Plug 3-4 of them into a power strip, put over the tank, and enjoy. Works every time for me.

Good luck though!
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By Apollyon
Location: 
Posts:  652
Joined:  Tue May 05, 2020 2:49 am
#368659
I love Mars Hydro. It also gives me faster germination than the other lights I tried. I use 2 600W side by side but it sounded like a style he didn't want to accommodate. Its bulkier than a yescom so he'd need to have a means to suspend it that can tolerate its heat output. The fixture gets very hot. Itll heat the surface below over 10 degrees at 14 inches. Still, its definitely my favorite led by far.
Matt liked this
By Z_Y
Posts:  44
Joined:  Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:19 pm
#369441
Matt wrote:
Z_Y wrote:If you're ok with ordering from Aliexpress, note that on Nov 11 is China's version of black friday, so there should be some discounts on LED lights. I plan to pick up a second grow light on that day.
Thanks for mentioning that website. I've never heard of it before. I took a look and couldn't seem to find the Mars Hydro TSL2000 on there. Have you found it? If so, can you post a link? I've been wanting to pick up one of those as well and have been waiting for a deal on it.
Oh no I didn't see the updates on this post for some reason. Here's the store I bought mine from:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33041195297.html

It arrived in like 4 days for me since they have a US warehouse.

Also fortunately they seem to have another sale for black friday with a slightly higher discount than Nov 11, but only the " TSL 2000 Set" with the timer and hydrometer is in stock.

Edit: this other store seems to have the non-set one in stock https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000411190328.html
And wow, I just did a search for the TSL2000, before Nov 11 there were a lot of offers available, I guess they completely sold out :shock:
hungry carnivores wrote:Watch out. Since AliExpress comes from China, there are lots of scams on it (since tons and tons of goodies are manufactured there). It's very easy for a seller to buy an IDENTICAL looking thing, but with terrible specs, slap a counterfeit sticker on it, and sell it to you. I've been ripped off twice this way.
Yes just be careful. I've done over 150 orders though and have had only like 3 disputes which they instantly gave me a refund. Funnily enough, for 2 of the disputes the product arrived a couple weeks later so I guess it just got stuck in shipping. Also like eBay, if you don't get what you ordered you can get a refund real easy. I mostly order hobby supplies for electronics and such, so it also depends on what market you are looking at. Don't go buying Gucci handbags from there, haha.

Most of the stuff on Amazon are just stuff from Aliexpress with a heavy markup because it's all sourced from China anyway. I've seen $1-2 dollar items get marked up to $15. For me, if I don't need the thing immediately I'll use Aliexpress and wait the 2 months, otherwise I'll bite the bullet and use Amazon.
By jose
Posts:  69
Joined:  Fri Oct 09, 2020 8:18 pm
#369488
Apollyon wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:00 pm I love Mars Hydro. It also gives me faster germination than the other lights I tried. I use 2 600W side by side but it sounded like a style he didn't want to accommodate. Its bulkier than a yescom so he'd need to have a means to suspend it that can tolerate its heat output. The fixture gets very hot. Itll heat the surface below over 10 degrees at 14 inches. Still, its definitely my favorite led by far.
Second this (think someone else mentioned mars hydro so guess it’s third this...) the new mars hydros with white leds and infrared are DA BOMB! Best light and no need to fidget with calculations. Covers a larger space than a say too. One covers a 2 x 4 foot space of helis and neps for me
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By Nepenthes0260
Posts:  783
Joined:  Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:59 am
#369490
I know a couple people who are using the new Mars with great results as well. It's just a tad costly though :roll:.

I have some Spider Farmer SF1000Ds coming which I have high hopes for. They don't come with a dimmer or mean well driver, but are much cheaper. I'm planning on using a couple of them to light a huge water table of Drosera and Pinguicula in a new grow room.

Thank you to the supplier and the seed manager.

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