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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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#432479
I'm thinking about getting a bit more serious in growing sundews. Maybe a little more intentional, organized, homogenized, etc., about the process. I'm mulling over my lighting setup(s).

My current lighting consists of:
2 - Generic 3-panel garage lights (80W/8000-lumen/5000k) (work well, but not a lot of area coverage)
1 - Viperspectra XS1000 100-watt white full-spectrum panel (works well, good 1-1/2' square area)
3 - Walmart 48" LED Shop Light (5000-lumen/5000k) (side-by-side so roughly 12"x46" coverage, so-so intensity)

The garage lights work well, but plants basically have to be gathered closely beneath them...probably 14" diameter round area. The Viparspectra panel works very well to cover a 1-1/2' square area very well...extending to 2' square with light falling off at the edges. The 48" shop lights cover roughly a 14"x46" area with fair lighting though plants need to be close to them.

With spring/summer on us, most of the plants will be moving outside so there should be plenty of acreage available under the lights. But, come this fall they'll be shuttled back inside and if I've got more plants then things could get a bit crowded. so a couple of extra lights would be nice. (Ya'll like the way I'm rationalizing buying some new lights? :mrgreen: ).

I've been looking at the Yescom lights and thinking I might buy a 2-pack of them. That would give me more acreage this fall when the winter migration indoors takes place. I could go with one large tray or two smaller trays beneath them. I've seen good and bad reports on them...kind of a coin toss on their longevity. But, the price is right! ;)

Which color would be best for sundews? I'm partial to white simply for the appearance, but for just a couple of trays of sundew seedlings I could deal with one of the darker colors. For some reason (maybe something that I read in the past?) I'm gravitating towards the blue/white combination.

Any thoughts on color of lights for the average sundew seedling? Or, even thoughts on whether I even really need to get more lighting. I do think I need to standardize some pots so they'll fit better together beneath the lights, but that's another subject, I guess. Your thoughts are welcomed...I'm all ears! :mrgreen:
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By Panman
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#432498
Is go with the white or blue/white Yescom. At our level I don't think the color matters much. I think they are great to start experimenting with.

As far as your real estate, remember you may need to bring some plants inside next fall.
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By Intheswamp
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#432500
Panman wrote: Sat Mar 25, 2023 1:42 pm Is go with the white or blue/white Yescom. At our level I don't think the color matters much. I think they are great to start experimenting with.

As far as your real estate, remember you may need to bring some plants inside next fall.
Yeah, I don't think I could handle the blurple lighting. Blue light is supposed to help with vegetative growth which I'm interested in for seedlings and clones. But, if it's *really* blue, then...meh, not interested. Looking at reviews on Amazon about the blue/white lights I caught one reviewer that said the lights are not as "blue" as they look in the photos...that the blue just shows up more in the photos...which is good. I also wonder about the "over-wintering" of plants beneath the blue/white lights.

Something else, Panman, how water resistant are the panels? I see them fastened to the bottoms of shelves which is what I would do, but this exposes them to the possibility of getting water spilled onto them while watering plants on the shelf above. Any issues there?

It's definitely gonna be either the blue/white or the white. I'd use them for overwintering plants, too, but I see lots of people using them and the deeper blurple colored ones constantly so it must not really be an issue. Giving the edge to young plants sounds like a winner, but as you said...at our level the colors probably don't matter. I think the blue/white would be an experimental novelty for me. :mrgreen:

Thanks for helping me rationalize spending the money! :lol:
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By Panman
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#432547
I don't know how they handle water on them. They handle humidity just fine. Taking pictures with the lights is a pain because the photos pick up more of the blue than your eyes.
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By Intheswamp
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#432566
Panman wrote: Sat Mar 25, 2023 11:06 pm I don't know how they handle water on them. They handle humidity just fine. Taking pictures with the lights is a pain because the photos pick up more of the blue than your eyes.
I guess I'll just have to be careful when watering. I might just set up another shelf and have the Yescoms above the top shelf. Or, if I want them lower I could put a piece of plastic or something on the shelf above but that would impact air circulation. Shoot, I haven't even decided on the color, yet, much less ordered them and I'm already fretting over things.

I've got an old iPhone 6s+ and the camera on it has it's limitations. With my Canon 6D DSLR I can set a custom white balance that *should* handle the color cast and solve the problem...but the phone *sure* is handy even though I run into banding issues with it.
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By Panman
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#432589
The banding is caused by the ballasts on the flourescent tubes. LEDs don't have that problem. With my phone, I'm able to adjust the camera settings and get a pretty decent shot.
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By Intheswamp
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#432611
My LEDs think they're fluorescents. :mrgreen:
This is beneath the Walmart LED shop lights.
This is beneath the Walmart LED shop lights.
IMG_8667 (Custom).JPG (462.74 KiB) Viewed 2242 times
This is beneath the ViparSpectra XS1000 panel.
This is beneath the ViparSpectra XS1000 panel.
IMG_7320 (Custom).JPG (1.1 MiB) Viewed 2242 times
But, looking through a lot of photos it does appear that the bars aren't as prevalent since I got rid of my last fluorescent a while back. I'll need to lower my shutter speed some so as not to capture the "off" cycle. Usually around 1/60th-sec would do it with a DSLR. I don't have a way on the stock software to set shutterspeed (that I know of). I've got a app for shooting night shots on the phone that I think I'm going to try and see if it will solve the problem...app is called "NightCap".
The dark bars still show up (as it the pictures above) but usually to a much lesser degree than in those above.
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By Intheswamp
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#432628
No, those are plug-n-play LED shop lights from Walmart...Hyper Tough brand, if I remember right.

It is kind of odd to get the dark bands with LEDs being as their power supply is/should be DC. It's understandable to get dark bands with fluorescent being powered by alternating current. The DC power supplies may be using pulse width modulation or something similar. ??? Slowing the shutter down will get around the banding...usually. My grandaughters' school's football field produces really band banding even for my Canon 6D...slowing down the shutter usually helps...shifting lens angles will help *sometimes*. Etc.,. I think the tendency for my iPhone to get the bands is that it has an older technology camera and incorporates an electronic shutter. So far, when I use the 6D, I get around the dark bands with no problem when taking the plant pictures. There's a lot of articles online talking about LED lights causing dark and colored banding in photos. :)
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By Intheswamp
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#438243
Anybody had any revelations since I last posted to this thread. I'm going to order either two or four of the Yescom 225's. I thinking about going with all white, but I might go with 2-white and 2-blue/white. Ordering tonight... :mrgreen:
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By Intheswamp
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#438477
I went with the 4-pack of the white Yescoms. Checked them all with a torturous 15-second break-in period yesterday. :mrgreen: All LEDs are alive. The lightweightness of them really surprised me! I wasn't overly impressed with the packaging, each one bubble-wrapped and then all of them taped together, but it looks like they all made in undamaged. Now, being as there is no AC in the old trailer where they're going, they will sit in the packages for the next week or two while this heat cooks everything. :shock: These little lights are BRIGHT!!!! I think I'm getting some of my vision back this morning...
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By Panman
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#438485
They are super bright. I really like the low cost, no frills aspect of them. And my plants seem to really like them.
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