Artificial light

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by pyrokin, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. pyrokin

    pyrokin Member

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    Can artificial light replace the sun for succulents?
    Like using a specific lightbulb for reptile terraria.
    If so, where do i find such a thing?

    thanks
     
  2. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes it can. You need to buy light bulbs that provide the proper light spectrum for plants though. Check at a good nursery/plant store in your area or try an internet search for grow lights.
     
  3. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    our 'big box' home improvement stores here carry some grow lights. by big box i mean the big chain stores like home depot and lowe's...don't know if they're in your country or not.

    as eric said, any good nursery or plant store should have the lights. some local hardwares stores may also. and you could also check aquarium stores...they may sell grow lights as well because many people use live plants in their aquariums.
     
  4. pyrokin

    pyrokin Member

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    thanks, you've been a great help
    do you also know how strong the lamp has to be or does it depend on the kind of plants?
    i've been thinking of putting my succulents in a terrarium with a bulb, cause my cat keeps attacking them when they're standing near the window. is this a good idea? does it matter for the plants?

    thanks again
     
  5. pyrokin

    pyrokin Member

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    Would this be a good choice of lamp? I've got a reptile store in the neighbourhood that sells these and the seller told me these would do the trick as well.
     
  6. pyrokin

    pyrokin Member

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    can't really anyone help me with my last question?
    i really don't know what kind of spectrum i should look for in a growlight and the only thing i can find nearby is the link i posted above.
    would it also be strong enough for a terrarium of 60x40x40 cm?
     
  7. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i'm really not sure if that product would work - or which particular one to use.

    what type of succulents are you talking about?

    if desert cacti and euphorbia's then the 10.0 should be good. you might want to use one of the other ones if your growing other types of succulents.

    is there a nursery or greenhouse in your general area that you could call and ask?
     
  8. Analogdog

    Analogdog Active Member 10 Years

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    I would not use those lights if only to keep from spending too much.

    Get a 4' fluorescent light set, then buy two $3.99 packs of fluorescent tubes, one warm and one cool. Use one of the warm bulbs and one of the cool bulbs in the fixture, and keep the plants within 6 inches of the tubes. Use a 12 to 16 hour day. Your plants will be fine.
     
  9. bjo

    bjo Active Member 10 Years

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    I agree completely with Analogdog.

    I do not think that the special plant lights are worth bothering with and they are very expensive. The mix of one warm white to one cold white tube works really well.

    Possibly there are a few plants which are extremely sensitive to UV that might do better under special lamps, but desert cacti and succulents are adapted to high UV so it certainly would not be a problem for them.

    Also, the special bulbs give off a strange light (to human eyes!)...I am not sure your reptiles would like it either.

    Remember that any fluorescent bulbs- and especially the associated fittings - give off quite a lot of heat. Probably appreciated by your reptiles but take care the terrarium does not get too hot.

    Good Luck
    BrianO
     
  10. bcsister

    bcsister Active Member

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    I just went through this not too long ago...

    Follow analogdogs advice. As to the spectrum, it looks like your specialty lights you posted have way more "green" than wanted, and less "blue" and "red".
    In my neighborhood, these kinds of lights were above my pay grade as well.
    Go for "full spectrum", not "wide" spectrum... they are different.

    General Electric has a tube under the product name "Sunshine" colour temp of 5,000k.
    Philips has one called "Natural Sunshine" colour temp 5,500k.
    I spent $30.00 (can) on a total 4 foot set up. Ballast, tubes, hardware to hang the lights, ect...

    To get a tube with more "blue" look for a tube at about 7,000+ kelvin.

    I'm not good at posting links, but I'll try. I was confused by all the info on the web, and needed something CLEAR to understand. I found this VERY helpful!

    http://www.cssainc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=310&Itemid=212


    and this I found, brought it with me shopping!

    http://www.homeharvest.com/whichgrowlightisrightforme.htm
     
  11. pyrokin

    pyrokin Member

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    WOW!! This is what I'm looking for! Just like you said, all the info is confusing.
    Thanks a lot for these wonderful links.
     
  12. spiffy

    spiffy Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Is the low-cost DIY lighting setup good for Echeverias? I am beginning to lose quite a bit of sunlight in my backyard -- even though I'm in California (Zone 8) -- plus the rainy season is approaching. I am considering moving my mostly Echeveria collection into my garage when it gets colder. I don't need the plants to grow, I just don't want them to start stretching due to lack of lights. Will Analogdog's suggestion be a good setup for my situation?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  13. bjo

    bjo Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Spiffy,

    Analogdog's advice is perfect for the quality of light, but perhaps the most important consideration (as you suggest) is the quantity of light. You probably need more than you think, but will need to experiment to find the right amount of light. To maximize the light that the plants get, you need to have the tubes as close to the plants as possible, without overheating them or touching them. Again I would go with Analogdog's advice of about 6 inches (15cm).

    Good Luck
    BrianO
     
  14. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i KNEW someone would have the correct info!!

    thanks - you've helped me out, as well!
     
  15. David71

    David71 Member

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    Thanks for all the advice here. Here in Norway its sometimes hard to find the right equipment at a low cost. I am planning on giving my monkey trees seeds some artificial light after they germinate. They will be in a bucket over the winter. I would like to know if this combination of warm and cold Fluorecent bulbs would be ok. I would put them as close as possible to the bucket

    http://cgi.ebay.com/New-6x-Super-lite-Warm-White-Fluorescent-40-Watt_W0QQitemZ360024038620QQcmdZViewItem?_trksid=p3286.m20.l1116

    http://cgi.ebay.com/12V-Cold-Cathode-Compact-Fluorescent-Bulb-1W-5500K-CFL_W0QQitemZ180230319988QQcmdZViewItem?_trksid=p3286.m20.l1116
     
  16. bjo

    bjo Active Member 10 Years

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    David,

    Over the years, I have grown many different plants under a mix of warm and cold white lights - I am sure your trees will be fine.

    Good Luck with the seed germination!

    BrianO
     
  17. David71

    David71 Member

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  18. bjo

    bjo Active Member 10 Years

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    David,

    Looks like a nice set up - I do not know that the one that you have ordered will be any better! I think you need to be careful with the lid on that you do not get too high a humidity and the danger that the seeds / seedlings will damp off. It is always difficult to get the balance right.

    I would stress that the plants will need quite a lot of light once they germinate. It is possible that you may need more than one bulb of each type, but the ratio of one warm to one cold bulb works well.

    Ciao
    BrianO
     
  19. David71

    David71 Member

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    Thanks again!

    I think i might have found a place here in Norway that sells energy saving bulbs for plants
    i think it should do if i put it close enough to the bucket

    http://www.hobbydrivhus.no/lys.html
     
  20. spiffy

    spiffy Member

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    Sorry if this is a stupid question; but if I go with the 4' light fixture, am I supposed to get the largest wattage possible for the warm/cool tubes, or should I stay within a certain range?

    In my head, right now the plan is to get one of those Costco chrome utility wire racks, and see how many of my succulents can fit onto each shelf -- I have everything from cutting sprouts to 10 inch terra cotta pots. Each shelf will get its own fixture, of course; and with the shelves being metal wires, attaching the fixtures should be easy. But I don't know if the smaller plants should get a lower-wattage treatment, or the same light output would be fine for all of them?

    Thanks again for helping out a newbie...
     
  21. bjo

    bjo Active Member 10 Years

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    Spiffy,

    My thought on this is that in nature all plants big and small (unless they are growing in shade) "see" the same sun...ie the light intensity is the same whatever their size. So I would use the same tubes / wattage for all your plants. In fact, if the big and small plants are sitting on the same shelf, the smaller ones will be further away from the tube and the intensity they get will actually be less. [ The science bit....light intensity decreases according to an inverse square law...eg 2" away from a light source the intensity of light will be 1/(2 x2) = 1/4 the intensity at 1" away... 3" away the intensity will be 1/(3x3) =1/9th the intensity at 1" away. So light intensity drops dramatically as you get farther away from the source].....sorry about that.....I just got carried away!!

    Good Luck
    BrianO
     
  22. spiffy

    spiffy Member

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    Thanks for the info BrianO; so should I get the maximum wattage possible on the tubes? To be honest I haven't had time to visit my local hardware store yet; I think I'm going to need to bring a cheat sheet in order to figure out which tube is consider cool and which is warm... In discussing with my friends about this, they didn't understand why I wouldn't just get the full-spectrum grow light tubes instead, since some of the home improvement stores carry them... But somehow I have a feeling that the grow light tubes wouldn't have as much light output as the regular fluorescent tubes...
     
  23. bjo

    bjo Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Spiffy,

    I think if you read all the posts in this thread, you will see that some of us feel that the growlight tubes are relatively expensive to buy and to run and that the cool white/ warm white mix is as good (or better) for almost all purposes and way cheaper. To me the most useful post is Analogdogs post #8 in this thread, with simple clear advice. I would follow it - your plants will almost certainly be fine. I think that you will find that the wattage is always related to the tube length, so a 4 foot tube is a 40w tube.

    Good Luck
    BrianO
     

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