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LED or T5 fluorescents strong enough for tall Sarracenia species?

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Feb 19, 2015
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I have various species of Sarracenia, vfts, dews, and pings growing under the same LED light. I am worried that the LED light does not have enough blue and white for vegetative growth. The plants are in a mini greenhouse outside with the plants and the lamp is about 25 inches above the top of the pots. The light I have is the one in the link below. The sarracenia are growing very tall but are tin and topple over. Should I replace this light or should I add in another LED light with more blues/whites or possibly add in a small T5 fixture. Please let me know. thank you


Amazon.com : Galaxyhydro LED Grow Plant Light 300w Greenhouse Indoor Hydroponic Grow Lighting 9 Band : Patio, Lawn & Garden

This is an old picture from when all the plants were in dormancy.
 
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That light seems like it should be more than enough. If it seems like there is a lot of wasted light, you can add some reflective material to the sides of the greenhouse.
 
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That light seems like it should be more than enough. If it seems like there is a lot of wasted light, you can add some reflective material to the sides of the greenhouse.

Thank you for the response. I was worried that the light has too much reds and not enough blues for vegetative growth. For some reason my sarracenia flava and okee giant are both growing pitchers about a foot tall that are thin, weak, and falling over. I thought this may be due to inadequate lighting
 
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That does sound like it is due to inadequate lighting. Can we see a picture of the setup with plants currently?

Sorry about the images being a little blurry. Most of the plants are just coming out of dormancy. Some are growing faster than others. The flava and okee in the back center are the ones falling over. I usually keep the enclosed half closed with a small fan going up inside the portion where the light is.





 
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Those definitely look like they need quite a bit more light. You could compensate by moving the light closer to the plants, but I would look into getting another light fixture and setting up some reflective surfaces in there.
 
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Those definitely look like they need quite a bit more light. You could compensate by moving the light closer to the plants, but I would look into getting another light fixture and setting up some reflective surfaces in there.


What light fixture would you recommend? I don't think I could bring the light closer because the sarracenia will eventually touch the tops of the light where it is now if they reach their full potential
 
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It's better for them to touch the lights than them not receive enough light. The light you currently have seems fine, I would get another, or something that is large enough to cover as much surface area you can. Setting up a reflective or white surface in the sides of the tent will also help reduce the amount of light that is wasted from being further away from your plants.
 
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It's better for them to touch the lights than them not receive enough light. The light you currently have seems fine, I would get another, or something that is large enough to cover as much surface area you can. Setting up a reflective or white surface in the sides of the tent will also help reduce the amount of light that is wasted from being further away from your plants.


Ok thank you. I will get some reflective material from home depot and line the sides of the mini greenhouse. I forgot to add that I did just recently bring the plants closer to the light about 1 week ago. I brought them up 1 shelf (about a foot). Since then I have seen a huge difference in growth in only a week but all the plants look very green still. Maybe newer foliage will come out darker in the next few week, at least I'm hoping. If not I could get another of the same light to fit up there or I could get t5 reflective light fixture.
 
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I'm amazed at how green those plants are with such a powerful growlight. It should be able to cover an area larger than that while keeping the plants in good health. Moving the light closer or adding reflective material to the sides of the enclosure would go a long way towards improving the situation. I don't know why I didn't think to ask this before, but what photoperiod are you using?

I'm curious though, why are you growing the plants in the enclosure?
 
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I'm amazed at how green those plants are with such a powerful growlight. It should be able to cover an area larger than that while keeping the plants in good health. Moving the light closer or adding reflective material to the sides of the enclosure would go a long way towards improving the situation. I don't know why I didn't think to ask this before, but what photoperiod are you using?

I'm curious though, why are you growing the plants in the enclosure?

My balcony of my apartment only gets about 3.5 hours of filtered sun through a tree daily. From 3-7pm. So I thought I should do artificial light instead and I can't do both because it'll look like I'm growing pot on my porch. I don't think I can set a photoperiod on this light. It only has a single on switch. The plants have been moved a foot closer only a week ago so that may make a big improvement hopefully. I have it running for 11 hours a day. I hope that's enough.
 
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So you're turning the light on and off manually? How long is it on every day?

Haha I was just about to edit my last reply to put that info in. I have them on for 12 hours. 7am-7pm. Is that enough? It's on a timer
 
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I'm amazed at how green those plants are with such a powerful growlight.

I'm not familiar with the power of LEDs, but I was thinking that perhaps too much light is lost without reflective surfaces (don't people usually use LEDs in grow-tents?) Of course, it could be the photoperiod, as you mentioned, but seems odd that those plants aren't getting much coloration if the light is so powerful. I get great coloration on my pygmies under my T5 fixture with a 9 hour photoperiod (though I keep the fixture pretty close to my plants).
 
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11 or 12 hours should be plenty of light for this time of year.

From the reading I've done, that fixture operates at around 135W (they advertise it as 300W but that's the maximum power of all the LEDs, not the actual operating power.) Being that LEDs are more efficient than T5's and it is a red/blue fixture which will have a better PAR rating than white, I would estimate that it's at least equivalent to a 2' x 8 tube T5 fixture, if not more. The official manufacturer recommendation is to hang the light between 19" and 59" above the plants and that it should cover an area up to 10 square feet.

Now I did also find information indicating that this fixture has a built-in dimmer. Are you using it?
 
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11 or 12 hours should be plenty of light for this time of year.

From the reading I've done, that fixture operates at around 135W (they advertise it as 300W but that's the maximum power of all the LEDs, not the actual operating power.) Being that LEDs are more efficient than T5's and it is a red/blue fixture which will have a better PAR rating than white, I would estimate that it's at least equivalent to a 2' x 8 tube T5 fixture, if not more. The official manufacturer recommendation is to hang the light between 19" and 59" above the plants and that it should cover an area up to 10 square feet.

Now I did also find information indicating that this fixture has a built-in dimmer. Are you using it?

That's interesting. I am not sure how to even activate/deactivate the built-in dimer. There are no switches. Once the fixture is plugged in it turns on
 
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I've used the marshydro version of that LED and it colored up all my plants withing a few days. As mentioned above, I am surprised that your plants are exhibiting symptoms of light deprivation. You mentioned that you recently moved the plants closer to the lights so I would install some reflective material and see what happens. If they continue to look green I would just move your plants in the sunlight. I grow a few sarrs on my windowsill that get between 3-6 hours of direct sun and 8 of indirect and they do fine.
 
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I've used the marshydro version of that LED and it colored up all my plants withing a few days. As mentioned above, I am surprised that your plants are exhibiting symptoms of light deprivation. You mentioned that you recently moved the plants closer to the lights so I would install some reflective material and see what happens. If they continue to look green I would just move your plants in the sunlight. I grow a few sarrs on my windowsill that get between 3-6 hours of direct sun and 8 of indirect and they do fine.

THat's good to hear. What is a good reflective material that I could get from a hardware store for this mini greenhouse?
 
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I use aluminum foil because I'm cheap lol, so I have no experience with other materials. I am sure other people will have good suggestions
 
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