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Found 13 results

  1. Hello everyone, As somebody who would like to take on the fascinating world of Terraria for keeping carnivorous plants, I lurked the forums for a while to absorb as much as I could from such a great knowledge base. In terms of lighting, while there are definitely great products out there which deliver impressive PPFD numbers, for me, it is important to keep my hobby sustainable and as cheap as I can. I had so many questions about cheap lighting for my plants: are they garbage, could I actually grow with them...? Being a scientist by profession, I thought I would like to try and perform some experiments to answer some of these questions. In the video I compare the results of growing lentils in a sunny window vs. under 80W of artificial light to see how they stack up. I used a photoperiod of 12hrs. 80W will cost you about a fiver per month to run in the UK (national average). The lights were: 100W Citizen CLU048 3500K (£13.24 on eBay) driven at 50W using 1500mah driver (£5.24 AliExpress) and 30W YXO Yuxinou driverless Blurple COB running BridgeLux chips (£1.66 on AliExpress, lol) They were cobbled together using some thermal paste (£0.64 AliExpress) and scrap CPU heatsinks. So all in, around £20. Interesting results indeed. I'm also currently performing comparisons between the Citizen and an equally powered AliExpress blurple and some "300W" led light panel that a company has sent me as a tester. Will report those results too if anyone finds them of interest. Cheers, MTech
  2. Hello comrades, I have rescued a mix of plants from the garden centre recently, varieties listed later. I would like my new babies to grow to their best potential. I understand from the forums and experience that outdoor natural light is the best in terms of light delivery and plant health. This was definitely true when I was growing massive Sarracenias , Cape sundews and VFTs in South Africa despite exclusively giving them (relatively soft) tap water. I now live in Oxfordshire with a West facing garden. I worry about them getting too cold (spring nights dropping to freezing, 10 during the day), not getting enough light (cloudy for most of the day), and getting picked apart by the hordes of birds frequenting my garden. I was thinking of growing them in the shed. Impulsively I bought a cheap second hand 300W dual spectrum CFL with deflector. I measured it at 17k lumen. I'm convinced this should be sufficient light intensity to grow all of my plants. Is this overkill? I'm also mindful that 300W is costing me £20 a month to run so I have some cheap leds on order 60W blurple 20w 6500k white and a 100W citizen clu048 3500K that I plan to drive at 50W (130W total.) Do you think this would be enough to replace the CFL? I've checked the temperature in the shed overnight and it gets to say 5 degC and peaks at 24 degC during the day under the lights. Is this too cold for my plants? I'm fortunate enough to work in a lab so I have unlimited supply of de ionised water that I give them. Pictures of the set up attached, note how dark it is outside during midday. Any advice from UK growers is much appreciated. Plants: VFT, Nepenthes hookeriana, Nepenthes sanguinea, Sarracenia, Pinguicula Tina, Drosera capenis, Drosera paradoxa. Cheers, MTech
  3. Hi, I have a single small pot (cephalotus) in a south facing room but only in direct sunlight briefly each day (1 hour, in summer!) I'd rather keep it there if i can so i'm wondering about low profile lighting solutions and whether they will make a worthwhile difference. I had some g4 LED bulbs so mocked up and 3d printed a holder of the kind of scale i'd ideally like. This bulb is 4w, 3200k, claimed 310 lumens, ra80 - it's dual sided and my low quality tin foil reflector and proximity probably wastes a lot of light from that side. could be mounted 10-15cm from the plant i imagine. heat seems negligable from my few hours test. I know nothing about lighting for plants - would one, two, three of these be of any benefit at all? if not, any changes i could make without going up in size? thanks!
  4. Hi! Someone have experiences with this kind of led lamp? I don't know if is it ok. I have a terrarium 80H x 40L x 60L, i'm thinking to put inside two of that lamp. Thanks Regards Marco
  5. Hi everyone, Now that my Terrarium is up and running I thought I should introduce it properly and show you the steps of the build along the way, which may help to inspire others to create similar projects. I used to have a small terrarium, which consisted of an old 45x30x25cm fish tank, lit by a 6400K 45W spiral compact fluorescent. It worked ok and the light certainly was powerful enough just to grow plants but it had problems with keeping the heat under control, keeping the water conditions stable and inevitably; I simply ran out of space! Last year I found a larger, second-hand fish tank and soon put together the idea of an LED build for a more hi-tech and efficient terrarium to allow my plants to really thrive. Here, finally is the result of my setup... It's a 75cm x 32cm x 39cm grow space that's warm and humid - in order for me to grow tropical species year round. I went with 55x 3W star LEDs, comprising 28x Cool white and 27x Warm white in equal spacing. The LEDs came from Michael Houlder at FutureEden (via his ebay shop). He's a great guy and helped me with my initial questions into LED wiring and electronics. I needed a heatsink to mount the LEDs to and also to form the entire hood of my terrarium. After a lot of searching around, I opted for a custom-made, black-annodised aluminium heatsink from Birmingham Aluminium ( They were very helpful and communicative to discuss my needs and clarified the thermal properties of the heatsink would successfully handle the proposed 55x 3W LED heat load. This was the single most expensive item in the entire build, but was critical to ensure I had a lasting terrarium with safe temperatures. The heatsink sits perfectly flush with the top, left and right sides of the tank, but has a very small 1cm air gap at the back - providing a small but useful exchange of fresh air as well as some space for any wiring to go into, or out of, the tank. Here's the heatsink, with a pair of T-bar handles installed so that I can lift the hood off (relatively) easily... The spacing for the LEDs was carefully checked using a handy PAR calculator via an excel spreadsheet. This had been set up for aquarium enthusiasts to calculate that the proposed spread of light would achieve a desired PAR level. If I remember correctly, I shot for a PAR around 2000, which is close to full sunlight (aim high, right!) LED's glued in place with thermal adhesive... With the spacing sorted, I then planned the wiring, making sure it was as neat and efficient as possible but still allowing for an even distribution of cool and warm white. The two 'sets' of LEDs are run on different drivers so I have the option of having the Warm and/or Cool white banks on at any one time. This also allows for future adjustment to light schedules and time overlaps. The wire used is silicon-sheathed which is heat proof and highly flexible. Planning the wiring.. Main wiring paths soldered in place... First test of the drivers and warm white LEDs... Wow, extremely bright and painful to look at. A stopped-down photograph shows the individual LEDs better than our blinded eyes can see.. Here is the hood in place with tested lights on - remember this is still only the warm white set (half the total)... Time to wire and test the Cool white set... All LEDs on together (camera stopped down to be able to see properly)... (The yellow wire is an earth - connected all the way to the plug earth and will be attached to the aluminium hood for safety in case of any wiring faults that may occur) Full brightness over the tank... My original ideal PAR calculations, incorporated the use of 30° lenses in order to direct the LED light efficiently downwards onto the plants. At this stage I hadn't installed them yet and it is quite clear that a lot of light is being wasted in all directions. The following composite photo shows the light spill of the LEDs by highlighting what little effect the main room light had when on or off! If you look at the carpet, you can see the bands of shadowing as the different rows of LEDs catch the edge of the sideboard... I glued each individual lens on as the holders they come with did not offer a good enough fit, especially with the soldered wires in place. I discovered that stacks of 2p coins formed the perfect sized weight whilst the epoxy was setting. (I opted for epoxy as the chemicals in superglue can apparently fog up the clear lenses!)... With all the lenses in place, the light spread is much more defined inside the tank with very little over spill outside.. Out of curiosity, I placed my phone into the bottom of the tank (35cm from the lights) and took a light level reading using it's inbuilt sensor... 38,000 lux; equivalent to sunlight! This was by no means a scientifically precise reading, but it was an excellent sign for me. Before filling up with water and introducing plants, I was concerned that all of my careful wiring and expenditure was at risk of corrosion from the high humidity conditions. Therefore I decided to fabricate a 'light shield' from 3mm perspex sheet. I checked the specifications and light transmittance is 92% - I could afford to lose 8% light in order to protect my hard work. The shield is simply a box-like structure of epoxy jointed perspex, mounted to the aluminium with clear silicone sealant. I left the threaded rods long, that come from the handles above and allowed them to pass through the perspex by drilling holes. This gives me options to attach anything to the rods in future, and they do not interfere with the light spread... Now the terrarium was safe and ready to start thinking about plants. I placed some eggcrate in the bottom, in order to allow me to have a 'reserve' of water in the bottom of the tank for stability, humidity and for the ultrasonic fogger to use... Here is the fogger in place. The eggcrate is elevated by a series of upturned 8cm net pots, which are rigid enough to hold whilst being fairly open to allow water to pass freely through... Following Tom Bennet's tutorials, I was able to introduce a Raspberry Pi system into the terrarium, constantly monitoring temp and humidity and allow for the use of autonomous mains sockets. Here is the 'powerhouse' (the raspberry pi)... It reads temperature and humidity via an AM2302 sensor, connected via CAT5 ethernet cable (placed well out of the way of the splashing ultrasonic fogger!!)... You can view live readings from my terrarium here... The fogger is connected to an Energenie RF controlled mains socket, which is triggered by the Raspberry pi every hour at one minute past, for a duration of six minutes (day and night). This gives a boost to humidity, yet is unobtrusive and dramatically extends the life of the disc in the ultrasonic fogger as it is effectively only operational for 144 minutes in a 24 hour period. The constant RH monitoring means that the raspberry Pi can be set to trigger the fogger based on a desired humidity range, but I don't think this is necessary for me at the moment. The last object I added to the system was a simple aquarium algae magnet, which sits permanently in the top left corner of the front glass. This allows me to wipe the front pane clear of any condensation if/when I want to be able to see clearly inside... That's the whole setup so far. It's been challenging at times but very fun and extremely rewarding to learn along the way. I am more than happy with the results and the effect already on the plants living inside. My next post will show the plants inside.
  6. Hi All :) It has been a long while since my last post on here so hello everyone :) I had to give away my collection when I moved to the UK but have slowly started to accumulate plants again. It took me a while to get used to the different growing conditions here but fingers crossed, I seem to have cracked it. I have always used T5's for lighting and had good success with these in the past but I am wondering what everyone is using these days since I have been out of the loop for so long. LED's were still really expensive then but they seem to have come down in price considerably. I am just not too keen on the red light. I currently have a supplemental strip by the window over my D. regia and was recently asked by a concerned block associate just what am I growing there? I really do like T5's but they generate a lot of heat. I have a small 6 tube fitting over my 3ft tank and it gets quite hot, even with cooling. I have read that CFL run cooler but not sure how effective those are? I am expanding my growing area and would be interested to know what everyone uses for their setups. Looking forward to get stuck in again!
  7. I've purchased a 3W full spectrum PAR grow LED and adapted an old halogen desklamp to house it. I intend to try to grow a single Cephalotus under it, which has recently been reported. I will update pictures of growth rates on this thread. The plant will be photographed under white light but will be grown under the grow light. This is the light 1st October 2016 Sent from my LG-H815 using Tapatalk
  8. Here are some quick shots of my hep seedlings. I forgot to turn the leds off so they're a bit pink. here are a few more. Here are a few more, I just got a new point and shoot so I'm fiddling around with it. maybe these came out little better? only thing is this time the fogger was on, gah can't get it just right yet. I guess I have to do it wrong before I do it right. Here is a tiny N. kinabaluensis (N. villosa x N. rajah) despite its size I really like the shape its grown into very shapely for such a small specimen. two seed grown hamata and a small AW macro, among others. N. ramspina N. jamban and N. lowii an old BE N. hamata shadowing three sg eddies N. flava finally starting to look flava like N. vietchii already striping itself out and a complete chamber shot. Here is a cool little rajah, I got it at the same time as the other 4 and its from the same seed pod but its growth is really out pacing the others. thank you for looking. As I figure out how to take better pics and maybe a vid I'll try to improve the photo quality and color.
  9. Hi I am planning to make a small terrarium with artificial lighting with the sole purpose to colour up Drosera intermedia tropicals, in a healthy way. Thus I am studying the various light spectra and purposes of different wavelength colours suitable for plant growth. It is a difficult subject and every grow light manufactures states their product are the best. Most of them use a combination of red and blue light, ratio 7:1. Does anyone have experience with these LED grow lights in relation with Drosera, and particularly Drosera intermedia tropical forms? This is an example of how I want to achieve my red colour, a sort of maroon red (picture not mine) What produces the redness in Drosera? I think it is mainly Antocyanin. So which colour spectra or colour LED combination makes Drosera produce Antocyanin? Some LED manufacturers state that the use of green LED in combination with Red and Blue produces the largest amount of Antocyanin. But scientific articles state that plants in particular cannot use the green wavelength tot heir benefit and thus stay green? I am a little dazzled right now, so want some advice of LED users. Any help is welcome, Youri
  10. Cephalotus grown using LED light with white, deep red, and far red LEDs
  11. Hello everyone, sorry for my english :) I open this topic to share my experiments with LEDs. I made a long study of white LEDs, I discovered that their light is better than the common fluorescent lamps. I Improvements concern the emission spectrum and light intensity. For now, I made a 100-watt ceiling for large terrariums, is also developement 14 watt ceiling by a for small terrariums.. With the experience I have also created a spreadsheet for fluorescent lights and terrariums, is now in the process of setting up a spreadsheet for the LEDs. The following are my creations, the 100-watt ceiling led, this is a very powerful ceiling, suitable for one square meter terrariums. up view with components and electric wiring down view whith led lens ceiling on one meter test half meter test that is all ! Prompt
  12. Hello, this is my first post in this forum, and one of the main reasons I join rather than just stalk all your old answers. I've some experience with carnivorous plants and plants in general, also in bonsai, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that I actually know what I'm doing. And I've none whatsoever with terrariums and artificial lighting. I recently got re-interested in carnivorous plants strongly, and the only way to get plants where I live, with a few exceptions, is by ordering them online. Like living plants have hard regulations and even quarantines times here, I ordered seeds online. So, to the point. I builded a "terrarium" to grow the seeds now, and in the future to keep some of the plants I'll grow there. I used a space that was originally build for a TV, but like I haven't had a TV for over 4 years I thought about giving this empty space a better use. Here is the thing It's very simple, enough to keep the humidity and heat inside I think Here is the thing that is worrying me. It's about 65cm tall, and worried about the amount of light. Right now I've this LED panelin it. This is how it looks: (it's no finished yet) I put some aluminum foil in the walls, and I also redirected the LED spot lights outside to the inside. It doesn't give much extra light, but you can see the plants inside better. So, this is my question, is this enough light to germinate seeds? should I lower the panel? get another one? another source of light maybe? Should I forget about this wretched thing and just germinate them outside? The seeds which I plant to germinate there are the following ones: - Sarracenia seeds (already in the fridge) After their first year or so I'm going to put them outside. - Darlingtonia seeds (also in the fridge) With this ones I wanted to try some inside, and some outside after they grow a bit, I'm worried about the high temperatures in summer. - Heliamphora nutans. Now this ones are important to me. This ones are the ones which I more care about. I only have five of them (in the mail right now) and are really hard to find. I almost bought some plants from wistuba but I didn't have the courage, nor the money to import living plants. Also, this ones are really important because they are the main plant that I think to grow in this "terrarium" once the seedling stage is over. So any advice here would be very very welcome. - Cephalotus seeds (also in the mail and really hard to find) I also only have 5 of them, and cant afford to lose them. -And a bunch of nepenthes seeds (highland and lowland). Now, this maybe was unwise, but I found a seller in eBay who sold me 400 seeds for like 5 dollars, and I couldn't resist. I really don't worry about this ones, I've so many. Nonetheless, I want to give them the best possibly chances of growing. Please, pardon the long post, and any mistake in my english, I had the luck of studying english in London for about a month, but I don't think it was near enough.
  13. Hi there! As I promised in several topics, I´m showing some pics of my terrarium. I grow some Helis, Neps, Cepha and Drosera in there. All plants are growin nicely, and showing a very deep red colouration. I also hace some S purpurea ssp purpurea heterophylla x courtii seedlings in there, but they are barely visible yet. I planning to add some CREE and Luxeon Rebel LEDs (the most efficient in the market) to improve more the ligting while I save electricity, couse I intend to become this terrario in a planted terrario. So plants will be in a slightly lower level. (The big purp partially shown in some pics is only spending the winter there. It was given to me a few weeks ago, actively growing (its a plant from a nursery). So I will link its growing with next spring and do the proper wintering next winter.)