Growing orchids are most fascinating among growers. One of the most crucial factors is light to grow the Orchids. Lighting factor is still a mystery for growers and become a challenge to them.
To a certain extent orchid plant can defend itself against the harmful sunlight but if the light intensity exceeds then the damage is inevitable. And too little light will stop orchid from growing well and stop flowering.
You can find out whether your plants are receiving the perfect amount of light through its leaves. Always remember the color of the orchid leaves should be in bright green, if the leaves are dark in color then your plants receives insufficient light. If the leaves turn yellowish green or red then they are receiving too much light.
Though orchids can grow naturally outdoors in tropical climates, most of the growers love to grow indoors. Many growers prefer growing in bright windowsills but when they are not able to give them the bright light they use best grow lights for orchids.
Orchids can be categorized into two groups considering in light preferences. First group is low light orchids and second is high light orchids. Paphiopedilum, Oncidum and Phalaenopsis come into the low light groups and Cattleya, Dendrobium and Vanda comes under high light groups.
When you are not able to provide natural light then artificial light makes it possible to grow healthy orchids. Many growers have successfully grown orchids under an ordinary fluorescent lights. To get successful you can use one cool-white fluorescent to one warm white fluorescent bulb. The cool white bulb gives off more blue wavelengths of the visible spectrum of lights which help plants to grow well and the warm white fluorescent bulbs give red end of the spectrum which helps in blooming.
Some growers add one incandescent bulb to enhance the red end of the spectrum, but this type of bulb give off more light it may burn your plants. Make sure you use a light fixture that can be raised, so that when your orchid starts growing tall, the light can be raised according to its growth. This will help your plant from burning.
Before purchasing any bulbs, you should know the best grow lights for orchids. The two most frequently used lamps are metal halide (MH) and high pressure sodium (HPS). But in commercially growing operations, High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights are used to supplement the daylight or to provide the entire spectrum of light which is necessary for photosynthesis.
As far as I know that HPS produce more energy-efficient than MH, and the light it emits is orange-yellow which can distorts the color of the flowers and foliage. MH produces blue light which is ideal for growing orchids and looks pleasing. Once the plant starts to bloom, you can change to HPS, because for blooming they require red end of the spectrum. I provide by changing to High Pressure Sodium bulbs, using the same ballasts.
I have a 12’ x 18’ grow room where I have set 600 Watt Metal Halide lights; each covers 6’x6’ section. While providing light, make sure that you don’t provide light for more than 14 hours a day. With HPS and MH light I have successfully grown awesome orchids. Even you can be a successful orchid grower only if you know how to care for orchids and to provide the best grow lights for orchids.