Orchids, like other plants, need light to thrive. In any location with poor sources of lighting (such as a small apartment or a place without a southern exposure) or in the case of orchids that need extra lighting, you are going to have to look into the possibility of using Orchid Lights.
These lights have been specifically designed for the care of orchids and for the care of other types of tropical plants. Orchid Lights are not the same as regular lightbulbs, they come with a larger variety of lighting capabilities. They have been designed to replicate sunlight, which is better than any lightbulb used in your home. The regular bulbs are limited to a 75-100 watt spectrum. LED grow lights will require more of an upfront cost, possibly significantly more costly, but should last longer and cost less to operate.
Regular lightbulbs may do up to a point, but if you can go for Orchid Lights you definitely ought to do so, because this type of light is going to give you the best results.
Don't let yourself get bogged down by too many technicalities, but to learn what Orchid Lights you need, you must determine what kind of flower you have at hand. Different types of orchids need different amounts of water and different sources of lighting. Things can get even more problematic when you are trying to grow two different orchids using the same light source. Orchid lights are not inexpensive, so be ready to spend as much as $50 in USDs. The cost of a mount may add more to what you need to spend. So know what you expect in advance. This is a good idea.
Orchids for the most part need lights in the blue, red, or far-red spectrum. On the natometer their respective ranges are 440, 660, and 740. The fact is that although most of them need the same type of lighting, they do not need the light to have the same strength. Keep in mind that a Vanda is going to need more lighting than a Paph or most of the typical Phals.
There are other times while your caring for an orchid when extra lighting may be necessary to have at hand. This usually happens in the autumn of the year, which is a time when they need more water than usual as well as more fertilizers and more light. This combination of things is what makes for great growth in orchids. The fall of the year is when orchids get into a kind of overdrive and begin to produce the flowers that blossom with incredible beauty which is precisely what we love them for.
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(price as of Feb 13, 2014)