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Help with experimental lighting

K. D. Ham hamkd at ornl.gov
Tue Jun 11 07:26:29 EST 1996

biotune at uncc.campus.mci.net (Krista Nelson) wrote:
>I am conducting an experiment in which  I need to grow a fescue grass in a
>closed reactor.  The literature says that I need 740 micromoles/sec meter
>squared of photosynthetic lighting.  I have tried a bank of 4 florescent
>lights but only get 131.  I have read   about monochromatic lighting and
>sodium vapor.  Any suggestions about who sells this lighting?  Any other
>lighting suggestions that may be easier/cheaper to try?  I need to measure
>gas exchanges so the lights can not give off much heat.  Any assistance
>would be appreciated .  Thanks
First I would try to find some high intensity flourescent lamps (=bulbs). Phillips 
makes an advantage-X bulb in 5000K and 4100K (and possibly other) color 
temperatures. The intensity is much greater than standard daylight lamps.  Based on 
your previous test, more lamps may still be needed.

If heat wasn't a problem, metal halide would be an option that could easily provide 
the intensity you need. Maybe you could mount the fixture outside the chamber and 
minimize the heat problem. Marine aquarists use this type of bulb to replicate the 
intense tropical sunlight needed to grow corals. 

Any lighting supplier with a decent catalog on hand should be able to discuss your 
options in terms of wattage, intensity, and color temperature. Otherwise, check 
marine aquarium stores for ideas on either flourescent or metal halide lighting. 

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