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Question
Hello, & greetings from uk. I've been growing my nepenthes all summer in my unheated greenhouse with super results, but with the colder weather I've brought it indoors. However, with the shorter days I fear it's not getting enough sunlight. Do you consider it would be worth purchasing a led grow light. The light in question is a 225 LED Hydroponic Plant Grow Lighting Panel Board Blue & Red Lamp Light.
many thanks
paul

Answer
I don't have any experience using LED lights for carnivorous plants.  For us, it's not very cost-effective given the volume of plants we grow.  We won't recoup any savings in electricity to offset the cost of the lights.  So at this time, I can't comment how effective the lights are until we have an opportunity to use them on test plants.

However, you can give them a try provided that your plant is small.  LED lights lack depth and spread, which means the light intensity diminishes significantly the further away you go from the light.  This poses a serious problem with large plants.  The top of the plant may get sufficient lighting, while the lower portions will essentially get nothing useable.  For large plants, you may need to consider T5 fluorescent tubes or metal halide bulbs.  Of course they too can be expensive and too bright and warm for most homes.  We use these lights in our Nepenthes greenhouse during the winter months with good results.

So the bottom line is your goal regarding your Nepenthes.  If your goal is to produce pitchers throughout the year, regardless of the season, you may need to use stronger lighting than LED lights.  Pitcher production is related to UV intensity, which T5 and metal halide lights provide.  If you're OK with your plant going through the natural cycle of the seasons, then lights are not necessary.  You will simply need to accept that your plant won't produce pitchers during winter.  (Even in tropical climates, Nepenthes sometimes stop producing pitchers in winter.)  However, you can look forward to new pitchers in summer.  


Good growing!
Jacob Farin

Carnivorous Plants

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