What Kind Of Light Do Vandas Need: Expert Tell You

Vandas thrive with the right light conditions. Expert advice reveals the importance of adequate lighting and choosing the optimal spectrum for these orchids. Supplementing natural light with artificial lighting and monitoring conditions are key. [Vanda light requirements explained.]

Understanding the Natural Habitat of Vandas

Vandas grow as epiphytes in the tropical jungles of Southeast Asia. They receive abundant, bright and diffused indirect sunlight filtered through the tropical rainforest canopy. Vandas thrive under these conditions due to adaptation to the high humidity and warm temperatures found inrainforests.
More comprehensive information and care guidelines can be read here.

vanda, sun, orange skies under sun
Photo by Julien DI MAJO / Unsplash

The Importance of Providing Adequate Lighting for Vandas

Providing adequate light is essential for the healthy growth and flowering of Vanda orchids. Insufficient light leads to several issues:

  • Weak growth: Without enough light, vandas develop long internodes with soft thin growth. Leaf size may reduce.
  • Drooping leaves: Foliage becomes limp and droopy due to lack of adequate energy from photosynthesis.
  • Reduced flowering: Flowering and blooming depends on accumulation of sufficient carbohydrates through photosynthesis. Insufficient light limits this process.

Vandas require medium to high light levels to: perform photosynthesis efficiently, which provides the energy and nutrients needed for:

  • Vegetative growth of leaves and roots
  • Flower initiation and development

The amount of light required varies based on factors like:

  • Vanda type
  • Hybrid vigor
  • Temperature
  • Humidity

But in general, vandas need 1,500 to 3,000 lux of light for at least 8 to 12 hours daily to ensure:

  • Strong vegetative growth
  • Healthy dark green leaves
  • Profuse and continuous flowering

Without adequate lighting, vandas tend to become increasingly weak over time, resulting in slower growth, fewer flowers and reduced lifespan. Hence, ensuring the optimal light conditions through natural sunlight or artificial lights is important for growing vandas.

vanda, sun, white clouds and blue sky during daytime
Photo by Jonny Clow / Unsplash

Optimal Light Intensity for Vanda Orchids

The optimal light intensity required for growing Vanda orchids ranges from 1,500 to 3,000 lux on the photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) scale. This light intensity range corresponds to:

  • 2,000 to 4,000 foot candles
  • 150 to 300 micromoles per square meter per second

Several factors influence the exact light intensity required within this range:

Vanda Type

  • Hybrids and species with less vigor may need higher light levels up to 3,000 lux.
  • More robust hybrids can tolerate light levels as low as 1,500 lux.


  • Higher temperatures require greater light intensity to provide enough energy for photosynthesis and growth.


  • Higher humidity allows vandas to handle more light intensity without drying out.

Most vandas thrive under medium to high light conditions and can handle direct sunlight for 2 to 4 hours per day. Growers monitor vanda growth and make adjustments to:

  • Increase light levels for:
  • Weak growth
    -Drooping foliage
    -Decreased flowering

  • Decrease light levels for:
    -Leaf burn or fading
    -Excessive upward growth

Maintaining optimal light conditions ensures:

  • Robust vegetative growth
  • Dark green and upright leaves
  • Profuse and continuous flowering all year
  • Longer Vanda lifespan

By understanding the light requirements of their specific Vanda orchidtypes, growers can choose the right combination of natural light placement and artificial lighting supplements to meet those needs.

vanda, sun, body of water during sunrise
Photo by Niko Romo / Unsplash

Choosing the Right Light Spectrum for Vanda Orchids

The light spectrum refers to the distribution of light wavelengths, with different colors corresponding to specific wavelengths.The light spectrum is important as plant growth depends on absorption of specific wavelengths of light.

Vandas benefit from a full-spectrum light source that provides a balanced distribution of:

  • Red light (600–700 nm): Promotes stem elongation, leaf expansion and flowering.

  • Blue light (400–500 nm): Stimulates growth of roots, stems and foliage. Also increases synthesis of pigments like chlorophyll.

  • Green and yellow (500–600 nm): Needed for basic plant processes like transpiration and photosynthesis.

  • UV and far-red light: Plays minor roles in Vanda growth.

Natural sunlight provides the complete visible light spectrum of 400 to 700 nm wavelengths. However, artificial grow lights are increasingly used to supplement natural light levels.The ideal light for vandas should mimic the spectrum of natural sunlight.

Some effective options are:

LED Grow Lights

  • Provide highly controllable full-spectrum light
  • Individual diodes can emit specific wavelengths
  • Help optimize red:blue light ratio

Fluorescent T5/T8 Lights

  • Emit light from both ends of tube for full coverage
  • Available in full-spectrum and special “Vanda” mixes
  • Inexpensive option for supplementary lighting

The spectrum and intensity of artificial lighting must be closely monitored for Vandas:

  • A balanced red:blue ratio around 65:35 to 70:30 promotes balanced growth.
  • Higher intensity lights need more red light compared to blue.
  • Green lights help reduce heat stress under high intensity LEDs.

By choosing the right combination of light spectrum and intensity, growers can optimize environmental conditions for vigour,photosynthesis and flowering of their Vanda orchids.

vanda, sun, silhouette of persons hand during sunset
Photo by Alonso Reyes / Unsplash

Supplementing Natural Light with Artificial Lighting

While natural light is ideal for growing Vanda orchids, many growers supplement it with artificial grow lights to ensure optimal light intensity for blooming and flowering. This is especially important during:

  • Low light seasons
  • Cloudy or rainy periods
    -Low light indoor environments

Supplemental lighting helps overcome insufficient natural light levels to provide Vandas with the:

They require for healthy growth and profuse flowering.

Two of the best options for supplemental Vanda lighting are:

1. LED Grow Lights


  • High efficiency and low heat production
  • Long lifespan of 50,000-100,000 hours
  • Highly customizable spectrum
  • Compact size


  • Higher initial cost

2.Fluorescent T5/T8 Grow Lights


  • Good spectrum for plant growth
  • Inexpensive compared to LEDs
  • Easy availability of replacement tubes


  • Produce more heat
  • Require regular tube replacements

Key considerations for deploying artificial lights for Vandas include:

  • Intensity: 1,500 to 3,000 lux required
  • Duration: 12-16 hours of supplementallighting daily
  • Spectrum: Full spectrum or “Vanda” specific tubes
  • Height: Adjust lights as plant grows
    -Timing: Lights on when natural light is low

Proper deployment and management of artificial grow lights can help achieve:

  • Strong vegetative growth
  • Profuse flowering year-round
  • Healthier orchids
  • Better orchid resilience

Many commercial orchid growers now rely on a combination of natural light and artificial lighting systems to maintain optimum growing conditions for Vanda orchids.

vanda, tree branch, a dead tree branch in the middle of a forest
Photo by David Boozer / Unsplash

Monitoring and Adjusting Light Conditions for Vandas

Regular monitoring of Vanda orchid growth is vital to optimize light conditions and make necessary adjustments to light levels and spectrum. Growers should observe:

  • Growth rate and direction
  • Foliage color and turgor
  • Flowering performance
  • Plant resilience

to determine whether light conditions need adjusting. Signs that indicate:

Insufficient light for Vandas include:

  • Weak growth
  • Drooping foliage
    -Decreased flowering
    -Faded leaf color

To remedy this, growers should:

  • Increase light intensity
  • Extend photoperiod by adding artificial lights
  • Move plants closer to light sources

Excessive light for Vandas results in:

  • Sunburn or photoinhibition of foliage
  • Upward growth habit
  • Leaf tip burn
  • Decreased flower count

To address this, growers should:

  • Decrease light intensity
  • Move plants further from light sources
  • Filterdirect sunlight
  • Reduce photoperiod

Monitoring stomatal conductance and foliage color can also help assess the balance between a Vanda’s photosynthetic needs and transpirational water loss. Higher conductance and darker green color indicate:

-Ideal light levels
-Efficientuse of light energy

Most growers monitor and adjust:

  • Light intensity based on growth
  • Light duration to optimize flowering
  • Light spectrum based on foliage color

By paying close attention to their Vanda’s responses, orchid growers can fine-tune the light environment over time to maximize plant health, longevity and aesthetic appeal.

vanda, tree branch, leafless tree with brown dried leaves
Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel / Unsplash

More Helpful Guide

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top