Mushrooms need little light to fruit. A large range of light sources can be used. Indirect lighting from a window will work. You don’t want direct light from the sun or a high watt grow light. I enjoy the results of a 6500Kelvin LED. I have had the strips and bars and they all do well. Fluorescent and compact fluorescent bulbs will work too. Preferably, 100-125 watt, 900 lumens.
When using indirect sunlight, the light cycle will produce mushrooms any time of the year, as long as the temperatures and humidity are on point. I recommend running a timer set to 12 hours lights on/12 hours lights off with artificial lighting.
Δ Fresh Air Exchange (FAE) Δ
Mushrooms take in oxygen and put out Co2. Frequent FAE is important to avoid contamination. Contaminates love stale air with high Co2, especially if the totes are too hot or too humid. I do not start FAE until I see pins forming. Once you see pins, the most common way to FAE The Personal Fable is to open the lid and fan with the lid for 30 seconds. You should do this once or twice a day, no more.I have gone the first flush without opening the tote once for FAE.
The lids to the totes are not airtight and will let FAE happen without removing the lid or needing holes in the tote. If you go fanning with the lid off in a dirty area, that could raise the risk of contamination. Sometimes less touching is better. I have harvested the first flush and never opened the tote once.
ɸ Misting ɸ
I only mist when I do not see condensation on the tote walls and lid. You shouldn’t mist the mycelium or fruit bodies directly. You should see thousands of tiny droplets on top of the substrate, on the tote walls, and lid on the 1st flush. You should not need to mist much if your substrate is rehydrated properly on the 2nd and 3rd flushes.
Ж Humidity Ж
Humidity should be around 90%RH to see mycelium show pinning (the tiny bowling ball start of a mushroom is the fruit body). Pins form when you have the perfect micro climate of moisture evaporating. You can use a hydrometer to measure humidity but one is not necessary. You can measure the humidity by looking at the water condensing on the inside the tote walls, lid, and substrate. You want thousands of super tiny fine mist droplets all over the top of the substrate. The droplets evaporate which become pins then mushrooms. If you don’t have droplets everywhere then you will need to lightly mist to get the humidity up. The first flush I will NOT need to mist. The tote should have plenty of condensation. I will mist the tote walls and lid if I don’t see condensation on flush 2 and 3. If you rehydrate the substrate well, you will not need to mist much at all.
‡ Temperature ‡
As for the fruiting temperature ranges, most mushrooms will produce fruits between 72F-80F. PART 1 of the kit, after you inoculate the jar, I have the jar sitting in the tote in the dark around 70F-78F. PART 2 of the kit, the tote will be in the dark around 70F-78F for 10 to 14 days. Once the substrate is colonized, Time for Part 3! You go into the light and start fruiting. I set my fruiting temperature around 70F-78F. Anything over 82F at anytime is bad. That’s your danger zone. My rooms will swing from 68F to 70F for the low at nights and during the day is 75F to 77F for the high. Consistently being at 68F can slow the growth down and consistently at 80F can cause the mycelium to stall out or dry the grains out.