Cattleya are the orchid that comes to mind when anyone says orchid.
For decades they have been the corsage orchid pined to the prom dress of every girl.
The technical definition is that they have two petals, three septals and a lip.
Cattleya can come in any color or size and from small one inch flowers to the more familiar 5-6 inch flowers. They can be solid colors or multi-color or spotted.
Cattleya take medium to high light levels. The light level is what is needed by the plant to set flower buds. It will grow in lower light but not necessarily flower in lower light.
Medium to high light level is 3500 foot candles. Noon summer sun is around 10-11,000 foot candles. Plants should be protected from full sun in the afternoons. Light meters can be purchased for about $40 and are highly recommended.
Cattleya in the wild grow on tree branches with their roots exposed. The roots then dry quickly. When we grow them in pots it is still necessary for the roots to totally dry between watering. Water the plants very heavily so the water can soak into the roots and then do not water again until the plant is totally dry.