Intensity: T5s vs. Power Compacts


Junior Poster
Nov 28, 2005
I'm wondering what lighting is more intense, bulb for bulb--T5 fluorescents or power compacts? Can you go by wattage, or does the tube diameter impact the intensity of the light? I'd like to see these matched up, side by side, if anyone knows the answer. The PCs I have seen plug into fixtures as a twin tube, so the comparison would be two T5s vs. a PC twin tube of equal length.



Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
Sacramento, CA
I don't use T5's so my opinion is based on reading a lot about others who do use them. It seems that T5's with good reflectors, one per bulb, produce from 30 to 50% more light intensity per watt than PC's with AH Supply quality reflectors. Part of this is the single bulb per reflector, part is the reflectors being somewhat parabolic, so they reflect more of the light from the back and sides of the bulb to the water, and part seems to be that the bulbs are just brighter to start with. I can stare at a PC bulb, but it is difficult to stare at a T5 bulb.