Light comparison

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Brian20

Guest
What is the bes value for you?

list

1. Spiral fluorecent
2. T-12
3. T-8
4. T-5HO
5. MH
6. Leds

Classify this in best value to worst Value, take in mind spectrum, light ouput, kelvins and heat.
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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1. Spiral fluorecent
2. T-12
3. T-8
4. T-5HO
5. MH
6. Leds

T5's seem to be the best for the goals.
T8's are nice, but more DIY these days and in the past in the USA
T-12's are still okay, cheap
MH's are alright, give nice color and shimmer, but not good on adjusting, spread etc
LED's look terrible IME/IMO. Good light per watt, but.........it will be awhile before DIY/commercial brands make things reasonable.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

R33 GTR

Junior Poster
Oct 3, 2009
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hi tom if you had to chose for a aquarium light and you have 2 options led or T5ho want will you pick it in this case you have a unlimited budget
 

Tom Barr

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Likely still T5's at this point and time.
LED's still need some work and while have really good potential, they must be aesthetically pleasing too.

They are a long way off there for me still.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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Brian20

Guest
Tom If you have this options:

T-12 or Spiral Fluorecent What you choose and why?
 
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Brian20

Guest
why people never makes comments about spiral fluorecent? I know that is a very low budget solution but I have friends that uses this with very good results.
 

R33 GTR

Junior Poster
Oct 3, 2009
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Thats right in Puerto Rico we dont have much light option so we improvise with spiral light jejejeje i know some one that haves i think 6 in a 75 and his HM is growing like weed and is very low
 

Biollante

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Jun 21, 2009
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Spirals

Brian20;42737 said:
why people never makes comments about spiral fluorecent? I know that is a very low budget solution but I have friends that uses this with very good results.

Hi Brian,

Mainly because we do not understand them, we have not had the years of experience or the commercial aquarium lighting types using them.

The T-5’s seem to be the most bang for the buck when used with good reflectors. ;)

Being cheap, I like T-12’s, I tend to build my own or use shop lights. I am now working on designs that allow me specific lighting in different part of the same tank. :)

Given the prices the aquarium lighting people charge, I have found that I can hire sheet metal workers, work with commercial lighting people, to turn out custom fixtures for the same or less than the name manufacturers. :D

Biollante
 
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Brian20

Guest
oh well, My friend and his spiral light make it, maybe the firs prove that spiral fluorecent works. Well the fact is a 27W with 1500 lumens ouput and 6500K with a comercial bulb reflector make it. Only put 3 o 4 of those in your aquarium, and you have agood light and a cheap one. Maybe not the cutiest one.

I use 6 T-12 in my 29G and is working just fine. mi looking for upgrade to T-8, I only need to buy t-8 tubes.

T-5HO works fine but at $250 a fixture plus shipping is still expensive for a lot of people.
 

Biollante

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Jun 21, 2009
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Brian20;42748 said:
oh well, My friend and his spiral light make it, maybe the firs prove that spiral fluorecent works. Well the fact is a 27W with 1500 lumens ouput and 6500K with a comercial bulb reflector make it. Only put 3 o 4 of those in your aquarium, and you have agood light and a cheap one. Maybe not the cutiest one.

I use 6 T-12 in my 29G and is working just fine. mi looking for upgrade to T-8, I only need to buy t-8 tubes.

T-5HO works fine but at $250 a fixture plus shipping is still expensive for a lot of people.

Hi Brian,

I agree it is worth a try, the price of aquarium lighting fixture compared to value is outrageous. :mad:

Hoppy, VaughnH has done a lot of good work with lighting around here. :)

I think the only trick with the spiral bulbs is aiming them straight down. As I understand it any angle from vertical reduces the efficiency of the light delivered. I would assume the better the reflector the better the effective lighting. ;)

Biollante
 
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Brian20

Guest
Yeah, yeah, now 2 or 3 of my friends uses spiral fluorecent lighting, They use a reflector sold in Home Depot and put the spirals in vertical position so i think that the reflector do its job very well. Whit only 4 27W spirals and 4 reflectors to 55G tank you have good lighting capable of do many things. I still use T-12 lighting because here I have a lot of choises of spectrums. I will upgrade it with Hagen t-8 tubes in 2-3 months. So I would have more light without spending a lot.

Spirals for low light aquarium like for fern and mosses this ligh is awesome. Low budget and works.

Tom you know about this? Have a comment?
 

DaBub

Guru Class Expert
Oct 18, 2009
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I am setting up a low tech 20 g and bought 2 inexpensive shop reflectors, they have spring clip things at home depot, I have a bar to hang them from and will use either 13 w or 27w spirals.

What do you think is best? i also have a choice of 3000 k, 5000 k or 6500 k bulbs.

I am going to use worm casting substrate with kitty litter, the clay type.

thanks for any help
 

shoggoth43

Lifetime Charter Member
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Jan 15, 2009
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Not sure on the spirals, but just snagged a T8 shoplight fixture with fairly wide spread on the bulb spacing (~6" or so) and hung it off some rubbermaid shelf supports. Cost was reasonable and the mounting method would let me swap out to a 4 - 6 foot tank and swap out the light later on for a T5 rig instead. So far I've got a LOT more light even with the lamps far off the substrate.

The idea of T5 lighting is actually somewhat daunting having seen the T8s actually. Or at least the idea of more than a couple of tubes of T5s definitely seems like overkill for my application and I can probably get better reflectors for what I have now should I feel the need.

I also had some supplemental lighting in the form of recessed can lights with 9W compact spirals. While perhaps not a high enough wattage for plants, I had downgraded from the 14W or so I had before. With the proper reflector the 14W was blindingly bright so other than reliability, and maybe appearance, I can't see why that's not a viable route. Afterall there's a few people doing algal turf scrubbers using these types of light so they DO work.

-
S
 
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Brian20

Guest
yeah, T-8 have good light, if you buy good tubes you can have a aquascaping with T-8 just put the right number of t-8 and you will have high light.

T-5 HO is more about economical (low electricity consume)
 

Theos

Junior Poster
Oct 15, 2009
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abellm thanks for that link I've been looking for something like that, very interesting. How accurate is it?