anyone give me a heads up as to why the lux on the current fixture is much lower then the orbit at the same exact watt levels? Im no genoius but if you pump the same amount of power into the same bubls the only difference could be the reflector and is the orbit reflector that much better? If not the orbit ballast must be pumping more into the bulbs. I hate to say it but its interesting to also note that the more it costs the "better the specs." Makes me want to say they want you to drop more $$$ on their site. And the actual readings are bogus...
Not to defend them, I have no idea if the readings are correct or not, but this doesn't stand up to logic. The Hagen T5 HO is nearly $100 less than the Coralife 4x65 watt and the bulb replacement cost is nearly one third the cost of the other unit, yet they are saying it has nearly 2000 more lux. Seems counterproductive if their idea is making money off of people by skewing their numbers. It also seems reasonable that on average, you will pay more money for something that provides more light.
For the Current and Coralife fixture comparison, it could be reflectors, it could be ballasts, it could also be different types of bulbs too. As mentioned, lux measures what the human eye sees, and different bulbs produce radiation in different areas of the spectrum, some of which is not visible light but may still be useful. The Current fixture is about $50 more expensive than the Coralife, you would think there would probably be some reason for that.
I agree that getting information from people who are selling you equipment is not the most unbiased method and PAR would be better. If anyone has this information (comparisons of various lighting fixtures on the market) I would be very interested in seeing it. I take everything with a grain of salt, especially if it's coming from someone trying to sell me something. But without a better source of information or the resources to do my own testing, I'm stuck with it, such as it stands.