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Re: Lighting

Biplane10 at aol_com wrote:

> Ivo posted a url for JBJ the other day and I checked it out.They seem to be a
> bit more expensive than the units that CSL, Perfecto, or Oceanic make. Had a

Yes, they are a bit more expensive. But if you compare oranges with oranges,
they aren't overpriced. I was particularly eyeing the Formosa double strip 
55 X 4 Watt 48" model, since I am DIYing something similar. It is all-aluminum 
construction, has a specular reflector with at least one side shaped 
(apparently) like a paraboloid, has dual cooling fans and switches, for $293
in the all-daylight version. The same lighting power from Oceanic/AllGlass or
CSL units, would require two strips at about $130 apiece. They have however
ABS cases, no cooling fans and a flat reflector. And perhaps a larger footprint.
Just the cost of two decent fans would make up for the difference in price. 
It seems to me that all things considered, the Formosa model is an excellent 
value (no relationship with the company !)

> I've considering using the guts of my existing striplights and making a
> decent fixture with a better reflector. For example, if I used the 4 20 watts
> placed out evenly over the tank, with better reflector(s), would that be
> significantly better? Or would I be better off substituting a 55 w PCF for
> one of the double strips giving me 55 w and 2 20 NO, for example, on the 29.

IME, I would say that you get more light if you space the bulbs farther apart 
and install them inside a plain, white-painted box. I used to have a Perfecto 
double strip light with two 3' 30 Watt T10 (!) bulbs. It had a white enameled
metal reflector, but the bulbs where placed so close together that when I 
replaced them with two T12s, they actually touched each other. My (still on 
duty) Perfecto single bulb 30 Watt 3' strip has a specular flat reflector. 
In both cases, the bulbs practically hide the entire reflector surface, so 
what is the point in having a reflector ? The reflector must be seen from the
outside, otherwise it is just not performing its duty. How is the reflector
geometry in your strip lights ? Can you see a large area of the reflectors
when the bulbs are in place ? Or just a tiny strip at the edges ?

Spacing the bulbs farther apart would add the benefit of lower running 
temperature, which may increase the bulb brightness significantly.

- Ivo Busko
  Baltimore, MD