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Re: Light bulb advice

On Sun, 15 Oct 2000, zxcvbob wrote:

> Don't be disrespecting T8 lamps.  They *are* more efficient than
> compact T5's; typical T8's with "80" series phosphors are about 95
> lumens per watt, and some go as high as 105 lpw.  T5 compact
> fluorescents approach 90 lpw, but I've never seen any that were rated
> higher than 86 lpw.  40W compacts are rated 20000 hrs, but most other
> wattages are rated 12000 - 16000 hours (still pretty damn good).  T8
> lamps are rated 20000 hours, and some are rated 22000+.  T5's are
> brighter because they have less surface area than T8's.  T8's are a
> lot cheaper, and last marginally longer.
> I use T5 compact fluorescents for aquarium lighting because I want to
> pack lots of light into small space, and because my aquariums are all
> less than 4 feet long. I use T8 lamps for general lighting because
> they are cheaper and more efficient.  If I had a 4 foot tank, I would
> try very hard to use T8 lights.  I think 2 F32T8-SPX50 (or the Philips
> equivalent that is a little brighter) lamps with a Motorola high light
> ballast and a decent reflector ought to be plenty of light for a 55
> gallon tank.

Thank you Bob, for replying what I wanted to say, but better.

There are lots of reasons T-8's are "better" than CF's.  I still
use T-8's because I DON'T want too much light over most of my tanks.  We
keep a rack of 25 aquaria in our basement, and with the exception of one
or two, all are 1-2 wpg "low-tech" species habitats. I keep 1-2 tubes
mounted in inverted rain gutters over the tanks and suspended a few inches
above the hoods (not resting directly on them), so no temperature problems

Also, a 4' tube is $3.  The ballast is $20 for 4 tubes (c.f. CF's, which
are at a minimum $12 per tube, even at a commercial supply.  The ballasts
are a bit pricier too).  If I were to refit all my tanks with CF lighting,
I'd be out a ticket to Chattanooga in yearly bulb replacement alone!

If/when I do another high-tech tank, I probably will go CF for that.  In
fact, I've got a 2x36 watt setup standing by for a nice cylindrical tank I
have... one of these days.

  - Erik

Erik Olson
erik at thekrib dot com