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RE: Power Compacts vs. VHO's

"The electricity in my apartment building can be erratic at times with power
failures lasting 1 to 5 minutes not uncommon, so I fear trying metal halides
would result in a disaster.  The two next best options seem to be either 4
96-watt power compacts or 4 110-watt Icecap VHO's.   Does anybody have any
thoughts, suggestions or experiences on which option(s) might be the better
way to go?"

I have the AH 3x96 compact fluorescents on my tank, and I am very happy with
that setup. My prior experience with Icecap was with their MH electronic
ballast. It was very sensitive to power supply fluctuations and caused a
noticeable flicker. In all fairness, this was an early generation ballast
and it is my understanding that they have improved. It is also my
understanding that compact fluorescents can deliver more light downward,
with a properly designed reflector, than equivalent wattage VHOs because the
smaller diameter bulb blocks less of the reflected light. Makes sense I
guess, but could also be marketing hype.

Austin, Texas