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T-8 Light and Ballast Questions
Iím trying to figure out what I need to set up the lights for my tank. Iím
going to try T-8 lights for the first time. I have a few questions before I
go to the light store to buy everything .
1. I know of two bulbs mentioned in the APD often.
I know these are the new energy saving bulbs. Looking in the Pet Warehouse
catalog I noticed Sylvania makes a 36 watt 48Ē T-8 bulb which they say
consumes less wattage, and Zoo Med makes a 32 watt 48Ē T-8 bulb. Are either
of these the energy saving T-8ís like the GE and Philips. Are there any
other bulb options?
2. A second thing I am confused about is the ballast. I think what I have
read suggests getting a ballast with as high ballast factor as possible and
also an electronic instant start ballast. Beyond that Iím not exactly sure
what I am looking for. I do know I will need five 48Ē long bulbs. I think
this means I will need 2 different ballasts. I tried getting on the
Motorola website but couldnít find where the ballast section was.
Could anyone using T-8 bulbs give me a model # of a ballast you would
recommend. I donít want to get a ballast that doesnít work with the lights.
3. As far as the wiring goes is there a primer anywhere on the web for
setting up your own lights? I am concerned about the electrical safety
involved versus just buying a commercial light setup. Maybe Iím making this
out to be harder than it is but I havenít done anything like this. I have
always used the strip lights that come with the tank.
4. I know I will need a reflector. Checking the Krib I saw everything from
using mylar to white paint to aluminum foil. I saw an Aqua Mirror
advertised in the Pet Warehouse catalog which says it is good for both T-8
and T-12 bulbs. In an archived post somone wrote that the best shape for
T-8 reflector was the shape of McDonalds Arch and then putting the light in
the center. This Aqua Mirror is definitely not that shape. Would it still
be better than plain aluminium foil or mylar?
I know these questions may seem simple for some of the experienced folks on
the list but electronic projects have always been scary to me. Hopefully
this project will give me the confidence to put T-8 lights on my other tanks
and get rid of the strip lights for good.
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