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Re: lighting questios...
If glare is a worry (and it would be in your living room), don't even
consider hanging pendants unless you want to hand out sunglasses to your
family and guests. The light is beautiful and plants grow well, but the
suspended "bullet" pendants do make it next to impossible to sit at sofa
level in the same room - the light spill shines right in your eyes. A better
designed enclosed hood might solve that problem however. Keep in mind that
MH ballasts get HOT and quite often emit an annoying hum that can be the
devil to mask. Upgrading/replacing the ballasts will only add to your costs.
CF's are nicer, at least in my opinion - I'm extremely happy with the CF
kits I bought from AH Supply. I have them in a custom made hood so there is
no light spill and the 6500K tubes appear to have a "sparkle" which
approaches the effect of MH (at least they do to my eyes).
Since you are in Canada, the price of MH is going to be astronomical unless
you cobble something together from surplus parts - I paid around $400.00
each (taxes included) for the MH pendants I bought a number of years ago.
$1,200.00 to light an aquarium was a serious investment which I cursed soon
after they were installed. The AH Supply kits were much more reasonable in
price and the biggest investment for the hood was in the time and effort it
took me to build it.