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Re: T8 lamp confusion
Thanks for this post. I learned this the hard way a few years ago. Very
informative for those thinking about a change to T8's which in my opinion is
the best way to go for most common size tanks.
> Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002 05:48:54 -0400
> From: "Wayne Jones" <w.jones at sympatico_ca>
> Subject: T8 lamp confusion
> When someone uses the term T8 they must be careful to include the wattage
> and the length of the lamp. Without that information the T8 designation has
> very little meaning. T8 only refers to the lamp diameter. There are two
> basic types of T8 lamps: those that run at a nominal 265 mA current and
> those that run at a nominal 430 mA current. The two types of lamps require
> different ballasts and the lamps are not interchangeable. 265 mA lamps must
> use electronic ballasts. 430 mA lamps may use either electronic or magnetic
> ballasts. Further confusion results from the fact that the same 430 mA
> are sometimes labeled with different wattages. In Europe, for instance, a
> watt 4' T8 is labeled 36 watts. Same rose but different name. Some of those
> 36 watt labeled lamps are sold in N.A. as well.
> For the record, the list of 430 mA lamps in 2', 3', 4' and 5' lengths (with
> the European wattages in brackets) is: 20 watt (18 watt), 30 watt, 40 watt
> (36 watt) and (58 watt). The 2', 3' and 4' lamps labeled 20, 30 and 40 watt
> are available in either T8 or T12 diameters and they all use the 430 mA
> magnetic or 430 mA electronic ballast.
> The list of 265 mA lamps in 2', 3', 4' and 5' lengths is: 17 watt, 25 watt,
> 32 watt and 40 watt. These lamps require a 265 mA electronic ballast. These
> lamps are not available in the T12 lamp diameter.
> I know this is very confusing and it is not something the average consumer
> needs or wants to know. The bottom line, however, is that the lamp length
> and wattage are required for anyone to know what type of ballast you have
> what sort of lamp you are trying to find.
> BTW I believe that the only reason that specialty T8 lamps are expensive is
> because in N.A. they require special labeling. Millions of T8 lamps labeled
> 36 watts are made every year but probably only thousands of T8 lamps
> 40 watts are made each year. Since the 40 watt lamps are rare, they are
> likely to cost more even though they are the same lamp. That's one of the
> reasons why Hagen gets away with relabeling a $2 36 watt WW lamp and
> repricing it at $20.
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