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Re: Fluorex Lights

Wayne, I'm guessing you haven't seen this light yet, if you see it 'on' you
may feel different about it's value and perhaps use for aquaria. As I noted
on a previous post, some people are in fact using these as a substitute to
MH lights in reef tanks with success (follow the link on my previous post).
Again on the UniQuaria group someone is performing the tests you mentioned
and although we are waiting for the detailed results the person has posted
images of the same tank illuminated by the LOA Fluorex, a 55W CF and plain
light bulb. Believe it or not the Fluorex light outshines a 55W CF, of
course the light is coming from a more compact fixture and bulb design so
shadows using a single bulb are quite pronounced but it does look good. The
color may be higher than rated but still under 10000K. There are also
various photos of the bulb and parts of this light posted there and as you
will see the bulb is considerably larger (including larger thread) than a
normal U shaped CF bulb. LOA sells this as an alternative to MV lamps for
outdoor security purposes so perhaps the accuracy in their values may not be
that important to them for this purpose. So far people who have told me they
are using these lights all have said that their plants/corals are doing good
and they are happy with the light. The replacement lamp is not a 27 or 36
watt bulb, the link on their website would suggest this but I think there is
an error there as the replacement bulbs sold at Home Depot are different and
carry the same specs as the original fixture. The LOA 27 and 36 watt bulbs
can be used directly in a normal light fixture and don't fit the Fluorex
thread. The lumens are not claimed by LOA, they were posted by someone using
these for Hydroponics and people selling these on ebay for similar uses.

We'll wait and see what the exact specs on the bulb are however I would see
it before putting it down too much, I think for the price you're getting a
lot of light and the compact nature of it would allow you to closely pack a
few of these to light up deep tanks with ease or even open tanks from above.
Apparently a similar model exists from the same company with metal reflector
instead of the white reflector but I have not seen it yet.

Giancarlo Podio

--- Original Message ---

I would stay away from those lights. If you want cheap lighting go with a 4
x 32 watt ballast
and overdrive some 2' lamps. Fluorex does not publish any specs. to support
their claims and in fact appear to be telling lies about their products. The
replacement lamp for that fixture is either a 27 or 36 watt lamp. Where 8000
lumens comes into it I don't know. The only 8000 lumen CF is 3' long, 96
watts and made by Panasonic. If you actually do track this fixture down and
buy it I would bet big money you will be disappointed.

There is no way to use a nominal lamp wattage to determine how much light a
fixture will produce. Like many others you are being misled by the watts per
gallon rule. Just because a lamp says it is 65 watts doesn't mean it uses 65
watts and just because it says 8000 lumens doesn't mean the lamp produces
8000 lumens with that particular ballast. On top of that the actual shape of
the fixture has a profound effect on how much light might make it into your
tank. Anyone who wants to know how much light their fixture will produce
must know the ballast factor of the ballast, the fixture efficiency and the
lamp lumens. If you wish to know how much plant usable light will be
produced you have to multiply the lamp lumens by a correction factor which
depends on the actual spectrum of the lamp. There is no other way to do this
without taking some pretty sophisticated light measurements.