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[APD] Re: Some Rules of Thumb re Fluorescent Overdriving

Chuck wrote:

> Except that it's not always possible to fit more tubes over a
> tank, and if you crowd the tubes over a tank, then you loose
> more efficiency due to reflected light, etc.

There is that.  I've tried overdriven fluorescents before and was unhappy with 
the results.  It seems like any system that costs twice as much to run, 
produces more than twice as much waste heat and burns lamps faster probably 
isn't the best solution to the problem.  Depending on what the situation is 
there are alternatives:

1) Just don't do it.  Some people who are overdriving their fluorescents are 
doing it to get more light onto tanks that don't need it.

2) Use more efficient lamps and/or ballasts

3) Use a better light enclosure.

4) Use a better reflector (but does anyone know of a *good* reflector for t8 

5) Use PC lamps.

6) Use linear t5 lamps.

I'm sure there are other options.

Of the options above the first two are probably relevant in most cases and 
easier than overdriving.  Getting more and more light on the subject seems to 
be the current trend.  Some of the light levels I read of people using are 
outlandish and clearly drive aquariums beyond the aquarist's time, experience 
or ability to keep up.  If you really do need more light then a lot of people 
-- particularly people with older setups -- can probably get as much or more 
of an increase from a change in bulbs and ballasts then they can from 
overdriving.  In particular, an efficient bulb (Philips ADV850 for example) 
can pack are big wallop for a t8 lamp.   Just changing to a more efficient 
lamp might get some people a larger increase in light output then they can 
get from overdriving their current lamps.

Roger Miller
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