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Re: [APD] T5 lights

So a person could take one of the T5 shoplights and rewire new connectors on it to use CF bulbs instead of straight ones, cut the reflector, etc, if you already have the shoplight...

Nick A

Message: 2
Date: Sat, 2 Dec 2006 09:08:02 -0800 (PST)
From: "S. Hieber" <shieber at yahoo_com>
Subject: Re: [APD] T5 lights, opinions on options
To: aquatic plants digest <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>
A 55w PC is esentially a T5 folded in half; a 54w T5 is a 555w PC straightened out -- and in fact both are 5/12" diameter. The electrical diffs are negligible. The performance is the same and generally a ballast that will work on a 54w T5 will work on a 55w PC. The wiring is a bit more of a pain because you have to run wires to both ends of the bulb -- but that's one-time thing with each installation.
The advantage you can get with a T5 is that you can space the tubes farther apart -- with a u-tube, two tubes are always very close together. When you space the tubes farther apart and have just the right reflectors, you get less of the light output striking the other tubes so you have some opportunity to direct more light into the aquarium with a reflector. You'd have to place a straight T5 precisely in an AHS reflector to get optimal effect. Too low in the reflector and too much light will be directed straight downward. Too high and the light will spread unnecessarily.
Of course, top-glass etching, spacing of the bulbs above the tank, reflector design and plant arrangement are going to make more of diff in most cases than tube spacing.
For a long time T5s have meant a more expensive investment than opting for u-tubes. 
If they don't cost any more, there's no reason not to use T5s instead of PCs. Otherwise, you're unlikely to get much benefit out of the extra bucks you spend.
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