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Re: [APD] Aquatic-Plants Digest, Vol 44, Issue 18
There seems to be some excitement over a relatively old item in not so new package, namely high output fluorscent on a medium screw-in base (a.k.a. an E26 base). Excitement is good. Although, it shouldn't be surprising that a fluorescent is roughly 5 times more efficient than an incandescent bulb. If the E26 base fluorescents weren't all wrapped up tighlyt, they'd be as much as 7 times more efficent than an incadescent. Given that an incadescent yields about 95-97% of its input energy as heat rather than visible light, there isn't much that isn't more efficient as a light source.
With a CFL/E26 base bulb the heat is concentrated in a smaller area so it can be harder to deal with in some cases; better ventilation is required than with a stretched out bulb -- not more heat, just concentrated in a smaller amount of space -- same as with MHs. But cfls will work fine on planted aquaria, as will any other light source with a reasonably decent spectral out -- GE softwhites, halogens, CFL, T5s, T8s, T12s, MHs, even a carbon arc lamp would work if you could stand the noise and the vapors ;-)
The trick isn't what kind of light source you have; it a matter of putting enough of it on the plants, which isn't too hard to do if you are willing to not try incandescents -- just too much heat to deal with for the amount of light. ;-)
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