Re: Radionics tubes. 4' (2) 20 watt reflectors
In our area most of the standard 4' light strips contain two 20watt
radionics tubes. In trying to make a buck the suppliers have outdone
themselves on this one. Cost of replacing 20 watt bulb is about the same
as a 40 watt so this fixture will cost 2x for bulb and starter replacement.
In asking around I understand reason for two 20 watts is the tiny balast
can be incorporated into the hood and the entire system costs a little
less for the manufacturer than a singe 40 watt fixture. So he saves a
buck and we end up paying potentially hundreds over the life of the system.
If that weren't bad enough they molded a tiny 45 degree plastic web on
each side of the light socket (on each end). This is why the larger
less expensive 20 watt bulbs can not be used. I cut these away with a
pair of electrician pliers and now use standard diameter 20 watt bulbs.
In the long haul I would recommend getting rid of the cheap 4' fixture
and replace it with one of the two 4' bulb units available mail order
for about $80. They give much more light and replacemnt bulbs are about
half as much for a K-Mart plant bulb (GE plant & aquarium F40PL/AQ wide
spectrum cost $4.97 + tax). I was paying about $10 for the 20 watt jobs.
This is just another example of how a little knowledge can save a few bucks.
from Earle in northern lower Michigan where coral once grew.