Wlcome, Shop lights and T-8's

> From: Stephen Cheng <cheng at std_net>
> Date: Sat, 10 Feb 1996 16:04:53 -0500
> Subject: aquatic plants
> I am very interested in aquatic plants.
> Lot of frustration.
> Would like to be on the mailing lists.
> Would like to learn more from experienced individuals.

Well, you're here.  Welcome!  There are lots of people here who 
can help you get over your frustration!


Subject: RE: Shop Lights

> <snip>
> > I use a lot of shop lights.  I have found that the cheapest on
> > (the $10 or less variety) do wear out bulbs much too fast.  Yo
> > can get better ones for about $30 though, that have a better 
> > reflector, are a little more "finished" looking and less flims
> > These seem to be equivalent to aquarium strip lights, hold two
> > bulbs, and are _much_ less expensive.  That said, these days, 
> > replace _all_ ballasts with electronic ballasts and use T-8 SP
> > bulbs.  
> I have been using some of the $7 dual light strips as well as th
> more expensive $15 dual 4' light fixtures; however, I have not b
> real happy with my results todate. 

I would count the $15 variety along with the cheaper ones.  There 
are better ones around.

>Exactly what ballasts have you been using and what T8 bulbs?  

In the past, the ones I've used are Magnatek's.  I can't get the 
serial# off them without disassmbling my lights, sorry.  The 
newest ones I have, (supplied to me by the same specialist in 
energy efficient fluorescent lighting, so I'm sure they are 
comparable) are Advanced Electronic Ballast REL-2P32-RH-TP.  
(these are for 2 bulb ballasts, but they are also available for up 
to 4 bulbs)

> I received a GRAINGER catalog rec
> and was overwhelmed by the number of ballast choices. The only T
> Philips bulb they list that has a Color Temp of 5000K is the fol
> 	Bulb: F32T8/TL850 (Philips)
> 	Temp: 5000K
> 	Life: 20000 Hrs
> 	Lumens: 2950 (init)
> 	CRI: 85
> 	Price: $4.64
> The Ultralumes I am currently using spec out as:
> 	Bulb: F40/50U (Philips)
> 	Temp: 5000K
> 	Life: 20000 Hrs
> 	Lumens: 3280 (init)
> 	CRI: 85
> 	Price: $10.02
> Looks to me that changing to the T8's would cut some lumens, but
> much. Will the T8's fit the existing T12 fixtures with only a ba
> change ? 

You might want to check lumen depreciation and see how fast the 
ultralumes fall off.  The T8's have a _very_ low rate of lumen 
drop off. (they drop only 20% over their entire life)  Also, in 
addition to the much lower cost per bulb, you will see significant 
energy savings if you run a number of tanks.

Just for your information, the comparable GE bulb is the SPX-50.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA