Re: Questions on fluorescent lights

I'll take the easy questions. Since I don't know the specs on IceCaps, I
can't comment.

>3) Currently the new T-8 high efficiency tubes (particularly for
>full-spectrum outputs in the 36" size), are not easy to find at the retail
>level. Can the new high efficiency ballasts drive normal fluorescent tubes?
>Is it reasonable to expect that they will become more easily available in
>the near future?

T-8 lamps are easy to find in commercial lighting stores, Grainger, etc.
They are not at the retail level. Any fluorescent lamp in 4-foot or 8-foot
length is easier to find than the others because those are the standard
lengths for commercial use. This is something to think about when planning
our next tanks ... as I found out after buying a 3-foot 40-gallon.

There are electronic ballasts for T12s and T8s, if that's what you mean by
"high efficiency ballasts."

>5) On a by-lumen basis, are there data available comparing the efficiency of
>an IceCap VHO versus the new T-8 tubes?

Yes. And there's no comparison. T8s win hands-down. The efficacy of VHO
lamps (lumens per watt) is comparable to incandescent lamps. They're not
energy "efficient" at all.

Greg. Tong
San Francisco, CA, USA
gtong at sirius_com

"Every infinity is composed of only two halves."