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Re: Corallife bulbs

> Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 01:24:23 -0500 (EST)
> From: IDMiamiBob at aol_com
> Everyone wants me to try something called a "Corallife Trichromatic".
> Anyone ever heard of it?  Is it equivilent to a Triton?  

They are not equivalent to Tritons; different color and not as bright.
They have about the same color as PennPlax Ultra Tri-Lux (6500K) but,
again, aren't as bright.  In one test, the relative intensity of a
Trichromatic was 5400 Lux and the Ultra Tri-Lux was 7300 Lux.  

Also, don't even think about getting a Trichromatic with the "built in
reflector" because the reflector as no effect in any application where
an external reflector is used. Here's an old post that describes the
unscientific experiment:

===== Old Posting =======

I've collected more light data that should be of interest to folks
plannng on buying new flourescent bulbs.

We had a discussion some time ago about the possible effectiveness of
bulbs with built-in reflectors.  I had a chance to directly compare
the same bulb with and without a built-in ("built-on" in this case :-)

We have a month-old Coralife Trichromatic bulb with their version of a
reflector (a piece of silver tape attached to the outside).  We just
got two Trichromatics without reflectors.  I assume the bulbs
themselves are the same and Coralife adds the tape and charges $3
extra.  Before installing them, we set them up in a spare shoplight to
see what the differences might be.  We also compared them to a 1 year
old PennPlax Ultra Trilux.

For the first test, a bulb was put in the Sears magnetic ballast
shoplight with a Triton bulb in the other half.  Both the Triton AND
the reflector were covered with a black cloth to eliminate any
external reflections and light.  Two lux measurements were made.  The
first was done 3" from the bulb with the meter supported by a piece of
2 1/2" dia. PVC pipe.  This is like a "spot" measurement and should
show the intensity coming from the surface of the bulb, i.e., like
from a single spot not including integration over the length.  The
second test was done 12" from the bulb and should be indicative of the
light reaching the middle layers of the water, including the light
summation from the whole bulb (more light at the middle than the
ends).  All values are in Lux (lumens per square meter).

                                     3"            12"

Trichromatic with reflector         5400          1060

Trichromatic without reflector #1   5300          1100

Trichromatic without reflector #2   5400          1160

Ultra Trilux                        7300          1480

These results indicate that the Coralife concept of a reflector
(silver tape on the outside of the tube) doesn't do anything for bulb
intensity.  It also shows that the Trilux is much brighter than the
Coralife bulbs.  They both appear to be the same color.  Coralife
claims a "6500K" color temperature; I measured 6150K to 6750K for
the TriLux bulbs in a previous test.

For the second test, just the Triton bulb was covered by the black
cloth.  This allowed the shoplight reflector (white paint or a white
coating) to work sort of normally.  Since the other bulb was covered,
a little under half of the reflector was "out of service".  I would
expect higher measured values with a complete reflector, except in the
case of the bulb with a built-on reflector.  (The first measurements 
are in parenthesis for comparison). 

                                     3"              12"

Trichromatic with reflector         5600  (5400)    1400  (1060)

Trichromatic without reflector #1   7900  (5300)    1900  (1100)

Trichromatic without reflector #2   7500  (5400)    1820  (1160)

Ultra Trilux                       10800  (7300)    2820  (1480)

As I expected, the bulb with a built-on reflector did poorly here,
since the bulb's reflector prevented most fo the light from getting to
the fixture reflector (the bulb refector covered 1/2 the bulb; some
"side light" did get to the fixture reflector increasing the overall
intensity a little).

Bottom line: the Coralife "reflector" does nothing for bulb intensity
and actually cuts the available light if used in a fixture with a
reflector.  I see no reason whatsoever for paying extra for a bulb
with a built-on reflector.  I see no reason to get the Coralife bulb
instead of the Trilux, except perhaps for availability and cost.

Some time ago, using a different setup, I measured a Rainbow Lifeguard
"BioLume" bulb with a built-IN reflector and was also unimpressed.
The Biolume measured 4600 Lux and a group of TriLux bulbs measured
6700 to 7800 Lux (old to new bulbs).

===== End of Old Posting =======

> Does anyone know a web-store where I can order Tritons for my tanks?


Tritons and PennPlax bulbs can also be purchased from Mail Order Pet
Shop.  BTW, The Coralife bulbs are cheaper than the others, if that's
a concern. 

George Booth in Ft. Collins, Colorado (booth at fii_com)
Need Info?  http://www.frii.com/~booth/AquaticConcepts.htm