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Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #1117

>Date: Thu, 4 Dec 1997 10:12:54 -0600
>From: "Harold G. Walters" <hgwalters at halnet_com>
>Subject: Lighting Info
>With the recent questions about low cost lighting, I though this would be
>Since I have recently completed building a DIY hood and used T8's with
>an electronic ballast, I have aquired some understanding of lighting
>First some general resources
>1) FAQ: Aquatic Plant Q&A -
>2) The Lighting section of KRIB -
>3) Grainger Catalog under Lighting
>All major lighting manufacturers have web pages of some sort, although
>you may have to dig to find the right information. The Philips pages
>have the most detailed information.
>Philips - www.philips.com
>Philips literature page -
>P5277 Electronic Ballasts Catalog
>P3007 TL70 Series Flourescent Lamps
>P3008 TL80 Series Flourescent Lamps
>GE - www.ge.com
>Lighting Color - http://www.ge.com/lighting/business/quality.htm
>Products Page - http://www.ge.com/lighting/business/products/index.htm
>SP/SPX Series - http://www.ge.com/lighting/business/products/spspx.htm
>Electronic Ballasts -
>Sylvania - www.sylvania.com
>Sylvania Industrial/Commercial -
>OCTRON T8 Lamps - http://www.sylvania.com/ic/products/t8.htm
>QUICKTRONIC Ballasts - http://www.sylvania.com/ic/products/qtt8.htm
>General Info
>- ------------
>Since the Plant FAQ covers things in general, I am going to talk
>primarily about standard output four bulb electronic ballasts and energy
>efficient T8 four foot 5000K bulbs, since that is what I used. The only
>economic bulb length is really 4 ft, most of the others are more
>expensive.  Of course if your tank is not >= 4 ft long, then you will
>need other solutions.  There are also other considerations such as color
>temperature and CRI for your situation. There are any number of reasons
>to go with a common type of bulb, but the biggest ones are cost and
>availability. Since the goverment passed the Energy Policy Act which
>mandated that starting in April 1994 many common bulb types could not be
>manufactured or imported into the US, the major manufacturers have all
>been pushing energy efficient T8 bulbs.
>- -----
>The bulbs themselves are often called "lamps" and the end caps are often
>called "lampholders" or "sockets".  Every bulb has generic type code and
>one specific to a manufacturer.  If a length is not specified, most
>often it means 4' lamps. The code F32T8 means
>F - fluorescent
>32 - watts
>T8 - number of eights of an inch in diameter, T8 is 8/8 or 1"
>I don't know much about the pin configuration code other than the
>standard medium two pin T12 and T8 bulb is called G13. Every
>manufacturer has their own way of describing bulbs but it generally
>includes F32T8 and a model and color number.  I priced most of the
>following bulbs at about $3.50 each.  Most of these are rated at about
>20,000 hrs and I feel confident that I can get at least 1 year
>(3650 hrs) of good light output from them.
>Philips - F32T8/TL850
>GE - F32T8/SPX50
>Sylvania - FO32T8 OCTRON 5000K
>- --------
>I priced the four bulb, 120 volt, 32 watt, instant start, electronic
>ballasts at about $25 to $30.  It was interesting to note that the 2, 3,
>and 4 bulb ballasts were approximately the same price.
>Sylvania QUICKTRONIC QT-4X32/120IS 
>Lampholders/End Caps
>- --------------------
>You could get by with standard lampholders if you are willing to replace
>them when they corrode.  I priced them at $2/pair.  Or you can spend
>some money and get water resistant end caps mail order at about
>Coralife T8 Endcaps w Clips   AF936
>Material Costs
>- -----------------------------
>Homemade hood -           $50
>Electronic Ballast -      $30
>4 Bulbs -                 $14
>4 Pr End Caps w 8 clips - $40
>Aluminum Foil Reflector
>- -----------------------------
>Total                    $134
>- ----------
>I fit four bulbs with endcaps into a 8 inch wide by 48 3/8 inch long space
>in my
>hood (inner dimensions).
>- -------
>I put this over a 55 gal tank, which is about 2.3 watts/gal 10 hrs/day
>and plant growth has been tremendous.  I have a vericulite/gravel
>substrate, DIY CO2 injection, and fertilize with PMDD. Many of the
>plants have gotten a red pigmentation to protect themselves from light. 
>I think I could have gotten by with less light.
>Where to buy
>- ------------
>Look in the yellow pages for a metropolitan area under Lighting. 
>Pick out 2 or 3 vendors that look like they offer a wide selection of
>bulbs and ballasts.  Call and ask about fluorescent bulbs and electronic
>ballasts.  Tell them what you want. I bought mine from the store that
>had everything I wanted in stock.
>Harold G. Walters
>hgwalters at halnet_com