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Ed Brekke-Kramer wrote:

>Shop lights are cheap and may well be too cheap.  Be careful what you buy.
 There are high high quality shop lights .  But, expensive experience has
taught me that cheap fixtures, cheap ballasts actually, will drive cheap
bulbs only.  Want to drive $30 wide spectrum bulbs?  Don't try it with a
$10 fixture suitable for your garage.  If you're not sure which is which,
call your local electrician.

Yes, of course the flip side of that is that you'll get plenty of light for
a 55G tank out of bulbs available in the $5-6 range if you're running 4 40W
bulbs over the tank.  I guess it depends on how you want to spend your money.

If I want better light and a lower electrical bill, I _still_ use shop
light fixtures, but I swap out the cheap ballast for an electronic ballast
made for running T-8's.  Then I buy energy efficient T-8 bulbs which are
high quality tri-phosphor bulbs and cost about $10 a piece.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Association