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Re: PC vs standard flourescents.

Bob Dixon sez:
> So, if these things are more efficient than standard flourescents, how much 
>  PC do I need to get the equivelent of 160 watts of standards?  Are they 
>  available in different color temps?  Any advice?

PC lamps are not more efficient than normal fluorescents. The long tube ones 
are about the same as linear lamps, and the short tube ones are not very 
efficient.  The most efficient fluorescent lamps that I am aware of are 4 or 
5 foot long T8 lamps with "800" series phosphors.  If you have a 4 foot long 
tank you should seriously consider using 5000K F32T8 lamps and an electronic 
ballast intended for general lighting.  I would try using a 4 lamp 
instant-start ballast that is capable of driving 3 lamps to a high ballast 
factor (like 1.1).  Then use 3 Philips "Ultralume Advantage 850" (I think 
that's the right name) lamps.  They give you 100 lumens per watt.  Equivalent 
PC lamps with the same phosphors would give you about 86 lumens/watt.

You also might build a hood that uses four 39W PC lamps (22" long with 2G11 
base) and operate it with a 4 lamp F32T8 electronic ballast.  The lamps would 
cost more that 4' linear lamps, but you could get a lot of light in the 
equivalent space as two F40T12 lamps.

regards, bob