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T8 Lighting Design
I was wondering if someone who has experience with lighting design can
help me out.
I'm building my own canopy for a 75 gallon tank and want to use 32 watt
T8 5000k bulbs along with high output ballasts. I've read a ton of
information from this list and the web and this seems to be the most
cost saving setup.
I'm struggling with the decision to either pack in 6-8 bulbs (192-256
watts) into the 48"x18" space or only use 3-4 bulbs with individual
reflectors. The first option seems to waste a lot of light due to the
amount of restrike from the bulbs being close to each other. Even with
the inside of the hood lined with reflective mylar or painted white,
half the light seems to be wasted.
The second option involves designing and building a inverted "V" shaped
reflector out of reflective mylar for each individual bulb. This seems
to double the amount of light shining down into the tank per bulb. But
because the ideal reflector needs to be 4-6x the width of the bulb, I
only have enough space for 3-4 bulbs.
Do these two options roughly put the same amount of light into the tank?
Will the second option save me bulb costs and electricity? Which is
Thanks in advance!