"New" Compact Fluorescents
Compact Fluorescents are great... They last forever and are
very intense. However, I think you got ripped off if you are talking
about the same fixture that I think you are talking about. They are
not new either, a lot of reef keepers have been using them for a
long time and there are a large variety of sizes and wattages. In
Europe I have seem them lighting entire buildings. And, in some of
the buildings here on Emory's campus, they and gas discharge make up
a large portion of the lighting.
Let me tell you how I made a CF setup for a 20gal for much less
than $110. I took an old sh**ty incandescent hood and screwed in
two CF adapters that I got a Home Depot for about 10 bucks each. I
threw away the 3500K bulbs that came with these Phillips adapters.
Then I went and bought the 5000K bulbs (or 7000K if you want) from a
mail order place for about 6 bucks each. 32 Dollars spent and I have
18W of CF on the 20 gallon. And, considering that they put out the
intensity of a MH, that is plenty of light for a reasonable plant
tank. And, conveniently enough, this old sh**ty light strip still
fits onto my tank cover instead of having these
difficult-to-work-with and difficult-to-mount "mini-fixtures."
P.S. I am typing this note from my desk that is lit by a 27W CF that
is screwed into a regular incandescent clip-on desklight fixture. It
is almost enough light for my whole dorm. As a matter of fact, I
have it pointed at the wall so that the light diffuses and does not
hurt my eyes.