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I have check on a few questions I (and others)had on QTL's(Quartz Track
lighting ).
First they are 1/3 less lumens per watt according to theory compared to
standard FL's.
This is why I am perplexed at my observational data . I've found
they(QTL's) to grow plants of many varieties at much faster rates . I
have 80w of FL's on and 150w of QTL's on the same tanks. The lumens
should be 2400 for QTL's and aleast 6000+ for the FL's yet the rates are
slower for FL's.

I will be setting up a 55gal tank with 2 feet of QTL's and 2 feet of
FL's on each side .Fast growing plants will be used for this experiment
as they will give faster data .The tank will have the same
chemistry,temp,light duration etc. being all in the same tank except for
each 1/2 of the lighting.
The plant type,density and number of differing species will have an
effect on the tank though.
Every test run will be slightly different due to this issue . I suppose
since everyone has different plants
,densities, and so on, I'll just have to "try to" balance plant density
and fully plant the tank .
       As many a veteran plant tank keeper knows , many plants don't
grow well together and some grow great together. Any suggestions on this
one ?
      The bulbs(QTL's) I have been using have protective glass and are
3500k in temp but appear to the eye as very white light. Many other
bulbs appeared very yellow or red(Yuck!).These bulbs are available in
14,30,40,and 55 degree beam spreads and 20-75 wattage's .As far as luck
with getting one bulb burn out in almost 4 years .... well I have 15
bulbs (quite a large number) and perhaps I am lucky but I haven't been
so lucky with MH's nor FL's.
The rated life for the bulbs I use is 6000hrs and I've had them for
about 13000 hrs+ . They still grow
plants .
At 9$ each , bulb cost,replacement life,etc  should be factored in also
to the cost factor . Flexibility and looks was a big concern also and
ease of maintenance . The MH track system would be ideal with an
electronic ballast but it cost you and bulbs aren't that cheap for
special track set ups(they aren't "cheap " in any set up but I do like
them and am not "bashing" here). I do maintenance on  such a tank with
the MH's track lights . The set  up was not cheap . 300$ bulb change
every 18 months ! I don't mind the extra 8$ a month I spend on
electricity for the same sized tank (90 gal).
I'm using watts @ 0.1$ a kw  and assuming 1/3 less lumens per watt.
An electrician who installed the light said electrical usage isn't so
simple due the transformers in both systems .Is he correct ?
       Well, I'll be testing the 55 gal with MV's (24$  for 175watts and
3-5 year bulb life ) which are "efficient" . It seems these have much
potential in many areas of concern to plant keepers .Probably  the
hardest thing with these MV's is finding a nice looking ,cool hood
/pendant set up . I've heard much in the way of theory and I appreciate
all criticism .What of practical application ? This will be be different
for each individual ? I'm finding that these lights(QTL's) do use more
electricity in theory
 but I'd like more data to reach a final conclusion and to investigate
some of these unknowns.Electrical usage is just "one" consideration .
There are many more considerations to be looked at . Thanks , and I'll
keep folks updated on this project.
 Didn't Mike Trz(spelling?) used incadescents for his tanks I read
somewhere (Mike owns  Delaware Aquatic Imports )?
Tom Barr