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Sigh, Wonderlites.

On Thu, 3 Jun 1999, Moishe Wasserman wrote (incl. quoting Michael

> > efficiency is lousy! A watt of Wonderlite is NOT equal to a watt of
> > flourescent. There
> > is a tremendous heat loss.  Plus, I bet you're losing a lot of light because
> > I have not found a fixture that holds these bulbs and focus the light into
> > the tank.
> I thought so.  So these wonderlites aren't worth anything really.  Eric
> take note.  Two complaints already.  Sorry but the article on your site
> is misleading.  You only present one view.  Can you please include our
> views on Westron Wonderlites to discourage others from using them?

First off, I don't like to add articles that say "this doesn't work"
without reason.  Michael's reply is definitely useful from the standpoint
of the reflector focusing problem. 

I've never used them myself; the original article there is from two guys
who used them in '92 in '95 (note that Gary Bishop, the first guy,
succesfully used a single bulb over his 35 gallon hex tank), plus the
brochure I got from the company when I considered buying them (which I
converted for *fun* to a page). There's disclaimers at the top that say
it's a manufacturer flyer.

However, all this aside, *I still am confused by your premise*.  Even if
the Wonderlites are less efficient than fluorescent, I doubt they can be
less efficient than incandescent lighting itself (what would be the point
of making them?)... so 160w x 3 of Wonderlite should still put out more
light than than 90 watts x3 incandescent + 60 watts of fluorescent.  In
your first reply, you noted that if you left in only one bulb you got dark
areas at the tank sides, which (I think) means all the light is probably
going into the tank.

Regarding the heat issue, *all* bulbs generate mostly heat.  You just more
than doubled your wattage; I'd expect the heat waste to go up.  There's
another article I clipped from this forum a few years back that basically
states that most of the energy in *any* bulb goes into heat, so whether
this be 160 watts fluorescent, incandescent, etc, only a small percentage
is actually converted into visable light output... just that fluorescent
and gas discharge lamps have four times as much of that small percentage.
Any of the lighting guys have actual numbers for this? 5%? 1%?  0.1%?  
The reason you don't feel it with fluorescent tubes is that it's
distributed across the entire tube rather than in one tiny spot like MH or
MV bulbs.

  - Erik
Erik Olson
erik at thekrib dot com