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Thread: Lighting upgrade question

  1. #1
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    Post Lighting upgrade question

    Hi guys,

    After pondering about the issue for about 2 years now, I have finally decided to step up and upgrade my lighting.

    Currently I am using a 4' T5 system (4 bulb: 54watts/bulb) (20000 lumens) + 4' T8 (2 bulbs) to light my two WxLxH (2' x 2' x 3') tanks.

    The upgrade options are as follows:

    1) Get a 4' T5 system (6 tube: 54watts/bulb) : 30000 lumens. Use that as a single fixture on the tanks. approx 225$ with bulbs.

    2) Get two 200 watt 6400K Sunblaster CFL. One for each tank. Average lumen output per bulb is 15000 lumens. (http://sunblasterlighting.com/125-200-watt-cfl-lamp.php) 150$/bulb setup with fixture

    The purpose is to get good colour in my plants without cooking them. I thought about it and MH and HPS lights are just unfeasable to keep temperatures down. The plants are raised about 1' from the bottom by trays, pots whatever.

    What do u guys think is a better upgrade? Which one might offer a more bang for the buck and not just an incremental upgrade over my current system?

    thanks,

    Varun

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    31drew31's Avatar
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    Hey Varun, I dont have as much experience as some others, but thought Id give you my opinions as I have tried both.

    The cfl I was using was their 125W bulb, so not quite the same intensity as the 200W you are looking at. I found it was very bright, and colored up plants nicely, except was only good for ~40cm x 40cm area. Anything outside this area grew, but didnt have the color I wanted. Putting it further away to cover more area meant my plants were losing color, and closer it made the area even smaller. It was also very hot. I am now using 4' T5 set up, with the single Sunblaster fixtures strung together to make a 4 bulb fixture. This covers ~110cm x 60cm area and uses 216W which is much better IMO. To get the same coverage using the CFL's I would need to use 2-3 of the 150W bulbs, meaning more $$ in electricity and I think it would also be more heat.

    I now only use their T5's and dont see myself switching anytime soon!

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    I hate bugs. Carnivorous plants get me. jpappy789's Avatar
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    Same here...I'm a T5 proponent myself, at least until a better (cheaper) type comes out.
    -Josh
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    jesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vraev View Post
    What do u guys think is a better upgrade?
    What type of clip-on reflectors do you currently use on your T5 bulbs?

    If it is "none", the best upgrade would be parabolic clip-on reflectors for the T5 bulbs to bundle all the light down.

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    mobile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesse View Post
    What type of clip-on reflectors do you currently use on your T5 bulbs?

    If it is "none", the best upgrade would be parabolic clip-on reflectors for the T5 bulbs to bundle all the light down.
    I totally agree. A significant amount of light is lost in fixtures that do not have parabolic reflectors. Basically, if you can see light from any angle other than looking up into the fixture then that is wasted light.

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    31drew31's Avatar
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    I agree with the above. I should have added I install these reflectors on my Sunblasters.

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    MICKEY's Avatar
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    t5 also have replaceable bulbs so it is cheaper when the bulbs get old to replace them than whole cfl

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    His fixture has good reflectors...
    (same brand I use)

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