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Thread: Warm White Florescent?

  1. #9
    endparenthesis's Avatar
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    Paying attention to wattage is easy and usually works just fine when comparing bulbs of the same "family". Most cheap bulbs you buy are going to be in that family, so it's not a big deal, but it's still a fact that lumens are a better gauge of light output.

    I have a 54W T5 HO bulb over a fishtank that puts out more light (around 5500 lumens) than the cheapo 80W shoplight I was using for plants (around 4000 lumens). That's about 100 lumens per watt rather than 50 per watt. So in this case it really is a lot more light... twice as much. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img] But, yeah, they don't really sell bulbs like that for $5 at Walmart.

    As far as color temperatures... I may not have the best understanding of it, but our plants photosynthesize mostly from the blue and red wavelengths of the spectrum. You can have one light that's putting a lot of strength into outputting the red and blue, and it can be more beneficial to a plant than a visibily brighter light that's strength is more in the other wavelengths of the spectrum. So, as long as a light isn't really skimping on the blue and the red it'll work, but if your light is putting a lot of strength into the other colors (like a warm yellow light) that's power being wasted... which is very important to us bill-payers this winter. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    As long as you are comparing apples to apples then use whatever measurement you like but one should think about all of them really to make the best decision. It is true that the plants will see the light differently than us. There are ways of measuring such things but most of the time you won't see these kinds of ratings PAR Value (photosynthetic active radiation) measures the amount of energy produced that plants can utilize for photosynthesis. Spectral graph is easier to find and gives a reasonable good way to compare bulbs output. Indeed a 1000w 10000 lumen bulb with 99% yellow light would be totally useless for plant growth but would be blinding to you and me.

    Wattage simply states how much energy is used up. Lumens tells you how much light is produced. A 40w fluorescent tube can vary quite a bit in lumen output and color range. SO one should try and get the best use for their $. Generally speaking if you are using the light as the primary grow source then lean towards coolwhite or daylight. They produce more blue than softwhite and warmwhite. Blue is more important for overall photosynthesis and plant growth. Although color temperature is not perfect it is by far the easiest information to find that will at least give you some idea what kind of light the bulb will produce. The higher the kelvin rating (color temperature) the more blue it is.

    Aside from this, intensity is extreamly important also. Without enough light it doesn't matter if it is the best bulb or not! How do you know if it is enough though? Trial, experiment, talk to others, with regular fluorescent tubes 2-4' size it is almost impossible to have too much. In many cases it is actually difficult to get enough for some full sun loving plants. The bulbs are big and bulky for the amount of light they output, and they need to be close to the plants. Also remember to change the bulbs regularly. Stinks to have to toss new ones in when the old ones are far from dead but they really do lose a significant amount of lumen output over time.

    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    All very interesting info. Thanks everyone! It's definitely stuff to consider when I get new bulbs next year.

  4. #12
    Outsiders71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (LLeopardGGecko @ Feb. 23 2006,4:21)]All very interesting info. Thanks everyone! It's definitely stuff to consider when I get new bulbs next year.
    Next year? You should change your bulbs every 3 months or so.
    James 1:17

    "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

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    Hey everyone thx for all of the imput!! Now i know exactly what to look for when I go get my new bulb.

    One Question Though, I'm only using a 10 gallon aquarium and was wondering what would be absolutely PERFECT for this size aquarium. Also the plants I'm growing are mostly all Drosera but i also do have one Ping and one Utricalaria
    Hey! Wats Happenin! Lean Wit It Rock Wit It!

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    For a 10g tank, go for the compact fluorescent bulbs.
    \"Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.\"
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    GL

  7. #15
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    10 gallon tank I would agree compact fluorescent. A couple of those inexpensive clipon light fixtures with the aluminum reflectors and a 35w compact fluorescent bulb in each would do nicely. Drosera for the most part like lots and lots of light.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Outsiders71 @ Feb. 23 2006,1:35)]
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (LLeopardGGecko @ Feb. 23 2006,4:21)]All very interesting info. Thanks everyone! It's definitely stuff to consider when I get new bulbs next year.
    Next year? You should change your bulbs every 3 months or so.
    Dang, I think someone's lookin' for a fight [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_n_32.gif[/img]

    If I changed all my bulbs every three months I'd go broke. Next year will do just fine [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

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