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Thread: Grow shelf and Lighting question

  1. #9
    wmgorum's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm quite familiar with halides and VHO flourescents. I had a 135 gallon reef tank for years that I lit with halides and at the time (this was about 10 years ago) T12 VHOs and halides were the thing. I just haven't been able to find a lot of information about the T5s. I got out of the reefing hobby after I moved and went with discus and Tanganyikan cichlids.

    I agree with the mylar; I made a note in my previous post that I was lining the sides of the growshelf with it. I grew lowland Nepenthes for a while in an old aquarium that I converted to a terrarium and I lined the side with aluminum foil (this was before I knew mylar could be bought in rolls). I guess I didn't make my question clear with the water here though. I wasn't asking about what to put on the shelves to catch the water. I'm working on the assumption that water will condense ON the mylar sides and the mylar sides will also get wet when I mist the plants. That water has to go somewhere (obviously down). I was curious as to what (if anything) that the more growshelf-experienced folks were using to catch this "runoff" UNDER the shelf to keep the water off the floor?

    I also didn't say that T5s and T12s are the same, and I didn't make any reference to the size of the bulbs. I'm aware that the T5s are more intense, but they ARE considerably more expensive than T12s. My question was "is the difference in intensity enough to justify the cost?" I'm not worried about the expense of it and I'm not worried about the sexiness of it - the practicality is more important to me. Why spend a ton of money on lights if the output difference is negligible? I might be able to afford a Mercedes, but a Honda does the job.

    I don't think halides are a viable option with a growshelf. One of the benefits (for me) of the shelf is to have a large number of plants in a vertical space. If you were to put halides on each shelf, it'd be supremely tough to dissipate the heat from the bulb so it wouldn't fry the plants. Besides, can you imagine what running 5 halides would do to your electric bill? Besides, the growshelf is 48" by 18". The effective footprint of a halide would be much larger than that and would be a waste of resources in my opinion.

    Basically, to sum it all up, the difference of intensity between T5s and T12s is large enough to justify the extra expense, but T5s are not as intense as CFs.

    Thanks for the input guys! I appreciate it!

    Later,
    Will

  2. #10
    pingman's Avatar
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    Yes, t-5s are definitely way more expensive. I would recommend the t-8's. Most shoplites can now use either t-8's or 12's. The t-8's are more efficient and usually use 32 watts instead of 40, with the same or more light output. The t-8's are about $3 a piece for daylight ones. You can get 2 shoplights and 4 bulbs for about $32 (128 watts) vs. a 2 tube t5 (108 watts) at $180 or so!
    Peter.
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  3. #11
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    I'm going to say, yes. T5's are worth the cost if you don't mind spending the money. Get an 8 lamp fixture if you can. To save a little cash and still have a nice system, go with PC.


    Can NO T5 lamps be overdriven the same way a T12 NO lamp can be overdriven on a VHO ballast? If so, then there's an option to save money and get almost the same output at the expense of a shorter lamp life.

  4. #12
    wmgorum's Avatar
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    I haven't seen anything in any of my reading about being able to overdrive T5s. I would think the ballasts are different enough that you couldn't do it. From my understanding, T5's use a solid state ballast which doesn't generate noise or heat, unlike a T12 ballast which generates a lot of heat.

    Will

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