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Thread: Question about fluorescents

  1. #25
    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    Joe, check out my last reply to this thread. I only use 48 inch fixtures and lights.
    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

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    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    Following is a photo of some mixed clones of Drosera capensis to illustrate results of overdriving fluorescent lamps:



    There have been doing very well, but have grown much more vigorously since I upgraded their lighting to 8 -- 48" cool white lamps, all overdriven to produce as much as 70% more light per bulb. I also recently sprinkled them judiciously with freeze-dried bloodworm powder. Growth has been so vigorous subsequent to this increase of lighting and bloodworm feeding that 11 days later the leaves so fed have been overgrown with new leaves and are difficult to locate.

    I really appreciate fluorescent lights -- Seems very easy to provide the plants with very high levels of PAR (photosynthetically active radiation) without harmful levels of heat or incidental radiation.
    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

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    Just wondering, how much do fluorescents cost to run per month?

    Another question, by how much do electronic ballast boost the power/reduce heat loss of, say, a 2 tube 48" fixture in comparison to a old fashioned iron one? Would it be better to use electronic ballasts or are they not worth it?

    Do you guys use normal or electronic ballasts?

    Thanks,
    Jason

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    Joe,
    Yeah I blew it. I actually read your description from the list serve earleir in the week and realized I asked a dumb question.
    BTW, is that a D. capensis 'alba' in the back left corner or just too far away from under the light?
    I love your plants. They are big, gorgeous, and easily accessable(picture poor guy in NE with plastic draping his 10 gallon tanks with the shoplights sitting directly on the tanks).

    Cheers,

    Joe

  5. #29
    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    Joe,
    Actually it's Drosera capensis 'Albino'. Drosera capensis (Alba) was registered as the cultivar Drosera capensis 'Albino'.

    Your, soon to be, basement setup will most likely be very sweet. I once had mine setup in my Grandparents basement in Shadyside, Ohio and it worked very nicely.



    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

  6. #30
    Somewhat Unstable superimposedhope's Avatar
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    If I made a difference to just one person then it was all worth it. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]

    Those look very good. I am working on overdriving CFLs, they are more difficult since they are usually self ballasted.

    Jason,
    It depends on your local cost per Kwatt hour. Use the ballasts that come as a shop light fixture (2 bulbs, ballast, fixture/reflector) I would not purchase a seperate ballast to do this since the idea is to boost light with a cheap setup. To buy a ballast seperately would cost almost triple what you pay as the package. If you want to buy things just buy a better light.

    Joe, Joe, Joe............Who is talking to who? Too many Joes
    \"There is nothing here of interest to any nation, as a matter of fact there is nothing here but humans!\"

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (superimposedhope @ Jan. 10 2005,12:31)]It's supposed to be "uo" NOT "ou". Fluorescent-Not Flourescent. That would make it luminating of ground wheat.
    Now that's hilarious!

    Just wanted to recommend that anyone planning on overdriving bulbs do some reading on aquaria fora where it is discussed more. Oh yeah, and pay your fire insurance.

    The measurements in the reports i read showed a significant increase in light with 2X overdriving, but you're kidding yourself if you think you'll get double the light. 4X is even less of an increase. In fact the reporter decided to stay with 2X overdriving.

    Note also that T12 and T8 lamps are designed to operate most efficiently at a temperature around 75F. The hotter they get, the less efficiently they work (T5s are designed for higher operating optimum - i think it's 85F).

    T8s and T5s also hold their luminosity longer, so while you'd replace T12s (normal fluoros) after 6 months or a year, tops, you can easily wait more than a year with T8s. My two T8 shoplights are still using two of the original lamps i put in just over two years ago. The intensity has decreased, but they are still bright enough for the plants with two bulbs that are just one year old. By rotating in new bulbs you can maximize the life while maintaining the light levels.

    Anyway, if you're going for efficiency and low heat production, stick with normally driven fluoros, and just use more of them (or MH, or PC, etc). Overdriving is only advantageous if you already have multiple shoplights, those lights cover more than the area you need covered, and you want brighter light over the smaller area and don't care so much about the efficiency. You essentially condense the multiple lights into fewer but brighter (but less efficient) lights.

    I can't see any point to overdriving for growing most CP, because they grow well with normal output fluoros. My Lowland 55G terrarium usually has two F32T8s (4' normal output T8s), and they are more than enough... and that's without decent reflectors, which i keep planning on making ...you know how it goes. It has actually done ok with just a single lamp for quite a while now because i haven't replaced a lamp that i stole for another location.

    Plants that need more light than lowland Neps go on the growshelf with the two T8 shoplights, or in the SE window/outside during the summer. I've grown Drosophyllum this way, Byblis, small Sarrs, highland Neps, etc.
    There's no 'a' in perlite.

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