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Lighting fixture upgrade. Questions



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 17th 07, 09:03 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants
.D.E.
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6
Default Lighting fixture upgrade. Questions

Since I have an older T12 lighting fixture, and now it seems that older T12
bulbs are getting harder to find as well as in different wave lengths, I'm
thinking of upgrading my fixtures. Compact Fluorescent is looking nice at 96
watts on a dual bulb fixture, but T5 is looking good as well. I was told
that the T5 bulbs aren't rated in watts as much as the older T12's were.

Currently I'm running 160 watts of 4 x 40 watt bulbs. I want to maintain
that as minimum lighting possibly going as high as 200 on my 66 gallon
planted tank.

Go with T5's? They are bright, but what will my wattage be if I add 2 new
48" bulbs?
CF? A little pricey for the bulbs, but hell, at 2 96 dual fixtures, that
would be great.

Suggestions?

Thanks.

--
_____________________________
Later.
DE
Have a better one.
To reply, remove: forget.the.spam. from my email address


  #2  
Old April 20th 07, 02:59 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants
ginko
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 4
Default Lighting fixture upgrade. Questions

Just for fun, you can consider an incremental approach which is
cheaper to do and results in lower electricity costs.

STEP 1
The easiest way to upgrade a T12 fixture is to get some T8 bulbs.
These will use less energy and produce the same light. About a
20 percent reduction in energy use. T8 bulbs will work fine in
most T12 fixtures.

STEP 2
The next thing to do is replace the ballast with an electronic one.
This should give you another 10 percent improvement in energy use.

STEP 3
The next thing to do is replace the reflector, if it was an inefficient
one. This should send at least 30 percent more of the light that was
previously wasted down into the tank.

OPTION STEP
You can also play with the wiring and over-drive the tubes for
some more output. This is less efficient, but a really cheap way
to get more light per tube since T8 tubes are pretty cheap to replace
after you cook them by overdriving them.

I have bought a T5 HO TekLight and it's awesome. The narrower
tubes are quite efficient and the reflector efficiency sends
most of the light straight down into the tank.

But, this is ezpensive. I also use updated T8 fixtures which do
a really good job for the money I spent on them.

For long aquariums, especially 48 inch long aquariums, I think
it's absurd to use Power Compact.
* Since the tubes are bent, reflectors can never be as good as
those for linear tubes.
* PC bulbs are also more of a custom item, so their replacement
cost is much higher than linear T8 tubes.
* Then you have to have a fan to cool the PC fixture, this
wastes energy
* PC sends less light down into the tank for a given "watts per gallon"
than T8 and espeically T5 linear fixtures.

I do use PC fixtures for tanks that are not very wide. That's what
the "compact" part was designed for since short linear tubes don't
emit very much light.

Vendors may want you to buy PC fixtures. That way you get locked
into buying their expensive replacement bulbs since you can't go to
the local hardware store and buy cheap T8 6500K tubes for $5.00 a pop.
With all the tube shapes and end cap variations it's non-trivial
to replace a PC bulb.

T5 fixtures are also not as convienent since you have to mail order
for replacement tubes to get decent prices.

Above all, remember that watts per gallon is a rough estimate, not a
rule. Different tubes run at different efficiencies. Then once you
have the light, you want to send it down into the tank with a good
reflector. T5 is best at this, T8 is not too bad and power compact
can be quite wasteful.

Power Compact will work just fine. But why spend more money for
tubes? Plus your monthly electricity bill will be higher than it
needs to be, which means that you are sending extra CO2 into the
atmosphere for no practical reason.

..D.E. wrote:
: Since I have an older T12 lighting fixture, and now it seems that older T12
: bulbs are getting harder to find as well as in different wave lengths, I'm
: thinking of upgrading my fixtures. Compact Fluorescent is looking nice at 96
: watts on a dual bulb fixture, but T5 is looking good as well. I was told
: that the T5 bulbs aren't rated in watts as much as the older T12's were.
:
: Currently I'm running 160 watts of 4 x 40 watt bulbs. I want to maintain
: that as minimum lighting possibly going as high as 200 on my 66 gallon
: planted tank.
:
: Go with T5's? They are bright, but what will my wattage be if I add 2 new
: 48" bulbs?
: CF? A little pricey for the bulbs, but hell, at 2 96 dual fixtures, that
: would be great.
:
: Suggestions?
:
: Thanks.
:
  #3  
Old April 22nd 07, 11:59 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants
.D.E.
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6
Default Lighting fixture upgrade. Questions

Last year my fixtures packed it in. I looked at using T5 bulbs, but the
ballast wouldn't support them. I then looked at replacing the ballasts. A
new fixture was $2 more expensive than the ballasts and the fixture had a 1
year warranty. So, now that T12 tubes are getting harder to find, I may just
have to switch to T8 bulbs.

I was running a 50 watt CF on my older 27 gal hex, but have since gotten rid
of that tank. I did like the lighting of the CF's, but the bulbs now are
expensive. The T5's look promising, but will they still produce the wattage
I need? I need at least 2.42 watts per gallons to maintain my tank. I would
like to increase the wattage to 3 watts per gallon.

"ginko" wrote in message
...
Just for fun, you can consider an incremental approach which is
cheaper to do and results in lower electricity costs.

STEP 1
The easiest way to upgrade a T12 fixture is to get some T8 bulbs.
These will use less energy and produce the same light. About a
20 percent reduction in energy use. T8 bulbs will work fine in
most T12 fixtures.

STEP 2
The next thing to do is replace the ballast with an electronic one.
This should give you another 10 percent improvement in energy use.

STEP 3
The next thing to do is replace the reflector, if it was an inefficient
one. This should send at least 30 percent more of the light that was
previously wasted down into the tank.

OPTION STEP
You can also play with the wiring and over-drive the tubes for
some more output. This is less efficient, but a really cheap way
to get more light per tube since T8 tubes are pretty cheap to replace
after you cook them by overdriving them.

I have bought a T5 HO TekLight and it's awesome. The narrower
tubes are quite efficient and the reflector efficiency sends
most of the light straight down into the tank.

But, this is ezpensive. I also use updated T8 fixtures which do
a really good job for the money I spent on them.

For long aquariums, especially 48 inch long aquariums, I think
it's absurd to use Power Compact.
* Since the tubes are bent, reflectors can never be as good as
those for linear tubes.
* PC bulbs are also more of a custom item, so their replacement
cost is much higher than linear T8 tubes.
* Then you have to have a fan to cool the PC fixture, this
wastes energy
* PC sends less light down into the tank for a given "watts per gallon"
than T8 and espeically T5 linear fixtures.

I do use PC fixtures for tanks that are not very wide. That's what
the "compact" part was designed for since short linear tubes don't
emit very much light.

Vendors may want you to buy PC fixtures. That way you get locked
into buying their expensive replacement bulbs since you can't go to
the local hardware store and buy cheap T8 6500K tubes for $5.00 a pop.
With all the tube shapes and end cap variations it's non-trivial
to replace a PC bulb.

T5 fixtures are also not as convienent since you have to mail order
for replacement tubes to get decent prices.

Above all, remember that watts per gallon is a rough estimate, not a
rule. Different tubes run at different efficiencies. Then once you
have the light, you want to send it down into the tank with a good
reflector. T5 is best at this, T8 is not too bad and power compact
can be quite wasteful.

Power Compact will work just fine. But why spend more money for
tubes? Plus your monthly electricity bill will be higher than it
needs to be, which means that you are sending extra CO2 into the
atmosphere for no practical reason.

.D.E. wrote:
: Since I have an older T12 lighting fixture, and now it seems that older
T12
: bulbs are getting harder to find as well as in different wave lengths,
I'm
: thinking of upgrading my fixtures. Compact Fluorescent is looking nice
at 96
: watts on a dual bulb fixture, but T5 is looking good as well. I was told
: that the T5 bulbs aren't rated in watts as much as the older T12's were.
:
: Currently I'm running 160 watts of 4 x 40 watt bulbs. I want to maintain
: that as minimum lighting possibly going as high as 200 on my 66 gallon
: planted tank.
:
: Go with T5's? They are bright, but what will my wattage be if I add 2
new
: 48" bulbs?
: CF? A little pricey for the bulbs, but hell, at 2 96 dual fixtures, that
: would be great.
:
: Suggestions?
:
: Thanks.
:



  #4  
Old April 23rd 07, 12:10 AM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants
~Windsong~[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 106
Default Lighting fixture upgrade. Questions



No one here really gives a crap on your light problems dude! Take it
to a real web based forum for answers


On Sun, 22 Apr 2007 22:59:10 GMT, ".D.E."
wrote:

Last year my fixtures packed it in. I looked at using T5 bulbs, but the
ballast wouldn't support them. I then looked at replacing the ballasts. A
new fixture was $2 more expensive than the ballasts and the fixture had a 1
year warranty. So, now that T12 tubes are getting harder to find, I may just
have to switch to T8 bulbs.

I was running a 50 watt CF on my older 27 gal hex, but have since gotten rid
of that tank. I did like the lighting of the CF's, but the bulbs now are
expensive. The T5's look promising, but will they still produce the wattage
I need? I need at least 2.42 watts per gallons to maintain my tank. I would
like to increase the wattage to 3 watts per gallon.

"ginko" wrote in message
...
Just for fun, you can consider an incremental approach which is
cheaper to do and results in lower electricity costs.

STEP 1
The easiest way to upgrade a T12 fixture is to get some T8 bulbs.
These will use less energy and produce the same light. About a
20 percent reduction in energy use. T8 bulbs will work fine in
most T12 fixtures.

STEP 2
The next thing to do is replace the ballast with an electronic one.
This should give you another 10 percent improvement in energy use.

STEP 3
The next thing to do is replace the reflector, if it was an inefficient
one. This should send at least 30 percent more of the light that was
previously wasted down into the tank.

OPTION STEP
You can also play with the wiring and over-drive the tubes for
some more output. This is less efficient, but a really cheap way
to get more light per tube since T8 tubes are pretty cheap to replace
after you cook them by overdriving them.

I have bought a T5 HO TekLight and it's awesome. The narrower
tubes are quite efficient and the reflector efficiency sends
most of the light straight down into the tank.

But, this is ezpensive. I also use updated T8 fixtures which do
a really good job for the money I spent on them.

For long aquariums, especially 48 inch long aquariums, I think
it's absurd to use Power Compact.
* Since the tubes are bent, reflectors can never be as good as
those for linear tubes.
* PC bulbs are also more of a custom item, so their replacement
cost is much higher than linear T8 tubes.
* Then you have to have a fan to cool the PC fixture, this
wastes energy
* PC sends less light down into the tank for a given "watts per gallon"
than T8 and espeically T5 linear fixtures.

I do use PC fixtures for tanks that are not very wide. That's what
the "compact" part was designed for since short linear tubes don't
emit very much light.

Vendors may want you to buy PC fixtures. That way you get locked
into buying their expensive replacement bulbs since you can't go to
the local hardware store and buy cheap T8 6500K tubes for $5.00 a pop.
With all the tube shapes and end cap variations it's non-trivial
to replace a PC bulb.

T5 fixtures are also not as convienent since you have to mail order
for replacement tubes to get decent prices.

Above all, remember that watts per gallon is a rough estimate, not a
rule. Different tubes run at different efficiencies. Then once you
have the light, you want to send it down into the tank with a good
reflector. T5 is best at this, T8 is not too bad and power compact
can be quite wasteful.

Power Compact will work just fine. But why spend more money for
tubes? Plus your monthly electricity bill will be higher than it
needs to be, which means that you are sending extra CO2 into the
atmosphere for no practical reason.

.D.E. wrote:
: Since I have an older T12 lighting fixture, and now it seems that older
T12
: bulbs are getting harder to find as well as in different wave lengths,
I'm
: thinking of upgrading my fixtures. Compact Fluorescent is looking nice
at 96
: watts on a dual bulb fixture, but T5 is looking good as well. I was told
: that the T5 bulbs aren't rated in watts as much as the older T12's were.
:
: Currently I'm running 160 watts of 4 x 40 watt bulbs. I want to maintain
: that as minimum lighting possibly going as high as 200 on my 66 gallon
: planted tank.
:
: Go with T5's? They are bright, but what will my wattage be if I add 2
new
: 48" bulbs?
: CF? A little pricey for the bulbs, but hell, at 2 96 dual fixtures, that
: would be great.
:
: Suggestions?
:
: Thanks.
:




-------
I forgot more about ponds and koi than I'll ever know!
  #5  
Old April 23rd 07, 04:30 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants
g_i_n_k_o
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7
Default Lighting fixture upgrade. Questions

..D.E. wrote:
: Last year my fixtures packed it in. I looked at using T5 bulbs, but the
: ballast wouldn't support them. I then looked at replacing the ballasts. A
: new fixture was $2 more expensive than the ballasts and the fixture had a 1
: year warranty. So, now that T12 tubes are getting harder to find, I may just
: have to switch to T8 bulbs.

There are a few incompatabilities with T5 tubes, so it's frequently cheaper
to just get a new fixture.

(1) the end cap pins are narrower than the ones we are familar with on T12,
T10 and T8.

(2) T5 lengths are metric and don't match up well with the common 48 inch and
24 inch lengths we see on commonly available T12, T8.

(3) The T5 ballast drive currents are a bit different while the T12, T10,
T8 were designed to be backwards compatable, except for really lame ballasts.


: I was running a 50 watt CF on my older 27 gal hex, but have since gotten rid
: of that tank. I did like the lighting of the CF's, but the bulbs now are
: expensive. The T5's look promising, but will they still produce the wattage
: I need? I need at least 2.42 watts per gallons to maintain my tank. I would
: like to increase the wattage to 3 watts per gallon.

Light is not measured in watts per gallon.

T5s (not the HO style) generate more light per watt than other fluorescent tube
types. The older T12 tubes deliver less light per watt than other tube types.
There is something of a 40 percent difference in emitted light per watt when
comparing older T12s to newer T8s and T5s. Reflectors or lack-there-of
introduces another 50 percent or more difference on how much emitted light is
actually sent down into the tank. This should prove beyond a doubt that watts
per gallon is a very rough estimate.

I tend to think in terms of normally driven linear tubes accross the top of a
tank when there is a decent curved reflector for each individual tube.

One tube is low light
Two tubes is medium light
Three tubes is high light
More than three tubes is very high light

For the above options at T12, T8 and T5 the amount of light is roughly the same,
but watts per gallon number will be different.

This doesn't take into account the depth of the aquarium, but it seems more
useful than the watts/gallon which makes PC fixtures appear much better than
they really are.

PC and T5 HO are driven with more electricity, super charged in a way, so they
are bit less efficient. T5 HO is about the same as the efficiency of T8, most
PC are a worse than T8. PC has bent-back tubes which wreck reflector efficiency,
so alot of light for PC does not make it into the aquarium.

At this time, there are two obvious choices for long tanks:

T8. If you are a tinkerer, this is a great choice. Lots of people have been
modifying their T8 fictures and sharing tips online. These guys know how to
get the best results for their money.

T5 HO. Consider a TekLight I have a 6 tube T5 HO light where I only run 4 of
the tubes for only 6 hours a day. More than enough light. Solid all metal
fixture with enclosed electronic ballasts that does not need a fan. Other
vendors do have T5 HO lights, some are not so good. Compare against the TekLight.

Have fun with your lighting upgrade!
  #6  
Old May 3rd 07, 07:30 PM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants
RedForeman - The Origial Recipe
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9
Default Lighting fixture upgrade. Questions

On Apr 17, 4:03 pm, ".D.E."
wrote:


I'd suggest the T8s, just because... widely available, easier to get,
but like you've already seen,
eventually like the T12s, they'll be come harder and harder to
find....

RedForeman

  #7  
Old June 16th 11, 06:28 PM
ralsonngrace ralsonngrace is offline
Junior Member
 
First recorded activity by FishkeepingBanter: Jun 2011
Posts: 4
Default

You can aswell play with the base and over-drive the tubes for some added output. This is beneath efficient, but a absolutely bargain way to get added ablaze per tube back T8 tubes are appealing bargain to replace after you baker them by overdriving them.
  #8  
Old January 17th 13, 06:50 AM
Jacklee Jacklee is offline
Junior Member
 
First recorded activity by FishkeepingBanter: Jan 2013
Posts: 3
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by .D.E. View Post
Since I have an older T12 lighting fixture, and now it seems that older T12
bulbs are getting harder to find as well as in different wave lengths, I'm
thinking of upgrading my fixtures. Compact Fluorescent is looking nice at 96
watts on a dual bulb fixture, but T5 is looking good as well. I was told
that the T5 bulbs aren't rated in watts as much as the older T12's were.

Currently I'm running 160 watts of 4 x 40 watt bulbs. I want to maintain
that as minimum lighting possibly going as
led bulbs high as 200 on my 66 gallon
planted tank.

Go with T5's? They are bright, but what will my wattage be if I add 2 new
48" bulbs?

CF? A little pricey for the bulbs, but hell, at 2 96 dual fixtures, that
would be great.

Suggestions?

Thanks.

--
_____________________________
Later.
DE
Have a better one.
To reply, remove: forget.the.spam. from my email address
If you ask this question now I will surely recommend you led lights..

Last edited by Jacklee : January 17th 13 at 11:28 AM.
 




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