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Idealconcepts
12-27-2006, 04:13 PM
Ok, I will need to purchase lighting for an 180gal and possibly an 80gal tank in the next month or two. Both tanks will be, FW, bare, no plants, no substrate, since they will not be my main show tanks. I normally buy the single strip T8 strip lights from Allglass or similar brand for my other tanks and was thinking about buying normal output (NO) T-5 double strip. Either from big als http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS/ctl3684/cp18360/si1379083/cl0/coralifeswt5aqualightdoublestriplight48 (Coralife S/W T-5 Aqualight Double Strip Light) for around $48 or just purchasing the NO T5 fixtures at Home Depot or Lowes and then purchasing a quality Actinic and Daylight bulb. Iíve done some searches on here and on the internet and have a pretty good idea of the benefits (and negatives) with NO T5, but want to confirm these with you guys/girls to make sure I understand everything correctly.

BENEFITS
1.NO T5 uses lower wattage than your regular T12 or T8 if all the bulbs are the same length. Correct?
2.Since the NO uses less wattage than a T12 or T8, the NO T5 must product more lumens per watt. Correct?
3.Also with less wattage, they would produce less heat. Correct?
4.So if you are getting more lumens per watt you should be getting similar amounts of light or more light with the same length bulb. Correct?

NEGATIVES
1.NO T5 bulbs are a little more difficult to find and variety colors (Kelvin) is limited as compared to T12 and T8, but you can still get the NO T5. Correct?
2.Life span of the NO T5 is slightly longer than T12 or T8, if used for the same amount of hours per day. Correct?

Is there anything else I am missing regarding NO T5?

Any opinions, suggestions or personal experience with NO T5 is greatly appreciated. Also any feed back with the coral life product mentioned is appreciated.

RustyNut
12-27-2006, 10:27 PM
1. Length has nothing to do with it, But yes, a t5 is lower in wattage for similar output.

2.Wattage has nothing to do with this, it has to do with Diameter of the bulb, the T-12 is 12/8th's of an inch (1.5 inches) and the T-8 is 8/8ths (1 inch) and of course the T-5 is 5/8ths of an inch diameter. The smaller the Diameter the Higher the efficiency of each watt that is output. So this is mostly, but not always true, depending on the wattages you compare.

3. No, they produce more heat (higher voltage ballast = more heat generated) even though they use less energy doing it. I believe 100-watt T-5's operate around the temperature of a normal 40-watt incandescent, but I am not really up on the heat aspects... I know the T-5's get hot. Maybe someone else can help here.

4. Basically as outlined above..... yes.

Your negs sound right.

RobSplatF4
12-28-2006, 07:27 AM
1. Correct NO t-5s use less watts than t-8/t-12.

2. Size is the key factor here as Rusty said. High Output is the main idea of the T-5's but since you're asking about NO there is really no benefit here.

3. Here again since you are talking NO there will be no real heat increase.

4. You probably wouldn't notice the difference.

The main reason the t-5 were made is for the HO's where they use a higher wattage in a more compact lamp size. This of course increases lumens per watt. This is also where the heat increase comes from. Since you are asking about NO, I don't really see any benefit for you to buy the NO t-5s over t-8. T-8s are easier to find in more color ranges as you said, they are cheaper, and I believe they last longer than t-5s.

Idealconcepts
12-28-2006, 10:03 AM
Thanks RustyNut and RobSplatF4. Very helpful info. I'll do some more digging and compare prices and availability in my area of the products before I make a decision.

RustyNut
12-28-2006, 03:22 PM
I also would reccomend going with the T-8's

IMHO the best selection of CICHLID color choices, best output in a similar size, and very cost effective overall.

The other choice is power-compacts which have nearly equally good color ranges (for cichlids) and are the highest Lumen per watt output flourescent bulb other than T-5 VHO's.... However replacement parts are fairly expensive still. If you are planning a Twin or Triple tube setup, then the power-compacts are probably a little better for roughly the same money.

6stang9
12-29-2006, 09:30 PM
just want to share an experiance i had. i bought a 75g to replace my old scratched one. i found it on a sw site. the kid gave me the same light in the thread you posted. so i put it on and it worked great. 6 mos later i bought some salt water live rock and put it in the old scratched tank. then i needed better lights so i put the coralife fixture on the rock, dug out the old 40w single strip t12 put it back on the cichlid tank. WOW the fish looked so much more colorful. and even the algea on the rocks looked better. jmo

RustyNut
12-30-2006, 08:10 AM
Depends a lot on the setup and the color of the fish...and personal tastes. :)

Idealconcepts
12-31-2006, 11:47 AM
6stang9 - Are you saying the fish and algae rocks looked better with the old T12 or the Corallife T5s?

6stang9
01-01-2007, 09:58 AM
the old t12. reds on the vic's is much more brilliant. blue ahli looks deeper blue and so on. I'm not an expert on lighting, but i think the coralife is a much colder color spectrum. mayby some one can explain in more technical terms. but my whole family agrees that the t12's look much better.

RobSplatF4
01-01-2007, 10:07 AM
What does the writing on the bulb say? Its possible they could be "daylight" bulbs.

6stang9
01-01-2007, 01:34 PM
the t12 says "all glass aquarium, 40 watt pre heat, made in germany. and the coralife is one actinic f28-t5-bp and one is a 10,000k f28-t5-bp

RustyNut
01-01-2007, 03:10 PM
Well the T-12 AGA bulb is one of my favorites for cichlids (8000k Tri-chromatic) and it does a good job on all color without really enhancing anything. The Actinic and the 10,000k bulbs are too blue for cichlids (except a few blue ones) to look best but if you check into the ZOO MED (T-8) ReefSun bulbs you'll be very pleasantly surprised. Actually in my twin tube fixtures I run one AGA 8000K buld (T-8) and one ReefSun bulb and its the best lighting I have found so far. (Personal preference anyways)