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Old 07-14-2004, 08:16 PM   #1
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Actinic Lighting Quality

Is it worth the price difference to puchase name brand actinic pc bulbs? The LFS has Corrallife 55W actinic 03 PC for $30, while you can buy non-branded bulbs for around $20 w/ shipping on ebay/froogle. Are these guys just pawning off blue lightbulbs as actinic? Also, how long do these guys typically last until they need to be replaced? Thanks!!
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Old 07-14-2004, 08:25 PM   #2
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I wouldnt by anything thats not actinic 03. If your talking about PC bulbs then you could go anywhere between 9 months and a year. If your talking VHO then I would say a year. If your talking normal florecents then 6 months.
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Old 07-15-2004, 07:33 AM   #3
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After doing a little research I've come to believe that all "actinic" bulbs are basically just blue bulbs. Depending on the brand, you get different color blue to purple. I say this because the last place I found that actually described what "actinic" is, says its refers to a wavelength thats not visible to the human eye, and is closer to being electromagnetic than actual light. I think the actinics that give the colors we like are actually just close in visible spectrum to a black light bulb. No Phosphour I know of is capable of producing EM waves. As such, finding one that gives the look you want is more important than anything else. The worst one I've ever see was so hideously baby blue it made the entire tank look like puree'd smurf.

A couple quotes from a meteorology site that deals with light spectrums.

actinic—Pertaining to electromagnetic radiation capable of initiating photochemical reactions, as in photography or the fading of pigments.
Because of the particularly strong action of ultraviolet radiation on photochemical processes, the term has come to be almost synonymous with ultraviolet, as in actinic rays.

electromagnetic radiation—Energy propagated in the form of an advancing electric and magnetic field disturbance.
The term radiation, alone, is commonly used for this type of energy, although it actually has a broader meaning. In the classical wave theory of light (or electromagnetic theory) the propagation is thought of as a continuous wavelike disturbance of the electric and magnetic fields, which oscillate in planes orthogonal to each other and to the direction of propagation. The quantum theory of electromagnetic radiation adds the perspective that these disturbances also have particle-like attributes, being quantized into photons of minimum energy that have finite momentum. The observable properties and physical effects of various portions of the electromagnetic spectrum are of considerable importance in meteorology and are discussed under their respective names.
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Old 07-15-2004, 10:02 AM   #4
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Going by the 'look' of the bulb is not a good analysis. Doing a specitrum study of the different bulbs will be the only way of showing you where the bulbs peak in the spectirum, bit it visable or unvisable.
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Old 07-15-2004, 10:17 AM   #5
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I've heard the only true actinic peak comes from the electromagnetic radiation of a magfloat.
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Old 07-15-2004, 06:40 PM   #6
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Generally non ame brand are fine.
Jbj and hamilton get many of their pc bulbs from the same place then rebadge them as their own. I sell both and they packagaing looks differnt but the quality is the same
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Old 07-16-2004, 08:21 AM   #7
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My point being that if a fluorescent phoshour is incapable of producing electromagnetic waves, then it is not truly actinic and is not actually a benefit to the aquarium life. Or it is no more benefit than other lighting of the same intensity. They only provide aesthetic appeal to the person viewing the tank, so the color of the visible light is the only real consideration. While some bulbs may have more intensity in the blue end of the spectrum, it is not actually actinic.
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