Have you thought about DIY retro power compacts? I have a 48" tank with wood top inclosure and I got a 4x PC
unit and a 2X T5 unit 2 years ago. These units were "complete". Both units BARELY fit (lengthwise) into my hood. The PC
was a worse fit. ONE year later the PC
unit burned up. Both were ODYSEA. The PC
was about $150 and T5 was about $75 in Ebay, if I remember right.
About 6 months ago, I bought a complete DIY PC
unit for under $100. a one piece metal reflector, twin remote ballasts, and LED
night lights. I put it together myself in under an hour. I have still have the T5 unit, I use that for actinic light, but it is NO WHERE NEAR as bright as the PC
units, even with regular bulbs. I found that for the money, PC
was the way to go, and DIY was better for me since I have that wood hood thing to deal with.
I can't stress enough the GREAT IDEA of remote ballast. no heat from them in the hood, no danger of salt water shorting it out, and I can have different sets of lights come one different times with two of them. Check it out, it is worth the look. I was on a tight budget and liked the T5 too, but PC
was a lot cheaper for the output.
Only downside - One power chord for 2 T5 blue bulbs, One for LED
night lights, TWO power chords for four PC
white bulbs, one power chord for my sump light, total FIVE power chords and 3 timers for my lights alone. Don't get me started on my powerhead situation.