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Old 02-20-2004, 11:09 AM   #1
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Xenon Lighting

I am setting up my first saltwater aquarium (most likely Fish Only). I want to build my own hood with lights. Now I have some Xenon under cabinet lights. Would these work to sufficiently light the tank? Or would I be better off buying some other form of light (i.e. compact fluorescent)?

Thanks
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Old 02-20-2004, 12:03 PM   #2
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If you are going with FO and will not be adding LR or interested in changing from FO in the future you could use xenon lamps - Actually Xenon lamps are in reality a Metal Halide based lamp. Xenon is a gas added to the lamp (similar to Mecury added to a Flourescent bulb) to provide usable light during the MH warm-up time (standard MH's typically use argon which heats up more slowly.

Xenon bulbs come in a variety of applications but generally they have considerable filteration which narrows their bandwidth thereby limiting their spectrum. This is done because most HID lamps have considerable output in the UV range and xenon bulbs are no exception - however, being that they are either used pointing directly at some one (headlight) or directly at living space these harmful rays (wavelengths) are removed. In aquaruim lighting these wavelengths are retained as they are the wavelengths which many marine organisms thrive in.

The good news is that Xenon HID lamp temperatures are typically about 6500 K - which is solidly in the acceptable range for Marine organisms though not likely optimum. They also provide a hi CRI and therfore have a wide spectrum less the UV and near UV wavelengths.

HTH

Tom
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