I have researched lights i think beyond everything in this hobby. I will discuss MH PC
and T5 and ballasts. In lighting there is alot of things that need to be taken into account. Ballast rating (BR), Lumens per wattage burned, reflector efficency, kelvins, and tempeture to name a few.
Was my first option of lighting that i was considering. Until i did some research and found many flaws in the lighting. First is BR which is obserd to think that to run the bulb efficent would burn far to much electricity plus fans to cool temp off. Lumens per Wattage MH
are one of the best if being run at efficent tempeture and with the ballast rating of .8 (icecap ballast)
's & VHO
Next choice, Efficent low maintainence, Run far cooler that MH
Ballast rating is good on these lighting fixture and varies with type of ballast used. Great for shallow tanks and for corals that require low-medium lighting at depth of about 12". VHO
's may vary depending on kelvin used.
T5HO Next option, Most efficent fixture with the best ballast rating (Osram). Bulbs are rated at highest lumen per wattage efficency including ballast rating. 4 T5HO lamps will put out more lumens per watt and intensity of a 400 watt MH
. Burn little warmer than VHO
's & PC
's but less than MH
. T5HO burn efficently at 98 degress with 1 AC
fan this will be accomplished easily.
T5HO's are my choice for lighting in my opinion and have chosen to purchase them. Burning more intense, cooler, and concentrated across the entire tank rather that a center point is a great advantage.
fishfreek, yes ballast ratings make a hugh difference on performance! They let you calculate how much light you get for your buck!
Just for the record, I like my Icecap very much. It has never given any trouble in the three years that I've had it.
You dont wanna thank Icecap (the american named sticker company) you wanna thank Germany Osram ballasts INC!
Blue wonders why the LFS
wouldnt support the ballast and fixing of the ballast. Well its not actually produced by IceCap from my understanding its produced by Osram. Just with a "sticker" of IceCap on it, a monopoly of ballasts for the fellow hobbist.
Reflectors: Spectral reflectors are the best to buy on the net or store. Giving you a 96-99% efficency. There is even reflectors being made that intensify the light more than the bulb produces with precise bends at 101.3% These reflectors are not mass produced and designed for a specific bulb MH
, T5HO, VHO
If you purchase a 25 dollar reflector from www.hellolights.com
you might as well just take a piece of aluminum and bend the edges and save yourself 24 dollars.
Thanks for reading my thread. This is from what i have gathered from research, study, my job, and JME.
My advice study hard, test, experiment whatever it takes to come up with whats right for you. Thats what i did!