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Old 12-20-2005, 01:59 AM   #1
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Lighting Problem

Heya folks,

I have a 30g marine tank - have a Perfecto-style fluorescent fixture...I inherited it from the tank's pervious owner and it's probably at least 5 if not 8-10 years old. I replaced the starter recently, and also got a new bulb a couple months back. I got a VHO bulb (Power-Glo) - not sure if I can run it in a regular ole fixture, but I did it anyway because I like the blueish light a lot better than the yellow Sunglow I had previouly.

Anyway, light stopped working recently...took it in and it wasn't the bulb or the starter. They had me buy a ballast and I took it home to install it - I hooked it up with some wire nuts and it still isn't working. I called back and the guy said it could be the little clicker/switch, or maybe the connectors for the bulb. He said he would help me fix it, but at this point I'm wondering if it's worth it. I can return the ballast and then just get a brand new fixture from Drs. Foster and Smith for $35... Or, even better, is there a pre-made lighting fixture for a 30g that is above the tank more (aka non-perfecto hood style) - I would like one with a glass canopy and the lights above the tank a little. Are the main options for that DIY? I don't need CF or MH - I just have a few fish and some inverts with some rock.

Thanks!
Jeff
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Old 12-22-2005, 11:04 PM   #2
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I'd just ditch it and get a new one.

A VHO bulb will not live up to it's full potential in a normal output fixture, and an NO bulb will not last as long in a VHO fixture, but I don't think that was the cause of your failure. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong.)

Power Compact Florecents are very energy efficient. Considering the rising cost of energy, you may want to check them out even if you don't need the extra brightness.
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Old 12-23-2005, 06:30 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I think I'm just going to get a new fixture.

It's my understanding that the PC fixtures/bulbs are more efficient per watt, but since they put out more watts it would still be more energy used...is this correct?

Thanks,
Jeff
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Old 12-23-2005, 10:24 PM   #4
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They're somewhat more efficient, mainly due to using electronic ballasts (nothing like the jump from incandescent to fluorescent though). Yes, the 65W bulbs will use 65-68W of power. Your 24-30" bulb probably uses 20-25W
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Old 12-23-2005, 10:29 PM   #5
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They put out more lumens per watt. Watt is a measure of electricity. Lumens is a measure of light. You can use a lower watt fixture and get the same amount of light, or use the same power and get more light.
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Old 12-23-2005, 11:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dskidmore
They put out more lumens per watt. Watt is a measure of electricity. Lumens is a measure of light. You can use a lower watt fixture and get the same amount of light, or use the same power and get more light.
Not significantly more. They're basicly the same technology (normal fluorescent vs. CF).
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xenia, mushrooms, wels. open brain, fungia radiata (orange), green eyed zoos

flame angel, mated pair of false perc, 6-line, firefish

20gH electric yellow cichlid
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Old 12-24-2005, 12:29 PM   #7
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You sure about that? My father's a professional energy engineer, and he really likes them. T-5 is about the only thing he likes better.
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Old 12-24-2005, 03:48 PM   #8
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They are more efficient than normal fluorescents, but, not significantly more. It is the same techology, with better ballasts, bulb design, etc. The little things which add up, but don't make it an order of magnitude more efficient.

T5 is well liked since its easy to get more useable light out of the bulbs. This does improve their lumens/watt ratio, but the bulb its self uses the same basic techology as does any other fluorescent (with tweaks here and there).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorescent_lamp
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xenia, mushrooms, wels. open brain, fungia radiata (orange), green eyed zoos

flame angel, mated pair of false perc, 6-line, firefish

20gH electric yellow cichlid
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