well, it would be great to get more competition in the area of retrofit lighting, as the current players all seem to have very high prices.
reflectors aside, all the parts needed to do a high quality compact size retrofit with compact or regular fluorescent are very hard to find.
first, finding single or small quanties of any of these parts is a chore, and next to impossible online, without huge markup at least.
#1 a true electronic ballast (not an electronic hybrid) ... sure many of us have experimented with the GE 5lb brick that claims it's an electronic ballast for T8 lights (but runs just about anything) ... but it weighs 5 lbs!!! there's gotta be a big coil or something in there ... true electronic ballasts only weigh a pound or so, but are very difficult to find on the cheap ... sure there is icecap, and naturallighting.com, but they want big bux for a rebranded ballast that probably cost $1 or $2 to produce and wholesales for around $12-$15
#2 bulbs. CF
or NO, bulbs with color temps of 5000 to 6700k (or higher for salties) are available under the brand names of Customsealife and others ... but if we're supposed to replace these every 6 months, good gosh that's expensive! at $20 to $50 each! Panasonic, Phillips and Osram-Sylvania make these bulbs, and resellers just re-brand them with custom silk-screening ... but unless you want to buy a case of 200 bulbs from a wholesaler, you can't find them anywhere ... sure you can get the Philips Daylight Deluxe 48" T12 from just about anywhere, and it's cheap, but heck, you need a LOT of those to equal the light you get from a single 96 watt Dulux-L or even a normal T8 is a lot brighter.
#3 sockets. 2 pin, 4 pin, medium bi-pin. Good sockets are as hard if not harder to find then the bulbs themselves, at least, at a decent price. Most of your hardware stores and home improvement warehouses sell medium bi-pin sockets, but they are the kind design to slip over or clip into an existing sheet metal fixture. There are the kind designed to hold a screw in their base, but the plastic is very brittle and breaks easily after a few bulb changes. The only 'good' ones I like are the kind that take a screw through the body and into a support behind the socket.... $5 ea at a local electricans supply shop ... $5!!!!! for a small piece of plastic with some brass springs in it ... sure I could buy a case of 10000 online, but what am I gonna do with so many.
Whenever you mention lighting on certain mailing lists, you get a flurry of responses recommending a company called ahsupply. I have no doubt that ahsupply sells a good product, and their prices are a lot more resonable then places like hellolights, but they are still too high for my budget, and I'm sure others as well.
I also am disheartened by businesses response when a hobbiest makes an inquery regarding lighting ... most places automaticlly assume a negative attitude, refusing to even check if they have a certain product ... "if it's for an aquarium, we can't help you." ... did their lawyer tell them this? I could kill myself installing a troffer light or ceiling fan just as easily as dropping lights into a fishtank, probably easier, since ceiling fans and troffer lights don't normally have GFCI protection.
Sorry for my rant, I just get upset at the lack of options available to the budget minded hobbist