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Old 08-19-2005, 01:48 PM   #1
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Basic Lighting Question

Hypothetically speaking...

Lets say you have 4 40W NO fluorescent lights (160 watts all at 10,000K)

If you compare this to a MH light at 150W (150 watts at 10,000k)

what are the major differences in the two? Your obviously getting slightly more Wats-per-gallon with the NO fluorescents AND in the same kelvin degree but the MH lights are twice the cost... why is this? Are there other parameters detrimental to lighting that I’m missing? Thanks!

Also, What are your opinions on the Current USA Orbits lights?
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Old 08-19-2005, 01:56 PM   #2
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mike,

basically HQI Metal Halide lights have a stronger output and deeper water penetration than standard output fluorescents. While they generate much more head they offer a more true spectrum and are more comparable to the sun's light than a NO flo. light.

That said wattage and spectrum are the key in keeping any reef tank, and metal halide lighting is not without its major disadvantages. First Halides produce a lot of heat, use a lot of electricity, and are very expensive for both fixtures and bulbs. In addition to that thier life span is not nearly as long as standard flo bulbs.

If you are planning a reef tank without using metal halides that is fine, I personally have shied away from using them - though I would not recommend standard flo fixtures and bulbs. You would be better off using VHO flo light, T5 Flo Lights, or Power Compact Flo lights. In addition that that you would never want all your bulbs to be 10,000k daylight, you would want an equal mix of Daylight and Actinic Blue Lighting.

As far as Current USA's orbit fixutes. I personally use the Oribt 36 inch with 384 watts of output and think it to be one of the best fixtures on the market.
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Old 08-19-2005, 02:05 PM   #3
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I was under the impression that ALL light had a certain level of loss depeding on water depth that was not in relation to the light source. I could be wrong though.

I currently have 2 40w blues and 2 40w 10,000k NO's

I've been considering upgrading to the Orbit system (48" with 4 65w bulbs. 2 blues, 2 10,000k's) I found one for just a hair over $200 so I might jump on that.

That would put me at 4.7 wats per gallon (55gal tank) - is this too much or right on?
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Old 08-19-2005, 03:24 PM   #4
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I'm running the Satellite 4x65 over my 65g and before that ran it over my 120 which now has 2x250MH. I would say it would be perfect for the 55. You still won't be able to keep some higher light animals (clams, some anemone, brighter SPS, ....) but could pretty much keep a wide range of other things. While they may all be burning the same number of watts (how much electricity is being used), the light that they produce is completely different.
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Old 08-19-2005, 03:29 PM   #5
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no 4-5 watts per gallon is pretty standard, some people including myself have 7-10 p / gallon
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:11 PM   #6
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If you are looking for a light check ebay i got a jebo for 135 off of there. It has same specs you are looking for.
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
It has same specs you are looking for.
... with only 1/2 the quality!

Seriously, the Jebo units are notorious for their poor quality/workmanship. I personally wouldn't own one though I'm sure there are plenty of people who do.
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