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Old 02-15-2006, 03:23 PM   #1
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Having trouble finding info on CF output compared to NO bulb

How much brighter is a CF bulb per watt than a NO bulb?

I found one fixture on bigal's that said 3x brighter than NO. Is this true?

I want to upgrade the lights on my 29 gal to make it a medium-high light tank.(2-3 wpg NO)

I was thinking about a 65W CF fixture. If it is truly 3X the output, than that would be the NO equivalent of 6.7 WPG!! That can't be correct.

Please Help
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Old 02-15-2006, 04:00 PM   #2
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I wouldn't take it that far... When considering CF vs NO, I would computer the WPG as normal, then tack on a little bit more to the CF.

Say, 2 WPG CF might be more like 2.3 or 2.5 max IMO. No way it's 3x.

JMO, tho. I have no data to back that up, at all.
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Old 02-15-2006, 04:22 PM   #3
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easiest thing to do is research lumens output on both bulbs. lumens is the actual brightness of the output, where as wattage is just energy consumed to produce light.

remember that NO's and CF's are different wattages, so to truly compare, you may have to do a little math to make them a straight comparison, watt to watt, lumen to lumen.
You can't just say "oh a 40w NO has 400 lumens and a 55w CF has 1300 lumens, wow that's over 3x more!". You'd need to bump 40w NO to 55w NO and then find the lumens for that.
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Old 02-15-2006, 05:21 PM   #4
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Yes, I understand that it really about lumens per gal (or in some cases lumens per unit area is more appropriate). Unfortunately finding the lumen output of bulbs is next to impossible. I'll try searching the websites of bulb manufacturers. If you have any sources please send them my way.
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Old 02-15-2006, 08:37 PM   #5
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sadly I don't have the URL to a chart that used to list a few brands of CF bulbs, and some brands of NO tubes.
CF is not even close to 3x output of NO tubes. Incandescent, yes.

This is rough, but I think a 40w NO tube gave off around 750lumens, while a 55w PC gave off 1100-1200 lumens.

That is REALLY just a rough guess at info I read 2 years ago.
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Old 02-15-2006, 09:02 PM   #6
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That is a rough guess..

a 40W T12 gives off 2000 Lumens (sometimes up to 2200)
a 32W T8 gives off 2700 Lumens (some up to 2950)
a 65W T5 (compact flourescent) gives off I'ld guess around 6700 Lumens (I'm guessing here)

So it's more effiecient, quite a bit more efficient then a T12 / W, but not a huge difference over T8.. but it gains in it's higher wattage/space required.
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Old 02-15-2006, 09:06 PM   #7
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i cant recall the lumens per watt for both bulb types but i do remember that the difference is very small, somewhere in the neighborhood of 10% more for CF. I asked the same question awhile back here:http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...ghlight=lumens
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Old 02-15-2006, 09:24 PM   #8
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Here is an excellent article that answers my questions. We should all be more interest in "PAR".

http://www.aquabotanic.com/lightcompare.htm

"PAReff: the PAR/Watt efficiency ratio. With plant applications in mind, this parameter should be the primary criterion for quantifying bulb efficiency. Thus, in the following two tables, bulbs are ranked in order of decreasing PAR efficiency. "
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Old 02-15-2006, 09:48 PM   #9
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I remember reading that at one point, probably looking at Metal halide efficiency.
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