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Old 02-12-2010, 03:27 PM   #1
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T5 and PC

Whats the difference between T5 high output lights and PC lights. I realize more watts is better, but is watts of T5 more powerful than PC?
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:06 PM   #2
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I dont think so. watts are watts, its a unit of measure. But from what i have read, t5s run cooler and are more effiecient (use less electricity for same amount of light) But I am sure someone else can add to or correct this info.
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:21 PM   #3
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T5HO has more intensity plus they have individual reflectors that helps to capture all of the light. Moving this to the General Hardware and equipment discussion.
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:27 PM   #4
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So T5 HO is better? Another question I have is can the lights be longer or shorter than the actual tank? Im looking for a 20" long light and it really only gives me one option. How much light is lost by getting a 24" or how much does it hurt getting an 18"?
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Old 02-12-2010, 11:00 PM   #5
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I believe PC (power compact) are inferior T5 HO because PC bulbs mutate quickly by that I mean the lights it emits changes and weakens quickly or faster than T5. I'm no expert but this is what I was told by my local fish store when I was going to buy a light for my tank. Also I think PC is considered old tech.
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Old 02-13-2010, 12:29 AM   #6
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T5HO gives you a little better lumens/watt I believe but mainly the fixture runs cooler per watt. I replaced a Coralife Lunar Aqualight PC 48" strip that ran 4 22" PC bulbs with a Nova Extreme 8 bulb T5HO and it puts out more heat, but the light output is like triple.
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:20 AM   #7
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Hmmm ok. Well I don't know what to do for my tank. I cant find a T5 that's 20" long and from what your saying PC is inferior. Suggestions?
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:32 AM   #8
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i have a t5ho 30 inch that is on my 24 inch, 20 gallon high tank. as long as the bulbs themselves are not longer than the tank you shouldnt have a problem
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:49 AM   #9
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I believe the bulbs are 22"
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Old 02-13-2010, 02:16 AM   #10
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You definitely get more intensity from T5HO versus PC, but with such a small tank like you're talking about, I'm not sure it's really worth the extra money. Your tank isn't that deep, so you don't really need the extra intensity to reach the depths of your tank.

It really depends on what you want to keep. If you don't want any limitations, then T5HO is the better option. But if you just want LPS, and some low/mid lighting SPS, PC can work just fine for you. It may be inferior, but it's still good enough to have a nice little reef.

The other thing going for T5HO fixtures over PC, is that you can pack more lights in the same amount of space. So for a given fixture size, you can get more light output just from the fact that you get more bulbs.

Not sure what the changeout schedule is for T5HO, but I think DarkAnvil is right about PCs needing to be changed out more often. I run PCs and change mine out every 6 months. I think the recommendation is 6-8 months. I can definitely see a difference after 6 months between old and new bulbs. Definite shift in color and intensity.
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