Hey Justin. You have officially opened a can of confusion. For at least 10 year's now there has been discussion on which is better, T5's or CF
(power compacts). Well it comes down to the reflectors. Power Compacts are great, I have one set over my reef tank. The problem with this is that only 25% of the light goes directly into the tank while the rest directs up and both sides and doesn't always get reflected back into the tank. I also have the Hagen Glo t5's over the same tank in conjunction with the CF
's. With the correct reflectors you can get over %50 more light put back into your tank using the t5's so it is not wasted. The only problem with the Hagen is there are no individually contoured reflectors or individual reflectors at all. So it won't put out as much light as we had hoped into the tank because some of it is reflected back into the bulb wasting energy. T5's have also been known to shine with intensity deeper in a tank than CF
. (Don't quote me on any of this, I just did tons of research and this is nearly my opinion out of what I had read)
Sorry if this has confused you. But I am in the process of getting new lighting myself and have decided to go with t5's after doing tons of research online. We all live on a budget these days so I was looking for some bang for my buck.
Hope this helps Justin!