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Old 03-10-2005, 11:57 AM   #1
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What's the big deal with T5 lights?

So what's with them..? I see they cost a lot more! So what's the big deal? Less power, more light?

Thanks!
Steve
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Old 03-10-2005, 12:43 PM   #2
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The are basicly the new kid on the block for reef lighting. I havent used them but my understanding is they run cooler than PC's and they are of course smaller in size than VHO's.

I belive the intensity may be even brighter than PC and VHO but I havnt seen any real scientific tests done to prove that.
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:09 PM   #3
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Interesting... so from what I've seen, the pricing difference is about $300 - $400 bucks for the T5 lights.

Ex: (Both lights and prices are taken from MarineDepot.com)
Aqua Medic Ocean Light T5/MH Combo Series, 48" (2x250W + 2x54W) - Black $962.00
vs.
48" Current USA Outer Orbit 10000K HQI Metal Halide 2x150W Dual Daylight / 2x130W Dual Actinic & 6 Lunar Lights $643.90

For the difference in pricing, you could get a chiller. Then heat isn't an issue for just about anything you do. I guess I'd rather get the chiller (as I think I'm going to need one anyway) rather then spend extra money on the T5 lights that don't seem to be much of a benefit.

Thanks for the reply, FishFreek!
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:27 PM   #4
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steppa,
i have only been running my t-5 ligts for about a week now (still cycling). i bought the 6 x 54w teklight system from reefgeek. i know they are the newest thing on the market, but people who have them cannot say enough good things about them. i think the idea is that instead of using metal halides, the t-5 offer a cheaper alternative (not condoning this). you also have to be careful with the kind of reflector that comes with the t-5 lights. the parabolic reflectors that come with tek lights reflect very close to 100% of the light back into the tank, which is why you can have more success with lower w/gal. someone from another forum has been running tek lights for almost a year now, and is successfully keeping clams and sps with only 2.8w/gal. he is using 4 x 39w in a 55 gal tank and has some beautiful sequential pictures to back the lights up. i was also thinking about going metal halide, but did not want the higher cost of electricity, or the heat situation. not saying this is the right way, just the way i decided to go. i will report back on the tek light system in a few months hopefull with some pictures.
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Old 03-10-2005, 03:51 PM   #5
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Those two setups I would not consiter to be equivlent. They are more like apples and oranges. One uses a pair of 250W MH bulbs where as the other is 150W MH bulbs. That in itself will make up for some of the difference. Another difference is that it appears they are both different brands so that will also affect price.

I suspect if you compaired equivlent lighting setups the differances in price will be less.
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Old 03-10-2005, 04:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katz
i was also thinking about going metal halide, but did not want the higher cost of electricity.
Would a 250w MH light use more power than 250w of PC lights?
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Euphyllia, Alveopora, Pachyclauvularia (Metallic Green and Daisy), Frogspawn, Torch, Gold Nepthea, Kenya Tree, Galaxea, Pulsing Xenia, various leather (umbrella, toadstool, fingers, devil fingers, lettuce)
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Old 03-10-2005, 04:04 PM   #7
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In theory no. Watt is a measure of power consumption so a 250W of electricyis a 250W of electricty regarless of what type of bulb. With that said though a 250W MH bulb will be much more intense than 250W of PC lighting over a 2' square area. Outside that 2' area the PC bulbs will be more intense. This is becaues MH bulbs is a single point of light and as you get further away from the light source the intensity drops off. With florecent bulbs the light source is the entire bulb so the intensity is spread out over the entire lengh of the bulb.
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Old 03-10-2005, 04:18 PM   #8
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OK, that makes sense.

I have never been able to figure out why people say that MH bulbs are more expensive to run. 250w is 250w is 250w in my book - whether it be PC, MH, or a toaster oven for that matter.
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125 SW
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330w PC
Euphyllia, Alveopora, Pachyclauvularia (Metallic Green and Daisy), Frogspawn, Torch, Gold Nepthea, Kenya Tree, Galaxea, Pulsing Xenia, various leather (umbrella, toadstool, fingers, devil fingers, lettuce)
Maroon Clown/White tip LT anemone, Powder Blue Tang, Female Swallow Angel, SixLine Wrasse, Solar Fairy Wrasse, Firefish, Fathead Anthias, Blue Mandarin, 3 Chromis, 3 Green Gobies
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Old 03-10-2005, 06:44 PM   #9
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There are 2 main types of lighting: high intensity discharge(HID) and the fluorescent(VHO,PC,T5).

Equivalent wattage fixtures: 250wt HID vs 250wt Fluro
1) will consume the same amount of electricity
2) HID will penetrate much deeper into the tank
3) fluro wins the battle for evenly dispersed light throughout the tank
4) they will both put out a good amount of heat

Now, I haven't had time to fine tune the maths, but replacing bulbs also becomes a factor:

Six 40 watt PC 50/50 bulbs = $120
One 250 watt 14k MH = $57
(prices from Captivereefs)

Tosum it up, it all depends on your tank parameters (size/depth). Ideally a mix of both types should be sought nice dawn to dusk effect). Many people will tell you that you can't have this or that in your tank unless you have MH (not true -- have seen some incredible tanks using only fluro lighting).

As for the most bang for your buck (PC vs T5 vs VHO), I don't really have answer.

I'm guessing that T5 wins out with regards to:
1. light output per watt
2. more balanced PAR spectrum
3. unobtrussiveness of bulb/fitting


I may be misled on some of this (am by no means an expert), please let me know

cheers

nick
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Old 03-10-2005, 08:16 PM   #10
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I am running 4x54 watts T5's in my 100gallon, I didnt think it was going to be enough, my tank is bright as heck, if you have the money for MH i would recommend them, but for me these lights work great.
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