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Old 03-24-2009, 02:42 PM   #1
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Could this light work?

I have a desk lamp that I was looking at. I'll try and get a picture tonight. The bulb reads 40 watt 120 volt. If I replaced this with a CFL (twirly bulb) could I effectively have an extra 40 watts to put over my tank? Will it be much less efficient than the average aquarium light? Thanks
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Old 03-24-2009, 03:49 PM   #2
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it will not be in the right spectrum I believe. I am new to the planted world but from everything I have heard and read you need the right spectrum of light between 6700 and 10000 K and a regular bulb does not have that
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:14 PM   #3
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You could find a CFL in the right spectrum, and it would add some extra light. I don't think you could call it adding 40 watts to the tank though, as those twirly cfls mean that even a great reflector is not going to focus the light into the tank.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:32 PM   #4
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People have use the Pigtails CF for planted tanks. You can find Daylight/ full spectrum ones at the hardware store.

However, they usu. comes in 13W (maybe some 17's, but I have not seen daylight ones in that), so you are not going to be able to get 40 W in the fixture.

And as others had said, only a fraction of the light produced is going to get into the tank because of the spiral design. So, you can get some extra usable light into the tank, but not nearly as much as you are hoping for.
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:36 PM   #5
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Well if I can get 50% efficiency then that would still put 60 watts over a 10 gallon which is pretty solid light.

Jsoong I'm confused by what you meant. Are you saying I can't get a 40watt bulb that is in the right spectrum and that I would have to goto a lower watt?
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:38 PM   #6
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I think you may be looking at less than 50% efficiency, but still the principle is the same- you are adding extra light for less cost than buying an "aquarium" fixture.
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:27 PM   #7
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That is the goal. Plus it is silver and will look kind of cool. I think it will work better than the average DIY because as a desk lamp, it is designed to direct the light in a specific direction. Difficult to say exactly how efficiently it does this.

Will I be able to get a 40 watt CFL bulb in the normal spectrum?
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Old 03-24-2009, 07:45 PM   #8
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I've been looking at the pigtail CFLs and iirc the highest wattage in with a 6500k ratings (they're referred to as 'daylight' bulbs) is 23w.
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:03 PM   #9
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what are pigtail clfs? iirc? can you send me a link? I guess i'll have to look into it I have no idea if I can get the right bulb. what spectrum is the average bulb in?
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:09 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by SWerner13 View Post
what are pigtail clfs? iirc? can you send me a link? I guess i'll have to look into it I have no idea if I can get the right bulb. what spectrum is the average bulb in?
pigtail CFL is the curly CFL we're discussing. iirc = if i remember correctly
www. the light bulb aisle at your nearest wal mart or lowes. com
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:17 AM   #11
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pigtail CFL = The screw in spiral florescent bulbs that you can replace your old incandescent bulbs with in standard light sockets.
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Old 03-25-2009, 12:55 AM   #12
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www. the light bulb aisle at your nearest wal mart or lowes. com
ya ya yaaaa... lol

I'm still confused, if there is a 40 watt bulb in there now how come I can't replace it with a 40 watt cfl or have you not found one thats in the right spectrum?
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:09 AM   #13
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ya ya yaaaa... lol

I'm still confused, if there is a 40 watt bulb in there now how come I can't replace it with a 40 watt cfl or have you not found one thats in the right spectrum?
i have found 40watt CFLs (they're supposed to replace like 150 watt incandescant) but they are not in the proper spectrum.
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:18 AM   #14
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Ok well thanks for all the posts I guess I will look around for the highest watt bulb in the right spectrum
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:40 AM   #15
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Just put in a big CFL thats rated at 6500k. Home Depot has the best selection I've found around Tampa.

I got two 15w 6500k's over mine. Works like a charm. As in, grows algae like a charm.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:16 AM   #16
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Just put in a big CFL thats rated at 6500k. Home Depot has the best selection I've found around Tampa.

I got two 15w 6500k's over mine. Works like a charm. As in, grows algae like a charm.
I was just hoping for higher watts... You gotta come see the thing I'm making I took apart this desk lamp I have did a bit of rewiring and I'm gonna hook it up a clamp I already have to it will hang on the back behind my current light.
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Old 03-25-2009, 02:23 AM   #17
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i cant remember 100% but i think there are up to like 50w CFLs at HD. Check it out.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:32 AM   #18
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ebay... its your friend...

FULL SPECTRUM DAYLIGHT CFL FLUORESCENT PLANT BULBS 26W - eBay (item 190278850236 end time Apr-07-09 17:53:03 PDT)

26watts.. however on these its closer to 80-100 watts....

6 GROW DAYLIGHT 6500K SPECTRUM SIX DAYLIGHT CFL Bulbs - eBay (item 180181049274 end time Apr-09-09 08:22:36 PDT)

and a 6 pack lol both of which are 6500k true daylight bulbs.
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:13 PM   #19
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Update:

I went today and looked at wal-mart, ace, and home depot and the highest watt cfl bulb I could find was the 26 watt daylight bulb that you mentioned. I have my diy light set up now. I have no idea how effective it will truly be but for sure it will add some light to the 40 watts I have on there already. If I can every get my diffuser in I should be good to go.
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:13 PM   #20
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p.s. home depot surprisingly had the junkiest selection of daylight bulbs
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