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Old 10-30-2008, 11:53 PM   #1
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Swirly bulbs?

I have got my hands on some 26w=100w GE bulbs. I have researched them online and they put out 6500K. Do I count the 26 or the 100 for watts, and is this anywhere close to the right spectrum for a FOWLR. I also have a 20w actinic bulb that I am using. Are these bulbs good enough for my tank. If so how many? http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o...d/S7303164.jpg
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Old 10-31-2008, 12:09 AM   #2
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you count the 26 watts and i have no idea if u can grow live rocks!
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Old 10-31-2008, 01:13 AM   #3
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Anyone else?
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:18 AM   #4
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That's a great bulb for growing algae. I have the same 1 over my sump. Would probably look like crap over a display tank tho. It is somewhat yellow looking.
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Old 11-05-2008, 07:55 AM   #5
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I have a couple of those running in a small wine cellar. The 6500K is white/blue-white for me.

I would not use them. However, I believe you would count the 100W as that is the equivalent output where the 26 is the energy consumed.
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Old 11-05-2008, 12:07 PM   #6
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No, you count the 26 watts, just because incandescent give off lots of heat you cannot compare as those are horrible lighting
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Old 11-05-2008, 04:29 PM   #7
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I'll chime in, and probably confuse the issue more!

Regarding the 26W vs 100W... as far as household lighting is concerned, one of those 26W fluorescent bulbs gives off the same amount of "light" as a 100W incandescent. "Light" is an unexact/incorrect term here, because you're really talking about lumens or lux or par or some other scientific quantity of light. But sticking a bulb in a lamp, a 26W swirly gives off the same apparent light as a 100W old fashioned bulb. So I believe CaptainAhab is correct.

BUT...

We're not talking "reading" light here, were comparing aquarium lighting. And when people talk about 100W of aquarium lighting, they're not talking about incandescent bulbs - they're talking about fluorescent. They're talking about the amount of "light" 100W of fluorescent lighting (or MH) gives off. So if you're going to compare that swirly bulb with a real aquarium lighting fixture, in my opinion, you need to compare fluorescent watts to fluorescent watts - which would mean you'd use the 26W.

Regardless... I wouldn't use it.
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:55 PM   #8
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That actually clears a lot up! Thank you all for your input, however there is still one question unanswered. Is this spectrum good enough for "let's say" additional lighting?
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:00 PM   #9
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I would not use it to light a display tank. A refugium is a different matter though. I have a 26w (100w) over my fuge and it does an amazing job in growing my macro algae.

Lighting is one of the things in this hobby that you have to drop the coin for. If you are wanting to go more effecient then look at T5 HO.
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:30 AM   #10
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Yup... lighting and skimmers - it seems like you get what you pay for.
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:58 AM   #11
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that was the most uninformative reply I have ever gotten "Thanks"!
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:03 AM   #12
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Thank you for the crappy advice Kurt, it is well appreciated. I need help not criticism.
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:35 AM   #13
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Not to belabor the point but wouldn't you would need to compare the lumen output since the wattage is the measure of the amount of electrical power required by the lamp to operate at any given instant - the power going in the lamp where a lumen is a measure of the amount of light produced by a lamp - the light coming out of the lamp?

Again not to drag this in a direction it was never intended but it is another of those 'down through the ages' guidelines that has been generalized to make it more easily comparable for the average consumer.

As always .....................IMO
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:33 PM   #14
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I don't think Kurt was criticizing, he was simply stating that in some instances (bulbs and skimmers, for example) are things you probably should save up to get a good quality piece of equipment.
It has been stated with experience that bulb would be great for a sump/fuge but not really for your main tank.
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:39 PM   #15
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I second Scott's statement.

I have said it many times on here as well that skimmers and lighting are 2 parts of your system that you really can't skimp on. The bulbs you are talking about just don't have the spectrum or the intensity to do much for a reef tank. They may be ok for a FO or FOWLR. I still think the better option is to look into a T5HO fixture or retro kit.
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Old 11-24-2008, 02:40 PM   #16
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Thank you all and apologize for my rudeness! Taxes are coming! Maybe can afford a good system!
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Old 11-25-2008, 07:33 PM   #17
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Just to clarify...

W (watt) is not a measurement of how bright a bulb is. It's a measurement of HEAT. A lower watt bulb DOES mean a bulb that produces less heat, which means less heat transfer to your aquarium, and less fire hazard. But again, this has nothing to do with bulb brightness.
Lumens (or foot candles/candella) is a measurement of how bright a bulb is. This is the number you want to verify for a display tank.

In terms of Kelvin (color temperature), Natural (unfiltered) halogens are 3300k, 4300k is pure white, and most closely resembles the color of natural sunlight. (hence newer car headlight bulbs (HID) being 4200-4500k stock.) Metal Halide bulbs are in the 5000k zone, and is where the spectrum begins to have a blue tint to it. (some refer to this as ultra-white) 6000k has a light blue tint (some call this cool-blue), and as the numbers increase the color progressively gets more blue into the purples around 8000k.

Other people may have the same bulb design, but they purchased the bulb in a different kelvin, so it's better to not ask opinions about a bulb based on the name of the bulb alone.

The kelvin is also important (from the research I've been doing) for determining algae growth. A bulb in the yellow/red spectrum (3300k) will offer more algae growth, whereas a pure white or blue tinted bulb is more effective for your corals and for display purposes.

If your particular bulb really is in the 6000k range, I don't see why it wouldn't be suitable for display tank. Again, add up the total lumens (brightness) of your bulbs against the depth of the water in your aquarium to determine if you're overlighting, or underlighting your aquarium.

On a side note, I'm still trying to understand the photosynthesis process in SW aquariums compared to FW. I've had FW for years, and it's common knowledge that red/orange/yellow/light green bulbs are much more important for plants/plant growth, but the blue-spectrum bulbs will cause an algae bloom very rapidly. I still don't understand why blue (though it looks much cooler, and apparently necessary spectrum for many corals) doesn't cause algae blooms in SW.

Anyway, hope this helps you some.

Justin
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Old 11-27-2008, 02:06 AM   #18
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Thank you Justin, this is the clear information I need, not a buy this super expensive bulb that cost $150 when I can get the same lighting for $50. I appreciate your input and obvious expertise. Good luck
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