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Old 11-08-2010, 12:54 PM   #1
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T5 Vs T12

other than the obvious size...what are the differences?

is one better than the other? more efficient?

Planning on making my own hood and lighting system...trying to decide what to go with.
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Old 11-08-2010, 01:50 PM   #2
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Old 11-08-2010, 02:15 PM   #3
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Salt or fresh water? If Salt, doing reef or not? I'm not the one to answer you, but those choices will help others recommend a light.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:07 PM   #4
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T5 is more efficient than T12, both in terms of electricity converted to light and light directed into the tank. The smaller form factor of the T5 allows for better reflectors, less restrike, and more bulbs over a tank. Go with T5 if you can. You can buy decent bulbs in the home improvement stores. T5HO is even better in terms of light per area if you want to go planted or reef.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:09 PM   #5
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T5 is a smaller diameter therefore allowing each bulb to have an individual, higly polished, parabolic reflector. This type of refelctor can put 955+ of the bulbs output into the tank. T12's don't lend themselves to this type of refelctor so the light output is scattered. Without the individual parabolic reflector the T5 is not much better than a T8.
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:26 PM   #6
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I've been considering building a canopy. I was considering T12s due to their lower cost and wider availability at home improvement stores.

However, I have read that T12s are due to be phased out due to federal legislation. They apparently aren't energy efficient enough.

If true, that would make the decision for me.

Can anyone confirm this, or if there is an exception that applies to bulbs that aquarists use?

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Old 11-12-2010, 11:44 PM   #7
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most fixtures you can buy now would be T8 not T12. T12 are already being phased out. just look at the fluorescent lights you can buy at the home stores now, you will rarely find a T12 fixture.
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Old 11-12-2010, 11:48 PM   #8
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I think if you are considering using t12 bulbs and want the cost savings versus buying a t5ho fixture then purchase a t8 fixture instead. The costs between t12 and t8 are very similar and you have more bulb selection with the t8s.

Also remember that the larger the bulb diameter, the more heat it puts off.
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Old 11-13-2010, 12:10 PM   #9
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Is this for a Freshwater tank or Saltwater tank?
I'm assuming you just want some light in the tank to see the fish and are not concerned with plants, or corals.

If so, then T12's or T8's are the norm for office lighting and are rather inexepenisve.

I just checked and ...
"the T8 bulb a more energy efficient bulb to use. A government standard known as the Federal Minimum Energy Standard requires buildings to start using energy efficient lighting, favoring the T8 over the T12. "

So it looks like the T12 may be gone in a few years.
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmor1701d View Post

I just checked and ...
"the T8 bulb a more energy efficient bulb to use. A government standard known as the Federal Minimum Energy Standard requires buildings to start using energy efficient lighting, favoring the T8 over the T12. "

So it looks like the T12 may be gone in a few years.
My work recently had to change the ballasts in some fixtures, and the electrician said he was pretty much mandated to change them out to T8's because it was nigh on impossible to get T12's any more.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:29 PM   #11
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If you have a fixture with an electronic ballast, it will work with either T8 or T12. <The endcaps & length are identical between T8 & T12, so they are physically interchangeable.> The electronic ballast and the T8's are both more efficient. They might cost a few bucks more, but you will save that in electricity in no time. <A T8 is about 15% more efficient than the T12.>

If you get an old style T12 with an electro-magnetic ballast (or worst yet, the big old magnectic ballasts), you will have to swap out the ballast to run T8. < Not only are the old ballasts big, heavy & inefficient, they also hum ... I would avoid those at all cost!>

T8's are the most cost efficient way to light a tank. Plain T5's are prob not that much better & is not worth the extra cost IMO. If you want to go up from T8, get T5-HO's with a good reflector.
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Old 11-15-2010, 12:06 AM   #12
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Don't confuse teh T5s that you buy at the depot with the T5s we use for reef lighting. those are T5HO.
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Old 11-15-2010, 05:47 AM   #13
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From what I can see there is no particular reason to buy T5's unless a T8 bulb wouldn't give you enough light for the width of space you have under your hood, or your vertical space is limited too.

If intensity of light isn't an issue then just go with a T8. I have the opposite problem, T8's are too bright!
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