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Old 09-21-2006, 08:01 PM
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Default Lighting confusion

I am a bit confused when it comes to these CF lights. I have a pair of 23 watt bulbs for a 20 gallon tank, but it says that one is equal to a 100 watt bulb.

Which number is the important one? I am never quite sure what number people are refering to when takling about these kinds of lights. And finally is this sufficent light? Its a fiarly short tank.

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Old 09-21-2006, 10:18 PM
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A 23 watt CF bulb puts out an equivalent amount of light to a standard 100 watt bulb, but only uses 23 watts to do it (I'm pretty sure that's right). As far as if it's enough, it really depends on what you're putting it over. Most 10's will be ok with this, but it just really depends on the tank you're using it over as to whether it is enough or not. One thing you want to be sure of when using these is to use the daylight bulbs and not soft white or anything else, and try to get 6500K bulbs if you can (it the clor of the light produced) you can find this rating printed most times on the ceramic base betweenthe screw in part and the actualy bulb.

Edit... woops, just saw you said a 20... 2 bulbs will be fine.
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Old 09-21-2006, 10:24 PM
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Ok, so the color of the light, is that just for asthetics, or does it make a significant difference for the plants health in the tank?

2nd, if someone says that I need for example, 50 watts, is that 50 watts of CF lights or like a 25 watt CF bulb that is equivillant to a 50 watt incandesent?

Whew... getting less confused by the day.

Justin
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Old 09-21-2006, 10:43 PM
 
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Try this link for a audio/photo podcast from "AJCs Virtual Frogroom".
This is a program about viv lighting, can be downloaded, and played with a regular player.
Link to page:

http://frogroom-podcast.blogspot.com/

Direct link to lighting show:

http://ia311535.us.archive.org/3/items/ ... oom024.m4a

Good Luck
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Old 09-21-2006, 10:45 PM
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Mike (defaced) can better answer the technical acpects of it, but as I seem to remember, the color is the spectrum of light that particular bulb emits, and yes it does matter for plant growth. I am not positive why (once again, reference Mike or Antone), but 6500K is optimal for our applications. On the other question, go by the rating on the CF bulb but even more applicable than using watts, use lumens (or maybe it's foot candles... really need Mike or Antone for that one). In short, wait for Mike or Antone to chime in here on the second part for an exact answer, but hopefully the rest will get you started.
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Old 09-21-2006, 11:35 PM
 
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k = kelvin wich does matter when it comes to plants as well as lumens. the higher the kelvin the more blue spectrum you get, 6500-6700k is just right for plant growth according to my in door growing i have done. UV is another story....
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Old 09-22-2006, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Resilient
Ok, so the color of the light, is that just for asthetics, or does it make a significant difference for the plants health in the tank?
Spectrum plays an integral role in plant 'seasons'. The primary color for vegetative growth is blue (the best bulbs of this color that give the best results for plants are actinic and cannot be used when darts are being housed). As for its' seasonality the blue spectrum peaks during summer solstice. A plant engages its' focus towards capturing the red-uV end spectrum when devoting its' development to flowering/fruit production/winter-dry period dormancy. Also can aid in keeping plants more dense and reduced rate in growth. For red sesonality, you may have guessed it, directly before and after winter (fall/spring). One spectrum that is almost completely useless to plants is green and thus making most of the plants themselves GREEN. Why? So the green light is refracted from the plant, making it available to assimilate more energized spectrum forms. The spectrum that is entirely void of use by plants is the yellow. Yellow tinted bulbs are crap and a waste of money (i.e. standard flourescents/ and many other modern bulbs). They also look distasteful and give an ugly glare to plants. The whiter the bulb the better (high on all but the yellow spectrum). There are also actinic whites that are top notch for growing plants, but again can't be used while darts are present in the tank.

Quote:
2nd, if someone says that I need for example, 50 watts, is that 50 watts of CF lights or like a 25 watt CF bulb that is equivillant to a 50 watt incandesent?
Lumen out put or in candle power compared by wattage would be a more appropriate way of decerning efficienty.

Quote:
Whew... getting less confused by the day.

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Old 09-22-2006, 04:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbreland
Mike (defaced) can better answer the technical acpects of it, but as I seem to remember, the color is the spectrum of light that particular bulb emits, and yes it does matter for plant growth. I am not positive why (once again, reference Mike or Antone), but 6500K is optimal for our applications. On the other question, go by the rating on the CF bulb but even more applicable than using watts, use lumens (or maybe it's foot candles... really need Mike or Antone for that one). In short, wait for Mike or Antone to chime in here on the second part for an exact answer, but hopefully the rest will get you started.
Yeah, cause the rest of us don't know a candle from a metal halide :roll:
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Old 09-22-2006, 05:15 AM
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I'm admittantly horrible with lights. Up until recently I didn't even touch lighting threads. If it couldn't be done with a shop light, I didn't do it. Now if it can't be done with a shop light or a LoA flood light, I can't do it.

Foot candle and lumen are intensity.

Kelvin (horrible name for a unit of color) is the color of light.

Each play an important role in successful plant growth just like stchupa already said.

I need to add something to my sig to the effect of "I don't know everything technical". I'm just some guy who posts (alot). My word is no better than anyone elses.



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Old 09-22-2006, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stchupa
.....plants are actinic and cannot be used when darts are being housed).

.....are also actinic whites that are top notch for growing plants, but again can't be used while darts are present in the tank.

Justin
two questions, why can actinic not be used on a dart enclosure?

and, why does the actinic work best for plants when it puts out next to nothing as far as lumens? ive used actinics over tanks before (suuplemental for looks, i used to like the blue a lot better) and think that i got a lot less growth than with a 3100k kitchen bulb from WalMart. the kitchen bulb and the actinic were used in conjunction with daylight bulbs.
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Old 09-23-2006, 11:29 PM
 
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if terrestrial plants are anything like aquatic plants then actintic bulbs won't do much for plants, you'd be much better off with a daylight or grow bulb.
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Old 09-24-2006, 07:03 AM
 
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here is an informative link for ya, its a good reference.
Doyles Dart Den
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Old 09-25-2006, 04:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2mnytnx
Quote:
Originally Posted by stchupa
.....plants are actinic and cannot be used when darts are being housed).

.....are also actinic whites that are top notch for growing plants, but again can't be used while darts are present in the tank.

Justin
two questions, why can actinic not be used on a dart enclosure?
They will cause cataracts in frogs. So I've been told.

Quote:
and, why does the actinic work best for plants when it puts out next to nothing as far as lumens? ive used actinics over tanks before (suuplemental for looks, i used to like the blue a lot better) and think that i got a lot less growth than with a 3100k kitchen bulb from WalMart. the kitchen bulb and the actinic were used in conjunction with daylight bulbs.
I think I explained that to some extent. One thing I miss stated was that actinic bulbs tend to be used for reef tanks and one advantage they have is that the light doesn't diffuse/filter with the exceeding depth of the tank to the extent as would others. Made for water but still make do.

I don't think you had actinic bulbs because they're not pleasent per say to look at unless 'again' used in a water tank. Of course you can have your opinions, but they hurt the hell out of my eyes. But I don't use them on anything I care to look at (for the time being). I like to use them to start the tank beore the addition of frogs to quicken growth (especially of the ground welling mosses/plants) Makes them nice and green, then when I switch to the whites everything goes blooming.

As for lumens, they don't mean squat for vivs (or decern plant requirments), lumens are displayed as intensity of the bulb per sq. ft., do not consider 'depth' and intensity drops. With intensity comes heat and most plants used in vivs need neither.
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Old 09-25-2006, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stchupa
...They will cause cataracts in frogs. So I've been told. ...

is this all frogs? i had the actinics on my tank for a long time with a bufo americanus and a group of hyle cinerea for over a year and a half. how long does it take?



I think I explained that to some extent. One thing I miss stated was that actinic bulbs tend to be used for reef tanks and one advantage they have is that the light doesn't diffuse/filter with the exceeding depth of the tank to the extent as would others. Made for water but still make do.

i was under the impression that the spectrum of light put off by actinics (~420 nm) was to immulate the spectrum of light that does penetrate that deep. beings that not many plants grow sumbersed under salt water (not terrestial plants anyway) there arent many viv plants that could benefit from that spectrum of light.


I don't think you had actinic bulbs because they're not pleasent per say to look at unless 'again' used in a water tank. Of course you can have your opinions, but they hurt the hell out of my eyes. But I don't use them on anything I care to look at (for the time being). I like to use them to start the tank beore the addition of frogs to quicken growth (especially of the ground welling mosses/plants) Makes them nice and green, then when I switch to the whites everything goes blooming.

i think this is a visual perception thing instead of the mosses actually greening because of the llight, again JMO though. the blue (violet) light washes out the reds of the plants giving them a different appearance. IMO, plants green a lot better under warmer bulbs (5500k or so).


As for lumens, they don't mean squat for vivs (or decern plant requirments), lumens are displayed as intensity of the bulb per sq. ft., do not consider 'depth' and intensity drops. With intensity comes heat and most plants used in vivs need neither.

i disagree with this totally. lumens are important to all plants. intensity is important. you do have to take into account the lumens at the plant leaf and not at the bulb, but none the less it is the most important factor IMO. it is importatn that the light be in the correct spectrum, but the more lumens the more color out of your plants and the more likely youll be able to grow light demanding plants. also, you do have to take into account the amount of heat a bulb puts off, but its not determined by the intensity of the light, more so the effeciancy. a 27w spiral PC has as intense light as a 100w incandescant but puts out a ton less heat because it burns more effeciant.

just stating some of my own observations and opinions.
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Old 09-25-2006, 05:20 PM
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I'll jump in here with my $.02.

I don't use Actinic bulbs on terrestrial planted tanks. Its b/c of what Landon said, they are desingned to emulate the color of light that would hit the plants submersed under ocean water. If they were needed for terrestrial plants, you'd see them A LOT more often on top of plants at Hydroponics stores or at nurseries that grow plants under artificial light. Not sure about you but I've never seen it.

Lumens itself is important to know but what you really need to know is whats hitting the surface of the plants. Not all plants like a lot of light but as far as terrariums go, put the most you can without cooking the froggies. I have a light meter and I have measured just about everything inside and outside. I plant my vivs based on the info I obtain from taking measurments of other vivs and from outside.

As an example, mid day here in Florida where I stay, I get about 10000 foot candles of light in full sun. Bright shade is usually around 6000 foot candles. This measurment is taken at about 3' from the ground. In this bright shade I have purple and pink broms growing as well as Philos and Alocasia all of which are "shade" plants and don't take much sun. Now, my brightest single bulb lit viv is a 20 H vert with 1, 30 watt CF 6500 K bulb. At the very top of the viv, the light is about 3300 foot candles and the bulb is only 3 inches off the top. Not that much eh?

You want to emulate natural light as much as you possibly can with these terrariums. At this point in time, it is my opinion that the 6500k bulbs work the best for plant growth. If given the correct intensities, it is also excellent for coloring up bromeliads.

Here's an example of an experiment I did to see how colorful I could get a brom with these twisty CF bulbs...



I can't find the "before" picture now for some reason. I assure you it wasn't as pretty.

My next venture is to come up with a good rule of thumb for how much light per gallon to put on verts and how much for horizontal tanks. Verts need more for obvious reasons.

I hope this helps somehow.
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Old 09-25-2006, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
My next venture is to come up with a good rule of thumb for how much light per gallon to put on verts and how much for horizontal tanks. Verts need more for obvious reasons.
Per gallon is an absolutely worthless measurement, because as you know, the shape of the tank makes a difference. If you can figure out per unit area for some particular height, then you'll get a meaningful number. For example, you need XYZ Lumens to properly light a square foot from 20" away.



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Old 09-25-2006, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defaced
Quote:
My next venture is to come up with a good rule of thumb for how much light per gallon to put on verts and how much for horizontal tanks. Verts need more for obvious reasons.
Per gallon is an absolutely worthless measurement, because as you know, the shape of the tank makes a difference. If you can figure out per unit area for some particular height, then you'll get a meaningful number. For example, you need XYZ Lumens to properly light a square foot from 20" away.
I disagree. I wouldn't call it worthless. Its not exact, thats for sure but at least we'd have some sort of guideline. After that, it could get down to the nitty gritty like you state.

I need to work on it a bit more but this Dischidia thing is taking all of my spare time.
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Old 09-25-2006, 10:39 PM
 
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so does anyone know roughly how many foot candles of light you get from an average 4' bulb?
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danyal
so does anyone know roughly how many foot candles of light you get from an average 4' bulb?
Depends on the brand, age and how far you are measuring from. If you get a light meter you would be able to find out pretty quickly.
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:24 PM
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I think when you get into the nitty gritty, you'll see exactly how difficult coming up with a "per gallon" rule of thumb is, and how inaccurate it would be if you try to use if for all of the different tank geometries we use. You might be able to pull it off if you just make a table with all of the tank sizes and orientations they're typically used in, with each one having a recommended lumen rating for it.



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Old 09-25-2006, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defaced
Quote:
My next venture is to come up with a good rule of thumb for how much light per gallon to put on verts and how much for horizontal tanks. Verts need more for obvious reasons.
Per gallon is an absolutely worthless measurement, because as you know, the shape of the tank makes a difference. If you can figure out per unit area for some particular height, then you'll get a meaningful number. For example, you need XYZ Lumens to properly light a square foot from 20" away.
I disagree that it is worthless as well...

Perhaps it has no worth in figuring actuall light conditions, but I have found that once you get over around 2 watts per gallon, of high intensity light, you have to be real carefull about overheating the tank.

The method you describe is better for finding the ideal lighting conditions, but most people have found it real tricky to get "optimal" lighting, while keeping temps in check.
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defaced
I think when you get into the nitty gritty, you'll see exactly how difficult coming up with a "per gallon" rule of thumb is, and how inaccurate it would be if you try to use if for all of the different tank geometries we use. You might be able to pull it off if you just make a table with all of the tank sizes and orientations they're typically used in, with each one having a recommended lumen rating for it.
Don't start with me Capt. Nit Pick. I aint playing this game. :roll:

I'm going to attempt to make something simple. In all honesty, I highly doubt a lumens/gal rule will really make someones viv explode or kill thier plants. It would just be a nice convenience until I had the time to make a more specific table or rule. In my mind its quite simple.

Go play with your damn plywood tanks, we've been waiting long enough. :lol:
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Old 09-26-2006, 01:03 AM
 
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<Depends on the brand, age and how far you are measuring from.>
48" homedepot Daylight floresents(whatever brand those are) brand new to about 6 months old(plan to replace them regularly) and 24" away. i'm trying to come up with a good lighting system for a couple vivs i'm planning on, i'm planning on redoing the lighting on my 180g aquarium so i'm going to take the current 4x40watt sytem out so i figure i'll put one of the 2x40watt setups over the 48"x16"x24" viv and the other pair over the 48"x16"x12" snake terrarium. so the one i'm concerned with is the 48"x16"24" viv.
<Go play with your damn plywood tanks, we've been waiting long enough. >
you're the one that makes all the plywood vivs? any tips? i'm planning on making my first serious one in wood shop soon.
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Old 09-26-2006, 05:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogtofall

Don't start with me Capt. Nit Pick. I aint playing this game. :roll:


Go play with your damn plywood tanks, we've been waiting long enough. :lol:
Ha ha ha ha!!! Almost fell off the couch laughing after reading that one... and AMEN - lets get an update on those plywood tanks!!!
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:05 PM
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I still love you Antone.



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Old 09-26-2006, 10:51 PM
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I still love you Antone.
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Old 09-27-2006, 03:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2mnytnx
Quote:
Originally Posted by stchupa
...They will cause cataracts in frogs. So I've been told. ...
Quote:
is this all frogs? i had the actinics on my tank for a long time with a bufo americanus and a group of hyle cinerea for over a year and a half. how long does it take?
You'll have well aged frogs by the time any symptoms arise. But does this mean all the damage occured within the latest time frame? No.
If anything the majority of the damage occurs in the begining while tissues are younger and more malleable, then after growth development seizes scarring/healing occurs. Thus making blind froggies usually being well aged and in good health otherwise, slowly/miserably come to an end by starvation.



[quote:1yxvbh3o]I think I explained that to some extent. One thing I miss stated was that actinic bulbs tend to be used for reef tanks and one advantage they have is that the light doesn't diffuse/filter with the exceeding depth of the tank to the extent as would others. Made for water but still make do.

i was under the impression that the spectrum of light put off by actinics (~420 nm) was to immulate the spectrum of light that does penetrate that deep.


Exactly. It can descend further without breaking the band/filtering, which is an advantage in deep enclosures.

Water and air both have their given densities and light reacts to both mediums in similar ways, the only difference is water being more dense.

If anything actinics are more efficient in an open air tank than an aquarium full of water (whether fresh/salt). Although no one can really compare the growth of coral to any plant.

Quote:
beings that not many plants grow sumbersed under salt water (not terrestial plants anyway) there arent many viv plants that could benefit from that spectrum of light.
All plant efforts are based primarily on obtaining that spectrum for growth. Whether it be terrestrial, epiphytic, parasitic or aquatic they all abide to what is available.



Quote:
I don't think you had actinic bulbs because they're not pleasent per say to look at unless 'again' used in a water tank. Of course you can have your opinions, but they hurt the hell out of my eyes. But I don't use them on anything I care to look at (for the time being). I like to use them to start the tank beore the addition of frogs to quicken growth (especially of the ground welling mosses/plants) Makes them nice and green, then when I switch to the whites everything goes blooming.

i think this is a visual perception thing instead of the mosses actually greening because of the llight, again JMO though. the blue (violet) light washes out the reds of the plants giving them a different appearance. IMO, plants green a lot better under warmer bulbs (5500k or so).
That's weird, they should want to start budding if that switch was made. Or your broms should at least start to show colors.

Ive never tried those, so I guess it would be because of the lower intensity and the plants investing their energy into capturing as much light as possible by staying green....?

I was talking of the comparison when switched to the cool whites opposing the others with only the whites being introduced. Not with the actinics on.

Quote:
As for lumens, they don't mean squat for vivs (or decern plant requirments), lumens are displayed as intensity of the bulb per sq. ft., do not consider 'depth' and intensity drops. With intensity comes heat and most plants used in vivs need neither.

i disagree with this totally. lumens are important to all plants. intensity is important.


It's not the focal point of maintaining plants artificially 'in a VIV". Yes it has it's importances. But most people are not looking to crop veggies in their house. We are talking vivarium application only.

Quote:
you do have to take into account the lumens at the plant leaf and not at the bulb,
You're supposed to read the whole thread when responding, not pick and choose. That's what I was saying, considered, that's the whole reason I brought up actinics.

Quote:
but none the less it is the most important factor IMO. it is importatn that the light be in the correct spectrum, but the more lumens the more color out of your plants and the more likely youll be able to grow light demanding plants. also, you do have to take into account the amount of heat a bulb puts off, but its not determined by the intensity of the light, more so the effeciancy.
Yep. That's why spectrum/kelvin must be represented first. If you go by lumens, you can go get the highest rated and it could be entirely of the yellow spectrum (unlikely, but a good percentage of wasted energy as 'HEAT')
a 27w spiral PC has as intense light as a 100w incandescant but puts out a ton less heat because it burns more effeciant.


[/quote:1yxvbh3o]


just stating some of my own observations and opinions.[/quote]

Last time I checked it was all about the plants' preference/requirement and not that of oppions. What do they mean?
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Old 09-27-2006, 04:14 AM
 
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<If you go by lumens, you can go get the highest rated and it could be entirely of the yellow spectrum>
also know as a low pressure sodium lightbulb,iirc, even more efficent than floresents, higher intensety and lumens but monochromatic( they only produce light in the yellow spectrum) basically all those nasty yellow street lights you see are lps lamps. plants need red and blue spectrum the most for photosynthesis(this is going by what i've read online) incandesent bulbs produce mostly red and yellow spectrum(hence the low kelvin rating) but very little blue, however because they produce some light in all spectrums they are 100 CRI(colour rendering index, basicallly the colours produced by the bulb compared to natural sunlight) incandesent bulbs are super inefficent because most of the energy they use is produced as heat, floresent bulbs can be created to have a higher kelvin rated by increasing the blue end of the spectrum, however, this lowers the CRI. from what i've read at a couple sites, kelvin temperature doesn't matter as far as the plants are concerned, as long as the bulbs is producing the right amounts of the needed light spectrums the plant will grow even if the kelvin rating is 2300k or 23000k. kelvin temperature if for the animals and their keepers that can see the light, the super blue hues of a 20,000k reef bulb would look a little wierd when natural light at noon time is closer to 6500k, however do remember that natural daylight will range from 2800k to 20,000k plus over a 12hr period.
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Old 09-27-2006, 04:39 AM
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Do you remember on the back of the old aquari-lux bulb boxes? They had the little graph with the wavelenghts of light that the bulb produced? That was some nice info. I guess since most of us are using daylight bulbs (full spectrum), we should be good. I hope... :lol:
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Old 09-27-2006, 06:01 AM
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One of these?



I know the specifics vary depending on the brand of bulb, but this shows the histograms of a bunch of different bulbs that are being talked about. http://www.liveaquaria.com/general/g...al_pagesid=395

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Quote:
lumens are displayed as intensity of the bulb per sq. ft., do not consider 'depth' and intensity drops.
Looks like I have to live up to my title of Capt. Nit Pick. I'm not sure who said this, but it sounds like you're confusing lumen and foot candle. A foot candle is a lumen/sqft. Lumen itself doesn't include an area. Also, foot candle does account for light falloff with distance as it is the amount of light that actually hits a surface.
ref:
Quote:
Alternatively, it (foot candle) can be defined as the illuminance on a 1-square foot surface of which there is a uniformly distributed flux of one lumen. This can be thought of as the amount of light that actually falls on a given surface. The foot-candle is equal to one lumen per square foot.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_candle
Quote:
1 lm = 1 cdsr = 1 cdm^2m^(2)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lumen_%28unit%29



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Old 09-27-2006, 07:54 AM
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Yeah Mike, one of those. Thats a nice bulb too! Where can I get one? :lol:
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