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Old 04-17-2019, 09:52 AM
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Default Arcadia sunblaster

Is this the Arcadia sunblaster line that people here use?

https://www.amazon.ca/SunBlaster-090...y&sr=8-2-fkmr0

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Old 04-17-2019, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Arcadia sunblaster

These T5HO fixtures are rebranded by a few companies (such as Arcadia; I use the Future Harvest branded lights that are available in the horticulture trade), and they're all very good for what they are.

My personal opinion is that LEDs (including the Sunblaster line of linear LED fixtures that is the same sort of fixture, with a LED tube instead of HO florescent) is a much better value, and grows plants much better. Although the upfront cost is a bit more, there is no ongoing lamp replacement costs, and the fixture is brighter (visually so, and emits more lumens). Other viv-intended LEDs (Spectral Designs is the favorite around here lately, for very good reasons) are even better at lighting vivs.

Sunblaster is a Canadian company, and Spectral Designs is in the US, so likely the cost factors are different for you than they are for me (the SB that you get for $55 Canadian costs me $49 from Amazon, but the exchange rate says it should cost me $41; that's 15% higher cost for me, and you'll pay a lot to get an SD panel across the border).

I run a 2 lamp T5HO fixture over a 15g (high, so 20 x 10 footprint) viv, and the plant growth is fairly poor even pouring 48 watts into the lighting. (I run one 5% UVB lamp and one 6500K, which may partially explain the poor growth, but still...).

On my lighted orchid rack (Cattleyas, mostly) I replaced one bank of T5HO fixtures with a Sunblaster LED with only 2/3 the wattage, and growth has increased.

I wouldn't personally set up a new viv with T5HO given that it is more expensive after only a couple years (electricity + lamp replacement) and doesn't perform nearly as well as LED.
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Old 04-18-2019, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: Arcadia sunblaster

Quote:
I wouldn't personally set up a new viv with T5HO given that
For what it's worth FG12345, I concur wholeheartedly. Performance + cost + hassle factor of bulb replacement = fluorescent is done. Done. Be good to yourself, and get you some LEDs.

I've now switched out all my viv T5HOs (which, back in the day, were my faves) in favor of LEDs in various configurations. I just waited for the bulbs to crap out, and replaced the fixtures piecemeal. Seriously, I just threw them out. No way in hell would I buy a new fixture! I've even converted to LED in the garage and basement. No hum, no flicker, no ballast, no bulb crap. Screw all that jazz.

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Old 04-18-2019, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Arcadia sunblaster

Socratic laid out a lot of compelling reasons to go LED. I have just one to add, and that is I prefer LEDs because they run cooler than the other alternatives. I sometimes struggle to keep temps down at my place in the brutally hot CA Central Valley summers. I noticed a huge difference in the form of lower temps when I switched to LEDs.
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Arcadia sunblaster

Thanks everyone, this is helpful. The replacing of the bulbs is likely doubt to be what services it for me. Being in Canada, the additional heat isn't necessarily a bad thing (my house is usually only 70F in the winter so I'll have to supplement the heat a little over the winter for the frogs).

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Old 04-18-2019, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: Arcadia sunblaster

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Originally Posted by fishingguy12345 View Post
Thanks everyone, this is helpful. The replacing of the bulbs is likely doubt to be what services it for me. Being in Canada, the additional heat isn't necessarily a bad thing (my house is usually only 70F in the winter so I'll have to supplement the heat a little over the winter for the frogs).

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If your temps are 70 degrees indoors, you shouldn't need to supplement heat. Your tank temps are typically a few degrees hotter than the ambient temperature of your house/apartment. Even the upper sixties in your place would be fine.
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Old 04-18-2019, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: Arcadia sunblaster

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If your temps are 70 degrees indoors, you shouldn't need to supplement heat. Your tank temps are typically a few degrees hotter than the ambient temperature of your house/apartment. Even the upper sixties in your place would be fine.
I agree. My reptile room gets down to 62F overnight in winter, and all my room-temp animals (darts, sub-tropical arboreal geckos) do just fine. They warm up during the day. I just feed less frequently -- about half to 2/3 as often as I would during the warm season (so, every 3 or 4 days instead of every other day).
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