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I've been looking for some good CFLs to put above my new terrarium since I only have temporary lighting for now. I just found this product when going thru google for good prices. Its a 26 watt 1600 lumen CFL bulb for $7.49. The thing that gets me excited is that it has a review from a reefer who is using two of them over a 20 gallon with coral that has had amazing color and growth! I will be ordering some today to fill in my two socket exo-terra fixture that came with my tank. Maybe add some DIY reflectors to really juice the bulbs out!!

26 Watt Daylight 6500K CFL Twist ENERGY STAR Light Bulb | LampsPlus.com

Anyhow I thought if anyone else out there was looking for some good growing bulbs these might interest them. Ill post before and afters and my review after some time with the bulbs in.
 

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i love these haha they're cheap and the plants grow great under them. I use them on every tank i have, even a reef aquarium with some other suppliment lights, and have never seen problems
 

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2 Packs of these are like $7 at my Local Walmarx. I switched to LED though at least for the summer as my temps are boarderline and I lost 2 deg of heat going with LED.

They are great bulbs though.
 

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2 Packs of these are like $7 at my Local Walmarx. I switched to LED though at least for the summer as my temps are boarderline and I lost 2 deg of heat going with LED.

They are great bulbs though.
What is the name of them?
Can you supply me with a pic?
Thanks
 

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i got a 3 pack of them at menards for 7 bucks with tax. they work alright for what they are.
 

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U all need to know that there are MAJOR differences between CFL bulbs by manufacturer.

If you don't really believe you 'get what you pay for', then you are either 20-something :), or live in a box LOL

All kidding aside, a nice article in this months Popular Mechanics will illustrate the point.

It is about light spectrum, not lumens and price.....that matters the most.

Now, a true bargain probably exists still in this world....but I havent found it yet :rolleyes::rolleyes:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/reviews/news/4215199

these grow light CFL's are 50+ each! ??
http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/accessory/lights.shtml#clamp
and these
http://homeharvest.com/hydrofarmcompactfluorescents.htm

Useful guide
http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/guide3.shtml

So if we spent an few more minutes searching "Best CFL bulbs for plants" or similar I think we could find better bulbs IMO.
 

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U all need to know that there are MAJOR differences between CFL bulbs by manufacturer.

If you don't really believe you 'get what you pay for', then you are either 20-something :), or live in a box LOL

All kidding aside, a nice article in this months Popular Mechanics will illustrate the point.

It is about light spectrum, not lumens and price.....that matters the most.

Now, a true bargain probably exists still in this world....but I havent found it yet :rolleyes::rolleyes:

The Best Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: PM Lab Test - Popular Mechanics

these grow light CFL's are 50+ each! ??
Discount CFL Compact Fluorescent Grow Lights for Plants from ACF Greenhouses
and these
Compact Fluorescent Plant Grow Lights & Fixtures by Hydrofarm® at Home Harvest® Garden Supply

Useful guide
ACF Indoor Plant Grow Lights & Information Guide

So if we spent an few more minutes searching "Best CFL bulbs for plants" or similar I think we could find better bulbs IMO.
Well, I'm just a dumb 20 something so I'm gonna have to play devils advocate here hahaha ...

IMO these are a bargain for our purposes with a vivarium.

I have used these over planted tanks for some time now and always had good results. In fact, I have been able to grow HC (a plant that most in the planted tank world would consider high light demanding) using these even with the bulbs 18"+ above the substrate.

I stick to the 6500k versions made by GE (the ones pictured in a previous post) however, so I cannot comment as to other brands, but combined with a proper, quality reflector (a whole other topic IMO) at a proper bulb height, these can grow most any plant.

I feel the expensive ones for sale at that link you have are intended for larger indoor setups (ppl growing weed use em a lot). But for a smaller environments like a 10-20 gallon vivarium, I think you could get away with a few of these smaller versions instead.

The price of these things is more or less a function of wattage. Wattage, however, is not really a concern for plants, PAR is what is truly important in terms of a plants ability to undergo photosynthesis. That said, here is some test data stated in PAR for these bulbs:

PAR Data-Spiral Power Saver Bulbs, lighting question - Page 2

The observations here indicate that the bulbs produce what planted tank ppl consider low/medium light. But in terms of PAR, they are producing it a lot more efficiently than a standard florescent.

Soo... I guess what I am trying to say is that if you are trying to create a masterpiece on a budget these are a great option. Admittedly however, I would only have confidence in them on smaller setups where the light has about 20" or less to travel to reach the plants. Two over a 10 or 15 gallon would work well, or 3 over a 20 long would be more than adequate (non-vert setups).
 

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Haha, yeah actually I'm 23. I do believe in "getting what you pay for" but sometimes its not worth it-

What I'm saying is right now I'm experimenting with my lighting and for $7 the specs look good. Also, I saw those 125 watters for $50 but my dart terrarium is only a 18x18x24, so I wouldn't feel comfortable with two or even one of those monsters blinding my froggers. But very helpful--(maybe for a big tank down the road). So we will see how these bulbs do, I used to buy the Exo-Terra 26 watt bulbs for like 18 bucks, and those didn't do much. So now I'm looking for the deal.
 

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U all need to know that there are MAJOR differences between CFL bulbs by manufacturer.

these grow light CFL's are 50+ each! ??
Discount CFL Compact Fluorescent Grow Lights for Plants from ACF Greenhouses
and these
Compact Fluorescent Plant Grow Lights & Fixtures by Hydrofarm® at Home Harvest® Garden Supply

Useful guide
ACF Indoor Plant Grow Lights & Information Guide

So if we spent an few more minutes searching "Best CFL bulbs for plants" or similar I think we could find better bulbs IMO.
Well I guess I can fall into the 20 somethings: 20 x 2.
I have used all of the lights mentioned above. The $50 plus are overkill unless trying to get your broms to color up. Yes the under $10 cfls lack in bringing the color out in broms, however they are great in growing (photosynthesis). In my experience as long as you focus and use the 6500K the you get what you pay for under $10 cfl lights do the job.
 

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i'm split between whether i love cfls or hate them.

The good: They're cheap! just about the cheapest you can pay for the most lumen output. Uhhh.. i can't think of anything else.... Did i mention they were cheap?

The bad: they are inefficient (sometimes as much as 25-30% less efficient than a quality t5 bulb based on lumens per watt rating), they are coiled together and produce a lot of restrike (which creates a lot of heat btw), if you think about it, only about 25% of the surface of the bulb is facing downwards into the tank so reflectors would help, they really make no good reflectors for cfl's that don't just beam the light into one spot ultimately decreasing your overall PAR at the substrate, and finally something i learned from that popular mechanics article.... Apparently most bulbs that claim to be around 6500 kelvin are really like 3400k.

With a fixture that is build decently well, you can make them work fairly good. My nano tank is run by a 26 watt 6500k cfl in a fixture i made. No reflector, just flat white paint. As you can see, it is growing plants maybe a little to well. All the stuff in there just about doubles in size in about 2-3 weeks!


Sooooo, although they are cheap, they have a lot of downsides. Not saying i don't use them because i do.... I'm just really cheap! I'm making a nice light fixture for my next build though. 2 T5HO geissman middays with 2 TEK II reflectors all run by a fullham workhorse 5. *Should* be less than $100 altogether.
 

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^ no one mentioned 'dumb' 20 somethin' ;)

Clearly you guys are not.

I wish the light spectrum was easier to find by bulb/manufacturer honestly....

But I will consider the lower priced alternatives if people have had success with their plants with them.

I do have some larger tanks/vivs that need 50-100Watts, but most like you will do fine with less.

Todd? you have any thoughts?

Shawn
 

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^ no one mentioned 'dumb' 20 somethin' ;)

Clearly you guys are not.

I wish the light spectrum was easier to find by bulb/manufacturer honestly....

But I will consider the lower priced alternatives if people have had success with their plants with them.

I do have some larger tanks/vivs that need 50-100Watts, but most like you will do fine with less.

Todd? you have any thoughts?

Shawn
i totally agree. it would be sooooo much nicer if cfl manufacturers had a light spectrum graph or something on their packaging. I guess it wouldn't be all that practical seeing that 99% of the US population doesn't know what a nanometer is, or what is has to do with the visible light portion of the electromagnetic spectrum haha.

And for the record, i'm 18. Do i still fall in the 20-something category? lol
 

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^ no one mentioned 'dumb' 20 somethin' ;)

Clearly you guys are not.

I wish the light spectrum was easier to find by bulb/manufacturer honestly....

But I will consider the lower priced alternatives if people have had success with their plants with them.

I do have some larger tanks/vivs that need 50-100Watts, but most like you will do fine with less.

Todd? you have any thoughts?

Shawn

I agree it would be great if manufacturers put their spectrums on the packages.
I actually spoke to one about this.
Basically this manufacturer did not want to put the information out because they wanted to keep it a "trade secret".
Now, thinking like most people... I thought... hmmm, sketchy. It probably is not that great as they say and it does not support what they are claiming:
That they had the best bulb in that class.
Well, there is more than one way to skin a cat.;)
So, I sent the light to a friend in Europe and had a independent full spectral analysis done on it.
To make a long story short.. it was VERY good.
Its weird because I can't publish it because I feel the need to honor the person who developed the bulbs wishes.
I think they are paranoid someone would reverse engineer the phosphor package starting with the spectral graph working backwards and rip them off.

anyway...now I am rambling on...:rolleyes:

The natural kelvin color temp for sunlight is 5.5k to 6.8-ish

That study that was cited earlier in this post was done to choose the best CFL bulb for your *household* lamp.
If you noticed, the kelving color temp of those was <4k.
That is not anything near natural sunlight.
However, they would grow plants probably pretty well since they are heavy in the orange red end of the spectrum.

Part of the reason that the Flo bulbs that give good light are MORE expensive is that they use more expensive phosphors (powder) in the bulbs.

The ideal to shoot for of course is the bulb or combination of bulbs that most closely duplicate natural sunlight, since that is what all life on earth has evolved under.
can I get an "amen"? :)


cheers.
 

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