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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm planning to use spiral CFL for my 10 gal verts. Three tanks a row, one bulb for each. Shall I use track lighting or homemade a canopy similar to the Exo terro 24" canopy? In term of lighting efficiency, which design/position is better? Vertically-positioned bulb or horizontally-positioned bulb? Or maybe they perform the same for a 10 gal vert?
Track lighting would be time-saving and look better. Homemade canopy would be time-consuming but slightly cheaper...
BTW, I plan to purchase the Hampton Bay R20 track lighting which uses 50w R20 or 14W-equivalent CFL. Can I put a 15w CFL on it? Anyone has experience with this lighting?
Hampton Bay R20 Black Step Cylinder Track Lighting Fixture-EC735BK at The Home Depot
 

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They should be okay as long as the bulbs you are using are less than the 50W that fixture is rated for and they are smaller than 2.5 inches in diameter (thats what the PAR20 bulb size is about in this case). Heat build up may be an issue, it may get really hot inside that fixture where a CFL's ballast is. Also, the spiral of the CFL bulb will probably stick out of the end of the tracklight fixtures, if your going for the tracklighting for looks, this is something to consider.

Efficency/output with CFL bulbs is a tricky thing because the shape of CFL's reduces their effiency, but the short answer to your question would be unless the bulbs you use state a prefered orientation on the package, there is a negligible difference in output. Output is affected more by the reflector in your fixture than it will be by the orientation of your bulb. Heat around the ballast is a bigger factor in bulb life than orientation.

Do you happen to know what screw size the track light fixture is, I couldn't find it anywhere in the specs. I would guess it is a E26 (standard lamp socket in US) but I can't be sure, I don't work with track lighting often.
 
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