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Hi all. I'm thinking about setting up my first rack and I was wondering what kind of lights you all use in your racks? I've heard alot about T5s, T8s, and even T12s. So, brand names, specific Stats, where you buy, and prices on your specific fixtures would be great.

Thanks s much,
Mark
 

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Right now, I'm using CFLs (the curly light bulbs) in those metal clamp lamps from the home improvement store. Bulb is a couple bucks, lamp is around 5-10 bucks, depending on size.

These do pretty well, so, if you're trying to save money and don't mind looking low-rent, you might try it. :D
 

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I have a few cfl 26watt daylight bulbs. I always like t5 ho 6500k daylight setup. But best bang for the buck according what tank size you have is using cfl.

24x18x24 Exo: three 26 watt cfl daylight bulbs.
20 gal high: 12 watt led and 26 watt cfl daylight
29 gal: two 26 watt cfl daylight bulbs
55 gal: carnivorous plant setup: 48" quad t5 ho 4x54 watt w/6500k bulbs.
 

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A lot of people use the T8 "Shop lights" from Lowes/HD on their racks.

Right now I'm dreaming up a combination of LED strips and shop lights so I can set up a dawn/midday/dusk effect without throwing a ton of greenbacks at an automated dimming LED setup. It would also likely give broms a little boost without overheating anything or increasing the power bill too much.

Basically:
9am- Timer 1 switches on shop lights
12pm- Timer 2 switches on LED's
5pm- Timer 2 switches off LED's
8pm- Timer 1 switches off shoplights

A lot like the reef people do it for saltwater tanks.... just much less expensive ;)

PAINT SKILLZ:
 

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i use kmart 48" t8 lights on my rack. One 2 bulb strip it lights 5x10 gallons per shelf. I get good growth. Ive used t5s before and CFL. CFL are too hot for me and the t5 are $$ and they make the plants explode with growth (which means Im trimming my tanks weekly). go cheap so you can get more racks!!
 

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T8s & CFLs throughout with 5500K & 6500K color temp bulbs. :)

Lowes has the black T8 fixtures on sale for $19.99 every once and awhile. Use the lowes card for 5% off... Less than $19 + $~2-3 for each bulb. Cheapest lighting ever! We've had some fixtures going for 6 years now with no issues. It's probably worth mentioning - The walmart & home depot "lights of america" fixures are absolute junk. I have 6-7 of them dead sitting in a closet waiting for new ballasts.
 

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Being in the herp community, I would advise doing more research into CFLs.. They arent good for us, and really not good for herps!

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Bearded Dragon . org • View topic - Compact lamps unsafe? UVGuideUK brief update

Just one reference. Just dealing with the sun-bathing type reptiles, I have learned to stay away from CFLs, I also came across an article about the dangers to OUR health, also. I try to stay away from CFLs as much as possible, and definately do not use them for any of my reptiles. It seems as though now, it depends on the manufacturer of the bulbs as to whether they are dangerous or not. If you consider CFLs, I would do some research prior to purchasing them.
 

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Bearded Dragon . org • View topic - Compact lamps unsafe? UVGuideUK brief update

Just one reference. Just dealing with the sun-bathing type reptiles, I have learned to stay away from CFLs, I also came across an article about the dangers to OUR health, also. I try to stay away from CFLs as much as possible, and definately do not use them for any of my reptiles. It seems as though now, it depends on the manufacturer of the bulbs as to whether they are dangerous or not. If you consider CFLs, I would do some research prior to purchasing them.
That has nothing to do with CFL bulbs - and everything to do with the intensity & spectrum of UVB output. Standard CFLs are fine. Older model UVB bulbs from certain manufacturers caused problems - but that's very old news. The vast majority of modern UVB bulbs from major manufacturers do not cause these issues. Regardless - most dart froggers aren't using UVB bulbs at all, so it's a moot point.
 

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But still a word of caution for someone new to.the hobby to be careful of what they use, thats all

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I use $9 lowes shoplights on my 55 and on the 2nd shelf of my rack (over my 10 verts). I use $6.99 (2 pack) of 6500k GE bulbs 40w... work great. My 55 grows insane. I dont have any demanding plants though but for my basic crypts, broms, creepers etc it grows uncontrollably. LOL

I use exo terra dual CFL hoods over my 18x18x24's... with $6 (2 pack) 6500k ge spiral compact bulbs from wal mart. All cheap fixtures/setups that work great for me.
 
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