Which t5 fixture with good reflectors? - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
Im not sure you understand my point. When the reflector is deep enough so that the bulbs are even with, or slightly above the bottom of the reflector, then there is very little light spillage out into the room. It also makes it pleasant to look at from eye level, or a foot or two below eye level - like for example sitting on the couch.

Im too lazy to go turn mine on and take a picture, but here's one of Tom's old 120. This is what a deep reflector looks like when viewed from such a level.



Now take another look at the reflector on the Sunblasster. Notice how far the actual bulb sticks out below it? Imagine trying to view a tank with those on it. You'd be staring at the bottom half of a bare bulb.
Probably how I feel viewing my tank my with my BMLs ten inches above. It's not a lot of fun. That's another reason I'm looking into t5s. I'm going to reach out to catalina again and hope they are making lights again. If not, an ATI sunfire may be the best option for me. Bit overkill but I do love the sunrise sunset ability I have with these multi channel leds and to have that with t5s would be nice.

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post #17 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
Im not sure you understand my point. When the reflector is deep enough so that the bulbs are even with, or slightly above the bottom of the reflector, then there is very little light spillage out into the room.


i have been partially agreeing w/ you all along.
but if you look at the wall in thatphoto above you will see a lot of light is spilling into the room.. It is only a matter of where you are viewing it..
From the camera point of view, dropping a few inches down may change your opinion.

I'm not sure any reflectors are designed to be, say, true spot lights..

http://www.lightingassociates.org/i/...important_.pdf
nice ray tracing here..

Guess I've never really mentioned that no matter the light in most cases (some well designed spot PAR lamps ect) you will usually need an ancillary skirt..

Really would like to se a ray trace of the sunblaster..
They sort of cheat here..

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post #18 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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I'm going to give my BML's a chance mounted on the rim and lower the intensity. Since I have two of them, I really shouldn't need to worry about spread on the tank even top mounted as long as I position them well.

At least I think so.
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post #19 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 04:31 PM
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I'm going to give my BML's a chance mounted on the rim and lower the intensity. Since I have two of them, I really shouldn't need to worry about spread on the tank even top mounted as long as I position them well.

At least I think so.
sounds like a plan..
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post #20 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 06:04 PM
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I'm stubborn if nothing else..
more light spill than I'd care for but.. not too bad ..

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post #21 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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I'm tempted to try 2 of them connected though. Even if I needed 3, it's $144. Debatable though for that price when I could get a fixture like Burr mentioned for around the same.

Still going to give the BML's a shot tank mounted and reduced intensity. They really do produce nice light.

I've been playing with the channel controls lately and doing higher white and red lighting and lower blue/green. Produces a very nice color. I'm just not sure how it's affecting actual PAR values though on the tank.
@jeffkrol, since you are the resident LED guru it seems, do you think reduced blue/green channel will lower intensity much? I think most comes from the white and red?
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post #22 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 07:11 PM
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Thanks, gonna check into this. Too bad Amazon doesn't have them, I'd overnight it haha.


Amazon had them a few months ago as I got one.. maybe they'll get them again

20g long with Otos, Corydoras Pygmaeus, RCS and Nerites

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post #23 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 08:28 PM
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I've been playing with the channel controls lately and doing higher white and red lighting and lower blue/green. Produces a very nice color. I'm just not sure how it's affecting actual PAR values though on the tank.
@jeffkrol, since you are the resident LED guru it seems, do you think reduced blue/green channel will lower intensity much? I think most comes from the white and red?
PAR is defined by the vis. spectrum from 400-700nm.. Changing "color" (assuming quantum output is equal) doesn't change "recorded PAR" or shouldn't (sensor inaccuracies ignored) . Now "effective" spectrum (PUR) is another story..and unfortunately is not only species specific but also really not measured w/ any common instruments..

bottom line, shifting tone while maintaining intensity is a "wash"...for the most part.

PS Really don't consider myself a guru, just wasted a lot of time the past few years in brushing up on my Botany..
And I do profess a love of solid state lighting..

Decreasing light always decreases PAR, regardless of color.. just some are a wee bit more than others..

and I love charts..



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post #24 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
PAR is defined by the vis. spectrum from 400-700nm.. Changing "color" (assuming quantum output is equal) doesn't change "recorded PAR" or shouldn't (sensor inaccuracies ignored) . Now "effective" spectrum (PUR) is another story..and unfortunately is not only species specific but also really not measured w/ any common instruments..

bottom line, shifting tone while maintaining intensity is a "wash"...for the most part.

PS Really don't consider myself a guru, just wasted a lot of time the past few years in brushing up on my Botany..
And I do profess a love of solid state lighting..

Decreasing light always decreases PAR, regardless of color.. just some are a wee bit more than others..

and I love charts..


Thanks Jeff!

So changing the "color" is actually a change in intensity with these lights. You can only increase or decrease the Red, White, or Blue/Green channels. That is how you effectively change the color on these devices.

So I'm assuming decreasing the blue/green channel is going to decrease PAR to an extent, just not sure how much. I will just go with it for a bit and see how the plants react. I'm less scientific and more into real response. Granted, I get things to an extent, but once math comes into play and numbers are thrown around my brain hurts
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post #25 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 09:13 PM
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Thanks Jeff!

So changing the "color" is actually a change in intensity with these lights. You can only increase or decrease the Red, White, or Blue/Green channels. That is how you effectively change the color on these devices.

So I'm assuming decreasing the blue/green channel is going to decrease PAR to an extent, just not sure how much. I will just go with it for a bit and see how the plants react. I'm less scientific and more into real response. Granted, I get things to an extent, but once math comes into play and numbers are thrown around my brain hurts
Consider all diodes on = 100% PAR..
IF the dimming is linear say you shut one channel off (assume 2) you would have 50% less PAR..

IF you had 3 channels and shut one completely off (other 2 on full) PAR wil decrease by 1/3 (33%)

If you have 3 channels and cut one down 50% you lose 16.6%

Dimming one channel of 3 25% or less (8% or less) really affects PAR very little.
Visually is another story.. human eye sensitivity and all that..

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post #26 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-30-2015, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Consider all diodes on = 100% PAR..
IF the dimming is linear say you shut one channel off (assume 2) you would have 50% less PAR..

IF you had 3 channels and shut one completely off (other 2 on full) PAR wil decrease by 1/3 (33%)

If you have 3 channels and cut one down 50% you lose 16.6%

Dimming one channel of 3 25% or less (8% or less) really affects PAR very little.
Visually is another story.. human eye sensitivity and all that..
Very good, that makes sense and that's good to hear.

Basically like you said, I'm running channel 1 and 2 at 75% and 3 at 55%. So there isn't much difference, just enough like you said to warm it up to my eyes.

Thanks for the explanations!
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post #27 of 45 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 05:44 AM
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I have a 4 bulb Catalina on my 75g. I'm now going to replace them with a similar model to Burr740. The reason being is that the spread is terrible. All 4 bulbs are pretty much side by side. Maybe a half inch to an inch apart. Granted each bulb is separated by a reflector, but the fixture is only maybe 1/3 of the width of my tank. This all adds up to a lot of light being forced into the center. The fixture does light up the whole tank, but its definitely less in the front and back than it should be, and accounts for the fixture getting hotter than it should. With out forking over $400 plus dollars on an ATI unit, I think the best replication of these lights are hydroponic T5HO fixtures.

Catalilna had great customer service, and the light was nice, and for a $130 with bulbs you cant go wrong. At least I thought until I seen some of the hydro setups for around the same price.

IMHO if your going to go T5HO stay away from lights designed for aquariums. They're going to charge you more for less. All of the brands like Aquatic Life, Coralife, etc etc are overpriced, and they are not as good. Some are pretty much junk IMHO. Minus Aquatic Life of course, but when you consider the price difference to a Hydro unit they don't even compare.

There are a few concerns for me in regards to going with a Hydroponic T5HO light though. For starters there seems to be a lot of generic brands, and its hard to tell which ones are tried and true, and last but not least most of them are built to grow terrestrial plants in a commercial environment so they are not very aesthetically pleasing. It can be hard to find a fixture that looks good or doesn't look like it belongs in a shop.

Here are a few I'm thinking of going with:

Amazon.com : Quantum BadBoy T-5 4 ft - 4 Lamp Fixture 216 W : Patio, Lawn & Garden Amazon.com : Quantum BadBoy T-5 4 ft - 4 Lamp Fixture 216 W : Patio, Lawn & Garden

Amazon.com : Hydrofarm FLP44 T5 Designer 4ft 4-Tube System w/bulbs : Plant Growing Light Fixtures : Patio, Lawn & Garden Amazon.com : Hydrofarm FLP44 T5 Designer 4ft 4-Tube System w/bulbs : Plant Growing Light Fixtures : Patio, Lawn & Garden

If anyone has any experience with either of these lights plz let me know.
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post #28 of 45 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 08:04 AM
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Thing about the hydrofarm is it only has one switch. You may think that you'll always want to run 4 or nothing, but the ability to do 2 at a time comes in very handy.

The Badboy looks wickedly awesome, but same issue I believe only one switch?
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post #29 of 45 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
Thing about the hydrofarm is it only has one switch. You may think that you'll always want to run 4 or nothing, but the ability to do 2 at a time comes in very handy.

The Badboy looks wickedly awesome, but same issue I believe only one switch?
Yeah I was thinking the same thing. One of my favorite things about my Catalina is that it has 3 plugs/switches.

Last edited by BayazGouramiz; 01-05-2016 at 07:39 PM. Reason: ,
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post #30 of 45 (permalink) Old 01-05-2016, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BayazGouramiz View Post
I have a 4 bulb Catalina on my 75g. I'm now going to replace them with a similar model to Burr740. The reason being is that the spread is terrible. All 4 bulbs are pretty much side by side. Maybe a half inch to an inch apart. Granted each bulb is separated by a reflector, but the fixture is only maybe 1/3 of the width of my tank. This all adds up to a lot of light being forced into the center. The fixture does light up the whole tank, but its definitely less in the front and back than it should be, and accounts for the fixture getting hotter than it should. With out forking over $400 plus dollars on an ATI unit, I think the best replication of these lights are hydroponic T5HO fixtures.

Catalilna had great customer service, and the light was nice, and for a $130 with bulbs you cant go wrong. At least I thought until I seen some of the hydro setups for around the same price.

IMHO if your going to go T5HO stay away from lights designed for aquariums. They're going to charge you more for less. All of the brands like Aquatic Life, Coralife, etc etc are overpriced, and they are not as good. Some are pretty much junk IMHO. Minus Aquatic Life of course, but when you consider the price difference to a Hydro unit they don't even compare.

There are a few concerns for me in regards to going with a Hydroponic T5HO light though. For starters there seems to be a lot of generic brands, and its hard to tell which ones are tried and true, and last but not least most of them are built to grow terrestrial plants in a commercial environment so they are not very aesthetically pleasing. It can be hard to find a fixture that looks good or doesn't look like it belongs in a shop.

Here are a few I'm thinking of going with:

Amazon.com : Quantum BadBoy T-5 4 ft - 4 Lamp Fixture 216 W : Patio, Lawn & Garden

Amazon.com : Hydrofarm FLP44 T5 Designer 4ft 4-Tube System w/bulbs : Plant Growing Light Fixtures : Patio, Lawn & Garden

If anyone has any experience with either of these lights plz let me know.
Thanks for all this info. Catalina was definitely one I was interested in, but they aren't making lights anymore.

I decided to try a new LED light, Aquatic Life's Halo Freshwater. It's arriving tomorrow. Going to try running a single light with the 110 degree lense and see if that gives me the coverage I need. If not, I'll grab a second. Really like what I am seeing and hearing about this light. We'll see if it lives up to the hype.
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