Lighting Question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-18-2006, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Lighting Question

Ok, so yesterday I put in an order at AH Suppy for a pair of 36w retrofit kits. Can I expect any real difference between 5000k and 6000k lighting in a low-tech set up? The company was currently out of 6000k bulbs, but by their own documentation, there is little difference other than the color spectrum. Yet, I keep seeing references to 6000k being the bare minimum that I would want. Anyone have any experience with this? Can I get by on 5000k for a short while?

Thanks,
Tom
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-18-2006, 04:06 PM
Are these real?
 
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It's more personal preference than requirement by plants.

I prefer the 6500K bulbs since they look a bit cooler, less yellowish. To me, more white.

Others prefer the slightly "warmer" hues of 5000K bulbs.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-18-2006, 04:58 PM
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I personally think you'll get by just fine with the 5000K bulbs for as long as you like. For me it comes down to personal preference. At low levels, bulb efficiency is a little more critical, but it's still not something to stress about too much.

- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-01-2006, 12:13 PM
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whats the lowest rating that is good for plants?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-01-2006, 02:51 PM
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The color temperature, stated as Kelvin, is not related to the bulbs suitability for plants. What matters for plants (besides overall brightness) is the spectral distribution, which can not be expressed by one single number.

Plant-dedicated fluorescent bulbs have spectral peaks in red and blue ranges, less in the yellow/green area. That's why they seem dimmer to the human eye, sometimes a little pink/purple (what you get by mixing red and blue). The Kelvin numbers of these bulbs are completely useless...

All that said, for regular bulbs, the higher the number, the more crisp-white-bluish the seem. 6500K is fairly neutral white. Some ppl mix bulbs for best results.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-01-2006, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone.

Did the big retrofit yesterday. It's kinda weird seeing my cheap Top Fin hood go from the dimmist light in my tank to "don't look directly into the sun" class light.

I will say that I may put in an order for some 6000k bulbs when AH Supply has them available. Then again, maybe it's just the scruff of algae that's giving the tank an odd color cast. We'll see. I'm still shocked at how much brighter it is.

Tom
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