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-   -   Hydroponic Grow Lights? (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=244434)

Elyssa 02-13-2013 05:37 PM

Hydroponic Grow Lights?
 
Hi,
I was wondering if anybody is hanging grow light units over their tanks and how the reflectors are performing, if you are.

So, just wondering with the lighting, as it seems a lot better deals with the ballasts and fixtures and such and better warranties, etc.

Looking to possibly get this one:
http://www.horticulturesource.com/su...flector-p9689/

Bandit1200 02-13-2013 10:45 PM

The lights you use will ultimately depend on your goals. If your goals are to absolutely grow the biggest, healthiest plants, then you can use the growlights. If your goal is to grow some nice plants in an aesthetically pleasing way, you may not want to use the growlights.

The growlights may use a spectrum that's good for your plants but not so nice for you to look at. I've seen some growlights that were an awful pink/purple color that I wouldn't want to spend any time looking at. I personally prefer the 10k spectrum for my aquariums. It's slightly less productive than some of the 6500k (which is debatable) bulbs, but I just like the way it looks.

Elyssa 02-13-2013 11:47 PM

Hi,
I was speaking more to the fixture and not the bulbs. Definitely the illumination has to be aesthetically pleasing. My plan was to go with the fixture and if need be, build a nice enclosure to house it and mix up the spectrum by using a couple other smaller aquarium lights I have hanging around.

What have you found to be a good combination with the lighting that is pleasing to the eye. This fixture is actually coming with a 6500 k blue 54W. I'm going for low tech, no CO2. I figure I'll hang the fixture and if need be can raise or lower depending on what happens. If the lighting is harsh itself, one drawback of using on 1 t5ho...I'll just add to it with the smaller bulbs. I'd appreciate suggestions, because that is what I'm reading about now.

Thanks.

Bandit1200 02-14-2013 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elyssa (Post 2534170)
Hi,
I was speaking more to the fixture and not the bulbs. Definitely the illumination has to be aesthetically pleasing. My plan was to go with the fixture and if need be, build a nice enclosure to house it and mix up the spectrum by using a couple other smaller aquarium lights I have hanging around.

What have you found to be a good combination with the lighting that is pleasing to the eye. This fixture is actually coming with a 6500 k blue 54W. I'm going for low tech, no CO2. I figure I'll hang the fixture and if need be can raise or lower depending on what happens. If the lighting is harsh itself, one drawback of using on 1 t5ho...I'll just add to it with the smaller bulbs. I'd appreciate suggestions, because that is what I'm reading about now.

Thanks.

Lots of people here are having very good success with clip on shop lights from the hardware stores and simple spiral cfl bulbs. The reflectors will help get the light to the plants, but it's not the end-all of the fixture. You may be able to go with a higher wattage bulb to offset a less than ideal reflector. You may also be able to replace the reflector. I'm using some light kits from AH Supply that have a very nice reflector. You may be able to buy just a reflector from them. I'd recommend checking out their site, very helpful staff there.

As far as bulb combinations, it's totally up to you what you like. My personal preference is in the higher spectrums. Generally speaking, at least in the freshwater world, 10k bulbs are easiest to come by than some of the higher spectrums. I like a crisp white color or slightly blue. The lower you go, the more yellow you get. I had some 6500k bulbs that grew some very nice plants, but I just didn't like looking at it. After replacing it with several combos/spectrum bulbs I settled in on the 10k bulbs. Now every thing I have has a 10k bulb on it. I had to spend a small fortune to get a stock 5 gallon hood with a 10k bulb...

Some people like the "warmer" look to a low spectrum bulb. That's why you have options, even at the hardware store for home lighting you can get daylight, warm, cool etc. There's no way to say what you will like the best, odds are you'll have to try several color spectrums to find what you like.

Elyssa 02-14-2013 10:47 PM

Hi Bandit1200,

I am thinking now that going with the (2) 2' units, then I could be more flexible in the long run, I also have a 24" ,18" and 12" from old tanks that run T8's that I could use to mess with the feel of the light. I can't stand the yellow light myself. I hear you with experimentation but don't want to end up with a pile of bulbs either!

Thanks for your time!

Bandit1200 02-15-2013 07:21 PM

You're most welcome.

Seeing that you hate the yellow end of the light spectrum, try and go up in your spectrum goal. Like I was saying, 10k is my favorite of the (relatively) easy to get fluorescent bulbs.

Another bit of advice for you is the possibility of mixing different spectrums of bulbs to get the desired color. Before I started ordering bulbs online, I had to make do with local shops inventory and wasn't very happy until I hit on the combo of a power glo bulb + an aqua glo bulb. Neither individually looks very good to me, but mixed together turned out fairly close to the 10k bulbs. Hope that doesn't throw another wrench into your plans.

Elyssa 02-15-2013 10:33 PM

My tank is in my living room/office and very important for the light to be pleasant. Not to mix spectrum probably not an option! I'd go crazy under the harsh yellows.

Thanks for the advice, appreciated.


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