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Old 09-13-2005, 04:57 AM   #1
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Default Comparison of Lighting Types (Lumens and Watts)

Comparison of lighting for

• This article is designed to compare several popular lighting types in terms of power (Watts) and light (Lumens) only. Issues such as spectrum and lighting selection will not be addressed.
• Link to WPG: Lighting: the WPG rule
• Eric Olsen’s comparison: Lighting Level for Aquatic Plants
• Energy/area method: foot-candles, lux, lumens, sunlight, PAR
• DIY (do it yourself) projects have an inherent risk above standard operation. Any DIY ideas mentioned here are for completeness only and does not constitute and endorsement. Water and electricity do not mix!
• Guides the PAR/PUR alternative for can be found at light compareand DefBlog - PUR-efficiency list


• Total intensity is expressed as lumens (lm).
• Power as Watts (W).
• Power levels: Normal Output (NO), High Output (HO), Very High Output (VHO), and Over-Driven Normal Output (ODNO)

Summary Table:

* Quote: Buy Tools, Lighting, Electrical and DataComm Supplies at unless noted
# fluorescent bulbs = 4‘,
## (high, - (quoted) - low), lm/W from mean value
### multiplier of intensity to compare T12. Ie 28W T5 = 1.37 W T-12.
Example 2 WPG T5 = 2.74 WPG T12.

Incandescent bulbs
• Operation described here: Diagram of a Light Bulb
• “Aquarium” 15 W bulb ~7.4 lm/W.
• Color ~2850K

Linear fluorescent lamps
• Operation described here: How do Fluorescent Lamps work?
• Bulb diameter: T-12 -> 12 one-eighths or 1.5”. (T8 = 1”)
• Medium bipin contacts used for T12 NO, T10, T8 and T6 in standard lengths.
• From ~3000K to 6700K

High Output
• T12 High Output variants: The HO and VHO T12 lamp use recessed double contact to prevent interchange and operate by increasing the current (T12 NO = 430 mA, HO = 800 mA, VHO = 1500 mA)
• T5 High Output variants: The T5 and T5 HO use the same miniature bipin contact but require a load sensing ballast.

• Ballast power factor is the ratio of the lamp design current over the supplied ballast current.
• For example a energy saving T12 ballasts can have 0.88 power factor resulting in 2775 lumens X 0.88 = 2376.
• Fluorescent lamps can be “overdriven” with a high power factor ballast, or creative wiring. Over-Driven Normal Output ODNO is covered in depth here:
• Rule of thumb is 2X = 50%, 3X = 75% lm, 4X = 100% increase.
• The member “Shalu” notes that some combinations actually become more efficient when OD. Suggested that 2x OD 18" T8 outputs 2.5x light!

Other lamps:
• Spiral Compact as screw in type. Total lm quoted, expect significant loss to restrike.
• Reports that power compact (PC) are bent T5 with 55/66W power dependent on ballast, not bulb.
• HID operation: How does an HID lamp work?

• “BlueRam”
• “Shalu”
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Last edited by BlueRam; 12-04-2006 at 04:57 PM..
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