28w bulbs in a Tek T5 4x54w fixture?
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:04 PM   #1
bikinibottom
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28w bulbs in a Tek T5 4x54w fixture?


Hi, All. I just started up a low tech tank thinking I could use a 48" 4x54w Tek T5 fixture I had from a previous set-up. I thought I could run just 1 bulb in this fixture but it turns out I need to run 2 (there is one switch for the "outside" lights and one switch for the "inside" lights.

I noticed today that there are 28w 48" bulbs at the LFS. Could I run 2 of these 28w bulbs in this fixture? I'm not exactly the electrician type so I don't know if this would present a problem or not.

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Old 12-01-2012, 11:20 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by bikinibottom View Post
Hi, All. I just started up a low tech tank thinking I could use a 48" 4x54w Tek T5 fixture ...
I noticed today that there are 28w 48" bulbs at the LFS. Could I run 2 of these 28w bulbs in this fixture? I'm not exactly the electrician type so I don't know if this would present a problem or not.
Most T5HO fixtures use electronic ballasts. Most of those will step down and run T5NO lamps just fine. Possibly a bit over driven, but no where near full T5HO output.
Good quality electronic ballasts effectively read the lamps electrical characteristics and adjust.
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:43 PM   #3
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thanks dbosman... someone told me that the bulb would "blow up" if I try this. Is that a possibility?
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:10 PM   #4
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It depends on the ballast. It's either going to overdrive the lower wattage bulb (run 54 watts through the 28 watt bulb) or step the wattage down a bit or both. I doubt the 28 watt bulb will be as bright, even if it's over driven.

The worst thing that will likely happen is the bulb may burn out quickly. It's not going to physically blow up or anything. It may just not last at all. Could be almost instantanious, could be a few days. If it does last, it likely won't last as long as it would in the correct fixture.


A better way to go would be to just put widow screen mesh above the splash guard. This will reduce the amount of light that reaches the tank. It seems wasteful with energy but you really won't know how much wattage is going through the bulbs anyway. It's more controllable as well since you can layer it up.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:09 PM   #5
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hmmmm...... window screen is not a bad idea. I might try that. Or I might just buy a new fixture. LOL.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:23 PM   #6
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Or I might just buy a new fixture. LOL.
The best route but it sucks to get rid of a high end light that only pays for a decent replacement. I am in the same boat on my new tank, super overkill fixture that I just want to "tone down" a bit. At least I have a second lower light fixture that will tide me over in the short term (I hope).
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:58 AM   #7
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So if anyone else is looking for an answer to this question, I contacted people at Marine Dept and Premium Aquatics (where I bought the fixture), and they both said that yes, it can be done, but that the bulbs would burn out very very fast.
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