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Old 12-09-2004, 03:12 PM   #226
ksand
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Right. I'm skeptical about compact fluorescent's efficiency versus ODNO, since they both seem to run pretty hot, OTOH, anecdotal evidence (and vendors' claims) make me mighty curious about T5 (there's a thread on this forum on DIY T5 that I found really interesting). Ordered a 2x39W DIY setup from reefgeek, cost me $141 w/ shipping.

When I have some meaningful power-use data, I will certainly post it on this thread. Do you know of any reasonably-priced ways of measuring light? I've been using a digital camera, but would like something a little more "scientific".

Maybe this is a good one for the Myth-Busters? They seem to have a lot of cash to play around with. :-)
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Old 12-09-2004, 08:02 PM   #227
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Even a rudimentary light meter is expensive. Something really nice for this application would give spectral results, probably be out of sight for any of us financially, and if you did inherit a cool mil, hard to justify if only to answer occasional questions about aquarium light output.

Finding out the light output in lumens would enable calculation of efficiency, once you determine the power output. This would be very useful.

Finding out the total output, and its spectral breakdown, would give you the full picture, and be that much more useful. Unless you're attached to a university with that kind of equipment, the lumens solution is far better than nothing, and all you're likely to be able to do at best.

I don't know a meter to recommend, but there are others on the list who may. I'm afraid cost would be in the hundreds, though. Maybe someone will prove me wrong. Please.
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Old 12-09-2004, 08:53 PM   #228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaverde
Finding out the light output in lumens would enable calculation of efficiency, once you determine the power output. This would be very useful.
Yup, that's my goal. I'll probably start with my digital camera, which is a pretty good one, the Sony F717. Keeping the F-stop fixed at 8.0 and just reading the shutter speed will give me a relative measurement.
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Old 12-10-2004, 03:53 AM   #229
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I think I need some help from those that can. I think I may have messed up something along the way here. I am using an extension cord (120 volts) cut as my power supply coupled with a pull chain switch to the neg and pos of the ballast. Is there a standard for power supplies? Every time I turn the unit off with the pull chain, I blow a breaker. What do you think could be the cause. Out of the ballast I have the neg/pos, 1 pair of red and 1 pair of blues and finally the pair of yellows. I put the reds on one end cap and the blues on one end cap of the same side and I put the yellows in one end and added a couple jumper wires from the yellow end cap to the other one for the second light. This is my test set up before I bolted everything down and it works. I must admit these lights are quite bright. Lights up the whole dining room plus the living room. I have not shut off the unit out of fear of blowing the breaker again. Should I have used another switch for on/off? Or did I wire something wrong? Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 12-10-2004, 04:21 AM   #230
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I am in no way an electrician, but it sounds like you probably wired the switch incorrectly. Try unplugging the whole thing from the wall and then rewiring the switch so that it is inline with one of the power supply wires instead of crossing both the + and - at the ballast. Try wiring just one of the wires from the cut extension cord into one wire of the switch then connecting the other wire of the switch to the positive side only of the ballast. Good Luck

edit..of course, the other wire of the extension cord would be directly connected to the negative terminal of the ballast to complete the circuit.
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Old 12-10-2004, 03:59 PM   #231
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Hi Aquaverde
I have been using some T5 HO over my 70 now for 3 weeks( inconjunction with sylvanioa grolux.
I have witnessed explosive growth with the two T5's (54watt) and three grolux(40watt). My tank iscompletley overgrown with cabomba which had started out with 6 stems 2 months ago.
Here are some specs for the T5's
Ge starcoat 6500k
5000 lumens!
54watts
93 lumens per watt
I am very impressed so far. I am not even using reflectors yet. But I will get some eventually.
Hope this helps
Botia

Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaverde
Even a rudimentary light meter is expensive. Something really nice for this application would give spectral results, probably be out of sight for any of us financially, and if you did inherit a cool mil, hard to justify if only to answer occasional questions about aquarium light output.

Finding out the light output in lumens would enable calculation of efficiency, once you determine the power output. This would be very useful.

Finding out the total output, and its spectral breakdown, would give you the full picture, and be that much more useful. Unless you're attached to a university with that kind of equipment, the lumens solution is far better than nothing, and all you're likely to be able to do at best.

I don't know a meter to recommend, but there are others on the list who may. I'm afraid cost would be in the hundreds, though. Maybe someone will prove me wrong. Please.
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Old 12-10-2004, 05:58 PM   #232
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Proof of the pudding's in the eating. That's some intense lighting, and it goes to show what Sam and some others have been saying about intensity being more important than spectrum- that bulb doesn't have the red spike you normally look for.
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Old 01-09-2005, 06:46 PM   #233
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Default Actual Power Usage

I got a device called a "Kill-aWatt", which anyone can get at Dr Foster & Smith. It measures power consumption over time. Here are the results for my 2 ODNO setups:

This arrangement of two GE electronic ballasts driving two 4-foot 32 Watt T8's draws 140 Watts (1.13A). Each lamp is rated at 2,550 lumens, and light meter measurments show the ouput doubling, so this setup yields 10,200 lumens.

So for 4X ODNO you can't just multiply the 32-Watts times four, at least not for the GE ballasts. If you read GE's own literature, they talk about "Active Current Regulation", which limits the current to the the other three lamps if one of the lamps should fail (remember, this ballast is supposed to drive four lamps). So when you hook up all four output leads to a single lamp, you are probably causing the electronic ballast to adjust the current downwards, so the circuit consumes less power, yet you still get the doubling of light output that 4X ODNO gives you.


This setup draws 60 Watts (actually, 59). Here we have 4X ODNO driving two 15-Watt lamps in series. When I measured the light output with this setup, I found the gain to more than double, actually 150%. So with four GE "Sunshine" lamps rated at 620 lumens yoiu get 4 x 620 x 150% or 3,720 lumens for your 60 Watts.

This is good news for ODNO users. You are getting far better efficiency than you think. You can't just multiply the Watts by 4 (for 4XODNO), the power consumption is far less than that.
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Old 01-09-2005, 07:17 PM   #234
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Fascinating info, ksand. So, in summary:
F32T8 Normal output efficiency = 2550 lumens / 32 watts = 80 lumens/watt
F32T8 4xODNO efficiency = 10,200 lumens / 140 watts = 73 lumens/watt

That is assuming the ballast does actually draw 32 watts in a normal configuration. (Could you double check that?). The ODNO is somewhat less efficient for a F32T8 tube, but not nearly as much as I suspected.

Also, for the 18" bulbs...
F15T8 normal output efficiency = 620 lumens / 15 watts = 41 lumens/watt
F15t8 series 4xODNO efficiency = 3720 lumens / 59 watts = 63 lumens/watt

Now that is a shocker! The system still isn't as efficient as the F32T8 bulb, but it's still significantly more efficient than the standard configuration! The small bulb obviously likes to be driven at higher temperatures.
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Old 01-09-2005, 07:37 PM   #235
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GulfCoastAquarian
...That is assuming the ballast does actually draw 32 watts in a normal configuration. (Could you double check that?)....
Sure, the next time I take the fixture apart, which will be in the next few weeks or so.

One thing I noticed is that the power consumed does fluctuate a bit, so it's best to leave the thing on for while to get an average power consumption over, say, a 10-hour period.

Do you use a "sleep period" in your 11-hour photo-period as an algae-inhibiting measure?
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Old 01-10-2005, 02:47 AM   #236
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I would definitely try to get an average over a few minutes. It could mean a difference on the order of 10% and higher so it's worth considering it.

And no - I don't use a "sleep period". 11 hours straight.
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Old 01-12-2005, 04:23 AM   #237
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okies, a bit confused

situation : nano tank fanatic[space is limited]

desired size : 5 Gallon [maximum], my new 2.5G leaks, going for a 5G as a replacement

confusion issue :

excluding the fact everything here is 240 volt 35 amp, i need an electronic ballast capable of running 2 or 4 tubes. do the ballasts vary depending on the targetted bulbs[ie. 2 foot tubes, a ballast of X size, 4 foot ballast of XX size]? I want to stick to shorter bulbs to fit over my tank, finding them will be one challenge, but working out what sort of ballast i'll need will be the other. ADVICE ???


Thanks ppl
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Old 01-12-2005, 01:26 PM   #238
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wazza_77
..., but working out what sort of ballast i'll need will be the other. ADVICE ???
The GE and Sylvania ballasts have information printed right on the ballast. For example, the Sylvania says F32, F25, F17, F40, which means that the ballast will drive lamps of 32 Watts, 25 Watts, etc.
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Old 02-16-2005, 07:34 PM   #239
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GulfCoastAquarian
Yeah, I suppose it is a bit of a 'Tim Allen' thing. It's not isolated to just planted aquariums for me, either. I modify my cars, my computers, everything, just to try to get the most I can out of them.
lol, DITTO!
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Old 02-16-2005, 09:32 PM   #240
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 75sausage
lol, DITTO!
That's most likely why you're here, haha. Birds of a feather...
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