ATI dimmable T5's
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:05 AM   #1
plantbrain
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ATI dimmable T5's


I did some energy calculations and then some cost different for the initial purchase and decided to get these lights instead of LED's, perhaps later, the LED will surpass T5's but these are really a winning fixture. Warning, they are not cheap.

I am using some on my 70 Gal manzigumi.

It took me awhile to figure the controller, but once I did and got that dialed in good and the bulbs burned in for about 50 hours, this light works like no other I've had. I also did some measurements vs the Tek, and it's basically 25-50% more light. I confirmed it with the PAR meter.

Usually I am highly skeptical of such marketing talk, and rightly so, I will say it's correct in this case.

So why was I really interested in this fixture?
1. Reef folks have been hounding me.
2. Is the light that much higher vs the other decent T5 brands?
3. The dimming option.

The dimming option is really cool and ends up costing you much less and is far more natural and you can vary things around a great deal. It has 2 channels, so say you just want 2 or 4 bulbs on initially, and have then come on at say 8 am and then run up to say 50% power at 10am, then from 10am till say 12, have the other bank of 2 or 4 come on and run up from 0-50% in the next 2 hours, then all the lights from 12-2 pm from 50-100%, then from 2 to 4- back down to 50%, and then 4-6pm, down to 0%.

You can split the channels up anyway you chose, but by using only low dimmed light the first and last parts of the light cycle, you can crank up the middle portion, but also still have plenty of time before/after work to see the tank.

I use about 20% less energy using this fixture than the LED option with similar PAR over 10 hours. Peak lighting is about 100 umol higher also.

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Old 12-19-2011, 05:57 AM   #2
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Those are pretty slick, do you have to use a dimmable bulb? or will they handle any bulb you can throw at them?


Now to find a way to convince my wife that my tank needs this. I have been wanting to do day / night cycles for a while.
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Old 12-19-2011, 12:28 PM   #3
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You can do day/night cycles with 2 $8 analog timers. The dimming option is something else.
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:50 PM   #4
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Tom, you may want to put in red bold text that these things are very expensive. Haha!

In my few years here in TPT, you're the only other person I know that is willing to pay for a very high end light fixture. Most folks around here would even balk at the idea of spending over $100 on lights.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
Those are pretty slick, do you have to use a dimmable bulb? or will they handle any bulb you can throw at them?
It uses any T5HO bulb, but ATI recommends 'burning in' any new bulb for 40-50 [yet they originally said 100 hours] hours before dimming.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:11 PM   #6
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A true planted tank enthusiast is someone who buys a $500 light fixture because it saves on the electric bill
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:40 PM   #7
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I had looked at these for over m 150 but at needing 2- 3ft fixtures they are out of the budget for now. Just curious what controller you are running with them.

Craig
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Raul-7 View Post
It uses any T5HO bulb, but ATI recommends 'burning in' any new bulb for 40-50 [yet they originally said 100 hours] hours before dimming.
....and burning in at 100% intensity if I understood them correctly. For folks like me that tend to experiment with different bulbs every now and then, this could possibly be annoying if the dimming function is part of the "cycle".

But that's just a relatively minor trade-off for what the dimmable ballast can help with
- Adjust your lighting intensity without having to raise or lower your fixture. Raising fixtures can cause light spill, and in my case, a noticeable amount of glare. Lowering fixtures will reduce light "spread" / "coverage" -- folks that use quality reflectors know that these reflectors "focus" down the light, and if it's too low, it will only light up a portion of the tank.
- Adjust your lighting intensity while still running the same number of bulbs. Let's you mix and match different high quality T5HO bulbs with different spectrum / colors. Example - run 4 diff bulbs, but reduce the intensity to 50% = equivalent to running a 2 bulb setup, but still have the coverage and desired bulb combination of a 4bulb setup. (This only applies to the few folks that know more than the "oh just get a 6500k and a 10000k" )

Of course, that's just on top of being an ATI fixture -- which the most efficient T5HO fixture available in the market, thanks to active cooling and the best individual reflectors.

Overkill for a planted tank? For most folks, yep
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by OVT View Post
You can do day/night cycles with 2 $8 analog timers. The dimming option is something else.
Not like these, this is so subtle, it's like the sun itself setting.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
Those are pretty slick, do you have to use a dimmable bulb? or will they handle any bulb you can throw at them?


Now to find a way to convince my wife that my tank needs this. I have been wanting to do day / night cycles for a while.
You can use any normal T5 bulb.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by zergling View Post
Tom, you may want to put in red bold text that these things are very expensive. Haha!

In my few years here in TPT, you're the only other person I know that is willing to pay for a very high end light fixture. Most folks around here would even balk at the idea of spending over $100 on lights.
WTF? All you have to to do it look at them ADA lights..........and you get get one for a 2ft region!

When folks start talking that type of $, I have more options and demands.
My tanks are all custom made starfire rimless, same with the stands etc.

The ADA fan boys spend this coin every day.
Overkill? Yep.....same with ADA.........but I get 2x the light and can dimmer it all sorts of ways, no overspill in the house etc......more effective use of the energy since the fixture can be closer to the water and I can simply use the dimmer functions.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:08 PM   #12
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A true planted tank enthusiast is someone who buys a $500 light fixture because it saves on the electric bill
Initial cost is not as bad as the significant other complaining about the electric bill, I'll get them solar panels up in a year or two.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:09 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Craigthor View Post
I had looked at these for over m 150 but at needing 2- 3ft fixtures they are out of the budget for now. Just curious what controller you are running with them.

Craig
They come with the controller built in and it's user friendly.

ADA grand solar's x3......if that was out of your budget, these are quite cheap.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:13 PM   #14
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Dimmable ballasts aren't cheap and hard to come by I'm thinking of getting a ecozone controller for my terrarium which has a dimming ability I've seen a demo and you are right the dawn dusk affect is awesome, no more instant on/off shock of the lights. I like the controller because I can set different settings everyday via the Internet to simulate seasons, as well as dimming the lights for simulated storms I'm going to setup.

Len
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:57 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by lbacha View Post
Dimmable ballasts aren't cheap and hard to come by I'm thinking of getting a ecozone controller for my terrarium which has a dimming ability I've seen a demo and you are right the dawn dusk affect is awesome, no more instant on/off shock of the lights. I like the controller because I can set different settings everyday via the Internet to simulate seasons, as well as dimming the lights for simulated storms I'm going to setup.

Len
Not really Progressive Reef sells them: http://www.progressivereef.com/prodd...allast&cat=237 . It's owned by a former moderator here, IIRC.
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