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Old 11-06-2003, 08:29 PM   #1
Wasserpest
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I just saw, fell in love with, and bought a "Helios T5 High Performance Fluorescent Light Fixture Lamp" at my LFS for $24. I was shopping around for replacement bulbs for my T8, the current ones I have (5000K) are too yellow/green for me and I was looking for 6500K to get a whiter appearance.

This bulb includes the ballast, fixture and cables... it is 38W, and 10000K. The price almost seems to be too good to be true... but we'll see how it compares to my current T8's.

I have never heard it mentioned here... so I expect it to be crappola and return it... but first I will connect it and turn it on! Interestingly, on the package it states "The unique feature is that the whole fixture is made to throw away. When exhausted, just purchase a new one..." with the reason given that ballast deteriorate over time and it is better to get a "fresh" one.

Anyone... any experience with this product?
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Old 11-06-2003, 08:45 PM   #2
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I'm envious.. thats pretty cheap for a T5... I've been looking for ages to get a reasonably priced T5 setup for my 90 Gallon but so far no luck.

I have 7 T8's that I want to replace with T5's over that tank
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Old 11-06-2003, 08:49 PM   #3
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Yeah, I just looked up some pricing on the web, and it looks like I got them for half the price of what they were sold as elsewhere. Hopefully they will work...
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Old 11-07-2003, 04:50 AM   #4
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I was just about to revive my old T5 topic but I stumbled across your post.

I FINALLY got my T5's from a distributor in Calgary, AB. It took about 2 months because I just wanted the lamps and not the ballast. Apparently they needed special casings to ship it in. And then there were some slight problems of the credit card not working and then them not shipping it for 3 weeks.

But when I got them last Tuesday, I was very happy! There are four 4' T5 lamps running under a WorkHorse7. The lighting is just intense! The lights are called Envirolites and usually come with a ballast & cord.

The price of the lamps was very nice as well, $7.50(CAD) per lamp(6400K). I am thinking of maybe ordering more. I am certain that the WH7 is overdriving them because they can get pretty hot!
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Old 11-07-2003, 02:59 PM   #5
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I read your topic and was wondering what happened... I am glad it worked out for you.

Last night I exchanged the new T5 for an old T8. Side by side, the T5 looks much brighter, with a bluish white (10000K) which offsets the yellow of my old 5000K Octrons very nicely. They also create some nice bluish reflections on the Pearl Gouramies and Rams. Not sure how "good" they are for plants... probably some reds missing.
In it's own raingutter the difference wasn't that notable, because my reflectors (raingutter lined with mylar) were perfect for the T8's, which I put snug to the back of the gutter. I need a different angle for the T5's, which are a little bit lower because having their own fixture.
They do get quite a bit warmer than the (NO) T8's, about in between the T8's and the AHS 13W bulbs, about the same as the 10W PC bulbs from Walmart.
I like them, considering that they are "only" 38 Watt but a bit brighter than the T8. I do need to adjust the reflector though, but that shouldn't be too hard, since they are physically smaller than the T8s.
I will probably buy another one of those fixtures, to end up with 2 T5s and 2 T8s for now. If I could get the bulbs as cheap as you, I would convert them all... I suppose they would work with the 4x T8 ballast as well, using two outputs of each ballast for each bulb. Hmmm... I might end up with a high light tank after all :roll:
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Old 11-09-2003, 06:08 PM   #6
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I added the mylar reflectors, which about triple the light output, and now there is a very visible difference to the older T8's. Next week I will get a second T5 fixture, and then I will observe how plants react.

The T5's are about an inch shorter than the T8's, so they JUST fit in without having to remove the T8 endcaps. Simple!
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Old 11-10-2003, 12:42 PM   #7
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Very cool!! I have seen these befroe at my LFS...they use them for the reef tanks mostly over there. They are not quite the same as some other T5's out there. Some of the others are HOT5's and thats where you see the price diference but I think for how cheep these are and how bright and easy they are to install they are worth it. I am interested in seeing how the 10K works out for you with the plants. Also could you take a pic on how you riged the T5 up with a reflector??
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Old 11-10-2003, 04:16 PM   #8
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I will run over there today to see if they have another white one. They also come in pink, rose, blue, actinic blue, and UVB... none too useful for planted tanks. So far the 10000K seems to work, my "Tropica" sword has a new leaf that is bright red, before they used to be brownish before they turn green... but I just started fertilizing with Jobes, so that might have played a role in it too.

Actually I like the fact that they are not HO, keeps temperature down and efficiency up... For the reflectors, I glued mylar to 2" plastic strips (I had some left over from window shutters) and stuck them into the raingutters that I am using. They just fit in perfectly, didn't even have to glue them in or attach them otherwise. Looking at it now it looks like there are three lamps instead of one. I will try to get a pic of it, maybe tomorrow.
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Old 11-10-2003, 04:21 PM   #9
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Yeah I dont mind thatthey are not HO either...they are so damn cheep and easy to setup. I didnt go woth them tho because I didnt think the 10K was good for plants. So yeah if you could get a shot of your reflectors that would be great!
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Old 11-12-2003, 12:54 AM   #10
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As promised, here a pic of some of the bulbs I have collected to light up my tank :lol:
I bought another one of the T5's and am just about to screw it into the hood. This will leave me with two T8's, two T5's, two AHS 13W PC's and two Walmart PC's. I am still looking to replace my current T8's with a plant grow T8 like one from the Hagen series, still waiting for a good deal.
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Old 11-12-2003, 02:55 AM   #11
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the best reflectors for the t5 tubes seem to be the gull wing type which work very nicely if you can find them.
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Old 11-12-2003, 04:47 AM   #12
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I like what I am reading on T5's but don't know what endcaps are needed for T5 lights? Different than those used for T8's and T12's?

I'd like to sneak a 4 T5's into my canopy. I'd probably drive them with a Fulham Workhorse ballast.
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Old 11-12-2003, 01:19 PM   #13
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Ahhh very nice DIY reflector on the T5...I am very interested to see how the 10K works for the plants. I can get these way cheep from a friend at my lfs. I wonder what the pink T5's from them are for??
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Old 11-12-2003, 03:03 PM   #14
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heaven2,
You need different endcaps than those used for T8/T12. They are much smaller. I think Slaigar got all the parts separately, I believe he mentioned a source for in Canada in his post.

NOLACLS,
Plants are pearling a little more under the new bulbs... but this could well be because of the increased intensity, not because they have an especially suitable spectrum. The tank looks much "blue-ish" now with the two T5's, which is both what I wanted, and possibly keeps plants growing more compact (the latter is just a guess).
Not sure what the pink ones are used for... Reptiles? Or perhaps in connection with blue ones for a psychodelic effect? Or to grow plants better?
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Old 11-12-2003, 03:10 PM   #15
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Yeah I read about if the light is higher in the K range it would make the plants bush more. Keep us updated on the growth after you had the bulbs on for a while
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