Light Bulbs - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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Light Bulbs

Hi all,
I have seen people buying these expensive lights for their aquariums but wouldn't it just be easier to just get a light bulb of about 5000K and decent wattage according to your aquarium size.
Thanks
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 02:45 AM
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Hi all,
I have seen people buying these expensive lights for their aquariums but wouldn't it just be easier to just get a light bulb of about 5000K and decent wattage according to your aquarium size.
Thanks

Sure but what fun is that?
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 02:47 AM
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That'll work. You can try different bulbs for color and brightness, experiment with the number, and also try reflectors from the hardware store. You can also set up a pretty decent looking rack to hang them from. Check out the DIY section. You might also consider that there are some pretty cost effective lights out there that will save the time and expense of experimenting.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 01:35 PM
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Hi all,
I have seen people buying these expensive lights for their aquariums but wouldn't it just be easier to just get a light bulb of about 5000K and decent wattage according to your aquarium size.
Thanks
It depends on what you are looking to do exactly and on what tank. I have a walstad fish bowl with a single light bulb over it and it works great. But it doesn't have bluetooth. It doesn't have sunrise and sunset modes. It doesn't have control over the spectrum either.

This doesn't bother me in the least but some people want those features.

If you are looking for a simple light that turns on and turns off and provides lots of light. Then there are cost comparable options for that as well in aquarium specific led lights. You just need to know where to look and what exactly you want.


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help all! All I want is a simple inexpensive light to grow plants.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 07:11 PM
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Hi @BuddyMan,

If this is for emersed plants why not look into an LED shoplight. Costco, Home Depot, Lowe's all have them. They have good light output, minimal heat, and low electricity requirements. Ideally 20 watts per lamp, 40 watts or more for a 4' (48") fixture, something in the 4500K to 7000K spectrum if possible. It should cost less than $40.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 08:37 PM
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So yeah depends on what you want. Do you want high light? Low light? Do you want to cover a standard 10 gallon tank? How about a 6 foot tank? Do you already have a fixture you plan to use, or do you need to buy the fixture(s) as well?

All of these matter. If running a simple standard sized tank and you want to run medium light it's hard to beat the price of some of the beamsworks lights. A beamsworks fspec for a 40 gallon breeder only costs about 50 dollars. By the time you bought fixtures and bulbs you would be in the same price range.

If you are running a nano tank and you already have the fixture and just looking for light bulb recommendations, well I am running a SANSI grow bulb 10w on my Walstad tank and it's doing great.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 09:23 PM
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I used two cheap clamp on light units with 35w 5500k cfl bulbs. It didn't look the most aesthetically pleasing, but it got the job done at a very cheap price. In hindsight I would have gone with lower wattage bulbs. It is possible to grow plants nicely on a budget.



It's the only pic I have of that setup as I don't have it anymore, please forgive the dust/algae
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi @BuddyMan,

If this is for emersed plants why not look into an LED shoplight. Costco, Home Depot, Lowe's all have them. They have good light output, minimal heat, and low electricity requirements. Ideally 20 watts per lamp, 40 watts or more for a 4' (48") fixture, something in the 4500K to 7000K spectrum if possible. It should cost less than $40.

Thanks for helping pick out a light but I am looking for a light for a standard 10 gallon submersed tank.
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So yeah depends on what you want. Do you want high light? Low light? Do you want to cover a standard 10 gallon tank? How about a 6 foot tank? Do you already have a fixture you plan to use, or do you need to buy the fixture(s) as well?

All of these matter. If running a simple standard sized tank and you want to run medium light it's hard to beat the price of some of the beamsworks lights. A beamsworks fspec for a 40 gallon breeder only costs about 50 dollars. By the time you bought fixtures and bulbs you would be in the same price range.

If you are running a nano tank and you already have the fixture and just looking for light bulb recommendations, well I am running a SANSI grow bulb 10w on my Walstad tank and it's doing great.
I'm looking for low to medium lighting to grow vals, dwarf hairgrass, swords, and maybe moneywort for a future 10 gallon aquarium. The light I'm planning to use a light that is 17.5 watts, 5000K, and 1500 lumens. I was wondering if you could tell me if this light would be sufficient to grow the plants I talked about before.
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I used two cheap clamp on light units with 35w 5500k cfl bulbs. It didn't look the most aesthetically pleasing, but it got the job done at a very cheap price. In hindsight I would have gone with lower wattage bulbs. It is possible to grow plants nicely on a budget.



It's the only pic I have of that setup as I don't have it anymore, please forgive the dust/algae
Thanks for the picture. Looks great!
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 11:56 AM
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The light I'm planning to use a light that is 17.5 watts, 5000K, and 1500 lumens. I was wondering if you could tell me if this light would be sufficient to grow the plants I talked about before.
Depends on how far away the light is from the plants, whether its dimmable if its too close and whether this is an LED, or something else.

I am growing hair grass just fine with my 10w SANSI grow bulb about 12-14" from substrate. The same bulb would not produce the same results if it were 24" from substrate.


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 01:43 PM
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would a set up like yours grow aponogeton crispus ? Judy

Bump: what are the bulbs in your globes and where can you find them? judy
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2020, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
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Depends on how far away the light is from the plants, whether its dimmable if its too close and whether this is an LED, or something else.

I am growing hair grass just fine with my 10w SANSI grow bulb about 12-14" from substrate. The same bulb would not produce the same results if it were 24" from substrate.
Thanks for the response! I can't respond exactly about distance yet as the tank hasn't been set up but it is an LED bulb.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2020, 09:04 AM
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I have had this exact debate on another thread as I have an 84" tank coming and there is no light that will fit it

I have decided to go for an Ikea Grey Clamp on desk lamps that will go on the side of the tank with some LED 12w 6500k bulbs

These bulbs are 12w and are 100w equivalent @1500 lumens each so 5 of these will be 60w to actually run and will effectively be total 500watts and 7500lumens - I have no idea if this will be enough or too bright, but for the price i can afford to waste or buy more of them

the lamps are 9 each and the bulbs are 2.99 each, and I am going to get 5 of these lamps and bulbs and see how that goes

Total cost for my tank is 59.95 installed vs fluval 3.0 2x 40" ones at a cost of 470!!!

The tank is 84" x 24" x 24" and will be medium planted with co2

Some will disagree but I couldn't justify the cost difference
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-28-2020, 02:55 PM
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I use different tank, both in size and shape and I also know that I am not likely to get exactly the right light as things grow and change what is needed. That leaves me first wanting cheap so that I can swap and change as I want and it also has to be flexible. That leaves me using old style tube lights as they are now cheaper, some CFL as they are handy and then my favorite for all points is one I pick up off the auction. Links are not allowed but a search for this will often turn up the bulbs I like:
SPONSORED
e27 led bulbs 5050smd high bright spotlight 85-265v horizontal plug light C962
Horizontal mounted LED that one can screw into any common bulb holder but they have lots of different LED number, color, etc and a cheap price. One advantage of these over many LED for room lighting is that the light is all put out in one direction.
For a ten gallon, I might look at some of the swivel arm type lamps that can be picked out of salvage stores for nearly nothing as they are quick easy and let me put the light where I want it, rather than where the fixture puts it!
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