Replace *Working* CFs??? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-30-2006, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
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Replace *Working* CFs???

OK...

I have just heard two different opinions on a subject that would seem to have little grey area. The question is - do Compact Flourescents lose their juice over time, with that time period being 18-24 months?

I have had two different aquatic gardners tell me that CFs not only lose their lumen output rating over time, but that their spectrum shifts over time favoring algea over higher order plants.

As a proof point - the gardner showed me how my Cabomba has grown "stringy" with long sections of stalk between foliage (as opposed to nicely/closely bunched foliage). His point was that the plant (receiving less energy) has gone into light seeking mode, and is trying to grow up to where it thinks the brighter light is (i.e. closer to the surface).

On the other hand, I have heard this is just bogus.

Can I get the brain trust chewing on this one?

Thanks in advnace!!!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-30-2006, 03:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbohart View Post
I have had two different aquatic gardners tell me that CFs not only lose their lumen output rating over time, but that their spectrum shifts over time favoring algea over higher order plants.
They told you straight. The bulbs draw the same power but the brilliance produced lessens. Also the color rendition changes as the gasses inside the bulb age. Bulbs will often times still be viable long after the recommended "experation date" but their effectiveness is less than it was on day one.

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-30-2006, 12:32 PM
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If you replace your CF bulbs before they die Tom Barr will gladly take them off your hands.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-30-2006, 03:32 PM
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not trying to highjack the tread but does the same thing happen to metal halide lights or do they tend to just burn out? If it does what kind of time period are we looking at?
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-30-2006, 04:14 PM
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It happens to all bulbs. Whether you replace them or not could depend on your plants and your overall light level. If you have plenty of light and not too demanding plants a little dimmer light won't hurt and you can let them burn out. If your lighting is kinda low to start with and/or you have demanding plants that will loss of light not take kindly... then you probably need to get on a bulb changing schedule.


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