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So, I'm thinking of upgrading the light for my 10 gal planted to 2xODNO. Right now it's two (NO) f15t8 bulbs. I've found a Workhorse 5 electronic ballast rated for 4 f15t8s with a ballast factor of 0.96 and an efficacy factor of 1.94. I could also use two Workhorse 3 electronic ballasts, each rated for two f15t8s with a ballast factor of 0.91 and an efficacy factor of 3.28!

Which would be better? Does having 2 ballasts with 1.5x efficacy factor outweigh 1 ballast with 1x efficacy? The workhorse 3 uses 28 watts to drive two 15-watt bulbs (52 watts if using 2 ballasts) while the workhorse 5 uses 60 watts to drive 4 15-watt bulbs. I'm inclined to say the 8-watt difference is small and may not factor in much, but any $$ saved is good $$.

I somewhat understand the difference between ballast factor and efficacy factor. As I see it, ballast factor refers to lumens per watt (relative to a standardized/test ballast) while efficacy factor refers to energy input (watts) and its associated ballast factor.
 

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Also, do I need to upgrade the starters on the fluorescent lights?
Electronic ballasts don't use starters.

I think you're over thinking the rest. Go with the 4 lamp ballast for two reasons:

1. Cheaper solution.
2. If you want a 4xODNO setup you can keep using that ballast and just buy one more for the other bulb.
 
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