Where Do You Buy Your Bulbs From? Is There A Best Brand?

daizeUK

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I need a 15W T8 daylight bulb for my aquarium.  I also need a few standard T8 bulbs for my kitchen lighting (they're always going on the blink :rolleyes:) and probably a UVC bulb for a sterilizer too.  ~Can anyone recommend a decent quality online bulb store?
 
The cheapest brand of T8 I can find seems to be Sylvania - my husband said these are rubbish as they don't last long.  Anyone else had bad experience or recommend a particular brand?
 

Chad

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I don't know where you would get them in the UK but my favorite bulbs for T5 are made by ATI.
 

TwoTankAmin

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Bulbs and best are partly objective and a great deal subjective. The subjective part is how the look appears to you. Unless on eis growing high light plants or corals etc. in sw, then its almost all subjective.
 
There are two considerations, imo, frequency and CRI (Color Rendering Index).. For my money in fw setups the critical factor is the CRI. The only other issue is light source- T12, T8, T%, power compacts, LEDs etc etc.
 
For your 18 in T8- consider ZooMed's Ultra Sun bulb- its not cheap:
The Ultra Sun is a 6500K high intensity trichromatic full spectrum daylight lamp. With a CRI rating of 98, it provides excellent color reduction for optimum viewing of your freshwater or marine fish and live corals with a balanced full spectrum of visible light and UVA. Promotes photosynthetic processes in plants and marine algae. Ideal for all freshwater and marine fish as well as reef tanks. Zoo Meds line of fluorescent aquarium lamps are made in Europe for ultra high quality, color, and longer burn life.
 
I have not seen anything higher CRI wise in a bulb- natural sunlight is 100.These may even be better than the old Triton bulbs. I still have Tritons running after 5+ years.
 
Get the UV Bulb you know is suggested, specwise, by the maker of your UV unit.
 
Can't help w/ kitchen bulbs as that's 100% subjective- get light that you like the way it looks.
 

DrRob

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I tend to get mine from lampspecs.
 
Last time I looked the Captain chaos discount code still worked too.
 

SO19Firearms

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DrRob said:
I tend to get mine from lampspecs.
 
Last time I looked the Captain chaos discount code still worked too.
 
This.
 
There is a small comparison of some of the popular colours here too
 
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daizeUK

daizeUK

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Ah I sussed it it's the lumen.
 
Can't argue with £3.67 really!
 

SLIM

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If your growing plants try to aim for a colour temp between 6000k-8000k
 
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daizeUK

daizeUK

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Will do, I think the plants look best like that.  I'm going to buy the 6500K daylight bulb.
 
About to place a large order with lampspecs, I figured I may as well get all my household bulbs while I'm at it!  :lol:
 

SLIM

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daizeUK said:
Will do, I think the plants look best like that.  I'm going to buy the 6500K daylight bulb.
 
About to place a large order with lampspecs, I figured I may as well get all my household bulbs while I'm at it!  :lol:
lol why not XD
 

DrRob

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860 and 865 reference the colour temperature, generally aiming at 860 is 6000K, 865 is 6500K.
 
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daizeUK

daizeUK

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I *think* it means the luminosity i.e. perceived brightness of the bulb.
 
They offer a Sylvania bulb at 865 (6500K Daylight) and an Osram bulb at 950 (5000K Daylight).
 
So I interpeted that as the Osram bulb is brighter but a lower colour temperature with better colour rendition.
 

TwoTankAmin

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There is another factor that becomes more relevant in planted tanks. There is a whole spectrum of light frequencies being generated by any bulb. You have probable seen a wavelength graph.
 
What makes bulbs different is how fast they lose parts of the wavelengths. Often the human eye can not tell the difference, but plants can. That is why for normal fluors the advice was to replace them is as little as 6 months and no less often than yearly. Thereis a difference between how long a bulb gives of light and the composition of that light.
 
A good full spectrum tri-phosphor should be fairly close to good as new until it burns out. The ones that are tend to cost the most.
 
Incidentally in looking into the bulbs I discovered Sylvania and Osram are now
 
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daizeUK

daizeUK

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Ha I didn't realise they were affiliated.
However both are tri-phosphor bulbs - hence why I thought the Sylvania brand seemed a bargain at the lower price!
 

snazy

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Just get what you like best as colour rendition. They'll all grow plants, no matter of the kelvin rating and get the cheapest possible. Most are just a rebranded bulb that you can buy 5 times cheaper somewhere else.
The best bulbs I have, with a colour that I like best are actually 3000K and the plants don't mind one bit. They still weren't the cheapest as I was fairly confused at the time when buying them :)
 
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