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

Discussion in 'Lighting, CO2, Ferts & Flow' started by daizeUK, May 20, 2013.

  1. DrRob

    DrRob It's life Jim, but not as we know it.
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    My apologies, should have given a more detailed answer. the 8 or 9 stands for the 80 or 90% colour rendition, the 50 or 65 stands for 5000K or 6500K.
     
  2. daizeUK

    daizeUK Fish Botherer

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    Ah thanks for that explanation!  I understand now.
     
    I've just noticed that the Osram bulb is "for use in shops, hairdressers, museums and hospitals".  No use for aquariums then I guess! :p
     
  3. DrRob

    DrRob It's life Jim, but not as we know it.
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    Of course it says that, otherwise they wouldn't be able to charge so much for the aquarium bulbs.
     
  4. TwoTankAmin

    TwoTankAmin Member

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    Consider this, you go to the hair dresser, your want your hair to come out looking a specific color. Why would you want to be able to look into the mirror at the shop and actually see what the color really looks like? Use a cheap bulb.
     
    You go to the hospital with an allergic reaction. The doctor needs to see the color of the rash. Why would you need an expensive bulb that shows that color accurately.
     
    You go to a museum to see some of the great masterpieces painted over the centuries. Why would anyone want to see the colors as they should appear? Be happy they didn't fall for any of that expensive story line and they used cheap bulbs.
     
    Dr. Rob, I would have expected you to know better. There is not enough information on the two bulbs daize posted about to know what the true differences between them are. There is nothing regarding PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation) values or the more important PUR (Photosynthetically Usable Radiation) measurements. Moreover, most light specifications for bulbs are based on the light in air, not when it has to penetrate water. Once the water is involved the numbers all change. Wavelengths are absorbed differently depending on depth. So how a given bulb may make things appear out of the water is not necessaruly the way it will make them appear in the water. In order, for aquarium bulbs to be maximally useful, they need to be more specifically designed/useful for that purpose.
     
    Finally, the rare earth phosphors used in the bulbs have become very pricey in recent years. The more of them used in a given bulb, the much greater the cost. As bulbs burn, they burn up the phosphors. More phosphors mean the bulb works properly for longer and the more it costs to make.
     
    It is really simple to chalk up price differences to greed if one is not aware of the technical differences involved So let me offer this, if Dr. Rob is willing to take me up on it.
     
    Daize will buy both the bulbs she listed. She will try both and then report back which one looks better to her. She can live with them for a bit to be sure her plants "like" one or the other as well. If she likes how her tank and fish look more using the cheaper bulb and her plants do too, I will send her a PayPal or check to cover the full cost of the pricier bulb, any tax on it and any shipping costs and she can throw it away. But if she and her plants prefer the Osram over the Sylvania, then DrRob will cover all those costs so she gets the better bulb on him and can throw away the cheaper one? What do you say DrRob?
     
    I should note I used to make a similar offer to folks regarding the discontinued Triton bulbs. Anybody who took me up on it was allowed to ship me the bulbs and I would reimburse 100% of the costs to the buyer, including all shipping. I never had anybody send me their bulbs.
     
    And if you are really a bug regarding lighting facts, you might want to read here http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/aquarium_lighting.html It was last updated May 13 this year and covers all the LED info.
     
  5. snazy

    snazy Moved On

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  6. daizeUK

    daizeUK Fish Botherer

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    I'm getting a bit confused now. 
     
    I think Dr Rob was saying that either bulb can be used for aquariums even though they're not advertised as aquarium bulbs?
     
    But then TwoTankAmin is saying that only bulbs sold as aquarium bulbs are of a high enough quality to use for growing plants?
     
    I was really just looking for a reliable brand that isn't going to fizzle on me after a couple of months [​IMG] I don't have a CO2 setup or high-light plants so I didn't think I needed to worry too much about the higher quality bulbs, as long as the colour and brightness looks good!
     
  7. TwoTankAmin

    TwoTankAmin Member

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    daize, if you go back and read my very first reply, I told you that mostly your choice is subjective. I did not say that one must buy aquarium bulbs. I also said that all the spec stuff did not become an issue unless you are running a high tech planted or a reef tank.
     
    However, there is a difference in bulbs that makes them have different prices. And it is more than merely greed n the part of the manufacturer as was suggested.
     
    1. Efficiency- incandescents are much cheaper than LEDS for ex. The more efficient a bulb is, the more it costs.
    2. Useful life- how long the output stays close to the specs. For non-planted/non-reef type tanks this is much less important.
    3. Quantity of rare earth phosphors and other materials used.
    4. A few other specs like PAR/CRI/Spectrum/Color temperature will also effect price to some extent.
     
    So if one doesn't have more stringent needs in a tank, I think there are only two considerations- what look you like and how much it costs to operate them (this includes the purchase price and useful life). For me, I want my fish to look as natural as possible and for their colors to "pop" rather than appear dull or washed out. I am willing to pay up for that result, others may not be.
     
    One thing to bear in mind- photosynthesis takes place using red and blue parts of the spectrum. The color temp specs of 5000k, 6700k or 10,000k etc. are not so important to the plants, they are more important in terms of how they make a tank look to us.
     
  8. daizeUK

    daizeUK Fish Botherer

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    So if I've understood all this correctly, I could use that expensive Osram bulb in my aquarium even though it's not specifically meant for aquarium use and it would make my tank look better than the cheap bulb.  BUT a bulb that is branded for aquarium use should be even more suitable because the light it produces is specially designed for photosynthesis... right?
     
    For me, anything has got to be better than the yellow kitchen tube I'm using now so I will try the cheap bulb first and upgrade if needed :)
     
  9. RCA

    RCA Member

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    daizeUK, just read through this post, have you got your new bulbs?  
    If so, how are you finding the new look and do you have any before and after pictures?
    I need to replace the bulbs on my planted tank so I am interested in how you have got on.  Good question by the way [​IMG]
     
  10. daizeUK

    daizeUK Fish Botherer

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    Ordered a week ago and it's still 'pending fulfillment'.  I realise it's been a bank holiday weekend but I was hoping it would be dispatched by now.
     
    Will post pics! :)
     
  11. DrRob

    DrRob It's life Jim, but not as we know it.
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    I was.
     
    TTA is quite correct that there are degrees of quality of bulb. I may have made the assumption that you were looking for a sensible price rather than the perfect plant growth tube. It had already be said, again quite correctly by TTA, that a whole lot of this is what you like the look of. Personally I tend to prefer the 10K bulbs over my tanks, and, as I've said online in other places before, and will freely admit that it's quite anecdotal, people tend to accept lower light levels of colour spectrums that they prefer, which results in less energy going into the tank and resulting less algae.
     
    Overall, all of the ones you mentioned should last a sensible time frame, and I suspect you'll prefer the look of one over the other, but it could be either of them, or a combo.
     
  12. daizeUK

    daizeUK Fish Botherer

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    Highly unimpressed with LampSpecs so far.  Turns out they didn't have all of my order in stock but there was no indication of what they were waiting for or how long it would take.  I had to phone them today to find out what was going on and ended up cancellling part of my order.
     
  13. daizeUK

    daizeUK Fish Botherer

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    Okay so once the problem with stocking was sorted out, delivery was really fast! 
    I would be very happy except I think they really should have told me they didn't have everything in stock when I ordered.
     
    Oh and the captain chaos discount did work, saved me 10% thanks Dr Rob! :good:
     
    Here are the before and after shots, the first picture is with warm white kitchen bulb and the second picture is with the new Sylvania daylight bulb.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Quite happy with it as my plants no longer look yellow, so it does what I wanted :)
     
    There are more pictures here if anyone is interested http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?/topic/417556-extra-lighting-for-interpet-fishbox/page-2
     
  14. snazy

    snazy Moved On

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    I think it's way better. The old ones were giving the tank a yellow kind of tint.
     
  15. DrRob

    DrRob It's life Jim, but not as we know it.
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    Glad it's sorted now, and it does look nice.
     

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