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Old 01/10/2008, 10:50 AM
Txcowboy22 Txcowboy22 is offline
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Why are T5's so much better than PC's?

So, I guess the new thing to buy is t5's. I have a couple of questions, why are they so much better than equal wattage pc's? Also why do most of my LFS only carry PC's and metal halides if T5's are so much better than PCs. This is true for almost every store around me.....
Old 01/10/2008, 11:11 AM
db_triggerfish db_triggerfish is offline
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PC are great lights for most softies, LPS, and some SPS, what makes T5 better is their reflectors one for each bulb, and you can overdrive them with Icecap ballast(not require). One major draw back with PC is that some light is loss, because of the design. I have used PC lights for many years, and i like them a lot. one month ago in setup a 75g with T5 6x54w overdriven with Icecap and so far VERY happy with them. Since i only have a few corals just using 2 x54w right now but with all six lights running it looks much brighter than most MH tanks i have seen.
Old 01/10/2008, 11:16 AM
dsn112 dsn112 is offline
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Many LfS's aren't carrying t5's yet because they are rather new compared to pc's and MH, and alot of LFS's have no expierence with them. My lfs stocks the nova extremes and the tek fixtures.

I went from pc to t5 and my colors and growth have improved 10 fold.
Old 01/10/2008, 11:19 AM
Txcowboy22 Txcowboy22 is offline
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The individual reflectors make a lot of sense, but some T5 units don't have individual reflectors, like the nova. Would a T5 like that and a pc with the same wattage be a close comparison?
Old 01/10/2008, 11:25 AM
barjam barjam is offline
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The T5s are still more efficient, I can't remember where the reference is though.
Old 01/10/2008, 12:20 PM
DanInSD DanInSD is offline
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The actual tube is comparable in efficiency in terms of total light energy output compared to power utilized. The difference in "usable" efficiency comes from the shape.

PC lights are bent in a "U" shape. This has several implications:

- One half of the bulb is in the shadow of the other half of the bulb, over a pretty big cross section.

- Light leaving one bulb that hits a reflector has a pretty good chance of hitting the other side.

T5 lighting doesn't have any of the first problem, and the second is significantly reduced because of the smaller total cross section of the bulb. In essence, less light is "wasted" illuminating other parts of the bulb itself, and more light hits the intended target -- your corals.

Individual reflectors are imperative for optimal efficiency of T5s.

Old 01/10/2008, 02:27 PM
gabe3d gabe3d is offline
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Don't forget about the superior selection in bulb in T5.
Old 01/10/2008, 03:47 PM
burton14e7 burton14e7 is offline
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I almost went T5's on this tank but then I read they wont really penetrate really deep for SPS. I plan to keep minimal rock so my stags can grow tall like Leonardo's Fermosa Forest.
Old 01/10/2008, 04:17 PM
lark lark is offline
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I've been a pretty big t-12 vho proponent. I still think actinic looks better with vho. But my dependable icecap crapped out on me this weekend, and I decided to use the occasion to upgrade to t5. I got a retro kit for 4x54 t5, using individual reflectors. The idea is that I would add 2 vhos later for actinic, once my ballast gets fixed.

I got it up and running last night. I'm pretty amazed by the 4x54 t5s. It looks much brigher than my prior 3x110 VHO set up. I think the reflectors make a huge difference. I'm not even sure I need to add the vhos back on. Lights look amazing.

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