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865 vs 965 T5 Bulbs - 'Best' T5 White Tubes?


5 May 2017
The Netherlands
Currently have the Osram 865 white ones and as they have CRI 80, I wonder if the Osram 965 or Philips de Luxe Pro 965 would be a lot better? 965 are more expensive but if it's worth it I would do it.

Especially since I make videos of my tank a higher CRI can be useful. For example for better color on skintone if I'm in the frame.

Did anyone test this ever? 865 vs 965 bulbs.

I was thinking about buying the Osram 965 ones did anyone ever compare to Philips 965?


13 Nov 2013
I think James C discusses this in sticky thread "Cheap HO T5 Fluorscent tubes with update". I was using the Arcadia plant pro , not for the plant claims but the look itself. Sadly for reasons best known to Arcadia they discontinued them? Not that cheap though.


New Member
15 Feb 2016
the first of the three digits is a measurement of how well a light replicates daylight in laboratory conditions at set wavelengths in the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum. So an 865 lamp achieves a rating of 80% the second and third digits apply to a colour temperature of 6500 degrees. Which is classified by colour matching a bar of iron that is heated to 6500 degrees (which in lighting terms, the higher the temperature is, the cooler the artificial light source appears)

Thus a 965 lamp has achieved a higher classification and is of better quality.

This is where the preverbal can of worms is opened.

The European standard states readings should be taken at (from memory I could be a bit out) 8 specific points. Considering the visible wavelength runs from 380 to 750 manometers, there is an awful lot that happens inbetween. The American standard has about 50 reference points and is therefore far more representive.

Put a 1200mm 28W 965 next to a 600mm 14W 965 lamp and they will look different, even if from the same manufacture. They can also vary between batches, but all within the manufacturing classification.

There is no such thing as a European Norm eye, in that we all have subtle through to major differences in how we see things.
Not mention personal taste.

Best solution would be to run a couple of the options side by side and take advantage of the 965. If not viable as it’s a 965 main stream lamp, stick to a main brand.


good luck
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