Cheap HO T5 fluorescent tubes - Update with photos

lincsflier

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8 May 2009
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Thanks James just got 4 x54W T5's all in for under £40 :D. Can spend loads more on plants now yayyy.
 

jym

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4 Jun 2009
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West Sussex
Hi thanks for link, I did find this after I had bought the expensive Arcadia tubes, they cost me £42 with postage
and I am a bit p****d off to be honest when I could have got something better for £15 tops. :(

Jan
 

plantbrain

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2 Aug 2007
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James, get a PAR light meter and do a plot at different depths/distance from the bulbs.
That combined with aesthetics will give you the most useful information for T5 and aquarist.

We did that here in the USA for some bulbs.
Mostly the Gieseman powerchrome and aquaflora. I use a mix of 1;3 PC's to 1 AF and have some nice data on them.

I get some of the best coloration with only CO2 and light coloration being dependent(plant growth and algae free however) The PAR, plant species, Sediment, dosing etc etc, are the same. CO2 might be a little different here or there, but overall, the main factor is only the color of the light. The PAR is the same since I adjusted the height to match by PAR between tanks.

Here's an example of what Hoppy did:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/light ... ights.html

The plot allows you to consider the light at different tank sizes and then match intensity with known good growth rates of various species. The rest is more aesthetics if the PAR matches up from there.

If you can get a PAR meter, or borrow one etc, it would be most useful for the club and using the local light sources in the UK.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 

foxfish

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I recently bought a new twin 39w control unit for £33.00 delivered + 2 x coolwhite (840) bulbs for £5.98 (£2.99 each)
P1050053.jpg
 

mlgt

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28 Jun 2009
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For your choice of bulbs. Why did you choose coolwhite?

Is there a comparison with the ranges from 827, 830,835, 840 and 860's?

Im deciding which ones to go for, even though it doesnt matter for plants.
 

Steve Smith

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19 Jul 2007
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Leamington Spa, UK.
I'm going for an 840 Osram 24 Watt, and a Skywhite Osram 24 Watt. Going by James' photos I think this would give a good colour rendition for my woody scape :)
 

JamesC

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Bexley, Kent
SteveUK said:
I'm going for an 840 Osram 24 Watt, and a Skywhite Osram 24 Watt. Going by James' photos I think this would give a good colour rendition for my woody scape :)
This is what I'm using except that I've go a Grolux as well to provide a bit of pink which I like. Even without the Grolux those two tubes I think work quite well together with the 840 bringing out the colours of the wood.

mlgt said:
Is there a comparison with the ranges from 827, 830,835, 840 and 860's?
The last two numbers are the colour figures for the tubes. The 860's are daylight and the 840's have a tint of orange to them. The 835, 830 and 827 have increasing amounts of orange which will work but most people would find rather unappealing, hence why I didn't bother to test them.

James
 

sanj

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10 Apr 2008
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Coventry, UK
Hi James,

just a question on Lamp Specs, how do they package thier lights? I have had some bad experiences in the past with couriers and light bulbs aswell as the companys that dont package the light tubes robustly enough. I am assuming they package well since you seem to have rated them well.

Thank you. :)
 

Ajm200

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19 Feb 2010
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London
Ordered 6 54w T5s from them. Arrived well packaged. The 6 bulb boxes were wrapped tightly together with cling film. They were packed into a larger box that was stuffed with loads of polystyrene chips.

Had to pay extra for delivery because of the length of the bulb but was very pleased overall.
 

sanj

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Thanks for that Ajm200.

i had a look on their site and they mention a particular cost for shipping flourescents over 3ft @ £7.50.
 

gabriel.basso

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13 May 2010
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Location
Brazil
Hi James, great post, really useful!

I liked 880 + 840 the most, but I'm concerned about the color temperature (K) of the 840: 4000K. Shouldn't it have more than 6500K to benefit plants??? Maybe the color temperature gets balanced with the 880 and 840 together (4000 + 8000 / 2 = 6000)... I don't know how it works.. give me a light about that please..

I'm planning to use them on a 110l display heavily planted (2x880 + 2x840). Actually I've already bought it, but haven't installed them yet.

Ps. sorry for my grammar... ;)

regards,

Gabriel
 

gollum456

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22 May 2010
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just a thought.....one of the best looking of James' trial is the osram skywhite 880 and osram 840. ok.....so assuming i've got two of each....won't four of the 865's achieve roughly the same result? they are approximately halfway between the two.

ie 880+880+840+840=3440 3440/4 = 860 average. i hope you understand what i'm trying to say!

you could replace four (39w in my case) bulbs mega cheap, especially if you go for the GE ones which are about £2.50 (ex VAT) each!!

i also like that these bulbs have a 30000hr life which is alot more than the others.

just a thought, quite happy for someone to blow my theory out of the water if my thinking is flawed in some way!

cheers
 

ceg4048

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Yes...err...sorry, please consider yourself blown out of the water via Soviet ICBM armed with Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology. The best way to think about these bulb designations is that of simple model numbers which mean next to nothing in terms of their actual output. Secondly, even if the Kelvin ratings were accurate, it would still be meaningless since plants don't really care about Kelvin values. They uses whatever light is made available to them.

The point of the thread is James giving you an idea of what sort of color cast these bulbs will have and for you to determine what you like to look at. The color casts themselves will have zero detectable effect on plant growth. Osram 840 is a standard bulb that's been used in office buildings for the past 50 years. These bulbs were not invented for plants, but for people working 9 to 5. In Northern cool regions the 840 is popular in offices because of it's warm tone. In Southern regions a "cooler" looking bulbs are in vogue. The colors used in various offices and factories are also chosen for the psychological impact based on the type of office/work environment - Hotels, Restaurants and residential type environments use the yellow/orange/red tinged bulb colors because the feelings of warmth they engender. Butcher shops tend to use reddish bulbs as well because they make the meats look redder and healthier. Cooler, supposedly neutral bulbs are used in supermarkets and showrooms. The bluish cast bulbs tend to be used more in places like hospitals and manufacturing.

So if the psychological impact of the bulb color cast is valid for industry then it may have some effect when viewing your tank. None of this has anything to do with how plants use the light so we shouldn't concern ourselves with this aspect because it's not relevant. Only consider what colors you think you like looking at. Perhaps in the dreary winter months it might be better to use more of the yellow/orange bulbs and in the summer the cooler looking bulbs. The plants will just carry on without a care.

Cheers,
 

gollum456

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22 May 2010
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ceg4048 said:
The point of the thread is James giving you an idea of what sort of color cast these bulbs will have and for you to determine what you like to look at. The color casts themselves will have zero detectable effect on plant growth. Osram 840 is a standard bulb that's been used in office buildings for the past 50 years.
i might not actually be blown out of the water yet...........!!

i myself was referring to the colour tones. as james pointed out the number ratings refer to the 'colouring' of the bulbs, ie he did not test anything lower than 840 as these would be too 'orangey' for most people.

what i was trying to say is that these bulbs when combined give off a certain effect and seeing as the 865's were sitting at about halfway between the two would four off these not give off roughly the same effect?

i was not referring to plants or kelvins etc, just what it would look like to our eyes. i'm sorry i did not explain properly and i apologise again if you still do not get my drift!! lol :D
 

Lisa_Perry75

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17 Oct 2007
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The number of the lamp (like 865) is broken down into two components. The second and third number, 65, is the colour temperature so - 6500 kelvin. Basically the lower the number the more orangey- red the colour. The higher the number say around 15000 - 20000 the more blue the lamp looks. The first number, 8, is the percentage confidence that it will produce the right colour temperature - 80%. I hope this explaination is useful to you gollum, and if I've got it wrong someone please correct me.

So you can hopefully see know how kelvins IS telling you what a lamp would look like to your eyes. The osram lamps are pretty cheap, if you have the money, you could just buy a few of each lamp to see what you prefer? To be perfectly honest I have no idea if 2 x 865 would look the same as 1 x 840 + 1 x 880. My assumption would be that they would look rather similar - though that's just a guess!
 

gollum456

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22 May 2010
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thank you, thats exactly what i was trying to say!! just you explained it better.

and why am i bothered you ask? well....... 2 x skywhite 880 + 2 x coolwhite 840 = £33.11 inc. del.
4 x daylight 865 = £23.45 inc. del.

but if you go for the GE 865 which have 50% longer life as well.... = £15.22 inc. del.

now, an £18 saving though not earth shattering is not to be sniffed at, providing my theory is correct and the visual effect about the same of course! and as an added bonus the bulbs should last longer!!
 

Westyggx

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11 Sep 2010
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Manchester, UK
Hi,

Quick question, i am looking to get the Philips de Luxe Pro T5 965 Fluorescent Tube 54W & Sylvania Grolux T5 54W from James Website. However when i look on the website that provides the bulbs i cannot find the size i need. Is there a reason why they only have them in the 1149mm size?

Cheers
 
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