Realux HO T5 Review (now with daylight lamp too)

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by GreenNeedle, 27 Sep 2007.

  1. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    19 Jul 2007
    Lincoln UK
    As I have just installed my new HO T5 lamps I thought I would just do a review of them judged against the lights I have previously used over the last year from original supplied through all the mods.

    The Spectrum Grow is a pink/purple lamp and people who have seen me post will know I hate pink/purple lamps due to the colour they give the tank BUT this lamp is great. I am converted
    The Daylight is self explantory really but unlike the freshwater I wouldn't use this on its own because the colour is nowhere near as good although it does balance the spectrum grow very well whereas the freshwater might not.

    When I first got my tank it had 18W T8 Hagen Lamps - an AquaGlo (pink/purple) and a sunGlo (daylight?????Yeah Right)
    The pink light is not as bad as the Arcadia Original Tropical at turning the tank pink but probably only because it is not as bright. lol.
    The Sunglo is not even worth talking about (The sun must be behind the clouds if you know what I mean!!!
    Score Hagen AquaGlo - 3/10
    Score Hagen SunGlo - 1/10

    This is the SunGlo at the front with the AquaGlo at the back (Is the sunglo turned on you ask?- indeed it is I reply)

    I upgraded to 18W T8 Arcadia Lamps - an Original Tropical (pink/purple) and a Freshwater (Daylight)
    The pink light gives the tank the worst pink hue you have ever seen, it makes the tank look so dark and I rate it as the worst I have tried. It does make the fish look colourful but not a natural colourful. Tehy all look a little false.
    The Freshwater is the lamp I still rate as the best daylight colour I have tried although I need to really give the HO T5 one a chance before deciding this for sure. Definately my favourite for the crisp beautiful colour it gives.
    Score Arcadia Original Tropical Lamp - 1/10
    Score Arcadia Freshwater Lamp - 10/10

    This is the Orig Tropical at the front with the freshwater at the back. WOW Pinky

    This is the freshwater at the front with the Orig Tropical in the back and what a difference it makes.

    I then upgraded to use a Power Compact T5 55W Interpet Triplus
    This light was the best so far pink/purple wise but the pink hue was still there and due to it being so powerful it was drowning out my beautiful freshwater lamp. I decided within days to replace it with the daylight plus 55W and therefore have no pictures of the lamp in action although I do have the daylight plus which although being a reasonably nice colour it was so bright it ruined the view of the top ofthe tank especially for camera shots and didn't look too natural. At first I decided to use the Original Tropical in the front alongside it but with the pink colour 1 day was all that lasted before out came the Freshwater again. lol
    Score Interpet TriPlus - 6/10
    Score Interpet DaylightPlus - 7/10

    This picture has the DaylightPlus in the rear and the Arcadia Original Tropical in the front. Notice how bright the rear is whilst still having that horrible pink hue in the front.

    This picture is the Daylight Plus in the rear with the Arcadia Freshwater in the Front. Notice how the power of the power compact drowns all colour from the top third of the rear!!

    And this picture is the Arcadia Freshwater on its own (I love this lamp. lol)

    Finally here is the realux HO T5 Spectrum Gro 30W (says Plant Growth on the lamp itself)
    This light gives a hint of pink but subtle and it actually looks quite nice. The pink is not just bearable! It is perfectly acceptable and actually believable. It accenuates the colours of the fish without exaggerating them like the Original Tropical did and I am very impressed.
    The realux HO T5 daylight 30W lamp doesn't have the same quality of colour as the freshwater that you could use it on its own but it does balance the Spectrum Grow very well whereas the freshwater might not quite give you the right look.
    Score Realux HO T5 SpectrumGro - 10/10
    Score Realux HO T5 Daylight - 8/10

    I have taken pictures using a tripod with the camera fully on automatic so that it is easier to compare

    This is the Spectrum Gro on its own

    This is the daylight on its own

    And this is with both on which does look good IMO

    If you just have 1 light fitting and want a pink lamp then go for the Realux Spectrum Grow
    If you just have 1 light fitting and want a daylight lamp then go for the Arcadia Freshwater
    If you have 2 fittings then I would pair the Realuxs up because they do compliment each other well wheras you can see tat the Arcadia ones do not as they are at 2 extremes.


    Can I reiterate a few points here about the comparisons.

    I am comparing the lights I have actually used and they are not all the same type (i.e. some are T8, some are PC T5 55W and some are T5 Linear) They are also different wattages which I have detailled with each light, so comparisons can be a little false although I think they do give a general view of the colours they give out

    None of these pictures have been altered in any way by photoshop or other package and are as the camera recorded them.

    They are what the camera sees and not what my eyes see but do show what I am explaining of my visual observations.

    They are all of the same tank with the lights the same distance from the water as each other.

    I accept the differing amount of foliage in each picture can affect the amount and effect of each lamp shown.

    Finally the final pictures are taken using a 10mp camera whereas the rest are taken using a 2mp camera, both on fully automatic mode, and therefore there may be a difference in the way the light is recieved by the camera. The pictures are only used as indications of colour and not actual visual differences to the naked eye.

    Hope you find this little review helpful.

    I am certainly impressed with these lights and they do look the DBs when you open the hood and see the reflector there with the branding on the outside of it.


    Attached Files:

  2. bugs

    bugs Member

    7 Sep 2007
    Brilliant! Exactly what's needed to understand the differing light options without spending a fortune buying different lamps etc. Thank you - I'm particularly grateful for the opportunity to see the Arcadia Freshwater (altho I accept your notes about images).

    FWIW you can see the effect of switching off a Sun Glo in my tank here:
  3. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    19 Jul 2007
    Lincoln UK
  4. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    19 Jul 2007
    Lincoln UK
  5. GreenNeedle

    GreenNeedle Member

    19 Jul 2007
    Lincoln UK
    Just to add to this.

    I now have the 18W Arcadia Freshwater back in there!!

    Not because the Relux daylight was bad. When I was putting the lid back on a month ago I caught the light on the rim and it went for a swim. The ballast was soaked and one end of the tube cracked.

    So I can now verify that the freshwater looks even better with the Relaux plant grow. My fav lamp is back with a vengence. lol


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