T5 arcadia unit need advice

mindscape100

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Hi all,

I have recently ordered a 54w arcadia t5 controller for my 120cm tank. After recieving the item I have since discovered that the lenghts of the T5 tubes are a little more limited than T8`s. Basically the 54w T5 tube (115cm) will not fit in my hood without more modification....which my other half does not want me to do!
Basically I need to know whether I can use the smaller 34" 39WATT lamp on this unit or would the power just blow the tube??
Please help, Id exchange the unit but I got it mail order so would be a pain in the *!$ to swap over. :mad:
 

ceg4048

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Hi mindscape,
I can't yet speak for the Arcadia ballast, however, my other brand "X" T5 electronic 55 watt ballasts have no trouble controlling a lower wattage bulb. I'm not 100% sure but I believe the bulb itself determines the current draw in these ballasts. Sorry I can't be more definitive until I collect my Arcadia ballast tomorrow.

Besides, why are you paying so much for light bulbs :?: :?: Why not get them at Lampspecs for 1/3 the price? http://www.lampspecs.co.uk/Light-Bulbs- ... Daylight_8

Cheers,
 

mindscape100

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the price of the bulbs I mentioned is for the different lenght tube about 100cm I think and they are the only company ( as far as I know that make that size) Unless anyone knows any other sources out there?
My only option otherwise is get the standard 34"/39w tube that I get get for less than a fiver....if it would work with the 54w controller.


John
 

JamesC

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I would only use 54W tubes with a 54W controller. Forgotten why but there are good reasons for this. I'll see if I can find something.

James
 

Themuleous

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JamesC said:
I would only use 54W tubes with a 54W controller. Forgotten why but there are good reasons for this. I'll see if I can find something.

I think if you use lower wattage tubes, there is the possibility of burning out the tube, which I guess could be a fire risk.

Sam
 

mindscape100

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Themuleous said:
JamesC said:
I would only use 54W tubes with a 54W controller. Forgotten why but there are good reasons for this. I'll see if I can find something.

I think if you use lower wattage tubes, there is the possibility of burning out the tube, which I guess could be a fire risk.

Sam

Yeah thats what Im affraid of really. Wish there was somewhere near me that stocked them I could go and swap them over!
Ive seen the jewel Hi -lite ones do 100cm 54w...but the cost of these are very high...around £28. There must be a manufacturer out there who supplies the length I need(that sounds wrong!!)

John
 

mindscape100

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Ive been looking around online and it looks like for those with the Jewel Hi-lite units they are stuck with the costly Jewel lamps as they are the only ones that manufacture that length at that wattage. Looks like they`ve pulled quite a clever trick!!
My options well....my partner gets a discount at the electrical store near where I live so Im going to try the shorter lower wattage bulb as they only cost a couple of quid each. Ill not fit them in the hood but Ill have them switched on for a few hours and monitor the temperature. If all seems fine Ill get them slammed in. I know its less wattage than I was hoping for but I should still have a relativly high WPG.
Also I noticed with regards to the Arcadia controllers they manufacture a unit which works with the 24 and 39watt bulbs so if you can run a 39watt on the same unit as the 24 then mayby it would be ok with the 54watt unit running the 39?

Enough ranting!
John
 

ceg4048

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Well, James may have some information that proves otherwise, but I just can't see what should be so different about the 54 watt controller. After all aren't these electronic ballasts? Doesn't the circuit sense the current flow to the electrodes? If you plug the bulb in and it lights then it works, no? Replace the bulb early and you avoid the meltdown scenario I reckon. The question is whether the 39 watt bulb will light at all.

Cheers,
 

JamesC

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It's up to you at the end of the day but I'd advise strongly not to use different wattage bulbs and controllers. Fluorescent tubes are very different in the way they work compared to normal incandescent lighting. Using a lower wattage bulb will most likely cause the bulb to run a lot hotter and shorten it's lifespan.

James
 

mindscape100

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Yes I agree it may shorten the lifespan of the tube if it works. But if the span of the bulb means I still get about six months then it would still work out cheaper per year thanbuying the Jewel lamps. Unless theres someone out there wanting to swap for 54w unit?
Thanks for the guidance guys
 

mindscape100

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Well my new 39w bulbs were picked up yesterday. I connected them to the 54w controller and all seems fine so far. I dont know if its running brighter/hotter than it would with the correct controller but the temp of the lamp after about an hour wasnt much higher than that of my T8. Plus Im aware that these generally do run hotter than the other lamps anyway.
So tonight Im going to fit the lamps under the hood and keep a close eye on them for a few days. MAking sure there not on when Im out of the house etc. Ill let you know how it goes but hopefully should be fine.
At least this way if I ever upgrade to a bigger tank(much to my partners approval!!) I can still use the 54w lamps without having to upgrade my controller again.
 

mindscape100

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Just to let you guys know,

Ive been running the lamp now since Tuesday. They seem fine so far. They definetly run hotter than the T8`s but dont they anyway? The lid of the tank is warm to touch but no major heat build up and the controller itself is cool to touch so thats a good sign. The plants are pearling like crazy, its just a case now of keeping an eye on the life of the tube.
Before:
Picture032.jpg

After:
Picture038.jpg

Ricca pearling
Picture037.jpg

John
 

mindscape100

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Well the lights are doing fine. The growth on the plants are amazing. Everything is bubbling nicely and all plants putting out new runners/shoots. Very pleased that I tried the shorter T5 rather than spending more on the longer Jewel T5 that would have fitted under the hood. The lamps only cost a couple of pounds each...my partner gets a discount at the local electronics supplier!!

John
 

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