Saltwaterfish.com › Forums › Saltwater Fish Forum › Reef Tanks › T5 vs Metal Halide debate answered
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

T5 vs Metal Halide debate answered  

post #1 of 254
Thread Starter 
When you have a fixture that claims X watts, you have to also consider that (X= Input power). The true power you are using due to inefficiencies such as (Y=magnetic/copper loss) is equal to X+Y. For Example:

Metal Halides:
Claim:
250w puts out 16500 lumens
Actual:
295w total due to inefficiencies (Y) puts out 16500 lumens

T5s
Claim:
54w puts out 5000 lumens
Actual:
62w total due to inefficiencies (Y) puts out 5000 lumens

What does this mean?

(2) 250 watt Metal Halides
you burn 590 watts to get 33000 Lumens with Metal Halides

(6) 54 watt T5s
you burn 372 watts to get 30000 lumens with T5s

Now if you love the Heat, High energy bills and the Shimmer Effect of Halides then the Metal Halide if the fixture for you.

If you want the most bang for the buck then T5s are the fixture for you.

I won't get into power compacts or T8s because those are not worth the research. Plus they are not enviroment friendly due to the higher mercury levels.

All this Data is gathered from the Sylvania + GE 2006 catalogs so you can find out for your own which you want better. I did this because I got tired of people saying "You can only keep this animal with Metal Halides + Chiller." Wrong..... It's not about the Watts per gallon.

There is also things that contribute to lumen gains/loss, here they are in order of most impact
reflector design
Height it is from top of tank
Y factor
Operating temp of lamp
age of lamp
post #2 of 254
thanks for the info what made you want to do this, and do you currently use only t5's
post #3 of 254
Thread Starter 
I hate that people always recommend watts/gallon. It's not just on the board but a misconception among the majority of Hobbiest. Yes, i run T5s with stonies.
post #4 of 254
It is very well known that the watts per gallon rule is crap.
By the way, running halides (2 - 175 watt) has not made a noticeable impact on my electric bill. I also have no heat issues (my temp. only gets up to 76 degrees without turning on my heater, so I actually use a heater along with my halides) and my lights are mounted in a custom canopy only 8" off the water.

People that have issues tend to be people without A/C in their house. Here in Texas, A/C is a must and I keep my house at 72 degrees year round.
During the summer, my electric bill may reach $160 per month, the rest of the year under $100.

What I am getting at is I have none of the problems with MH that you stated.
To say that everyone that uses halides has high electric bills and has to get a chiller to cool down their tank is completely false.
I understand that electricity costs more in some areas, but that is not the case where I live.
post #5 of 254
So can someone make a list of how many lumens X creature requires?
post #6 of 254
Thread Starter 
72 degrees? damn that is cold. My wife won't let me turn it lower then 79. I live in Austin Texas.
post #7 of 254
My wife gets a little cold sometimes, but she just covers up.
I also run ceiling fans in the living room and bedroom full blast.
I like it cold.
post #8 of 254
Originally Posted by baytran7
72 degrees? damn that is cold. My wife won't let me turn it lower then 79. I live in Austin Texas.
If you have any nice SPS to trade, shoot me an e-mail jmiller@shallowford.com

I am currently looking for some nicely colored acros.
post #9 of 254
Originally Posted by TX Reef
My wife gets a little cold sometimes, but she just covers up.
I also run ceiling fans in the living room and bedroom full blast.
I like it cold.

ahhaha live here at East region. it's always cold in here...
post #10 of 254
Colder the better, you can always through cloths on.

$100-$160 a month? My monthly electric is $450 and my new tank is not even set up yet? New Jersey Sucks! But I've lived here all my life everything is expensive so we're use to it!

Back to the topic:

I have a 180 acryllic, will the heat from MH be an issue as far as discoloring the top frame (ie burning/affecting the arcyllic material) ?
post #11 of 254
hey...more austin peeps!

same here, I have to use a heater becuase we keep the house at 73 (71 at night )

anyway....seriously..what should I do

55g with softies only (b/c I have 260w PC) but I want to go either halide or t5 ....cant decide
post #12 of 254
that is already well known.

lumens are measured from the light source to various points all one foot away from the light bulb

so all you've proven are T5 are just as good as MH for shallow depth which is already been accepted. You really havent even proven that with figures because lumens dont account for penetrating water.

even pc lights compare well in regards to lumens
post #13 of 254
Thread Starter 
Penetrating water? I think a person would have to be pretty dense to not understand that dirty water filters out more light. If you think lumens is well known then how come people still recommend watts per gallon? do a search and sort by date, go to the fish store and ask a worker. if you look at my first post you will see that how high a fixture is placed above the tank is one of the factors for total output of light. If I've proven that T5 is just as good as metal halide then i've proven my point that it's not watts per gallon that matters. I think most of us hobbiest have tanks between nano and 180 and that is average. so height is max 30 inches, T5s are just as good as metal halide if it's only lighting at 30 inches away. PCs are a joke when it comes to efficiency, go to Walmart, SAMS, Home Depot, etc... any major store and look at their lights, ever wonder why they have T5s? and not PCs? because it's all about efficiency is that what you mean by Penetration?
post #14 of 254
***)
post #15 of 254
Originally Posted by baytran7
If you think lumens is well known then how come people still recommend watts per gallon?

Perhaps because lights are sold under wattage and not lumens (if you were paying an electric bill which would you rather know) but a person would have to be pretty dense to not see that Its well known for anybody who bothered to look that T5's fair well in regards to lumens vs MH. Its been posted on other sites. Its neither the end nor beginning to T5 vs MH.

I fail to see how a measure of 12" proves T5's are as good as MH for up to a 30" depth A standard 90 gallon is twice the depth of a lumen measure and even my 30 gallon is 18" tall (1.5x the distance of a lumen measurement).

hardware stores have T5's instead of pc because all T5 means is its a 5/8" fluorescent tube which have been around forever (as opposed to about 10-12yrs for pc) and used for everything with the vast majority if not all being regular T5 not HO T5 (which we are discussing) and not having a thing to do with how efficient they are.

and I wasn't talking about just dirty water. any moving water inhibits the penetration of light.
post #16 of 254
I have never had any heating nor powerbill problem with MH...I would prefer to use them instead of t-5..maybe I will buy a t-5/MH combo light... :joy:
post #17 of 254
For this study, did they mention any ballast brands, reflectors, bulb brands, kelvin ratings, glass shields, etc.?
post #18 of 254
i have a croacea clam (cant spell) on the bottom of my tank a 90 gallon 48" because it would not stay any higher it just slimed its way down the rock I also put a zenia frag that came out of a 90 gallon with 175 mh near the top and attempted to put it mid way up in my tank and i burned the heads off of many of the fingers so i put it on the bottom in partial shade (for plant people) and it is spreading quickly so my money is on t5s being at least equal to mhs on depth t5 i am talking about are 54 watt ho
post #19 of 254
***)
post #20 of 254
Austin is representing tonight!

I still need to upgrade my PC's to M/H or T-5. Haven't done any research yet so I say ya'll keep duking it out!

***)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Reef Tanks
This thread is locked  
Saltwaterfish.com › Forums › Saltwater Fish Forum › Reef Tanks › T5 vs Metal Halide debate answered