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Old 07-10-2011, 01:08 AM   #1 
Shaon
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Exclamation Lighting Terminology

Hi guys,

I'm looking into planted tanks and at the moment I am doing some readings on different lighting.

One problem though: I suck at terminology :(

I see stuff like T5, T8, T5HO, T8HO, LED, etc (it feels like the list goes on D:)

Can anyone make a list of the lights and explain in some details the differences in terms of size, watts, Kelvin, and anything else that is important?

Also, I have a AquaGlo 18inch 15W fluorescent light bulb. What category of lighting does this fall under?
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:01 PM   #2 
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Shameless bump :3

I really need to get a new light and getting the best light that I can possibly get depends on my understanding of lighting terminology :P
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:37 PM   #3 
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My knowledge is pretty limited too. The big thing is why do you need the light? Is it for growing plants, or do you just want to bring out the best color possible in your fish?
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:39 PM   #4 
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I think its for the plants. He has another thread asking for plant help. I would assume that until he says differently.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:45 PM   #5 
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Yeah it's for plants. The reason I want to be familiar with the terminology is because the charts and spectrum graphs use them. I can't determine if my own light is good enough or what to ask for when I go to the store.

I also want to find out the differences between different lighting and which one would be the best choice for my tank.

If anyone has a link that can clearly explain lighting terminology, that would be great ;D
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:04 PM   #6 
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I was reading something the other day... But I don't have the link. Grr... And I am not sure if it applied to the LEDs, hence why I didn't read it too much. I just ordered some ecoxotic Stunner LED Strips. They are on sale at Foster and Smiths. I don't know if they will work, but they should... I hope. The reason I went with LEDs is because I want to be more eco friendly. They use less energy than other lights.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:13 PM   #7 
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I see a lot of LED light strips on eBay for really cheap and I'm tempted to buy. I'm just not sure if they are suitable for plants. I heard that double LED lights were the way to go instead of single LED lights. Again, I have no idea what that means :S
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Old 07-11-2011, 12:16 AM   #8 
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Exactly. That is part of the reason why I chose low light plants. They are growing too! One thing that I do know is a fact is that LEDs are cheaper in the long run. They last for a really long time, and they use a lot less energy than other bulbs. However, the jury is still out on how good they are for growing plants.
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:33 PM   #9 
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All that T5 and so on mean is the actual diameter of the light bulb itself. T5's are more narrow than T8's. As far as the K number goes that is the color temperature of the light the bulb will produce. A lower K number, like 6500K, will produce a more yellow light than say a 10,000k or high light would produce. Plants love 6500k lighting. Your Aquaglow lamp should be fine, it's most likely a T5 bulb. Here's a link for a lighting article. Rex's guide is pretty good and you should explore more of his webpage to learn more about planted tanks.
Also, head over to the planted tank.com. It's a great site with everything you could ever want to know about planted tanks. Hope this helps clear some of your confusion.

Basil
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:25 PM   #10 
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Hah, that article made me laugh a few times. I wish I could be that blunt on here~

Please be careful when suggesting other forums on this site-- the admin arent fans of that (in bad taste since this is a forum and so is our sister site, tropicalfishkeeping.com) and they have a decent bit of info on plants there as is.
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