View Full Version : Lighting for my refugium, need help deciding

03-11-2008, 04:00 PM

I am currently looking at different lighting options for my SW refugium. I will be growing chaeto macro-algae on a 16 hr. photo period. Right now I am using 2, 12" 8watt 10,000k T5's. These bulbs are around 6 months old, so they are on their last legs.

I have several different low budget lighting options, but I am not sure iwhich one to go with.

1. (cheapest option) Home Depot sells replacement bulbs for my T5 fixture that are only $5 each. The problem is that the spectrum is 4100k. The 10,000k replacements are $15 each at my LFS (not going to happen).

2. "clip on" lamp from home depot $7. Screw in flor. bulb from Home Depot $5 9watts, 5500k.

3. "clip on" lamp from home depot $7. Screw in CF coralife 10 watt 6700k. $15 at my LFS.

Please let me know what you think the best option is. I know it is only a diff. of a few dollars, but I am trying to find a good, long term option for the fuge lighting (I do not want to spend $30 every 6 months!).

Thanks in advance!

03-11-2008, 04:40 PM
You're using 2 x 8watts right now right? Which leads me to assume your total lamp wattage is around 16watts?

Id find replacements that don't exceed the wattage by too much but aren't less then that. If you exceed and your unit is only rated at 16watts then you're wasting money on unused watts by buying the higher watt bulbs.

If you don't get enough watts your bulbs may blow because of too much power.

Also you'll definitely want your spectrum to be between the 6700k and 10,000k(full spectrum) So the cheap $5 lights i have a feeling aren't going to be worth anything...

But i'm no expert.

03-11-2008, 04:55 PM
I'm using the clip on lamp from home depot with a 65W CF bulb with a reflector. I believe the brand is N:Vision and it's a 6100K (I think) bulb for $8 also at home depot. I'll double check the specs when I get home tonight and let you know how accurate my memory is.

Check out this site (http://www.melevsreef.com/fuge_bulb.html) for why this setup should work just fine if all you are interested in is growing chaeto.

- Bill

03-11-2008, 05:01 PM
My Chaeto is under a 15w T8 bulb and is doing well.