View Full Version : Screw-in Type of Compact Flourescent. Your thoughts?

01-31-2003, 04:06 PM
I swear I don't work for this company or anything.....I just saw this and I would like to have your opinion. If you strung a bunch of these.


Thanks for your feedback.

01-31-2003, 04:16 PM
So far, I think they are cool (no pun intended) for replacing incandescents in your home! They do give off a lot of light. For example in our bedroom we have a 3 lamp ceiling fan. I removed the 3 incandescents with 1 compact screw-in fluorescent and it gives off as much or more light.

For planted tanks, not sure though! They should be fine though. I would like to see more specs like lumen ratings and color sprectrum graphs! They have a great CRI rating (Color rendering index), which means that the higher the CRI number, the truer the colors will be seen under this light. For comparision, a cool white fluorescent CRI is 87! The Kelvin is very good also! Naturally, less power consumption is a good thing!

01-31-2003, 04:27 PM
I saw the 93 CRI and 5500K and thought this looks ok. If the 30watt is equivalent to a 150 watt bulb, put 3 or 4 of these over a 55 would probably work pretty well!

I was thinking about delaying the time they turn on and off to 1 an hour! You know that real sun affect. Turn #1 on, let it sit and so on. Same at the end of the day, start shutting them down slowly.

Sorry just a thought!

Thanks for the input,


01-31-2003, 04:40 PM
I agree! I realize that the low wattage rating sound like less light but this is not the case. Wattage refers to power consumption not light output.

The sun rise/set is old man! ;D I already stimulate it in my plant tank. It is a cool idea! ;)

Btw, are those prices in Cdn or US?

02-02-2003, 10:00 PM
If these are better than the regular ones you can get at Home Depot, they's be great. I tried 4 of the HD type and got more algea than I thought possible.

yellow sub
02-03-2003, 12:58 PM
I have used the full spectrum type at Home Depot, with good results. I put them in a 10 gallon with a cheapo hood that I had laying around. The only drawback I have found is that they don't hold up to mosture very well.

In this tank I am growing java moss. Which, I know is not a hard plant to grow...but I harvest a quit a bit out every week which I use to supplment feed my uaru's.


02-17-2003, 04:25 PM
Hey Everyone,

This is my first time posting on this website and have been looking around for the past few days trying to learn about Discus. :) But, I have had saltwater tanks for a long time now and since lighting is very important on them, I have done quite a bit of research on the subject.

The 93 CRI 5500K screw-in type compact fluorescent lamps are pretty good for planted freshwater tanks (I have two over a 38 gallon ropefish tank) but because the main spectral peaks are around the reddish/yellowish range, they tend to encourage plant growth to be leggy and sparse. A color temperature of 6500K approximates noon-time sun and is more crisp white in appearance. Because of the increased blue in the spectrum, this tends to cause plants to become more bushy and full in appearance. Also, I personally like the bright white quality of the light.

I currently am running three dual-bulb workshop striplights from Home Depot over my 75 gallon saltwater reef, with two containing two 6500K 40 watt daylight tubes and one containing two actinic 03 bulbs (a very blue bulb, mainly for coral photosynthesis as well as the 'neon glow' of most corals and saltwater fish). One or two of these fixtures from Home Depot (Cooper Lighting, model 9000, $8 or $9 a piece) and a double pack of the 6500K bulbs (Phillips F400X 40 watt Alto collection, around $3 for two) should be sufficient for a 55 gallon tank.

If you would rather go with a compact fluorescent fixture instead, you can get a Lights of America 65 watt 6500K security light from Walmart for about $25, it is model 6065 white and the bulb is a 4U65W-D. It supposedly produces 1000 watts of light and only uses 65 watts of electricity. It already comes in a pendant-like housing.

Hope this helps those of you out there who are trying to save a buck or two (like myself ;) )


02-17-2003, 09:01 PM
Hey dchisenh welcome to the forum and you posted a lot of great info there, I'll be the first one to say thanks, 'thanks.'

02-18-2003, 12:47 PM
Thanks Dan for that good info! It is wonderful that everyone contributes their experiences for others to learn.

Just a small correction though Dan, nothing personal! Sunlight at noon is around 5000K, Sky overcast is around 6500K and sky extremely blue is around 25000K believe it or not. A thing to remember about Kelvin or color temperature, is that it refers to the color of the light source or what the color looks like/what kind of atmosphere it creates. Like you mentioned, the more blue the color, the higher the kelvin. That is why sky overcast and extremely blue sky are higher K's than actual sunlight which tends lean towards more yellow than blue, hence 5000K.

I hth! ;)

02-18-2003, 05:39 PM
Hey Fossil and Ronrca :)

Thanks for the welcome. ;D Thanks for the correctin Ronrca. I was just letting y'all know what I've learned through saltwater, and in general, when it's dealing with the photosynthesis of corals, 6500K is considered "noon" because it's probably the lowest Kelvin rating you can go and still get enough blue for the zooanthellae (the symbiotic algae in the photosynthetic corals). 5000K is the absolute minimum for coral photosynthesis, but in my opinion, that color temperature supports algae more than coral growth. Since my 5500k screw-in compact fluorescents cause my plant growth to be leggy, and since a bluer spectrum does cause plant growth to be more dense and bushy, I would think a 6500K bulb would be a great choice for planted tanks to bring out the colors in your discus and encourage denser plant growth. :)

Of course, I'm just a biologist and not a physicist, so when it comes to numbers, I am prone to error. ;)


02-19-2003, 11:27 AM
When I posted I was looking for people who used the screw-in kind. That was the focus really. I since have found multiple suppliers that have 6500k, which I am going to purchase. I like the idea of how small the screw in types are so I can maximize my lightin over a 55gallon.

Thanks for all the posts,


02-19-2003, 12:37 PM
Thank you Dan! That is very interesting to know! I have no clue about saltwater so any info is welcome. Something about Kelvin from the sun that I would really like to know! Does it make a difference where you are on earth? Is the kelvin different at the equator than here in Canada? One would think not however I have come across different values for sunlight at noon, like 5000K and 6500K. Can anyone comment?

I really like the info about coral photosynthesis! I didnt know that! ;)

02-19-2003, 02:12 PM
You're very welcome Ronrca :) I'm not really sure how they determine the Kelvin temps for different areas, I was wondering if it differed by latitude myself. It's a big deal in saltwater, but not so much when it comes to freshwater, I guess.

Sean, I have used the screw ones and they do work well. If you can get those 6500K screw in ones, that should work just great for ya. I bet you'll like the crispness of the white light they'll produce. :)


02-19-2003, 02:18 PM
Oh, I almost forgot. When it comes to saltwater, there has been a lot of talk about extremely high Kelvin lamps. 10,000K is a very white light with a good amount of blue. The 20,000K lamps supposedly contain more blue than that and has enough to make your corals glow fluorescently. The "50,000K" lamps are pretty new and supposedly combine the whiteness of the 10,000K and the blue of the 20,000K to produce the ultimate lamp. I don't think the Kelvin rating is actually 50,000, but it's a trade-name type deal. If you go to reefcentral.com and do a search on them and anything else you want to know about lighting, I know you'll get a LOT of information. It's one of the main things people discuss in that forum, and it is pretty interesting. :)


02-19-2003, 06:22 PM
50000K? :o Yikes!

I had the opportunity in e-mailing Scott Hieber. Im not sure if anyone knows him or not. He posts a lot on Aquatic Plant Digest (biotypical may recognizie him). I asked him that same question. His answer:
At the equator, the Kelvin of sunlight is around 5000K however people tend to use higher kelvin because of looks (this is based on tropical plants, not salt water tanks).

I love his next answer (I hope he does not mind quoting him)!

the good news is your plants care much more about how much light they get than what color it is. Even more than that, they care about how much CO2 they get.
I guess all I can say is, 'nuff said!

HTH! ;)

02-19-2003, 07:13 PM
Yep, light intensity is the key when it comes to plant growth, and of course, the limiting agent in most aquariums for plant growth is a carbon source, i.e. CO2. I definately agree with Scott on that one. ;D With enough lumens going into a system, it's that energy that the plant is using to power photosynthesis. I've even read that you can grow corals under regular old incadescent bulbs, if they are a high enough wattage. ;) I do think higher Kelvin bulbs look better, but I have yet to see what a 50,000K bulb looks like. I think 20,000K is too blue, but I haven't done much research on them since they're so new. I personally like the look of a 6500K, since that's the main bulb over my saltwater tank and it makes all my other bulbs look yellowish in comparison. ;D Just my two cents. ;)


02-20-2003, 04:54 PM
All this talk about higher kelvins made me buy 2 lamps yesterday. The lamps I have right now are at 4200K (cool white). One of the ones I bought is 5500K, the other supposedly 18000K.Your absolutely correct about the looks! What a difference! I have 6 lamps so I changed two out. I do not like the 18000K lamp. Very magneta looking and seems not to light much however the 5500K lamp looks very nice indeed. I''ll have to get more and maybe even try some 6500K.

Btw, how long should lights be on during the day? 8 hours, 10 hours or 12 hours? Right now I have them on at 12 hours and am fighting algae. Do you think it will make a difference changing the duration to 10hours a day?

02-20-2003, 08:57 PM
18000K? I haven't heard of them before :) What brand and model are they? I think the 6500K are the brightest white I've found that still make colors good and crisp. That magenta-colored lamp is pretty wild. I might end up trying one on my saltwater tank. :D If you try the 6500K, I don't think you'll be disappointed. And as far as hours go, I'm not sure what the current theory is, last I heard 12/12 was good, but that was some time ago. I'm sure someone else on here would know the best schedule to set your lamps to. ;D


02-21-2003, 11:33 AM
The 18000K lamp is called Aqua Glo by Hagen. It stated the K right on the package in big letters. However, the store employee stated that he did not believe it was 18000K, more like 7500K but again how does he know! Im not even sure if he knew what kelvin is.

02-27-2003, 12:06 AM
hey ronrca, I just bought this bulb too, but I haven't put it in a hood yet. It's a T-8 with good spikes in the blu and red range. We'll see what it looks like. It was on sale at Petco.

I have my lights on about 10 hrs. a day. Except for little fry tanks which are on 24 hrs. continuous. Sometimes even after a pair has just spawned, I leave the lights on for two, three days.

I have used some compact fluor. screw-in tubes for aquarium purposes and found that they worked out quite well. Some hoods for 10 gal. tanks that could only use 15 wt. inc. bulbs I've now replaced with 15 wt.screw-in fluor. ones available at Home Depot etc... I didn't know they came in such a small wattage until recently. You could use the bulb with a narrow or wide based fixture.

02-28-2003, 06:41 PM
I put the Aqua glo 18000 in a strip light today. It looks a bit "yellowish" for my tastes, but it's a nice strong light.

02-28-2003, 08:06 PM
Is it the same lamp then? My lamp looks purple/magenta! Not sure about its effect on the tank because its mixed in with 4100k and 5100k lamps but the lamp itself looks magneta!

02-28-2003, 11:03 PM
Hey, I was ripped off! It's a "Sun Glo" bulb out of an "Aqua Glo" box. No wonder it was in the clearance pile!!!

I have no idea what K it is??

03-03-2003, 03:48 PM
If I can remember correctly, probably around 4100K!

03-03-2003, 11:52 PM
I wouldn't bother with the expensive specialty lights you get at LPSs, regular tubes are just as good. The differences are in cost and spectrum filtering. White light contains the same amounts of red and blue light that the 30.00 Aqua-Glo's do but for a tiny fraction of the cost. :)

Intensity (Lumens) is the important part.

03-04-2003, 01:35 AM
Ha Ha ROTFLMAO...this bulb was like $4.54! It's 24" 20wt. bulb and i have many tanks so it's already found a home, but when I bought it, besides the price, I was curious about 18000K on the Aqua Glo package. I have no idea what this Sun Glo one is. Could be 4100K???

They really should've put an "Ooppps" label on it, but maybe the workers didn't knwo.

We have a group purchasing power with our Aq. Society and every Dec. we have a plant extravaganza and bulb purchase. The bulbs are like you say, no name brand, but long lasting. They're supposedly similar to Tritons. I don't know the lumens. Our plant guru chooses.

We have done some of our own fixtures too. I made one last year for a fraction of the cost of a twin tube strip. It looks big and I had to learn about wiring because it cane without a cord, is that called direct wire? But, it wasn't too hard and I haven't had to change the bulbs yet. One thing I remember is our plant guy said these bulbs would loose very little of their intensity, retaining like 99% of their original output one year later. They still seem very bright. Also, they're not too blue or yellow.

Phil (and all) What about the reflectors? That makes a big difference too, doesn't it... ???

So many questions, so much to learn. On the learning curve of discus, I'm right at the starting block. With fish in general, I'm somewhere (happily) in the middle.

:book: :-* Jen

03-12-2003, 12:26 AM
I was over at the home depot today and ran accross their outdoor lighting.
There is a fixture from lights of america that is about a foot long 4-6 inches deep waterproof, etc. It puts out more than 6500 lumens at 6500k. The fixture includes the bulb for $30. Replacement bulbs are only $10.

03-12-2003, 01:52 AM
What would we do without the Home Depot??? I get very inspired every time i go there and usually it's like the prices are so good, why not take a chance and try it ?

Did the packaging say anything about lumens or color spectrum of the light?

03-12-2003, 11:38 AM
I have heard of those lights before however the Home Depots in my area do not carry them! Yet! I know of someone using them in a planted tank with great success. I would love to get my hands on them!

03-12-2003, 12:50 PM
Dear Ronrca, they might be able to do a special order for you and get the fixture shipped from another H.D. to yours?

The price is good and didn't Dan say that 6500K was the brightest white light he's ever seen? That's cool.

Now if only I could rid myself of every peskey little piece of duckweed and let my plants SEE their lights!!!!!

03-12-2003, 03:30 PM
I had been using the Lights of America fixture for 3 months now. I had 4 (260 watts) fictures over my 135 gallon tank. Initially 2 fixtures were broken and I went to replace them. Since then 1 more fixture had to be replaced. After 3 months the light output on all 4 bulbs has significantly decreased. My plants have started growing leggy as if not getting enough light.

Today I replaced the fixtures with a new Helios fixture withh 288 watts of PC bulbs in the 6700 degree range. The tank looks like an entirely new tank. It is really bright. In addition, even though the LOA bulbs said they were 6500 degrees, I always thought they were improperly marked because they were certainly more yellow than my new ones. I would not recommend the LOA lights.