Amazon T5 fixture?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Lighting By Dana Riddle' started by SaltwaterScoop, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. SaltwaterScoop

    SaltwaterScoop Active Member

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    Before my current LED fixtures, I had a teklight and a couple retrofit kits for my T5HOs. I just now came across a T5 Grow Light that is 48" with 8 lamps. It costs $143 on Amazon with prime shipping. That + good bulbs comes out to be around $319 (which seems amazing).

    I know the obvious concerns are crappy reflectors and ballasts but the reviews indicate a good build quality and the reflectors seem decent.

    Here is the link.

    Do y'all think this would be something worth trying out or is it probably going to end up being an unreliable headache? I was thinking of using it to light a 48x24x16 potential setup.
     
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  2. ihavecrabs

    ihavecrabs Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    No idea about good vs bad; however, if you have a few minutes, BRS did an episode on T5 fixtures covering the effect of heat on performance and the results were very interesting.

    https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/vide...-bulbs-affect-performance-brstv-investigates/

    My questions would be..
    1. Salt creep and splash - how quick will PAR decrease because it doesn't have a cover to protect it?
    2. Heat dissipation - passive heat dissipation will likely decrease bulb performance and life.. video gives some great details on this.
    Good luck and if you do go ahead with this purchase, hopefully a member around you had a PAR meter you could borrow and we can get some stats!
     
  3. Jimmy Lee

    Jimmy Lee Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Ive used the 8 bulb 2ft version for a year now no issues.
    I also have the 4 bulb 2ft version that I use to grow plants,.
    I am about to buy the 8 bulb 4ft version this black friday for my new tank build.

    Ive had nothing but good luck with these lights. Just look at the reviews on them they are solid light fixtures!
     
  4. Jimmy Lee

    Jimmy Lee Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    The fixture does seem to get a little hot since it does not have fans installed but I think its just normal.
     
  5. SaltwaterScoop

    SaltwaterScoop Active Member

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    Cleaning the reflectors on my retrofit kit definitely made a difference in light output so I will look into adding an acrylic splash guard and if there is enough room in the fixture, maybe I'll add some fans.

    That's good to hear. Do you think the price will go down on black friday? This might actually give me an excuse to start a new tank build haha I'm between an 80 gallon shallow rimless (48x24x16) or a 3 tank waterfall setup. :D
     
  6. Jimmy Lee

    Jimmy Lee Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    If it does drop, It may only drop $20 or less. Last Black friday these were around $140

    https://camelcamelcamel.com/Hydropl...ded-Horticulture-Gardening/product/B019J3UPUS
     
  7. zachxlutz

    zachxlutz 120 Gallons of FUN R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Than from Tidal Gardens raves about those lights.
     
  8. Greybeard

    Greybeard Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I have a used 48" 8 bulb TEK light (I changed out the ballasts) over my display, and a cheap 24" dual T5 from Amazon over my refugeum. Tank has been running for about 5 months now, so far, so good.

    Florescent lighting is not exactly black magic... you're talking about a well established, mature technology. The light comes from the bulbs... provide the right voltage, and keep them within a reasonable temperature range, they'll work just fine. Some makers may have slightly better reflector designs, slightly better cooling options, but I doubt there's really much difference in output.

    Now... safety, on the other hand... Some of the Chinese cheap lighting solutions do not meet US electrical safety standards. Seeing that UL label helps me sleep at night.
     
  9. Jimmy Lee

    Jimmy Lee Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    That's why I bought mine!
     
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  10. A. grandis

    A. grandis Well-Known Member

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    Couple things to keep in mind when getting a fixture like that:
    1) Those ballasts aren't the best. Our nice bulbs will burn, but performance won't be optimal.
    2) No cooling for the bulbs/fixture. It gets hot and lacks the spot cooling for the best performance.
    3) If no splash guard fixture will get the evaporation in it and the inside parts will corrode faster. I don't think those fixtures were design to run over aquariums/wet places. I could be wrong (?). Perhaps some of them?
    4) Some Chinese fixtures are known for cheap and dangerous electrical parts. More like a disclaim though...

    The fixtures will work and most of the old fixtures I've had were similar, like the Tek Light and the Nova, my first T5 fixture back in the day. If you get any fixture from home Depot for your house it's gonna most likely be made in China anyways!
    From the list above I would really worry about the lack of splash guard.

    Grandis.
     
  11. Greybeard

    Greybeard Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Actually, if you get _any_ fixture, even most of the expensive ones sold at places like BRS, they're probably made in China... or Korea, maybe Indonesia... If you're looking for 'made in the USA', well, good luck. Even 'Made in America' usually means Mexico these days. Made in the far east doesn't necessarily mean cheap... That expensive smart phone in your pocket was almost certainly made somewhere in the far east.
     
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  12. SaltwaterScoop

    SaltwaterScoop Active Member

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    I found another fixture for slightly more but it has better reviews so I might consider this one (link here). The 8 bulb was 26" wide so I might consider doing the 6 bulb at 20" wide to cover 24" of tank depth. I might have to take a risk without having a splash guard (figuring out a way to get a large piece of acrylic to attach to an already large/bulky fixture seems difficult) but the tank will have a net lid so maybe that will help. I have plenty of spare CPU/Case fans sitting around so I should be able to figure out cooling.
     
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  13. Jimmy Lee

    Jimmy Lee Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Ive seen that brand at my local grow store. It is definitely a good brand.
     
  14. A. grandis

    A. grandis Well-Known Member

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    You're totally right! LOL!!
    Some, or maybe all ATI parts are also made in China.
    The Germans only inspect and make sure it's ok with them.
    LOL!
    Grandis.
     
  15. Jimmy Lee

    Jimmy Lee Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I just ordered the Agrobrite fixture!
     
  16. Porpoise Hork

    Porpoise Hork Active Member

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    I was going to say this same thing. I also remember seeing them or a similar brand now being available with a black housing as well.
     
  17. biecacka

    biecacka Well-Known Member

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    And Than likes his and is having good success with them


    Corey
     
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