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T5 Lighting Fixtures For Terrarium

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I have a 48'x13'x20' tank that I'm trying to find lighting for. I have heard generally good things about T5 lights, and as heat was a big problem for my last terrarium I thought this might be a good route to go.

I'll be looking into getting 4 bulbs total

However, I did just want to check in here to make sure that T5's seemed a good investment. Looking around at fixtures, I've found a few different examples. I've listed them here for the fixtures, not the bulbs. Bulb wise, I was looking at getting 4 40W ones, 2 being 2400K and 2 at 6000K or so.

This one is more for hydroponics. I worry a bit about it sitting on top of the terrarium.

The double linear strip here. I'd get two of them to get the bulbage.

This one seems pretty nice, and it comes with fans to vent heat.;pcatid=16771

I must admit...electrical terms kind of confuse me. The third one mentions it has: 216 watts, which I assume is the upper limits it can handle, so I'd get 4 bulbs with a wattage equaling about that? The 2nd one in my list mentions 28 W for the bulbs, but nothing for the case itself, so I assumed I wouldn't want to get higher than that.

Right now, I'm leaning towards the third one. It seems to have decent wattage, good heat control, although I would still need to get bulbs. The first one has the bulbs included, but with its design being more for hanging over something, I worry it'll heat things up too much.

Thanks for any answers/comments provided :)

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4 foot long T5's typically come in 54 watts. That's why the 4 bulb fixture says 216 watts total.

Remember in evaluating costs of fixtures with/without bulbs, the bulbs will cost about $15 EACH.

Each fixture uses specific bulb types, you can't interchange them. T5 fixtures only use t5 bulbs.

If you're looking for more economical, get 2 T8 shoplights. Bulbs are 32 watts each, and only cost about $20 each for fixture and 2 bulbs, or $40 total!


Edited by Pingman

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(...) If you're looking for more economical, get 2 T8 shoplights. (...)

That very much depends on what you consider economical: With T5 bulbs you will produce more Lumen per Watt and you can use the tubes until they brake down completely.

T8 bulbs produce less Lumen per Watt and their efficiency fades with time so much, that they should be replaced after 1 year of use (I hope I remember that correctly) even if they still look ok.

I am no expert at this and you may correct me if I am wrong. Nevertheless, I really like the T5 bulbs - and my plants love them too.



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