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As for other light comparisons to the MH, even the newer T-5 lamps cannot achieve the depth penetration and overall output of these lights. Metal Halides generally have very good lumens per watt ratio (although I have seen a lot of variation and even incorrect ratings here); however it is safe to say that MH are generally found with lumens to watt ratios of 50 to as high as 90 which is among the highest of any aquarium lights available.
The new reef compatible & freshwater planted tank LED's are likely to take over the market along with the T2, T5, & SHO lights as the top manufacturers of LED fixtures become more readily available as the price comes down, while at the same time PAR & PUR (quality of light) & general aquarium compatibility come up.
ighting technologies for reef aquarium have come a long way since I first started in the hobby about 20 years ago. Back then there were very few choices and 4300K to 5500K metal halide lamps and normal 40W fluorescent lamps were the standard choices. Since then there have been huge improvements in lighting technology and understanding of lighting applications for reef aquariums. Vast amounts of data on various metal halide lighting and ballasts have been collected and shared to show the differences between the various lamps and ballast combinations (). European reef keepers have pushed the use of T5 lamps and shown that it is possible to keep exquisite reef tanks with intense colors of colors with these lamps. More recently LED lighting has advanced to the point where there are several LED lighting options available (or soon to be available) to the reef hobbyist. There are several examples of successful reef aquariums with PFO Solaris LEDs (one of the first ones to enter the reef market). It has become fairly obvious, that reef aquariums can be successfully maintained with any lighting technology as long as it is capable of providing enough quality light to sustain the coral inhabitants. Today on BRStv, we continue our Aquarium Lighting series by discussing the different types of fluorescent lighting - T5 HO, T12 VHO and Power compact. Fluorescent lighting is a time-tested, proven way to light a successful reef tank at a reasonable price while still offering a variety of color/lighting options.
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