Why my favorite German bulb may not be that great. - Lighting - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 12-28-2012, 04:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why my favorite German bulb may not be that great.

Ok, here's the spectrum of T5HO Giesemann Midday fluorescent bulb. A bulb that produces light that is both very good for the plants AND has a color that is just beautiful to look at. If in the middle of winter you place a 54Watt Midday bulb in a room, get out of the room, and look at the open door you wil swear it is summer in there - beautiful sunlight spilling out the door:



Now look at what are the best wavelengths for photosynthesis:

Chlorophyll A: 435 - 665 nm
Chlorophyll B: 490 - 650 nm



Apparently the Germans have almost completely ignored Chlorophyl B. But they have added green color to the bulb (more or less useless to plants) I guess to make people like me like the color of the light.

So, what can you tell me about that situation? Why that bulb seems to grow plants very well?

I am aware of the fact that the photosyntesis runs just fine at wavelengths "close enough" to the perfect. 430 or 440 is fine, 660 or 670 if fine. Ok, good, but is there anything else that I don't know?

Last edited by niko; 12-28-2012 at 04:42 PM..
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why my favorite German bulb may not be that great.

Niko, I used to work for Sylvania and very few fluorescent bulbs get above 625nm. The true red phosphor is very expensive. The Sylvania GroLux, a T12, outputs in the red right where you want it.A handful of other bulbs (some may no longer be made) use this phosphor. But being a T12 you loose much of the punch and they lose 60% of their strength in six months use. I still use the GroLux Std and Wide Spectrum as dawn/dusk lighting - I just like the look. Also, I stage my lights both on and off.

The Midday to me as a stand alone bulb is the pits as far as color goes. Each to his own. Giesemann recommends it be used with the Aquaflora; which is what I do. It balances the color to more of a white light. If I look at the fixture while ON with the Midday, Aquaflora and an Aquarelle the Midday looks green.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why my favorite German bulb may not be that great.

Newt,

Do you happen to know something about the Emerson effect?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerson_effect

I just read on "some" forum that if "certain plants" receive 710 nm of light the last few hours before shutting all lights off they go to sleep much faster. The people growing the "certain plants" are interested in the blooms. There was a reference to some info that the plants go to sleep up to 1-1/2 faster.

Interested in blooms or not, getting faster to the dark cycle of the photosynthesis should mean much more bulk mass accumulated, right? Basically the plants will grow faster.

Does any of that translate to aquatic plants?
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why my favorite German bulb may not be that great.

Also, look at the Giesemann AquaFlora spectrum. Same thing - missing wavelengths that are good for the plants:


And if we look at pictures only it looks like the AquaFlora is actually worst for the photosynthesis than the Midday. I think I'm really lost now. This red phosphor must be way pricey in Germany if they just flat out refuse to use it in a bulb they call "AquaFlora".
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why my favorite German bulb may not be that great.

I have not heard of the Emerson Effect but thanks for the link. I will read up on it. I have read that light too far into the red (infra-red) will shutdown photosynthesis. Not sure if this is true for all plants. I used to do a lot of reading on University studies in the Journal of Plant Physiology. Now I'm married with children.

My mentioning using the Aquaflora wasn't because it had light output at the correct nm but because it augments the Midday more color-wise.

The only T5HO, or T5 for that matter,that I have seen that has red at 650nm is the Fiji Purple (attachment below). I'm not sure you'd like the color of it alone. You would have to color balance it with a bulb that has lots of green. Something in the 5000K area.

I would say the Giesemann bulbs are there nanometer wise for the blue light but don't make it for chlorophyll A in the red by a lot.

I have some lighting gifs in my albums section. Click on my User name and go to View Profile. Look on the right side for that album.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why my favorite German bulb may not be that great.

Wow! Nice! I will look them up!

I just found this gizmo:
http://makeprojects.com/Project/High...trograph/658/1

How good do you think it will be?

I'm asking because all this reading about specs of this or that bulb goes out the window if you have a piece of (possibly dirty) piece of glass in front of the bulb. It'd be nice to be able to take an actual spectrum reading.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why my favorite German bulb may not be that great.

Well, I see that the GroLux blows them all away if you want a single bulb to provide al the wavelenghts that the plants like.

I understand now what's the big (and rather ridiculous) fuss about building expensive LED fixtures to grow "tomatoes" and "pansies". There isn't much choice of correct spectrum bulbs. And the GroLux probably runs hot which for "tomato and pansies" lovers is not safe. Geez!

I think I learned a few things about lighting for plants today.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why my favorite German bulb may not be that great.

A while ago someone here was building an underwater spectrograph. I think he was a member of the DFW Club. Did it ever pan out?

I think Reef Geek and/or AquaCave sells the Fiji Purple. I look it up and post a link.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why my favorite German bulb may not be that great.

Reef Geek
http://www.reefgeek.com/lighting/t5-...-zucht-kz.html


AquaCave
http://www.aquacave.com/KZ-Korallen-...ulbs-C330.aspx
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Why my favorite German bulb may not be that great.

Wow, this is worth experimenting with!

Thank you!
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