So I got interested in experimenting with light that REALLY covers the wavelengths that are best for the photosynthesis (400-700 nm). I don't doubt that any strong bulb will grow plants just fine, but let's see what I find with a mix of crazy colored bulbs. I will mix the weird color bulbs with bulbs that have more green so the light looks natural.
For starters, here's a picture of how the spectrum of my favorite bulb (Giesmann Midday) looks like:
That spectrum provides very little light around 640-660 nm which is where the second peak for the photosynthesis is. But the light looks very pretty (because of the greens in it). Keep in mind that there is a view that red light is being absorbed by the water so aquatic plants don't really need it. That is why, by the way, ADA bulbs have blue (good for plants) and green (good for people's eyes) but not really red. Well, that is one reason to want to experiment with a true Full Spectrum light setup. But also there is another very interesting thing - there is a way to boost the photosynthesis by using a wavelength that we normally ignore. Read on.
Here's what bulbs I got: Giesemann Aquablue:
Got these to balance the weird colors of the next two bulbs. They have both blue and green in the spectrum. In real life the light doesn't really look that blue though. Side by side with a Giesemann Midday this bulb does look blue but something like 9000K, not too strong of a blue: Korallen Zucht Fiji Purple:
Got this one because of the broad coverage of the red spectrum. The bulb apparently gives out a horrible purple color. Must be mixed with at least 3 bluer bulbs, some folk say even 4. Note the red peak. Such high red peak is not found in any other fluorescent bulb. It is about 2 times higher than what the photosynthesis uses in the red area. Giesemann Lagoon Blue:
Note the 700 nm peak. That's pretty rare to see. Apparently there is an interesting phenomenon with the area around 700 nm. If plants are exposed to both the blue/red light (the normal range that we consider good for the photosynthesis) AND ALSO exposed to light around 700 nm and higher there's a boost of the photosynthesis:
Besides the rare 700 nm peak this bulbs also has huge blue/green wavelengths. This produces light that supposedly looks like a green, clear tropical sea (turqoise):
So. I am interesed to see if I can manage to concoct a normal looking light from all these bulbs. Just in case I have two other bulbs that are mainly blue. From a small experiment I did the last few days I can see that a specialty grow LED light (containing only red and blue LEDs) seems to boost the photosynthesis (could not figure out if the boost was from the strong directed light or the spectrum). But the color of the light is horrendous. So the mixing of the light to achieve someting normal is important.
Also what I'm very interested in now is to get the club PAR meter. Since it measures the amount of light falling inside the range 400-700 nm I should have some huge PAR readings by combining all these bulbs.
One thing that is important to note is that having funky wavelengths and exotic bulbs will do nothing if the intensity is not good. I will be using these bulbs over a 30 gallon tank. 4x24W (96W total) or 5x24W if I have to should be strong.