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I think it is a halogen bulb. Mine came installed when we bought the house but here is a replacement bulb at Home Depot:
http://www.homedepot.ca/product/90w-par-38-medium-base-halogen-flood/947932

Have in mind that I can feel some heat from these bulbs from about 1 foot distance. But at that distance you are going to get close to 250 PAR more or less. The only downside I see to these bulbs is that the spot that they illuminate maybe larger than you want it (spill light around the tank). Other than that, sorry to say, but these things beat everybody else.

I am considering using these over a 2 ft. tall tank. Hard to say "no" to $10.
 

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Well, I got one of these bulbs and tested it at home. Measured PAR through air, through 2 ft. of water, etc.

I thought my PAR meter was broken. The numbers are off the chart but the intensity of the illumination is not really there.

My bulb produces PAR 700 from 1 foot away. 300 on the bottom of a 2 ft tall tank with the bulb 1 foot above the surface of the water. I get 70 PAR only when my meter is 5-1/2 feet away!

Once again - the light is not very bright. Apparently this is one of those cases when PAR is monstrous but the light appears so-so to the human eye. This bulb should be classified as "grow bulb".

The coverage is also not very exciting. The bulb makes a bright spot right under itself. To light up a 6' tank evenly I will need 8 of these bulbs. Funny thing 800 watts of LED is what is needed to light evenly the same tank BUT with much less PAR. 8 of the parabolic bulbs will cost $80 and will provide between 200 and 300 PAR on the bottom of a 2 ft tall tank with the bulb suspended 1-2 ft. above the tank.

Heat is not an issue really. At 1 ft. I can feel it so-so on my hand, nothing too much.

Mount a bulb like that too low over your tank and all kinds of problems will start to happen because of the huge PAR and the misleading "low intensity" that the human eye perceives. You turned on the afterburners and never even suspected it because the bulb costs $10 and the light looks dim to you. All kinds of deficiencies right off the bat, guaranteed.

And yes - the bulb makes a spectacular shimmer. Every little fish has a deep dark shadow under itself, even if they are 6" above the bottom. Stir the surface of the water a little and shimmer is extreme but mainly under the bulb. Kind of strange to get such big shimmer effect considering the perceived light intensity is not very high.

The light appears yellowish compared to a 6000K Giesemann Midday T5HO. But that kind of T5HO has a very strange color anyway - very bright for being 6000K. My point is - the parabolic bulb can definitely be used by itself and the color of the light is just fine unless you really really hate anything close to yellow light.
 

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No. I mean to market it as a high PAR LED. You can't see what's inside and as long as 'LED' is on the box people will not even think of anything else. Because it is LEDs that make all dreams come true.

One other amusing thing - all these bulbs internals rattle. As if a piece if half-loose glass is inside. It probably has to do with how the components work when the bulb heats up.

I just came back from Home Depot. The parabolic bulbs are very easy to find but they do not make the 100 watt version any more. Now there are 72 and 83 watts with lumen output like my 100 watt test bulb. There was also a 93 watt parabolic. Pretty much I can bet that the PAR will certainly be the same murderous value (corresponding to the wattage of course). These are the only parabolic bulbs at the store that are halogen and there is no problem finding them.

Actually there was a 150W version too. If the PAR corresponds to the PAR of my 100W bulb that 150W could grow HC on the bottom of your 3' tall tank even if you mount the bulb on the moon.

Three more discoveries "that make you go uhmm..":

1. The halogen parabolic bulb appears to be the exact same thing as the "halogen incandescent" which I showed on a picture above. I bet the manufacturer just puts different housings - an "incandescent" and a "parabolic".

2. I noticed that very much every bulb now sold at Home Depot has a lumen rating. And if you look at the LED bulbs vs. compact fluorescents vs. halogens you will be humbled. The halogens blow everybody else out of the water if you look at the lumens and the price. If their PAR is what I found with a single one of them then I don't know what to say about LEDs. The only apparent drawback of halogens is their shorter life. But for the price you are not going to waste any money. Go to the store and compare lumens and prices if you care.

3. The Queen Bee of all high lumen bulbs was a halogen. 2800 lumens and uses 75 watts. Costs $7. Life is 3 months if you use it 8 hours a day. Tiny bulb - the size of your pinky finger and no reflector. In comparison the halogen I tested was 1700 lumens but it had its own reflector. This tiny bulb can easily be mounted between two fluorescent tubes or two strips of LEDs and provide the huge PAR and shimmer for a short time every day. Like the old ADA light fixtures but now with more understanding of PAR, visible light intensity, the place of LEDs and fluorescents. All things that I bet ADA knew years ago and never discussed openly.

And I hope no one forgets - 50-70 PAR is all you need to grow anything on the bottom of your tank. So here it is - LEDs are great indeed because they are not very powerful (unless you just have to spend your money on them). One huge factor to take into consideration with high PAR is how dense is your planting. PAR drops like crazy with shading. If you have issues growing plants with high PAR lighting setup consider the planting density. Don't immediately run to look at Zapin's "Photographic catalog of extraordinary plant deficiencies". I say that because recently I had an experience with super high PAR performance bulbs which did very little for plant growth. The tank was so stuffed with plants that even after pulling half of them out the tank still looks very full. Took me just 2 months to figure out that it is nothing else but shading that was cramping my own high opinion of myself.
 

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If you can find the packaging that your bulb came in please post the details. While there may only be one bulb in your local hardware store this may not be the case everywhere, people might buy the wrong type of bulb and get totally different results.

Also, I plan on adding lighting issues to my "catalog of extraordinary plant deficiencies" over time.
 

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If you go that route than you need to add pictures of symptoms of toxicity due to following... a high fertilizer method of running a planted tank.

Ok here it is that is the designation on the box: "100PAR38/IRC/FL25 120V"

http://www.lightingsupply.com/100par38-irc-fl25-120v.aspx

I could not find that same bulb at Home Depot. I measured the PAR on a bulb that I found at my church. I assumed it is nothing special and the church probably uses these bulbs for stage light purposes instead of the more common parabolic ones.

On the box of the super high PAR bulbs it says "Energy Advantage IR Halogen PAR bulb". From what I know "PAR" is used to designate "parabolic" shape, but note something else - the buls is "IR" (infrared). Here are some more specs on it:
http://www.bulbconnection.com/ViewSIMItem/bcrw/simid/3679/item.html

I was wrong the Kelvins and about the lumens. It is only 2900K which I am surprised because the light does not look as yellow compared to the 6000K Giesemann Midday. The lumens are higher than the parabolic bulbs sold at Home Depot (1790 lumens maximum for the 93 watt).

So what I tested is indeed a special bulb and Zapins here saved the day. I have some of the Home Depot bulbs and I can test them too. But something else is more interesting - since this is an "IR" bulb I wonder if the PAR meter gives misleading readings. It could show a super high PAR but it is actually due only to wavelengths in the red part of the spectrum. No 660 nm. How does that affect the plants? Chances are it is super efficient because many of the grow lights aim for light that looks red to the eye.
 

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Apparently I know nothing about halogen bulbs so I started to do some research. The idea here is to try to figure out how applicable are these bulbs for the planted tank hobby. Far from believing they are the best but you can tell there is something valuable here. The notes below are just a start and I post them here so I don't lose them:

http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partne...010/Lighting Technology Updates Stockdale.pdf (pages 5 and 11)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halogen_lamp (Look at "Spectrum")
http://www.lighting.philips.com/pwc_li/us_en/connect/tools_literature/downloads/p-5761.pdf (page 4 "Halogen Energy Advantage IR")

http://blog.1000bulbs.com/how-do-infrared-ir-halogens-save-energy/


The real test of the new wave halogen bulbs would be to just setup a tank using them. What I think I see so far is that halogen bulbs have evolved a lot in the last several years. So are T5HO and LEDs and naturally who would look at halogens again which we "knew" from years back. But after finding out the monstrous PAR of the bulb I have I think the new halogens are worthy of consideration so we know where this or that type of bulb stands as far as the PAR that the plants are interested in is concerned.
 

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Some more outdoor pond measurements, taken last month at about noon:

Just above the surface--1,700
12" below the surface--1,200
24" below the surface--800

I think we may need to change our definition of "high light".

I am not sure about where you live, but many ponds in my area are dark and murky from an abondance of algae. So if we were to have high light similar to outdoors, we would probably have algae soup for a tank
 

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Discussion Starter #129
The PAR measures quoted above were taken in my backyard garden ponds. None are more than 24" deep. On the day I took those readings, the water was clear enough to read a newspaper on the bottom of the ponds.

Of course, they are not always that clear! And one thing we have learned from this thread is that you can grow a huge variety of plants with moderate PAR: 40 to 50 umol at the substrate.
 

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Good work on the lighting front!

It would be helpful to see the information in this thread compiled into neat tables or graphs. A summary of the findings would help standardize future lighting advice.
 

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I've tried to figure out a way to do that, but there are so many variables. It is a cliche, but no two tanks are exactly alike.
 

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On the box of the super high PAR bulbs it says "Energy Advantage IR Halogen PAR bulb". From what I know "PAR" is used to designate "parabolic" shape, but note something else - the buls is "IR" (infrared). ]
Parabolic Anodized Reflector.

PAR 38 - degree of reflector angle ?



Incandescent=halogen ?

Wouldn't this give you all leg ?
 

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I should have done this at least a month ago but im a procrastinator and keep putting it off.The first tank is a 75 gallon shrimp tank,the club par meter shows a par of 18 at the substrate. It defies everything ive read about as far as lighting goes.The second tank is a 150 gallon discus tank it has a par of 85 at the substrate it would have been higher a few weeks before i checked it if I hadn't raised the lights about 2 1/2"i had an algae problem from feeding beefheart to the discus.The 150 is mineralized topsoil with clay mixed in,the 75 is mineralized topsoil that is mixed half and half with safe-t-zorb I am getting ready to redo the 150 the same as the 75 I think its a better mix in my opinion just from the growth with what little light I have.
 

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I need to borrow the club meter for my 75 gallon. I bought a use wave point 4 bulb t5 fixture, replaced the blue bulbs with a colormax and 6,700k. (hey hey I know I know coral life bulbs but they where 30% off at the fish gallery, anything to save money on my budget. :) ) . oh and the 10k turned out to be 6,700k and those will need to be replaced to as they have 7-17-13 on them. but any way I need to borrow the club meter. who do I report to so I can borrow it.
 

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FishyJoe,

I should be done with the meter tomorrow. I will message you on facebook when I am ready for the handoff.

I am currently testing some very promising Phillips and Sylvania Lowes/Home depot bulbs on smaller tanks. I will post up the par ratings, they are surprisingly good.


.
 

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FishyJoe,

I should be done with the meter tomorrow. I will message you on facebook when I am ready for the handoff.

I am currently testing some very promising Phillips and Sylvania Lowes/Home depot bulbs on smaller tanks. I will post up the par ratings, they are surprisingly good.

.
Thanks sounds good...
 

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Par data collection report.


aquarium: standard 20 long.

Type of bulb: Sylvania green leaf 6500k 100w compact fluorescent (8.99 two bulbs Lowes)
Reflector: Lowes aluminum shop light (cheap)


Par at bulb: varied but average 490 par.

Par at substrate: 108 par at center of spot 80 par on outer edges of spot light .


Par 2" above substrate: par 220

Par 6" below surface: 300 par average.

Total cost of suspension and bulbs: 80.00


I will include pictures of the suspension.




Overall impression: These bulbs are bright. The cheap hoods focus the lights quite a bit. Very focused, light dissipates very quickly on the edges of the hood. Overall par is good but does vary quite a bit on the substrate in regards to where the actual hood is. Very bright clean light.


I did a similar test using the Phillips 100w compact fluorescent bulbs. Good light, par ratings varied a bit more and were a bit lower. I would choose the Sylvania bulbs.
 

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The Par meter will be ready to pass along tonight. I have strep throat at the moment and would prefer not to drive a real long ways if possible. FishyJoe what is your schedule this evening?
 

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Discussion Starter #140
Thank you for posting this. I've used the Sylvania compact fluorescents on 5 of my 6 tanks for years, and the clamp light fixtures are especially good because they hold the CFLs in the vertical position. CFLs produce significantly more light (for aquarium purposes) when mounted vertically in a reflector. The reasons are complex and are mostly due to a phenomenon known as restrike.

Planted tank enthusiasts, throw off your chains! Effective aquarium lighting can be cheap and easy.
 
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