Fluorescent lighting should need no introduction. Such is the popularity of this type of light unit that it can be seen in nearly every office and department store.
And when it comes to kitting out your aquarium, fluorescent light units are no less popular. But with a huge variety of lighting units available, including LED lighting and metal halides, here is a quick break down to explain the appeal of this ever popular light unit.
First of all the huge benefit of using such a popular product is that it is time tested and very well known, with a variety of spare parts available should you need them. Fluorescent lighting products and bulbs are relatively cheap compared with other products.
The AquaEl Classic 100 is a prime example of one the many modern aquariums that come with fluorescent lighting that is integrated into the product. It shows just how popular fluorescent lighting is, as well as how easy sourcing spare parts can be, that are available in a range of styles and sizes.
One of the few drawbacks to this type of lighting, especially when compared with LED light units, is that the bulbs do have a tendency to get warm and will need replacing annually to ensure the light quality stays at its strongest.
Fluorescent light units can also have a positive effect on the look and development of your aquarium. They are useful for supporting aquarium plants, however to achieve the best results a higher number of light tubes should be used. And when used for the support of coral growth, high output fluorescent T5 bulbs should be used.
Modern fluorescent light units that require a higher output and will usually use a T5 bulb, instead of a T8 bulb. The difference in these products is just to do with the size of the bulbs themselves, with T8 bulbs being larger than T5 bulbs. However, T8 bulbs are now being phased out in favour of the more powerful T5 bulbs, which offer a higher output.
A great tip when using fluorescent lighting is to make use of reflectors. These ingenious and cheap item’s will focus the light of the tubing towards your aquarium, thereby increasing the efficiency of the bulbs and reducing the amount of wasted light and energy.
Posted by Sam Bainbridge