Cheap T5 Update
Cheap Lights Still Doing Well!
It's been a year since we installed these inexpensive T5 lights found on Amazon. They are your basic greenhouse grow lights and can be seen at the following Amazon affiliate link: https://amzn.to/2Imee9b
The corals here have grown very well under these light fixtures in no small part to the high quality ATI bulbs. The fixtures come with daylight colored bulbs, but we immediately replaced them with an equal balance of ATI Blue Plus and ATI Coral Plus bulbs. On initial install, we were seeing a little over 200 PAR with the 4-bulb fixture. The power output has dropped significantly in the past year however and we are well past the recommended time period for bulb replacement.
Quality Control Issues
Overall I would say that the fixtures are holding up just fine. Not everything was perfect however. Out of the 20 or so units we purchased, two had bad connections on a single bulb. If I wiggled the bulbs just right it would fire, but the next time I turned the light on that bulb would stay off. Given Amazon's return policy, I could have boxed the light back up and returned it, but I didn't bother. Out in the greenhouse it doesn't really matter too much, but if this was over a home aquarium I definitely would have.
The only other issue we had was one of the ballasts finally died, so one fixture lost power to half of its bulbs. I imagine that replacing the bad ballast would be fairly straight forward, but given the extremely low cost of the fixture, it may not be worth the hour or two that it would take to repair.
If you enjoy this blog and would like to support it, please take a look at the following Amazon Affiliate Link for the Light Fixture shown in the video: https://amzn.to/2Imee9b
Happy reefing everyone!