T5 Lighting


New member
I'm just dipping into saltwater for the first time, and im going to be setting up a 55 gallon. I was originally going to get 4x65 PC for 209, cause MH is just too expensive, and now I've been hearing a lot about T5's. So i found these at premium aquatics http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merc...uct_Code=CU-USA01122&Category_Code=Current-T5
and there actually cheaper than the PC's i was planning on getting. So if someone could tell me if these lights are good quality and what not it would be much appreciated. =)
I just purchased the 36" version of that fixture. Only problem is it doesnt have the individual reflectors. However it is really bright and its upgradeable, nice fixture for the price.
You'd need 2 sets of MH lamps for a 55 due to the length, so T5 or VHO lights are a good choice.

But do take a look at the overall costs of the T5/VHO/HO lights including end caps, wiring, brackets, bulbs, reflectors. I found my 250w MH lamps to be only 20% more expensive when it was all said and done, and cheaper on a year to year basis to replace bulbs (VHO). $180 for 8 VHO tubes (when I last looked with shipping) vs $150 for MH.

Give the guys over at PA a call, they've been really helpful for me in past when talking things through and finding the hidden costs that aren't obvious up front.


Well I wouldnt say they are mandatory but you'd be wasting alot of energy by not using them. The reflectors go in the light fixture to redirect light that isnt directed at the object in this case your tank. T5's and all lighting for that matter benefits greatly with the use of appropriate reflectors.
That whole subject is debateable, and alot of it may be personal preferance. IMO T5HO is brighter than VHO, bulbs last longer, more energy efficient. However some people myself included prefer the VHO actinics over T5. Both VHO an PC are becoming old technology. PC also has shorter bulb life.