VHO vs. T5 for actinic supp.


New member
Please help me understand something. I am hearing and reading about many people that are switching from VHO actinic to T5 actinic for supplementing MH. Are T5's better for this application?
I have had both.VHO brings out the best color by far!They do run hotter than t5 and they use more electricity but it is way worth it IMO.
Bulb choice makes a big difference in this discussion. Only a few VHO brands that I know of readily available to the hobbyist, and just happens to be tried and true technology. Unfortunately there is a plethera of brands and types of T5, i.e., NO or HO let alone manufacturers, and if the T5 bulb was paird with an individual reflector, standalone or panel reflector.
Even the same bulb with an individual reflector vs without is like comparing apples to oranges, and that continues to even what kind of individual reflector used..
When saying 'I used both', why not say exactly what you used :)

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10433176#post10433176 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by FoothillCorals
The VHO Super Actinic has the best color IMO. But the T-5s give you more bulb options, are brighter and use half the power.

Are you saying that a 54watt T5HO bulb is brighter than a 110watt VHO bulb?
I've used VHO as a supplementary actinic. I love the look but it does happen to be wider than t5 and that can be a downside. But I like the combination better as the colors are tough to beat.
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10447517#post10447517 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by ReefJunkieOK
Are you saying that a 54watt T5HO bulb is brighter than a 110watt VHO bulb?

Id bet $10 on the T5 that more PAR hits the sand:)

A 54w ATI Blue+ w/ IC individual reflectors overdriven on an IC ballast


110 URI Actinic

at a depth of 20-24", which is about the average depth of a home display.

Dont get hung up on watts, that's not a measure of intensity ;)

If you are looking at it just as a supplement bulb, VHO for sure. I've used both and nothing compares to the Super Actinic VHO bulb, it just makes things pop.