I need a new bulb! What color should I get?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by kinezumi89, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    Hi all,

    With my recent photo contest winnings (thanks to all who voted! :)), I think I'm finally going to switch out one of the bulbs in my 55 gallon fixture. I currently have two 54W T5HOs; I thiiiink they're both 10,000K, but I lost the link to and I forgot :p If MattB swings by I'm sure he'll know, since he got the same fixture :)

    Anyway, as you can see by the picture I attached, it makes my tank look pretty yellow. I think when I first got the lamp someone suggested a "rosette" bulb, or 6700K. Does this sound about right?

    Also, are there any brands you recommend that Drs. Foster and Smith carry? Here's a link to my choices:  
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! :)


    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  2. Dlondon95 Well Known Member Member

    I would recommend a rosette bulb and a 6700k bulb. That what I use and I am very pleased with the plant growth and the lighting in the tank.

  3. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    I thought a rosette bulb was a 6700K bulb, named because the light it puts off is pink. What lumens-rating is a rosette bulb?

  4. chevyguy8893 Well Known Member Member

    I agree with the roseate bulb paired with a 6700K full spectrum bulb. A roseate (650 nm) bulb really doesn't have a color temp., it is just a good bulb to add more light from the red spectrum. My 5000K bulb has a lot of red to it, but 5000K on a color temperature chart should look white. So, if you can find the visible spectrum graphs for the bulbs you are looking at, you can chose a pair of bulbs that would give a balance through the color spectrum. The color temperature on label on bulbs just gives an idea of the color output, but it what is put out varies with the manufacturers. The combo of a bulb with more red with a full spectrum bulb has worked really well for my plants too. The 10,000K I had before didn't do as well for the growth.

    As an example, It looks like the spectral graph for the aquaticlife bulbs would give a decent balance with the 6000K providing the blues and greens needed, and the roseate bulb taking care of the the red spectrum well.

    edit: sorry about the rambling, and congrats on the wins!

    edit again: Personally, I wouldn't get the ZooMed bulbs. I have those on mine and they work well, but the last 1-2" of the bulb ends don't light up much at all which cuts down my light output a bit. I have read in a few other places that notice the same problem when they are compared to other bulbs.

    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  5. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    Well that makes more sense, I thought it was "rosette" not "roseate," hence why I thought they were always pink :p

    Would these two be good?


    In the event I only got one, and kept my (probably) 10000K bulb, which would be better?
  6. chevyguy8893 Well Known Member Member

    I can't seem to find a spectral graph for the TrueLumen bulb, and the picture being colored pink worries me even though it says it is a 6700K. I believe RogueAgent has the aquaticlife roseate bulb in one of his fixtures, so he may be able to give more insight into that one.

    You could replace one bulb with the roseate bulb and leave the (probable) 10,000K as the full spectrum bulb to balance the lighting out. The 10,000K bulbs generally peak higher in the blue color spectrum compared to a 6000-7000K bulb, but it is still a usable range by the plants. If you only replaced the one bulb, assuming they aren't really old, then you have money to buy other stuff or could save money :).
  7. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    Interesting! I'll have to send him a message :)
  8. outlaw Well Known Member Member

    There is still usually a spike in the blues as well but the bulb having a higher color output in the reds vs a standard daylight is what gives it the pink tint. Add a splash of green and you bring the intensity (on the eyes) down to a light pink "daylight" bulb

    Like chevyguy posted above for the aquatic life 650nm bulb, the green is there to balance the high blue and yellow-red to lessen the intensity our eyes will see. If the bulb were just in the blue and yellow-red, it would likely make the tank look very unappealing as it would be a deeper pink/magenta color but produce the same results. For the most part, most plants do not require the green spectrum.

    Based off a person test done  . I didn't see the fixture used so your actual results/preferences may vary.
    Powerchrome Midday T5 6000K ($21)

    TrueLumen Flora ($20)


    Congrats on the double win!
  9. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    That's perfect, thank you! I would give you reputation points but it won't let me because I did recently I guess :p So I'll give you public reputation ;)

    Maybe I'll spend $20 of my own moneys and get both. If you had to pick one for me to replace a 10000K bulb with, which would you pick?
  10. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    Turns out they're 6500K. Does that mean I can avoid getting the "midday" one? It definitely looks like daytime in here when the lights are on :p

  11. outlaw Well Known Member Member

    Thank you and no worries. It was for the LED vs T5HO thread

    Please keep in mind I do not have a T5 fixture and this is just my opinion.
    If it were me and since I am cheap, I would buy the roseate bulb only and see if I like the look.

    If the bulbs are older and need replacing anyways, I would probably go with the Powerchrome or something in the 10K.

    If ordering from Dr's I would also try to find something I need for ~$10 to get free shipping, lol

    Not sure how helpful that actually was.

    **update to 2nd post**
    I would still just add the roseate bulb first and go from there. If needed, order it and a replacement daylight since you will need it sooner then later anyways (just test it to make sure it works for defective replacement per Drs site).
  12. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    I'll probably do that, buy more stuff to get free shipping :p

    I'm a little confused. Now that we know I have two 6500K bulbs, how does that change what I need? Or does it? Do the two bulbs you suggested in your previous post (the roseate and the 6000K ones) still fulfill my needs? I don't need to get a 10000K bulb for any reason, do I?

    I figured out that I got the fixture at the beginning of July, so it has been about 6 months, and you're supposed to replace the bulbs every 6 months anyway, which is why I'll probably just get two bulbs. (I made a review thread but I can't for the life of me find it...)
  13. outlaw Well Known Member Member

    If the plants are thriving with the current setup. As the saying goes "if it's not broken, don't fix it".

    The roseate is there just to ensure the spectrum needed is covered. The daylight bulb can be picked per your viewing preference.

    If you like the look of the two 6500s, I would just look at replacing with a similar bulb. Just make sure its a full spectrum.

    If combined with the roseate, the 10,000K bulb would just be color preference but not required for any other reason.

    Using the Flora and Powerchrome as example;
    -Powerchrome is a full spectrum daylight bulb (you could do 2 of these and be OK but the "tint" of the tank may change slightly as the K rating is slightly different)
    -Flora is a Plant growth bulb. Per the manufacturer, it ensure the proper spectrums for plant growth but doesn't mean it is ideal for viewing in an aquarium setting. This is where the full spectrum daylight bulb would come in to balance the pink of the flora.

    Also, you could do two different daylight bulbs. For example a 6000K and 10000K. This would change the "color" but keep the daylight look without adding a "pink" hue.

    Based off all the reviews I've read about the powerchrome, it doesn't sound like you could go wrong with them...(no personal experience though).

    OK, hopefully last update... lol
    Found a link for the Powerchromes with spectral graph-  

    Hope this helps,
  14. kinezumi89 Fishlore VIP Member

    Thanks a bunch! It sounds like there's really no right or wrong answer :p I see no reason to get a 10000K bulb since I don't have one now and it would be uncharted territory. It's true that my plants are doing well now, but maybe they would do better with a roseate bulb! I'm not certain but at this point I'm leaning towards getting the two you linked. Thanks for all your help! :)
  15. outlaw Well Known Member Member

    Np, glad to help!

    The main thing is if you can get the spectral graph, you can compare their claimed outputs. Like the Powerchrome, it actually looks to be close to some of the roseates which should give you good coverage. Again, just my opinion.

    Good Luck and make sure to post pics of new bulbs, whatever they are.