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Leaf on the Wind
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone! Been a while since I was on but had a quick question. Recently I got a sweet deal on a US Current 96 watt dual pc light with moon light. Very nice light, got it for $99 on marinedepot.com. Thought it was worth it just for the 2 96 watt sunpaq bulbs it came with (usually these are $35-45 a pop!). But then my LFS told me the stock or factory bulbs that come with fixtures are never as good and certainly don't have the 6 month life of a new bulb. That surprised me! I am inclined to believe him as he doesn't sell bulbs or lights and is always giving me free stuff. Do you think he is right? I can not tell by looking at the bulbs if the spectrum is fading. The bulbs are sunpaq, 1 10000k 1 460/420 actinic.

Also, he told me of another spectrum actinic between 420 and 460, forgot the exact number. He highly recommends it, its what he uses though I cant seem to find any thing other than 420 or 460. Thanks for the help as always!:beer:
 

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I believe (but don't quote me on it) that true actinic is considered the 420nm spectrum. 460nm is still very blue. I have read differing accounts of the usable light from actinics. Some papers state that they will promote coral growth, others say they won't effect corals at all, and are purely to augment the lighting color. I'd research this on your own, come to your own conclusion.

Far as stock bulbs, it really all depends on the bulb, some fixtures will come with crap, some will have decent bulbs. My coralife t5ho fixture came with coralife bulbs, and I have been quite happy with them. In fact, this is the only brand of 30" 31w t5ho's I can find locally.

I don't have experience with sunpaq, but looking at a review in this sites review section, they sound like ok bulbs. Would you consider that brand if you had to replace them? If so, why wouldn't you keep the stock bulbs till they need replacing?
 

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Well personally I think you should have saved that $100 and spend a bit more on their HOT5, the first bulb change alone will more then pay for the difference in cost. I'm not sure about the Current PC bulb but their T5 bulbs are junk; probably the worst in the business by far. BTW I don’t think Current makes those PC fixtures anymore so it’s a discontinued item. Also as far as I know Current will not warranty the ballast either. If it goes out you have to contact the ballast manufacturers directly for a replacement; god knows how long that would take.
 

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Leaf on the Wind
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745 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks, i was aware of it being a discontinued fixture but current makes a pretty good pc fixture and for the price it beats any thing out there, even t5's
IMO. I do have my reasons for not going t5.

As for the 460 spec, agree I don't like it. Way to blue. Though it seems many bulbs out there are 420/460 split. Anyone here of another spectrum for actinics? My LFS has recommended it several times. As far as sunpaq bulbs for pc I think they are a quality bulb, along the line of coralife. The stock bulbs are sunpaq, I was just wondering if anyone out there has heard something similar that stock bulbs are junk.

My system is lagunal, softies and LPS. No SPS. I have a 37 gallon with 10 gallon sump. I like this 36" fixture because it also leaves room for a 46 bow upgrade if that is ever possible.
 

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I've got the REEF rash!
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I also don't agree with your LFS!Pc is only a little better then stock,T5HO with indivisual reflectors is the way to go!(cheaper in the long run too!)
 

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Leaf on the Wind
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745 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Im sorry, I think my incorrect terminology must have confused some. By "stock" I mean the bulbs that actually came with the fixture. He told me that these "included in box" bulbs(I don't know why I call that a stock bulb) are of lesser quality than a bulb lets say like coralife or sunpaq that you may buy separately. Don't know why the bulbs that came with the light which are sunpaq brand are any cheaper or have a shorter life than if I were just to order some new sunpaq bulbs off the internet.
 

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I've got the REEF rash!
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61,658 Posts
The best pc bulbs are much worse then the worse T5HOs and are so much more money then T5HOs.The only thing tha I can think a PC is better,isthat you can put 2 T5HO bulbs in 1 pc sleave.
 

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The bulbs that come with a Current USA fixture are the same bulbs that are sold as replacements. They do not put one type of bulb in the fixture with a short lifespan and then sell another that lasts longer.

The Sunpaq bulbs that came with your fixture are the identical Sunpaq bulbs you would get if you ordered new ones.

The same goes for every brand of fixture that I can think of. There is no such thing as a stock (included in box, starter, whatever you call it) bulb designed with a lower output or a shorter lifespan to force you to buy new ones sooner. Your LFS guy should be ashamed.
 
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