Aquarium Lighting Supplies
One of the most important components of Building an Ocean Aquarium is the lighting. Whether it's T5 lighting, metal halide lighting, power compacts lighting, VHO lighting, or any combination of other top technology lighting systems, you will see the differences in your corals and plant life success based on their specific needs.
What we really do is replicate the sunís spectrum to provide your ocean and its eco system with the newest lighting technologies available today. We can now produce light that simulates the sunís rays and the spectrum of light necessary to penetrate water and produce life and food sources necessary for life. These light groups are called: Metal Halide, Power Compact Lighting or Compact Fluorescent, and VHO lighting.
When light passes through a prism, it separates into the colors that make it up. White light changes into a swath of colors. This rainbow is called a spectrum. You can make spectra in many ways: with a prism, reflectors, or with water, as you see during the formation of a real rainbow! In your aquarium, different spectrums are necessary for the survival of diverse groups of corals and life!
Nanometer: Electro magnetic energy in the wavelengths from 400 to 700 nanometers (nm) stimulate the perceptions of color in the human eye.
Par: Par is an acronym referring to Parabolic Aluminized Reflector, which describes its mirror configuration. PAR lights resemble car headlights. They possess a lens, but the lens is an integral part of the lamp and its position is relative to the filament canno.
Kelvin: Kelvin is used to define the heat or energy output of a bulb, i.e., 10K rated, 15K rated or 20K rated bulbs.
Metal Halide Lighting: Metal Halide is the most powerful source of lighting used in aquariums today. It enables you to produce the best configuration of Kelvin and wattage for corals, whether they are softies such as LPS or hard corals (stonies) such as SPS and clams. The presence of more Kelvin and PAR prompts SPS and clams to open and feed almost 24 hours a day. All combinations are available from 5500K - 10,000K to 15,000K - 20,000K and in wattage from 150 watt - 175 watt to 250 watt - 400 watt.
Power Compact Fluorescent: Also known as Power Compacts, these bulbs are a very good source of lighting, and they provide two application solutions. Power compacts can work by themselves as full spectrum lighting or as a second application with Metal Halide lighting or VHO lighting. Since they are a lower investment solution than the others, Power Compacts can be a great option when it comes to the budget. All power compact lighting is available in 28 watt, 36 watt, 55 watt, 96 watt and are available in both German style and Japanese style pin configurations.
VHO Ė Very High Output: VHO fluorescent lighting is a well-known and long-lasting light source that has been very successful as a reef aquarium lighting solution. These bulbs operate from an electronic ballast system which provides the capability to run high wattage bulbs at a lower cost than traditional Tar ballast technology. VHO is capable of a wide spectrum since it has built-in reflectors in the fluorescent tube. It also drives from 36 watts to 160 watts, depending on the bulb chosen. Bulb choices available are Super Actinic, which is 100% blue spectrum, and 400 Nano. Next is the Actinic White, which is the 50/50 combination spectrum of tri-band and Actinic phosphors and a white / actinic combo. Last is the Aqua Sun, which provides pure daylight with a tri-band spectrum. Most hobbyists who use VHO run a combination of these bulbs to obtain the look they want and the appropriate depth of light in the aquarium for their corals.