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Discussion Starter #1
I've been reading a lot on here about the different opinions and options for lighting a freshwater planted tank, and as I expected from the outset, the units for measuring said light seem to be all over the place.

Would anyone be interested in setting up a system that might actually express the quantity of light in the tank as opposed to the power used to drive the lamps? I did some more reading and it seems like Lux or Lumens per square meter might be a winner. The Lumen output of a lamp is usually written on the box somewhere

So lets say that I have a 55 gal which measures 12" X 48" at 18" deep.
That would give me .37 square meters.
The 18" florescents that I was using put out about 800 Lumens a piece.
Multiply by the 2 lamps and you would get 1600 Lumens over .37 square Meters
OR 4324 Lux.

The only thing this wouldn't account for would be the light lost over the depth of the water.
Does anyone think that would be an issue worth dealing with?

Alternately, does anyone think this is worth it at all?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the concern, my tank is just fine as far as I can tell. I retrofitted the stock hoods with four candelabra bases and am using four 13w compact fluorescents. Both my Anubias are pushing new leaves only a few days after the switch.

What I was proposing was more along the lines of a paradigm shift in talking about lighting, since arc sources are more efficient than fluorescents which are still more efficient than tungsten sources.

That way I can still be a watt-miser and have a tank bright enough for cool plants.
 
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