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Tri-Phosphor Fluorescents


  1. [Lighting] Triton bulb life?
    by booth-at-hplvec.LVLD.HP.COM (George Booth) (Mon, 3 Aug 1992)
  2. [Lighting] Triton bulb life?
    by (Henry Ford) (5 Aug 92)
  3. Best Overall Plant Bulb??
    by (Matthew John Latimer) (27 Sep 1994)
  4. Best Overall Plant Bulb??
    by (Richard Sexton) (28 Sep 1994)
  5. Penn-Plax Tri-Lux
    by George Booth <> (Tue, 14 May 1996)
  6. Fluorescent Tubes Specs
    by "Mark Shelton" <> (1 Feb 1997)
  7. Reason for "rattle" in some Triton tubes
    by "Merrill Cohen" <amc2/> (Tue, 25 Nov 1997)
  8. Fluorescent tubes
    by "Merrill Cohen" <amc2/> (Fri, 22 Jan 1999)
  9. Chroma 50 vs Vitalight
    by busko/ (Ivo Busko) (Fri, 10 Mar 2000)

[Lighting] Triton bulb life?

by booth-at-hplvec.LVLD.HP.COM (George Booth)
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1992

> Any other Triton fans out there?

I'm not a fan anymore.  I think the 6 or 8 Tritons we had lasted from 
6-9 months before they turned themselves off.  I also had trouble getting 
two in the same fixture to start reliably (shop light fixture, commercial 
Advance ballast, proper grounding, all the obvious stuff).  We now use 
Penn-Plax Ultra TriLux bulbs - more pleasing CRI and trouble free, so far.  


[Lighting] Triton bulb life?

by (Henry Ford)
Date: 5 Aug 92

Mine have lasted over two years. Must be an off batch - which is poor in itself
or they have altered the specifications.

Best Overall Plant Bulb??

by (Matthew John Latimer)
Date: 27 Sep 1994
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

In article <369iek$>,
George Booth <> wrote:
>Tyson Lee ( wrote:
>> If you had to use one bulb (I am really poor right now), in a 29 gallon tank
>                              ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> with plants and fish, which would it be?  Vita-Lite, Ultra- Trilux??
>Given that you are on a budget and Vita-lites are 1/2 to 1/3 the cost
>of Ultra Tri-Lux and you probably don't need really bright light because
>you can't afford CO2 injection and proper trace element concoctions, I 
>would recommend Vita-lites.  

I used to use two Vita-lites (power twist) but have recently switched to
GE Chroma 50's.  The Vita-lites cost almost as much as the higher priced
ultra tri-lux tubes (I can't find 4 foot vitalites for less than about
$15) but the Chroma 50's cost $5 each at a local lighting supply store.
Chroma 50's have a color temp of 5000K, CRI of 90, and provide 2250
lumens (4 foot bulb) which seems about comparable to a Penn-Plax Tri-lux
(info from Joseph Sellinger's excellent posting on fluorescent bulbs).  
Richard Sexton (thanks Richard) suggested a while back using chroma 50's
instead of Vita-lites and from what I've seen, chroma 50's are a great
"bargain bulb" for cash-strapped aquarists.


Best Overall Plant Bulb??

by (Richard Sexton)
Date: 28 Sep 1994
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

In article <>,
Tyson Lee <> wrote:
>If you had to use one bulb (I am really poor right now), in a 29 gallon tank
>with plants and fish, which would it be?  Vita-Lite, Ultra- Trilux??

d) None of the above, they're all way overpriced.

A Vita-light is $20 in a pet store, $11 from a lighting distributor. It's
the same tube as a GE Chroma-75, which if you call around you should
be able to get for $6.

If you can have two tubes in your setup, use a wide spectrum gro-lux
(or, as GE calls them, wide spectrum gro'n'show, or Plant and Aquarium
bulb - 40PlAq) as well ti suppliment the red. They're about $7.

If you can only have one bulb, you might consider a GE SPX 3500
or a Philipps ultra lume 35, both of which should be around $11.

Richard J. Sexton,                                 VRx Network Services
Toronto, CANADA                          

Penn-Plax Tri-Lux

by George Booth <>
Date: Tue, 14 May 1996

> From: "Clayton L. Workman" <>
> Date: Mon, 13 May 1996 00:08:20 -0500 (CDT)
> What is the difference in the Penn-Plax Tri-Lux and the Ultra Tri-Lux 
> bulbs?  Does the regular tri-lux give good full spectrum to plants?

>From a data sheet sent to me by Penn-Plax:

wavelength         Tri-Lux   Lumens  Ultra Tri-Lux  Lumens
- ----------------------------------------------------------
UV     < 380 nm      0.5%        12      0.6%           20
violet 380-430 nm    3.1%        77      4.1%          137
blue   430-490 nm   38.4%       952     29.8%          998
green  490-560 nm   21.2%       526     34.1%         1143
yellow 560-590 nm    3.6%        89      4.5%          151
orange 590-630 nm   23.5%       583     20.1%          673
red    630-700 nm    7.3%       181      5.0%          168 
IR     700-800 nm    2.4%        60      1.8%           60
                              -----                  -----
                               2480                   3350

measured Kelvin temp:           ??                   ~6200K

Bottom line: Ultra Tri-Lux has more power in the green and yellow
bands.  This may be useful to plants (algae will generally not use it)
and it gives better color rendering (IMHO).  


Fluorescent Tubes Specs

by "Mark Shelton" <>
Date: 1 Feb 1997

    I went down to the local fish shop with the intention of purchasing a 40
watt Triton bulb. As is usual, the package was lacking any of the
specifications we aquaria types need to compare bulbs. The package did however
get my attention when I saw the price of $46 OUCH! Before I paid that much for
a bulb, I wanted to get some more 'usable' information. After a relatively
unsuccessful web search, I made some calls. I noticed the G.E. logo on the
bulb so I called their 800 lighting number. G.E. said they've had inquiries on
the Triton before, but that they don't make it and know nothing about it.
Apparently G.E. in England purchased Thorn (the actual manufacturer) and
G.E./USA has no connection. So I called Aquarium Products who sells it in the
U.S. Finally I got connected with someone who had the tech data. The 40 watt
Triton specs out as 5700 Kelvin, 91 CRI, and 2000 lumens - I expected a higher
output than this so I asked again, still 2000. The "tech" person couldn't tell
me if this was initial or average lumens. Either way, I can't see how they can
advertise the Triton as "TWICE AS BRIGHT" unless the data they gave me is
incorrect, any thoughts? I also asked about the "Blue Moon" and "Beauty Light"
for which they told me they had no data. 
     While I was at it, I made more calls to get data on some other well known
bulbs (40 watts, I assume the smaller bulbs are proportionally similar), and
again I assume the following is initial lumens:

                         Kelvin Temp     Lumens        CRI
Aquarium Products
  Triton T12                5700          2000?        91
  Blue Moon                 No Data
  Beauty Light              No Data

Coralife/Energy Savers
(without internal reflector)
  Trichromatic T12          6500          3125         92
  50/50 T12                 7000          2600         92

  Vita-Lite T12             5500          2180         91
    Power-Twist T12         5500          2340         91
  Vita-Lite Plus T10        5500          2750         91
  Vita-Lite Plus
    Power-Twist T10         5500          2900         91
  Aurora V T10              5000          3450         85

Phillips Ultralume T12      5000          3280         85

GE F40SXL/SPX50 T12         5000          3350         82

Of course this is only a few of many, please correct or add any data.


Reason for "rattle" in some Triton tubes

by "Merrill Cohen" <amc2/>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997

In a correspondence from GE-Thorn (manufacturers of the Triton Fluorescent
tubes), they have responded that they have introduced another technological
breakthrough by adding a catalytic pellet into their lamps (tubes).  The
solid state zinc alloy catalyst delivers even better, more consistent
performance from their high specification lighting range.  The other major
spin-off of the solid state catalyst is that it makes these fluorescent
lamps the most environmentally friendly on the market.  "You can very
easily tell if a tube contains the new catalytic pellet, because it rattles
when you shake it!"  The new technology will be phased into the complete
Triton, Beauty Light and Blue Moon lighting range over the next few years.


Fluorescent tubes

by "Merrill Cohen" <amc2/>
Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999

A very important cost factor to consider regarding the Triton tube is the
patent that G.E. has with this particular fluorescent tube -- that it will
automatically shut down when it loses more than 10% of its brilliance. 
This has proven to be 4 times as long as most tubes (two years or more), in
most cases -- particularly with electronic ballasts.  This makes the cost
so much less than comparing them to other tubes that go "downhill" rapidly
and is not apparent to the eye and which you have to change every six
months.  Triton rare earth mixtures are such that the light follows the
"chlorophyll curve" -- making this tube so efficient for growing aquatic
plants (and corals)!  Both of these very important patents that are held by
Triton and has been rigorously defended by G.E. against those that attempt
to copy it.

I have been using Triton for years -- since they came on the market; and I
can attest that they grow every plant that I have tried (a wide variety)
well -- particularly with CO2.

So, just for the record, the above two facts are something to consider when
thinking about buying fluorescent tubes.  Unfortunately, they are not
easily available in Canada and the price, where available there, is
considerably higher than in the U.S.

Merrill Cohen, AGA

Chroma 50 vs Vitalight

by busko/ (Ivo Busko)
Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2000

Ryan Mills <> wrote:

> Chroma 50s may grow plants, but I do believe there is
> a difference in the appearence of the light they
> produce.  Vitalights put out ok looking illumination,
> but Chroma 50s put out a funny yellowish green that I
> can't stand.  Are they really that similar?  Aren't
> Vitalights 500k higher?

According to my normalized spectral plots, their spectra is roughly
similar but there are small differences that might account for the
yellower tint of the C50. Here are some figures: a 40 Watt Vitalite 
puts out 0.16 Watt/nanometer at wavelengths around 500 nanometer; a
40 Watt C50 puts out less, about 0.13 Watt/nanometer. At wavelengths
around 600 nm both put out about the same flux, 0.14 Watt/nm. The
Vitalite is overall closer to the solar spectrum than the C50, that
is, it is "wither", if we adopt the solar spectrum as our "white light"
standard. Thus its color temperature should be closer to the Sun's,
about 5770 K (outside Earth's atmosphere). These differences IMHO are 
very likely irrelevant from the standpoint of growing plants, unless one 
wants to delve into issues related to seasonal response of plants to
light, where small spectral differences seem to play a role. 

- -Ivo Busko
 Baltimore, MD

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