how to overdrive t5's


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quick ques...

everyone talks about overdriving t5's .... how is this done??? i have ice cap 650's... it can drive up to 16 ft of vho i just reduce the amount of bulb to say 8 feet/ ballast so they are powered more????? help !!! considering changing from metal halides to t5's.... i have a 300 gallon tank, 30 inches deep....
Well normally A person would use a Ice Cap ballast to overdrive the T-5's. Lets say 2 660's for 8 48" T-5's would overdrive all 8. A normal T-5 ballast won't overdrive them. So you would need 4 T-5 ballasts to drive 8 bulbs normally.
I would run 8 54w bulbs on two 660's, just as stated above. Overdriven, and with individual IceCap reflectors, you should be able to do what you want to do. remember, a 48" VHO bulb requires more wattage than a 48" T5 bulb, so you will be overdriving them even if you have 16' of T5's per ballast. They are much more efficeint than VHO's in terms of power consumption (hence the narrow diameter). Always easy to add more bulbs down the line if you need to--that is quite a large tank you have.
in that case just need to buy retro fits without ballasts...

right. reflectors (Ice Cap SLR), waterproof endcaps, and bulbs, and you're all set. Check out'm even headed up there sometime in the next week or two and could pick it all up for you if you want.