Linear Fluorescent Bulbs as a Vivarium or Terrarium Light Source

T8 and T12 Fluorescent Lighting

T8 and T12 fluorescent bulbs have been a staple of aquarium lighting for years. They are widely available (both at a pet store and home improvement store), relatively cheap, and produce relatively low amounts of heat. T8s are slightly more efficient then T12s, and should be pursued. The number following the T designation refers to the diameter of the bulb, in eights of an inch. A T8 has a diameter of 1", while a T12 has a diameter of 1.5". Stick to bulbs that are rated at 6500K – these will produce a clean, white light. Avoid 'plant grow bulbs' as these generally have a lover kelvin rating, and are not visually appealing. Many people resort to using a shoplight with 2 48" T8s or T12s for a cheap vivarium lighting solution.

          Pros: relatively cheap, easily available in 6500K spectrum

          Cons: low light output, generally short logevity

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