Bank of completely full spectrum T5 for wake up lighting
If it's O.K.I'd like to mention an incredible company called "Hortilux". They have literally the world's greatest completely full spectrum daylight 5500K+ metal halide bulb. That would probably make people think I have a few brain cells missing if I were to set that up indoors for a wake up light although I'd definitely do it anyway.
A significantly safer option is fluorescent bulbs and while the Philips TL9 bulbs are decent, they don't hold a lumen to the smooth spectrum that is created by Hortilux T5 bulbs. They post the spectral output of ALL their bulbs so just search for "eye hortilux" and you'll see how incredible they ate.
LED bulbs are too expensive and just don't have the options fluorescent bulbs still offer. Hortilux has a bulb even stronger in blue than the Phillips activiva bulb which I really wanted until I saw the blue color spectrum Hortilux "460" and "420" bulbs produce. I'm wondering which would be better to use for a wake up light.
Should I just get the white version and put a cover over the fixture to block UV--I have low ceilings (just under 8 feet) and my bed is at least two feet high) or should I get both (or one version) of their blue colored bulbs?
Reviving an old post that in hind sight was a bit rambly. Of course a bulb that has more aqua will be much more alerting than violet light.
So I've got a T12 fixture (T8/12 have same pin layout), I'm acquiring some quality low cost electronic ballasts (to rewire existing t12 bulbs so they're flicker-free) and I've three 54w T5 single bulb fixtures that will soon have 54w "super blue / actinic 460" bulbs which will just blast my eyes with bright blue light in the morning.
I find these fluorescent bulbs interesting because LED has no perfect equivalent to the unique spectrums offered. For instance, cool green is very unique and is quite efficient in light output. It's a smooth output with lots of green, aqua, blue violet and yellowish green. If you want to see an example of it:
It's unique bulbs like this that really allow fluorescents to still have value. It's also cheaper than color changing bulbs and significantly brighter for the money.
A T12 fixture with a cord and a separate T12 ballast can be had for less than $30 so that can run two 40 watt tubes and output 4000 lumens or more for 80 watts. Sure it's power hungry but still over four times the efficiency of halogen bulbs and they still output a very smooth color spectrum--no sharp tall spikes like most T8s and a majority of all T5 bulbs unless you get aqua lighting stuff.
I'm happy with the cost and spectrum of the very antique T12--running them on an electric ballast feels like upgrading an old phonograph or getting a Sony Trinitron CRT monitor.
I find it odd that just as an old technology loses some of its old downsides (in this case flicker mainly and price) a new technology comes in and most people will wait until it's more affordable. Maybe that's how everything works though.
Well I'm wrong about the tall spikes, as witnessed on the reflection of a CD and the fluxometer, these bulbs still have color spikes and those spikes seem to produce more than 50% of the visible light from the bulb.
I'm just hoping that the "deluxe" phosphor coatings can produce a stronger light than the standard T12 "cool white" coatings but from what I've read and seen about these phosphors I'm not very hopeful. If they aren't much stronger than the standard coatings then I'll just try the Philips bulb and get the blue T5 bulbs as well, then I'll upgrade to LED when I need it for bright light in the morning.
I've spent some time measuring and using the deluxe phosphors from a T12 bulb and I must say it's a massive improvement. With the standard "cool white" low CRI bulbs, I could barely tell if red and I think there's no blue or cyan light--just a violet spike. With the deluxe style, yellow is strong right beside orange and high amounts of red. Green is plentiful and there's just enough cyan to see it shine as bright as the green light on a disc.
These are 5000K Chroma50 and they're quite decent.
I'm wondering though, do some T8 bulbs like the philips do much better--I'll be frank that I don't trust one of their PDFs as it's missing so many spikes.
I realize LED is much better in that there is only either a blue or strong violet (soraa and others) spike, but alas fluorescent is just cheaper.
Oh, and can you overdrive an led chip! :)