02-09-2014, 12:16 PM
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i've got an Odysea light fixure, a T5HO, 4 bulb fixture
i've had it about 1.5 years, the bulbs are far beyond time to be replaced, one is lighting, but not providing sufficient light
it's cheap, ... but cheap enough that replacement bulbs are about the same price as the whole fixture (i got it from aquatraders so prices may differ)
it's cheap enough it was worth it for me
the light fixture i have has the ballasts separate, the light fixture itself runs cool enough, ... it's rather warm, but not uncomfortably warm after running all day.
the ballasts i have sitting on the floor, (totally unsafe if your the worrying type) i don't know if they get too warm, i think they're acceptable, but haven't felt them.
i'm happy with the money i have spent.
i am currently looking at other light fixtures, outside of the aquarium hobby from gardening and hydroponics, costs are about 1/2 of the major brands for aquarium lights, comparable with these cheap ones from Odysea (cost only), and better quality with shaped reflectors, ...
hard part is finding ones i can get delivered with affordable shipping to where i live
but, to your question about what i have experienced.
the bulbs are overdue to be replaced,
one of the bulbs is shot and giving negligable light. this happened within ... i'm guessing around 6-9mo mark.
cheap equipment is not expected to last, ... but still 4 replacement quality bulbs are going to cost me as much as the total i payed for the light fixture itself.
in my mind this is worth it.