The Arcadia Electronic Controller, is based on the same principal as the
standard controller. i.e. a ballast, encased within a plastic body, from which
come flexible lamp leads, and so allowing the ballast to be mounted outside the
aquarium/vivarium, with the lamp leads feeding through the hood, and mounting
onto a fluorescent tube.
This gives the versatility to use the controller to mount tubes over any
aquarium, using any hood, regardless of dimensions - unlike rigid baton fittings
The standard controller contains a wire wound ballast, which creates an
electro-magnmetic field sufficient to ignite the tube.
In the case of the electronic controller, the ballast is in the form of an
electronic circuit board, which has a number of advantages over a traditional
1) There is no requirement for a starter switch or choke, as there is in
the traditional form. These starters have a limited life-span, and do
require replacing periodically.
2) They are much more energy efficient.
A traditional ballast wastes a considerable amount of the energy input into it,
in the form of heat. This can be noticeably felt by placing a hand on a
controller that has been running for a while.
In the case of the electronic controller, there is very little wastage loss
through heat. Instead the majority of the energy that comes from the ballast is
converted into light from the fluorescent tube.
3) There is no "flicker effect"
A fluorescent tube lit by a traditional ballast, is not actually producing a
constant light output.
Instead, the light pulses at a rate that we cannot see, and so to the human eye
the light is constant.
The eyes of some species are much more sensitive than humans, and can actually
perceive this rapid pulsing of light.
Although this has not been shown to be harmful, it is a matter that has caused
concern among many keepers of birds who fear that this strobe effect may be
An electronic ballast however, results in a light output that is constant, even
to the most sensitive species, and so can be used by bird keepers to alleviate
any worries that they may have.
Important note: In the case of the new T5 High output lamps, it is
essential that they are lit using an electronically ballasted unit. Traditional
wire wound ballasts will fail very rapidly.
The Arcadia electronic controller is a smartly designed unit, which is
manufactured using the latest sonic weld technology.
The result is a unit which is 100% waterproof, and so even in the unlikely event
of the controller being accidentally submerged, it would not be damaged as a
The Arcadia Electronic controller range covers T5 lamps in a
range of different wattages. Twin lamp controllers are available for anybody
wishing to light more than one tube, and come fitted with IP64 caps on the ends of the flexible lamp
IP64 is a splash-proof cap, which protects the end of the tube from water
droplets that may hit it due to splash from the water surface e.g. from a filter
inlet, or a jumping fish.