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Metal Halide vs. Fluorescent

Contents:

  1. [M][R] Lights
    by ron-at-minnow.sp.unisys.com (Ron Burns) (Fri, 11 Sep 1992)
  2. Why MH?
    by martin-h-at-mail.utexas.edu (Martin Harriman) (Fri, 30 Jun 1995)
  3. Metal Halide lighting
    by mike/microspan.com (Mike Roberts) (Fri, 05 Sep 1997)

[M][R] Lights

by ron-at-minnow.sp.unisys.com (Ron Burns)
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1992
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria,alt.aquaria

OKAY, OKAY, OK, OK, Ok, Ok, ok, ok!

I can't figure it out!  My problem boils down to the fact that I don't
want to spend the the kind of money I wish I could on lighting.

I've been told that Metal Halides 5500K plus Actinic 03 are THE best way to go.

I've been told that UltraLume 6500K's are THE best way to go.

I've been told that 4 VHO 50/50 are an excellent way to go.

I've been told that 72" VHO daylight bulbs ($17) are rated for 10,000 hours.
(that's around 1700 starts)

I've been told that 72" VHO reef 50/50's ($35) must be replaced every 6 months.
      (that's about 1800 hours, or 180 starts.  Hmmmm...)

I've been told that MH's need replacing about 1.5 years or so.

I've been told that spectrum is more important than intensity, and this guy
suggested 6 different 48" flourescents in a staggered fixture. (Actinic 03,
Coralife 50/50, Triton, Aquarilux, Primatinic, Powerglo.  one each)

I've found 175w Std base MH's for $42, ballasts for $40.  3700 degrees K
color temp, not the 5400 or 5500K in the aquarium ads.

5500K 175W MH
-------------
$68  -  bulb
$117 -  mount, ballast, cord
$218 -  above plus 2'x 2' reflector. (that's $33 for a sheet of aluminum)
replace bulb every 1.5 years

6000K VHO 50/50 72"
-------------------
$35  -  bulb
$70  -  ballast $75 3 bulb ballast
$10  -  endcaps
$10  -  cords, etc
replace bulb every .5 years

Std 48" Actinic 03
------------------
$15  -  bulb
$10  -  cheapo ballast, cords from shoplight
$10  -  endcaps
replace bulb every 1.0 years

Std 48" reef types 
------------------
$25  -  bulb
$10  -  cheapo ballast, cords from shoplight
$10  -  endcaps
replace bulb every 0.5 years

These costs are VERY approximate, include no inflation, etc...
Cost of lighting only.  NO hood, canopy or reflectors included.
Cost difference for electricity consumption not included. (I have no data
on efficiency for lamps or ballasts)

Configuration A:
3 MH, 2 actinic
3*68 + 3*117 + 2*15 + 2*10 + 10 = $615
5 year cost 615 + 8*15 + 9*68 = $1347
10 yr cost 1347 + 10*15 + 9*68 = $2109

Configuration B:
2 MH, 2 actinic
2*68 + 2*117 + 2*15 + 2*10 + 10 = $430
5 year cost 430 + 8*15 + 6*68 = $958
10 yr cost 958 + 10*15 + 6*68 = $1516

Configuration C:
3 VHO 50/50 
3*35 + 75 + 3*10 + 10 = $220       one 3 bulb ballast
5 year cost 220 + 27*35 = $1165
10 yr cost 1165 + 30*35 = $2215

Configuration D:
4 VHO 50/50 
4*35 + 2*70 + 4*10 + 10 = $330       two 2 bulb ballast
5 year cost 330 + 36*35 = $1590
10 yr cost 1590 + 40*35 = $2990

Configuration E:
2 VHO 50/50, 1 MH
68 + 117 + 2*35 + 70 + 10 + 10 = $345
5 year cost 345 + 3*68 + 18*35 = $1179
10 year cost 1179 + 3*68 + 20*35 = $2083

Configuration F:
6 48" reef bulbs at ~$25 apiece
6*25 + 6*10 + 3*10 = $240
5 year cost 240 + 54*25 = $1590
10 year cost 1590 + 60*25 = $3090

I figured A and C to be about the same, B and D about the same, E as a
compromise, and F is just plain weird.
The most cost effective over the long term is metal halides.
The most cost effective short long term is VHO.

In 5 years, I'll probably want to change things so drastically  that
that the 10 year figure may be meaningless.

Any one else wanna sway me one way or the other? Or, tell me what you
decided?  Anyone out there using VHOs?

-Ron

-- 
Ron Burns              
Unisys Corporation                                      ...!rosevax!minnow!ron
Phone:(612)635-6927                           minnow%ron-at-rosevax.rosemount.com


Why MH?

by martin-h-at-mail.utexas.edu (Martin Harriman)
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 1995

To the excellent list of reasons to go MH that George Booth and David
Whittaker posted, I'd just add something implicit in both:  you can't
really get the intensity out of fluorescent that you can with MH.  Yes, you
can get lots of lumens/watt from fluorescent, but it comes in a big linear
package, and you don't get many lumens/lamp.  Thus for higher intensities
MH ends up cheaper on lamp costs (just don't buy the $100 lamps they sell
to reef keepers), and physically much more practical.  Just don't build the
luminaire out of wood.

Some clarifications:  the lumens I quote are all mean lumens over rated
lifespan (except for incandescent lamps).  Thus, some of those lamps do
give you high efficiencies at 8000 hours (the T8s have a rated life of
20000 hours, the biaxials 15000 hours, both on the basis of 3-hour starts
on EM ballasts).  And the high-pressure sodium lamps I quote are all
high-CRI, low efficiency lamps, on the assumption that we're interested in
looking at our tanks; the CRI 22 lamps used for street lighting (and grow
lamps) are much more efficient.

Now if we could just get the biologists to agree on the spectral
proclivities of our plants, we could (using our *enormous* market clout)
convince the lamp manufacturers to rate their lamps with a Plant Happiness
Index, or invent the plant equivalent of the lumen--the phumen, perhaps?
:-)


Metal Halide lighting

by mike/microspan.com (Mike Roberts)
Date: Fri, 05 Sep 1997

After reading all the helpful answers to my questions on building a reflector
for a fluorescent hood I got to thinking.  George's suggestion of considering
4ft tubes over 8ft tubes seemed to make a lot of sense.  After realizing that
fitting 14 tubes over a 265 gallon tank might be a little tough, and even 
though
the T-8 tubes are the most efficient light source for aquarium plant tanks, the
answer became clear.

After a two hour trip to the Krib, I realized metal halide makes a lot more
sense in my situation.  My first question is where does one find the lumen
output of the various MH bulbs which are suitable for aquarium plant tanks?
This information is notably absent in the magazine ads that I have looked at.

I need that info before I can size the bulbs, though my gut feeling is a 250
watt bulb in the center and a 175 watt bulb on each end should do fine for a
tank with surface dimensions of 84" x 24".

*Mike Roberts - mike-at-microspan.com
*North American Internet, Ltd. - http://www.nail.net
*Colorado Springs, CO - (719) 635-NAIL

*Offering Affordable Dedicated Internet Access
*to the Colorado Front Range and Beyond...


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