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Metal Halide Lights

Contents:

  1. [M] lots of questions
    by rbrown-at-bbn.com (Ralph Brown) (28 Apr 92)
  2. Metal Halides on the cheap? (found some)
    by rivan-at-bnr.ca (Robert Ivan) (Wed, 24 Mar 93)
  3. Metal Halides on the cheap? (found some)
    by patti-at-hosehead.intel.com (Patti Beadles) (Fri, 26 Mar 1993)
  4. [M] Help with DIY Metal Halide setup
    by Bryan_Lukoni-at-mindlink.bc.ca (Bryan Lukoni) (31 Jan 1995)
  5. [M] Help with DIY Metal Halide setup
    by poulter-at-access.digex.net (Harry D. Poulter) (31 Jan 1995)
  6. [M] Help with DIY Metal Halide setup
    by sbj-at-wimpy0.psu.edu (Sanjay B. Joshi) (Tue, 31 Jan 1995)
  7. DIY MH lighting?
    by poulter-at-access.digex.net (Harry D. Poulter) (31 Jan 1995)
  8. Reef lighting DIY question
    by janco-at-dbsoftware.com (Jim Ancona) (Wed, 5 Jan 1994)
  9. [Q] Metal Halide Supplier
    by sbj-at-wimpy1.psu.edu (Sanjay Joshi) (Tue, 11 Apr 95)
  10. [Q] Metal Halide Supplier
    by careym7716-at-aol.com (CareyM7716) (25 Apr 1995)
  11. Metal Halide efficiency/rated lifeD
    by ac554-at-freenet.carleton.ca (David Whittaker) (Sun, 28 May 1995)
  12. MH bulb has inner and outer glass bulb
    by ac554-at-freenet.carleton.ca (David Whittaker) (Wed, 30 Aug 1995)
  13. Cheap Just Got Cheaper
    by sanford1-at-ix.netcom.com (gary sanford) (8 Aug 1995)
  14. metal halide ballasts
    by Craig Bingman <cbingman-at-netcom.com> (Sat, 15 Mar 1997)
  15. RE: Metal halide article
    by "Frank I. Reiter" <FIR/istar.ca> (Fri, 20 Mar 1998)
  16. Metal Halide
    by "Louis Lin" <lhclin/aw.sgi.com> (Thu, 9 Apr 1998)
  17. Lighting for a 100G "long"
    by Don Hutton <DHutton/omnipoint.com> (Mon, 8 Jun 1998)
  18. MH lighting, suspension, direction
    by Erik Olson (Mon, 8 Jun 1998)
    (e-mail)
  19. Re:Lighting for a 100G "long"
    by Victor Eng <engfam/axionet.com> (Mon, 08 Jun 1998)
  20. small metal halide lamps
    by Harvey Schneider <harvsch/earthlink.net> (Sun, 24 Jan 1999)
  21. MH Lighting/Ice Cap ballast
    by "Wood, Tom" <Tom.Wood/ci.austin.tx.us> (Mon, 15 Mar 1999)
  22. CustomSeaLife PCMH72 Lighting Fixture
    by The Eng Family <engfam/axion.net> (Thu, 31 Aug 2000)

[M] lots of questions

by rbrown-at-bbn.com (Ralph Brown)
Date: 28 Apr 92
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

In article <92118.165939KRUCK-at-wvnvm.wvnet.edu>, <KRUCK-at-wvnvm.wvnet.edu> writes:
|> 1. I have not yet used metal halides, but am interested in
|>    starting some soft coral when I set up. As I am building
|>    my own equipment, I need to know the size of the halide
|>    bulbs, and suggestions on how to keep it cool (maybe a
|>    little fan in the side of the hood, like in computers?).
|>    Also, does anyone know the spectral difference between
|>    metal halide and normal halogen? I also remember I read
|>    something about using (or not) a UV screen with metal
|>    halides- is this necessary? If so, is glass alone
|>    effective as an UV shield? What are other considerations
|>    I should take into account if I want to include a metal
|>    halide?
|> 

I build a MH hood starting from a kit (ballast, socket, bulb, aluminum
sheet) which has been running a couple of months quite happily. The bulb
is about 3.5" in diameter and 8" long, but the socket is another 1.5" or
so. I originally was going to use a small fan, but it's too noisy for my
living room. The hood itself is mahogony which obviously can't take the
heat of the lamp (they get HOT). My solution was to line the interior
of the hood with aluminum sheet, both the polished sheet from the kit and
somewhat dull aluminum flashing from a hardware store. I spaced it about
1/4" off the wood using metal spacers and screws, leaving a complete air
gap all the way around. I left two holes 2"x3" in the back top, and a
3/4"x12" slot at the front bottom to get convectional cooling across the
bulb. This all seems fine, the exterior of the wood (3/8" thick) is warm to
the touch, not at all hot.

The Coralife bulb I got has a glass envelope that sheilds UV, however I
didn't like the idea of a very hot piece of glass 8" above sea water, so I
covered the bottom except for the cooling slot with 1/4" plexi, also spaced
1/4" down so there's an air opening around the bottom. The plexi overlaps the
sides, so there's no direct path for a splash to hit the bulb. I haven't
blown up any yet :^)

If you build such a system be sure to stick around for several hours
when you first use it, these bulbs really are hot. I could easily
imagine them causing a fire if the cooling and/or insulation weren't
adequate, burning down your house would ruin your whole day. Perhaps
people should make sure that even if one fan went out in a hood that
the resulting heat wouldn't be excessive.

Ralph

Metal Halides on the cheap? (found some)

by rivan-at-bnr.ca (Robert Ivan)
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 93

  I happen to be in the process of outfitting my new 100 gal
marine (not reef yet) tank with lights.  Right noW i'm building
the hood and although the initial design was using only 
flouresant bulbs i've been thinking about halides in the future.
Since oak is so expensive I dont want to have to build a new
hood in the future.

  So heres what this posting is about.  I looked around for some
Halides.  First I called some guys in fama. They are real expensive.
Like $450 US for 2* (175 watt bulb + balast).  WOW.

I asked the following question: 
i) Can you use a 100 Watt bulb on a balast that normally is sold
   with a 175 watt balast. 
  answ:  No ( from someone who didn't sound all that sure.
  ( ? IS THIS TRUE ? )

  Now you must know that i did graduate with an electical degree. Not
 only that but i do sometimes play with electricity.  Seem to me that just 
 like normal bulbs a power supply should be able to power a lower power
 bulb . ( were not talking speaker shere with impedance matching).


So I desided to look though some back issues from last year and phoned
someone in the states who had a small add. They still exist.  I was greeted
with " hello ------ Industrial lighting".  When I asked for a 175 watt
balast they said " we dont ordinarily cary anything that small .... we
usually do parking lots...... is this for an aquarium ?"  I thought I was
screwed but I said "yes".   anyway they do sell a 175 watt corralife
bulb with balast for $140 US.  Not bad since I have now cut the cost in
half.


 Since they mentioned parking lots I started to think. In Canada WE have
parking lots too.  So I should lookl around ( although I was pretty sure
that a balast was still going to be in the $XXXX amount here). So I
phoned a local Hydroponics store. Now listen to this!  this guy guy 
said he couldn't get anything smaller than a 400 watter. He recomended
at least 700 watts for my tank based on the fact that thats waht he
uses for plants and water absorbes light( he must thing I want to vaporize my
tank) .  I think hees growing
more than corn in his house, I 'd like to see his electic bill!

  But he was a nice guy so I asked half ass ' so how muck for the
400 watt balast".  REPLY $110 .  THATS CANADIAN!!.  This guy is in the
wrong line of buisness- he should start ripping us aquarium owners
t cut rate prices at even %100 markup id be happy.

So now the problem!  Im obviusly cheap. So can I hook 2 100 watt metal
halides in parralel on this beast.  Anyone know the electical 
specs on Halide balasts. I dont.  Seems to mee that the
ballast would still be well under use.  I could even have more bulbs.

 I'd like to know what kind of voltage these bulbs require and
anything else of use.  Although at this price I may just experiment.
If the balast cathes fire I'll know.

RoB 

Metal Halides on the cheap? (found some)

by patti-at-hosehead.intel.com (Patti Beadles)
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1993

In article <1993Mar24.145917.5434-at-bmerh85.bnr.ca> rivan-at-bnr.ca writes:
>
>I asked the following question: 
>i) Can you use a 100 Watt bulb on a balast that normally is sold
>   with a 175 watt balast. 
>  answ:  No ( from someone who didn't sound all that sure.
>  ( ? IS THIS TRUE ? )

I'm almost certain that it is.

>I said "yes".   anyway they do sell a 175 watt corralife
>bulb with balast for $140 US.  Not bad since I have now cut the cost in
>half.

I believe ALI (1-800-999-LITE) sells 175W Coralife systems for about
$135 each.

>  But he was a nice guy so I asked half ass ' so how muck for the
>400 watt balast".  REPLY $110 .  THATS CANADIAN!!.

It's an unfortunate truth that low-wattage metal halide lamps cost
more than higher wattage lamps.  I think the primary reason is that
demand is low, but there may be others.  For UltraLux lamps, the 70W
and 150W bulbs sell for $89, and 250W and 400W sell for $69.  The same
sort of numbers apply to the ballasts.

Hydroponics places sometimes sell 175 or 250W systems at reasonable
prices.  Buy a copy of a hydroponics magazine and check out their
mail-order ads.

I'm not an EE, so I can't say for sure why you can't hook up smaller
bulbs to the ballast, but I've heard from more than one source that it
can't be done.  If it could, all of the aquarium shops would just buy
the cheaper high-wattage ballasts and sell them with the lower-wattage
bulbs.  It doesn't happen; there must be a reason.
-- 
Patti Beadles  503/696-4358 | I don't speak for Intel, nor vice-versa.
   patti-at-hosehead.intel.com |
   75555.767-at-compuserve.com | If it wasn't for the last minute,
or just yell, "Hey, Patti!" |             I'd never get anything done!

[M] Help with DIY Metal Halide setup

by Bryan_Lukoni-at-mindlink.bc.ca (Bryan Lukoni)
Date: 31 Jan 1995
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria,alt.aquaria

In article <3gjbtb$4vj-at-hecate.umd.edu>, MattPiermarini says...
>
>
>Hello,
>
>I am hoping to solicit some help from  people who have a DIY Metal 
Halide
>lighting system.   I went to a lighting store this past weekend and they
>showed me an Advance MH 175W Ballast for $70.00 (Is this good?).  It 
came
>with a large capacitor device.  Do I wire it like this (the bulb and
>Capacitor thing in series):
>      
> +-------+
> |       |-----Capacitor-----MH Bulb Socket--+
> |Ballast|                                   |
> |       |-----------------------------------+
> +-------+
>  |    |
>  110  Ground
>     |
>     |
>    to wall



Your diagram is hard to decipher.  The capacitor runs in series to the 
hot side of the bulb.


&---------| Capacitor|----------To hot side of MH bulb
&
& Ballast Secondary
&_______________________________To ground side of MH bulb


>
>Also, Where can I find the socket to hold the MH Bulb. The lighting 
store
>people where not too helpful when I told them what I was using this for.


The socket is called a Mogul and is available from most industrial 
electrical supply houses.  Should cost you around five bucks or so.


>I don't have the MH Bulb yet, so I need to know what size socket the 
things
>screw into (and where to buy them).
>
>And one last thing, do I need to put glass between the bulbs and the 
tank?
>I plan to put the bulbs about 6-10" above the water line, so there 
should

I don't have glass between my bulb and the water.  I have no major 
problems of salt spray.  Just be careful when cleaning that you do not 
splash water on the bulb.  Apparently all bulbs sold in the U.S. are 
already UV shielded,the glass envelope covering the bulb acts as a UV 
shield.  I read this in a back issue in FAMA


>be no splashing of water on the bulbs, but what about UV, etc.  A Glass
>shield would contain the heat in the canopy, but how much would this 
reduce
>the light intensity reaching the tank?
>
>Sorry, one more thing.  I plan to mount the ballast (and this capacitor
>thing) in a wooden (not metal) box.  Does the ballast get so hot that it
>might ignite the wood box that houses it?
>

DO NOT. I REPEAT DO NOT MOUNT THE BALLAST IN A WOODEN BOX.  The ballast 
gets so hot that you can not touch it for more than a second. Put it in a 
metal box with a fan and ventilation holes.  ALSO when connecting wires 
to the bulb make sure that you use wire that can withstand high heat.  A 
good recommendation is wire that is used in stoves or irons.  If you use 
standard lampshade wire the insulation can soften and melt from the heat 
that is transmitted from the bulb to the mogul socket.  

-=Bryan=-



[M] Help with DIY Metal Halide setup

by poulter-at-access.digex.net (Harry D. Poulter)
Date: 31 Jan 1995
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria,alt.aquaria

In article <3gjbtb$4vj-at-hecate.umd.edu>, Matt Piermarini (matt-at-bss1.umd.edu) says:
>
>
>Hello,
>
>I am hoping to solicit some help from  people who have a DIY Metal Halide
>lighting system.   I went to a lighting store this past weekend and they
>showed me an Advance MH 175W Ballast for $70.00 (Is this good?).  It came
>with a large capacitor device.  Do I wire it like this (the bulb and
>Capacitor thing in series):
>      
> +-------+
> |       |-----Capacitor-----MH Bulb Socket--+
> |Ballast|                                   |
> |       |-----------------------------------+
> +-------+
>  |    |
>  110  Ground
>     |
>     |
>    to wall

That is correct, the capacitor is in the circuit with the light bulb.  
In most ballasts, I believe the capacitor is inside the ballast enclosure.
>
>Also, Where can I find the socket to hold the MH Bulb. The lighting store
>people where not too helpful when I told them what I was using this for.
FInd another lighting store - they sound like jerks.

>I don't have the MH Bulb yet, so I need to know what size socket the things
>screw into (and where to buy them).

You need a MOGUL base.  I got one at Home Depot for about a buck.

>
>And one last thing, do I need to put glass between the bulbs and the tank?
>I plan to put the bulbs about 6-10" above the water line, so there should
>be no splashing of water on the bulbs, but what about UV, etc.  A Glass
>shield would contain the heat in the canopy, but how much would this reduce
>the light intensity reaching the tank?
>

I don't think the glass is necessary.  Move the light before you do any 
serious maintenance that might splash.

>Sorry, one more thing.  I plan to mount the ballast (and this capacitor
>thing) in a wooden (not metal) box.  Does the ballast get so hot that it
>might ignite the wood box that houses it?

The ballast doesn't get very hot.  Mine is mounted in a cheap plastic
toolbox with a couple of aluminum louvered vents (2" diam, also from 
Home Depot) pushed through the sides.
>
>Thank you for ideas!
>Matt Piermarini
>

Just what works for me (don't sue me if I'm wrong)
-HDP>


[M] Help with DIY Metal Halide setup

by sbj-at-wimpy0.psu.edu (Sanjay B. Joshi)
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 1995
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria,alt.aquaria

In article <3gjbtb$4vj-at-hecate.umd.edu> Matt Piermarini (matt-at-bss1.umd.edu) writes:

>I am hoping to solicit some help from  people who have a DIY Metal Halide
>lighting system.   I went to a lighting store this past weekend and they
>showed me an Advance MH 175W Ballast for $70.00 (Is this good?).  It came
>with a large capacitor device.  Do I wire it like this (the bulb and
>Capacitor thing in series):
>      
> +-------+
> |       |-----Capacitor-----MH Bulb Socket--+
> |Ballast|                                   |
> |       |-----------------------------------+
> +-------+
>  |    |
>  110  Ground
>     |
>     |
>    to wall

Advance makes a ballast that comes in a flourescent type enclosure.  IN this 
one you dont have to worry about the capacitor, i think it is inside the 
enclosure already, and all you have to do is follow the instructions (wiring 
diagram) on the ballast itself.  MUch nicer, since you dond have to put them 
in a box, they are all ready in a enclosure.

Also, $70 may be on the high side.  Try the Magnatek, and Spartan ballasts, 
they may be cheaper.

sanjay joshi

============================================================
Sanjay Joshi
Associate Professor
Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering
Penn State University
Ph: 814-865-2108


DIY MH lighting?

by poulter-at-access.digex.net (Harry D. Poulter)
Date: 31 Jan 1995
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria,sci.aquaria

I bought a surplused Metal Halide lighting fixture a while back.  
The bulb was worthless, and there was no canopy, so basically what 
I bought for $50 was a Mogul-size porelain lamp base, a lot of wire, and
a "ballast".  I used an inverted galvanized bucket (painted black on the 
outside)and some decorative chain to turn this  into a surprisingly 
beautiful pendant lamp for my little 20-gal saltwater tank. Now I want 
them on all my tanks!

My question concerns the ballast.  It consists of a transformer and 
a big-ass can-type condenser.

It seems to me if I could get these parts surplus, I could build the 
whole thing at very little cost, except for the 5500k bulb.

The condenser is marked 100UF 400 VAC 90C, so I could probably find 
a replacement.  However the transformer is unmarked.  Does anyone know
the specs (maximum wattage, output voltage) for these transformers?



Reef lighting DIY question

by janco-at-dbsoftware.com (Jim Ancona)
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 1994
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

In article <CJ26DE.84v-at-rd1.InterLan.COM> schunich-at-sun1.interlan.com (Geoff Schunicht) writes:
>   Does anyone know if the CHEAPER home depot type mercury vapor lamps
>   (~$30) can accomodate the same wattage metal halide bulbs.  I have been
>   attempting to make my own lighting system with two VHO lamps and one or
>   two metal halide lamps  and the 30+bulb~50 is much cheaper than
>   anything else on the market. I may need to modify the lamp some, but that
>   should be no problem.

No, cheap MV ballasts can't be used with MH lamps. I researched this a little 
a while back and as I recall MH bulbs require a higher starting voltage. I 
believe the reverse (MV bulb with MH ballast) will work. This might help to 
get some light in a pinch if an MH bulb died (since 175 W MV bulbs are 
available for cheap at Home Depot).

--
Jim Ancona
JANCO-at-dbsoftware.com
Opinions expressed are my own, and not those of D&B Software.


[Q] Metal Halide Supplier

by sbj-at-wimpy1.psu.edu (Sanjay Joshi)
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 95
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria,rec.aquaria,sci.aquaria

In article <3mecji$fcc-at-cs.uwp.edu>, williamj-at-cs.uwp.edu (John Williams) wrote:
>	I've been wanting a large reef tank (~120 gal) for some time now, 
>and I'm finally getting to the stage where I can start organizing.  I had 
>planned to make my own hood with a combination of metal halide and actinic 
>lighting, but I was not prepared for the prices of the MH setups.  Is there 
>a cheaper route than going through an aquatic specialty store, and if so 
>does anybody have a recommendation for a more inexpensive supplier of the 
>MH bulbs/fixtures/ballasts?  (An electrician's or aquarist's supply 
>house, perhaps?) I'd appreciate any input greatly.  Thanks in advance.
>

I just built myself a hood with 3 MH bulbs and this is how I did it along with
the costs.  Hope it helps:

175W MH Ballast (Flouroscent type): $54 
from a local lighting supplies
distributer.  The make was
Magnatek (others such as Advance
make them too).  YOu can probably get
it 5-7$ cheaper.

MH bulb 5500K:	$50
(Mailorder 
Champion lighting, see FAMA).

Mogul socket for bulb: $7
(lighting supply dealer)

Total cost for 1 MH setup: about $110 + a few cents worth of wire

you may be able to get the cost down further (esp. on the ballast) and end up
with about $100 per MH setup.

Wiring the flouroscent type ballast is pretty easy.  Although I have heard 
people say that these ballasts are not as good and cheaper quality, I have 
been using the Advance Ballasts for my other tank for more than 2 years 
without any problems.

sanjay joshi

============================================================
Sanjay Joshi
Associate Professor
Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering
Penn State University
Ph: 814-865-2108


[Q] Metal Halide Supplier

by careym7716-at-aol.com (CareyM7716)
Date: 25 Apr 1995
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

Mark,
I recently constucted my own light setup using 175 watt 6000k bulbs.  I
purchased the bulbs from Champion supply but I bought the ballasts and
mogul bases from a local electrical supply house.  The ballasts were 55.00
each and the bases were 17.00 each.  I used an 3/8x6" piece of aluminum
flat bar to mount them on to protect the hood from the heat.  The setup
works very well and I saved several hundred dollars.


Metal Halide efficiency/rated lifeD

by ac554-at-freenet.carleton.ca (David Whittaker)
Date: Sun, 28 May 1995

Recently I followed up on a posting by Stephen Parry and ordered
a copy of "The Metal Halide Source Book - Catalog and Technical
Guide" from Venture Lighting International. It does contain a
wealth of information.

This guide mentions that although Universal lamps (the ones with
the /U designation such as the Coralife 5500K) can be burned in
any position, they sacrifice life expectancy by 25% and lumen
output by 25% when burned in the horizontal position as opposed
to the vertical, base up position. This may be of interest to
people who must decide between the shoe box type hood and the
hanging spotlights. The former holds the bulb horizontal to the
water surface. the latter has it perpendicular. There is also a
much greater chance of violent failure of the bulb in the horizontal
position. Maybe some of us are not getting the output and longevity
we deserve from metal halide.

Also referred to was the ubiquitous colour shift that occurs with
time in all metal halide lamps. This is 200K to 300K by the end of
their economic life and up to an additional 600K near the end of
their rated life. Each bulb type shifts uniquely, although the
authors do not elaborate.

For the MH175/U/5K (5200K) average life was 7500 hours, which means
that the economic (useful) life is 4500 hours (60% of 7500). CRI
is 75. The initial lumens/watt (measured after 100 hours) is  68,
and the mean lumen output is 9000. A year and a quarter at 51
lumens/watt. In the horizontal position, a year at 43 lumens/watt.
The 250 watt and especially the 400 watt bulbs were more efficient.

I ordered a 4300K MH bulb from TFP. How have people found it for
planted tanks compared to the Coralife 5500K?

Some horizontal high output metal halides have mean outputs of
80. These require a special socket. There are also regulated lag
ballasts that deliver 90 plus lumens/watt from those bulbs designed
to run on them. In addition there are vertically oriented lamps
that operate on the regular CWA ballasts that get as much as 90
lumens mean output. All of the above are 4000K lamps and have much
higher life expectancies. My question is, How the hell do Coralife
and other purveyors of expensive lighting "solutions" get away with
selling such inefficient short-lived lamps? The answer is that it's
cheap and easy to offer one type of bulb (universal), not two, and
no one complains. I guess if someone can afford to spend $800 on a
hood, Hamilton or Coralife figure an extra hundred or two per year
won't mean much to them.

The premise upon which the above rant is based is that the Coralife
5500K lamps are made by Venture and/or the same general principles
of bulb construction and output as described in "The Metal Halide
Source Book" apply.

Dave

- --
 

MH bulb has inner and outer glass bulb

by ac554-at-freenet.carleton.ca (David Whittaker)
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 1995

Steve says.....

"When I talked to the guy who made up my last MH setup, I told him
about the potential hazards of exploding MH bulbs and UV radiation
released. He said: they don't explode when they burn out and he's
seen tons of burnt out ones. He also remarked that the safety
glass on the lamp fixture is not usually present since the bulbs
are actually two bulbs, a small one about 1.5" and the larger
enclosure. Presumably the large bulb contains fragments in
case the little guy bursts. Any comments?"

The Venture Lighting manual explains that non-passive failure of
these bulbs is rare, but that it does occur usually when the bulb
is burnt in the non-vertical position or in a postion that does
not meet with the manufacturer's specifications. If the bulb
explodes, I think that the UV radiation would be less of an
immediate worry than the hot flying glass and metal particles.
This is the reason for the acrylic lens in the fixture.

Dave


Cheap Just Got Cheaper

by sanford1-at-ix.netcom.com (gary sanford)
Date: 8 Aug 1995
Newsgroup: alt.aquaria

In <3vp2jn$rbq-at-pipe4.nyc.pipeline.com> hojo-at-nyc.pipeline.com (Howard 
Ashley) writes: 

>
>I just got off the phone with someone at New Earth Garden Center. 
Listen up
>my reef aquarist friends. Don't fork over $400 for a pendant MH system 
to
>one of the aquarium hood makers. For $125 you can have the same wattage 
of
>MH light over your tank with a better reflector. If you want more watts 
250
>or 400 or a remote ballast you'll have to part with $200 or $225. These
>prices are half of what I see C*r*l*f* or H*m*lt*n selling their lights
>for. I know some of you already know this but why keep it a secret. The
>aquarium hobbyist is victimized financially by every kind of 
manufacturer
>there is. I have a problem when the same exact item is retailed to two
>different consumer groups for two different prices. It shouldn't be 
legal. 
>
> 
>I haven't looked into this but I understand that actinics weren't 
invented
>for us reef types but are used in the printing industry. I wonder what 
a
>7100K 4' flourescent might retail for from a printing equipment 
supplier. I
>intend to check it out. 
> 
> 
>-- 
>Howard Ashley 
>Hojo-at-Pipeline.Com 
>"Friends don't let friends live without Internet" 
>

FWIW,my brother just installed a twin 150W 6500K metal
halide retro-fit kit from a well known supplier in a
hood.
When he got it,it didn't work.
So I went up to his place to trouble-shoot it.
Lo and behold,inside a very well made louvered metal
box were 2 Advance model # 71A3072 standard transfomer
metal halide ballasts.
Anyway,after checking voltages and such I found that
reversing the wires (phase) to the bulbs got them
going. Problem solved.

Now for the good part,the above-mentioned Advance ballasts
are rated for 175W (seems fine on a 150,I believe they are
Ultralux's made in Japan)and are available from Grainger
(nation-wide USA) as part # 1A025 for $54.90 in the '94
catalog.
Even includes the capacitor!
The whole wiring scheme is:
An on-off switch to the AC mains ,is then split to the input
of both ballasts.
3 wires (ones a ground) output from each ballast to each light.
Thats it!
The wiring schematic is even printed on the ballast itself.
Hope this helps.

Also here's an HID ballast cross reference.

Advance # 71A3072 crosses to:
Valmont(GE)# 15G4250, 15G4419W18
Jefferson # 845-1390-047, 845-1392-047
Sola # 79-40-39406
 Universal # 1030-11R to 1030-91R

Good luck! 
GS

-- 
"Without deviation from the norm,there can be no progress"



metal halide ballasts

by Craig Bingman <cbingman-at-netcom.com>
Date: Sat, 15 Mar 1997

> From: "Michael A. Bateman" <spine-at-stlnet.com>
> Date: Sat, 15 Mar 1997 10:50:14 -0600
> Subject: New IceCap MH Ballasts

> For those of you using MH lighting or are considering it, IceCap
> Industries has a new Electronic Metal Halide ballast.  They make some
> pretty amazing claims and after talking to them on the phone about
> it, they have me convinced to give the new product a try.  I know my
> current MH ballasts run quite hot and as a user of their VHO ballast
> (which lives up to all of its claims) I'm excited about this new
> product.  Aqualink Direct is selling them for $169 for a single lamp
> ballast.  The following is a list of their claims.  

It is unlikely that high frequency operation increases the efficiency of 
a metal halide lamp.  The arc tube is too short.  Therefore, most of the 
gains are probably in ballast efficiency.  Let's assume that the icecap 
ballast is 100% efficient, and the ballast losses for a 175 watt metal 
halide are 20% of the nominal power of the lamp (which is about right.)

Cost to run a traditional 175 watt metal halide for a year, total
energy consumption 210 watts, 10 hours per day

..21 kW * 0.12 dollars/kWhr * 3650 hours per year = $91.98
 
Cost to run a 100% efficient ballast + 175 watt lamp, total energy 
consumption 175 watts, 10 hours per day

0.175 kW * 0.12 dollars/kW hr * 3650 hours per year = $76.65

for a whopping savings of:  $15.33 per year.

Advertized cost per ballast is $169.  Time to pay back ballast cost, 
11.0 years.  Equivalent interest rate, 9.1%.  You will do a lot better in 
the stock market.

It looks a little better on a new installation, where you don't have to 
discard an old core and coil or potted ballast.  Assuming a traditional 
ballast cost of $50, the payback time on a new installation is 7.7 
years.  Equivalent interest rate, 12.9%.

If they can show real increases in lamp life, the ballasts will look a 
lot better.  The reason that I'm dubious about that is that part of the 
decay of a metal halide lamp has to to with high temperature chemistry, 
and it isn't immediately obvious to me how high frequency operation is 
going to affect that.

Craig

RE: Metal halide article

by "Frank I. Reiter" <FIR/istar.ca>
Date: Fri, 20 Mar 1998

> Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 13:20:40 -0700
> From: Don Hutton <dhutton-at-omnipoint.com>
>
> FWIW, I hear that the Digital Oceans ballasts are no longer for sale due
> to poor reliability.  Ice cap ballasts are supposed to be better, but I
> think Frank Reiter and others may not agree.

I guess it's time for an update on this.

Last summer I received 5 IceCap 175W MH ballasts for my 280 gallon tank.  They 
were dreadful.  One of them never did light a lamp, and the others did so 
unreliably - failing to light as often as they succeeded.

I spoke with IceCap and the person I spoked to went through the usual 
troubleshooting with me, then offered to send three modified ballasts to see if 
they would work better.

They did - they lit the lamps reliably, but unfortunately they also flickered 
quite badly.  Enough to be irritating.  From what they have told me, and 
reading between the lines a bit, the ballasts were tested with horizontally 
mounted bulbs and work well with those, but not so well with vertically mounted 
bulbs (as in pendants).

Anyhow abbreviating the story a little bit, I have twice more received new 
ballasts from them.  The last one, which I received just a few days ago, seems 
very good.  It isn't clear to me yet whether this was good luck or whether they 
have found a solution.  I continue to work with them.

The support offered by the company gets a mixed but overall positive review 
from me.  My only negative comment would be that they are sometimes 
unresponsive - voicemail often goes unanswered, promised calls back often fail 
to happen, etc.  On the other hand, when I *do* get through to them, which has 
been somewhat easier lately, they have been very helpful.

They have committed to solve the problem and have clearly been making efforts 
to do so.  They have been shipping replacement ballasts and allowing me to 
return bad ones only after the new ones have arrived, so that I can keep the 
tank operating.  Each new shipment  (three so far) has been better than before.

I spoke with the president of the company a few months ago, and he told me that 
he knew they had a problem and they were working to correct it.  He assured me 
that I would be taken care of, and subsequent efforts have convinced me that he 
meant it.

Right now, I would have to recommend not buying IceCap MH ballasts unless you 
are willing to swap them out a few times (or unless you are using horizontally 
mounted lamps.)

When I get five that work well for me (and so far this last one looks good!) I 
will find out from him how a customer may identify the reliable revision, and I 
will report back to the list again.  I think these will be nice ballasts when 
the problems are solved - they run cool to the touch and completely silent 
within the limits of my hearing.

Regards,

Frank.

- -----
The very act of seeking sets something in motion to meet us;
something in the universe, or in the unconscious responds as if
to an invitation.  - Jean Shinoda Bolen

http://home.istar.ca/~fir


Metal Halide

by "Louis Lin" <lhclin/aw.sgi.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998

Karen Randall wrote:

> Actually MH and fluorescents are nip and tuck when it comes to lumens per
> watt.  Normal fluorescents are slightly lower, energy efficient T-8's are
> slightly higher.  All are _far_ superior to incandescent.

> And, yes, the 2w/g guideline does pertain to MH's too.

Since MH is a more of a spot light, one should be able to get
away with less than 2w/g by keeping the light hungry plant
directly under the MH and the less light hungry plant away
from it.

I also believe (not 100% sure) that higer wattage MH is more
efficient than lower wattage ones.  So one can also use less
than 2w/g if 400W MH is used instead of 175W MH.

Since we are on the topic of metal halide, electronic ballast
for 175W MH is now available.  Aquarium Frontiers recently has a
test on this ballast. The article claims a 175W MH lighted
with electronic  ballast is as bright as a 250W MH on a tar ballast.
The test is done on 10000K and 6500K bulbs.

It is still too early to make a conclusion.  No one has reproduce
the test result and no one really knows the reliability of
electronic ballast and the effect on bulb life.  The test is also
not done on 4100K and 5500K bulbs, which are more applicable to
planted aquarium.  However, I have to say electronic ballast looks
very promising.

See http://www.aquariumfrontiers.com/1998/april/product/default.asp
for detail.

Louis Lin

Lighting for a 100G "long"

by Don Hutton <DHutton/omnipoint.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Jun 1998

Karen asked about lighting for a 100 gallon long tank (18 x 18 x 72).
Although I haven't had this size I've had similar sizes as follows:

135 gallon (24 high x 18 x 72)
This tank was a reef tank equipped with three 150 watt Iwasaki 6500k
metal halide bulbs in retrofit kits mounted in a wood canopy.  Two
muffin fans were used for cooling. Lighting was bright enough for high
light inverts.  The general rule of thumb is one bulb for each two feet
of tank. 


58 gallon (21 high x 18 x 36)  or roughly one half your tank.
This tank is a reef and is equipped with a 150 watt Osram metal halide
bulb mounted in a Giesemann pendant.  Lighting is good at the center but
falls off a little at the edges. Two of these would do a nice job of
lighting your tank but they are very expensive.  Definitely my favorite
fixture though.  Very little light is directed outward into the room due
to the reflector design.  They have a nifty retractable cord that allows
you to move the fixture up and down.  This fixture also seems to run
cooler than my other MH pendants due to it's design and aluminum
housing.

250 gallon (28 high x 24 x 84)
This marine fish tank was equipped with eight 36 inch 95 watt VHO bulbs
with Ice Cap ballasts.  I found the light intensity to be low and the
VHO bulbs faded quickly over time.  I'd never use VHO bulbs again.

200 gallon (24 high x 24 x 84)
This planted tank was originally equipped with three 175 watt 5500K
metal halide pendants which were similar to the Coralife and Hamilton
pendants.  The tank was in the living room and the light in my eyes was
very annoying.  Plant growth was good, however the emergent growth was
fried when it touched the lights, especially the large rose sword.

This tank is now equipped with the three 150 watt 6500K retrofit kits
mounted in a wooden canopy with three muffin fans for cooling.  I like
the appearance of the tank better with the higher Kelvin bulbs but the
fans are a little noisy.

I have another 200 gallon tank that I want to set up to grow low light
plants.  I was considering using four foots bulbs staggered on the tank.
The ends would get less light but I figured that would be OK since the
reef ready overflow boxes are on the end of the tank.  The increased
light in the center would also help blast through the glass brace in the
center of the tank.

So I guess in my experience there is no free lunch.  Pendants shine
light in your eyes (with the exception of the very expensive Giesemann
fixtures) and fry the emergent growth or canopy mounted metal halide
bulbs need noisy cooling fans.  If you're more concerned with the
appearance of the tank, use metal halide retrofit kits mounted in a
wooden canopy.  I think this has the best appearance.  I also highly
recommend the 150 watt 6500K Iwasaki bulb.  My cardinals never looked as
blue under the 175 watt 5500K bulbs.  I think the plants look better and
the rotala macrandra is a bright red/pink in color.

I hope this helps a little,
Don


MH lighting, suspension, direction

by Erik Olson (e-mail)
Date: Mon, 8 Jun 1998

> From: krandall-at-world.std.com

> I'm getting ready to set up the 100G "long" tank that I "inherited" last
> summer.(finally)...

> 4.  This tank is going in my livingroom, and I want people to be able to
> sit comfortably nearby without being blinded by the light.  Any suggestions
> on the best way to keep the light headed into the tank and out of the rest
> of the room?

I recently had experience with this & was looking for an opp to share
it with the group.  I bought a metal halide pendant from lighting
liquidators in Canada from a tip by Steve Pushak.  (Great deal, by the
way, much less expensive than mail-order aquarium suppliers).  The one
problem with the setup was that they did not attach the bulb at the
appropriate depth in the reflector, and the light came out in a
"donut", hitting everything except the inside of the tank!  Doing some
quick ray-tracing on paper, I determined the bulb should have been
mounted about 4-5 inches further up into the reflector.  After that
adjustment the light is now being directed straight down into the
tank, we are no longer blinded by it, and the fixture is doing OK at
18" from the tank.

So, I guess my suggestion for keeping the light in the tank is to use
a deep pendant fixture (or in your case, fixtures).

  - Erik


Re:Lighting for a 100G "long"

by Victor Eng <engfam/axionet.com>
Date: Mon, 08 Jun 1998

Hi Karen,

Being an old salt I know a little about the Metal Halide type lighting
(although I've never had plants set up using MH).  For reef type tanks
(where light is as important to corals as it is to plants) one MH bulb per
2 feet of tank length is the standard (since they are a point source of
light as opposed to a diffusion of light from flourecent tubes, so the
further you get from the center of the point source of light the weaker the
intensity).  A noted coral aquarist Dana Riddle has done a lot of research
with MH bulbs (PAR & PUR) and he found that to be the proper distance
without over laping with other lights.

For bulbs that are suitable for planted tanks there are these formats:
5500K 175 watt USA
5500K 400 watt USA
6000K 175 watt USA
6500K  70 watt Iwasaki (Japan) (I've never found a source but they exist)
6500K 150 watt Iwasaki (Japan)
6500K 250 watt USA
6500K 250 watt Iwasaki (Japan)
6500K 400 watt Iwasaki (Japan)

Also I've heard of 1000 watt versions of some bulbs but I've never found them.

Mr. Riddle has used and recommends the Iwasaki bulbs particularly the 400
watt bulb (because of its watt/par ratio, I think you can find this in a
past issue of Aquarium Frontiers, I think the printed edition) because he
has found that the lights spectrum shifts slowly and the bulb lasts for up
to 2 years (useful life) which means for planted tanks it will last longer
(because it shifts to the yellow/red spectrum, people say the bulb is
greenish when new).

As for the height of bulbs is usually between 6-12 inches above the water
surface.  Many people use UV sheilded glass or plexiglass to protect
against UV and exploding bulbs (check Deja News for Corallife 10000K bulbs,
 they had a tendency to explode, I think that they are off the market now).
 To make the viewing of the tank easier, you can get the MH in a Pendent
the consentrates the light downwards (you can go to www.reef-fanatic.com in
the lighting section to see what a pendent looks like).  Pendents look nice
and they allow greater cooling for the bulb.

Some annoying things about MH is that the ballasts used to drive the bulb
is big, generates a lot of heat & sometimes hums (these are coil/tar type).
 New electronic type ballasts are small, efficient, cool, and can drive 2
bulbs (check out the Ice Cap ballasts on the webpage above).

If you have any further questions about MH please feel free to e-mail me.
I hope this helps,  good luck,

Sincerely,
Victor Eng
Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
engfam-at-axionet.com

>Hi folks,
>
>I'm getting ready to set up the 100G "long" tank that I "inherited" last
>summer.(finally)
>
>I'm considering my various options as far as lighting is concerned.
>While I'm a big fan of T-8 lighting, the 6' length of this tank makes T->8
lighting a bit tricky.  The better color temperature bulbs seem to be
>available only in the 4' lengths.  This means I would either have to
>stagger the bulbs and mix them with 2' bulbs, or live with color
>temperature bulbs that are not really to my liking.
>
>A pet store near me can get me a reasonable deal on a 6' VHO fixture >that
would do the job, but I'm also considering an open top tank with >MH's,
since I love the look of open top tanks, and I _think_ my kids >are past
drowning age.<g>  My questions are:
>
>1.  The tank is 18"x18"x6'.  Anyone else working with this size tank?
>What are you using for lighting, and what do you like/dislike about your
>setup?
>
>2.  I'm assuming that with this size/shape tank, that I'd want to go >with
2 175W bulbs?  
>
>3.  How high would they have to be hung to avoid burning emergent >leaves?
>
>4.  This tank is going in my livingroom, and I want people to be able to
>sit comfortably nearby without being blinded by the light.  Any
>suggestions on the best way to keep the light headed into the tank and
>out of the rest of the room?
>
>Karen Randall
>Aquatic Gardeners Association


small metal halide lamps

by Harvey Schneider <harvsch/earthlink.net>
Date: Sun, 24 Jan 1999

> >I just came back from Home Depot (a general hardware/gardening store) and I
> >saw a metal halide bulb which screws into a regular incandescent light
> >socket.  It is sold as a 100 watt bulb.  Other than that, the package
> >provided little information other than the claim that it provides more light
> >than regular incandescents.  Any thoughts on these as a possible light for
> >planted tanks?
>
> Doesn't sound right.  MH's require a BIG heavy ballast.  Could it have been
> a quartz hallogen bulb?
>
>
>
> Karen Randall
> Aquatic Gardeners Association
>

Karen is right. I went to Home Depot last night to look at these small metal halides
(an exciting Saturday night at the Schneider residence). Even though they have what
appears to be a normal incandescent lamp base, there is a warning on the package that
they must be used with a ballast. Hopefully these won't even ignite without the high
voltage startup pulse from the ballast, because if they did, they would explode
without the ballast to limit the current.
I guess if things seem just too good to be true, they probably are.
Harvey Schneider
<harvsch@earthlink.net>


MH Lighting/Ice Cap ballast

by "Wood, Tom" <Tom.Wood/ci.austin.tx.us>
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999

Tom Barr asked:

"Has anyone purchased the new electronic Metal Halide  Ice Cap ballast on
the APD ?   ::snip:: "

I bought an IceCap with a 175 watt 10,000K bulb because the higher kelvin
bulb suposedly had a higher PAR rating.  The plants didn't like the blue
light so I switched to a 5500K bulb.  It was WAY too yellow after seeing the
blue/white light of the previous bulb, so I switched again to a 6500K
Coralife.  This is a happy medium in terms of color rendition and plant
growth.  Throughout all three bulbs, the IceCap produced an annoying flicker
at odd times of the day.  I downgraded to a coil/capacitor ballast and am
very happy with the end results of all that experimentation.  If I ever do
another tank, I'd go with an 6500K Iwasaki 250 watt standard ballast.

Tom Wood


CustomSeaLife PCMH72 Lighting Fixture

by The Eng Family <engfam/axion.net>
Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2000

The following companies also make electronic MH ballasts:

IceCap: http://www.icecapinc.com
[they make 175 & 250 watt MH ballasts]

Aromat: http://www.aromat.com/metalhal.htm
[they make a 70, 100 and 150 watt MH ballast]

and

Blueline e-ballasts [no website but info can be found at Champion]:
http://www.championlighting.com/
[they make 175, 250 and 400 watt MH Ballasts]

Also another good company that makes some excellent MH setups is PFO
lighting at:
http://www.aone.com/~pfolight/aquarium.htm
[they are a wholesaler and they have links to some retailers that carry
there stuff]

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,
Victor Eng					Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
engfam@axion.net


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