Thanks for the link for HelloLights.....I've been looking to retrofit one of my tanks to MH
and I'm severely dissapointed in pre-fab MH
designs. Over priced and under engineered. Real reefers do it themselves.
My $.02 on this entire topic.
Who are we to criticize anybody on the topic of lighting efficiency comparison when so many of us are pushing this absurd 'watts per gallon' standard that would get us kicked out of physics 101? I mean seriously, 'watts per gallon' is like asking how many gallons of fuel can I fit in the tank of an SUV with wheel base of 120". How long is a piece of string? I get a bang out of it when a minimum wage pet store attendant tells me how my current PC
's "suck" compared to his 175watt MH
's when his lights are suspended 3feet off the surface of a 100 gallon tank. Somebody must have been asleep when the math teacher talked about the law of squares. I'll me more than happy to compare the lighting efficiency of dual PC
's sitting 6" off the surface of one of my tanks with numerous corals less than a foot below vs a 175" watt MH
suspended a yard above the tank to dissipate heat.
Photosynthetic arganisms only care about two basic characteristics of light; intensity and wavelength, and with no two 10,000k florescent lights from different manufacturers being even close to the same advertised color temp, I'm not sure why we're spending so much time bantering about ballasts. Ask an owner of a tanning salon how often he changes his UV
bulbs vs how often we change ours. Save your money on fancy ballasts and change your bulbs more often.
Aethestics are another factor. I personally don't find reef tanks to be attractive when they are lit by high intensity - high K
bulbs that could double duty selling black velvet posters at the mall.
When gets me back to the point that I don't think *any* florescent bulb of any type can compete with MH
in terms of raw absorbtion efficiency. MH
might not be efficient in terms of heat dissipation or energy use as VHO
, but MH
wins by saturating the electromagnetic spectrum while even multicoated florescent bulbs only deliver slivers of specific wavelength that we "guess" our corals like to absorb.