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Old 11-14-2006, 10:27 PM   #11
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AWESOME! Makes perfect sense! Thanks!
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Old 11-14-2006, 10:52 PM   #12
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My friend works for the power company and I asked him the same question. A watt is a watt, no matter what. The power company bills you in watts per hour.

The largest PC bulb (in an aquarium fixture) that I have seen is a 130w.

Lets say you had a fixture that had 4 130w 36" lamps, thats 520w. Now consider that in the same space, you can have 4x250MH bulbs, or even 4x400MH bulbs. Thats a lot more power, hence a bigger cost.

Also, if you have noticed, most of the higher watt PC's are longer. I have been looking for a 24" PC bulb that is more than 65W. The increase in watts produced by the PC is, I think, a function of how long the buld is. That is to say, a 130w 48" bulb isn't really brighter that a 65w 24" bulb, it just covers a larger area. Whereas, you can get MH bulbs in 150; 175; 250; 400w for the most part, are all the same size.

My point being, the cost to run MH's increase beacuse you can increase the amount of light power for any given space.

hope this make sence.
Thanks very much. It makes perfect sense.

So my 2x130W 48" fixture will draw a lot of power @ 260w?
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Old 11-15-2006, 01:17 AM   #13
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So my 2x130W 48" fixture will draw a lot of power @ 260w?
If you really want to get technical....watts = Volts*AMPS. Your 260w fixture will "draw" about 2.36amps. (260/110v) Thats how much electricity you will be using. It will be about the same for a 250w MH fixture.

Think of watts really as an output or product of consuming electricity. Its kinda like a car engine, we measure it in horsepower (output), but when we talk about how much energy it uses, we talk Miles per gallon. Make sence?

The power company using watts per hour average for your billing, but its really the amps that matter. Check out your circuit breaker in you house, it will be rated in amps not watts.

Consider this....your typical hair blowdryer uses 1300watts. Thats close to 12amps. (FYI...it takes less than 1amp to kill someone)

I do not think that you will really see a difference in your electricy bill if you run a 260w fixture 10hrs a day.

HTH

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Old 11-15-2006, 01:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john0087
Quote:
So my 2x130W 48" fixture will draw a lot of power @ 260w?
If you really want to get technical....watts = Volts*AMPS. Your 260w fixture will "draw" about 2.36amps. (260/110v) Thats how much electricity you will be using. It will be about the same for a 250w MH fixture.

Think of watts really as an output or product of consuming electricity. Its kinda like a car engine, we measure it in horsepower (output), but when we talk about how much energy it uses, we talk Miles per gallon. Make sence?

The power company using watts per hour average for your billing, but its really the amps that matter. Check out your circuit breaker in you house, it will be rated in amps not watts.

Consider this....your typical hair blowdryer uses 1300watts. Thats close to 12amps. (FYI...it takes less than 1amp to kill someone)

I do not think that you will really see a difference in your electricy bill if you run a 260w fixture 10hrs a day.

HTH

Good Luck

John
Thanks John. I was wondering why the idea of having MH makes everyone think the bill is going up. I guess it's because most people assume MH = reef tank = 500+W going all day.

For my FOWLR tank I guess I'll be perfectly fine with the 260w fluor and will not regret skimping on the MH bulbs.
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Old 11-19-2006, 12:20 AM   #15
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You wont benefit from MH anyway with a FOWLR setup , You want to start adding coral then you may want to rethink that in the future .. however there are plenty of PC success stories with low light corals so may not even need/want to go to MH. I am holding out for the LED lights that Solaris have brought to the market to come down in price .. and i think that will be my next jump.
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Old 11-19-2006, 10:19 AM   #16
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MH vs CF in the aquarium world is an apple to oranges comparison. There is a big difference between a 150watt MH bulb and a CF bulb of the same rating. It is about intensity. MH light originates from a single focal point, think of it as a more concentrated light source. This gives the light much more penetration power into the tank. This is why it is preferred when keeping light-dependant corals/inverts. The down side is that a MH buib only has a throw span of about 2 sq ft. A CF bulb will give light the entire length of the tube. And yes...MH will increase your lighting bill.
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Old 11-24-2006, 09:22 AM   #17
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One thing being forgotten is that while the MH bulb will be say 150W, if it is an old magnetic ballast, the inefficiency in the ballast can lead to a fairly high (I seem to recall 30-40%) increase in the power actually being drawn, so a 150W MH will put out 150W of light energy, but will actually pull close to 200W from the wall.

Electronic ballasts (as found on T5 and newer MH) are more efficient and have a lower overhead on the amount of power pulled from the supply.

The type of bulb will not increase your electricity bill per se. If you have 150W MH and 300W of T5 then the T5 will cost more to run.

Also remember the costs of replacing the bulbs, in MH there will usually only be one or two bulbs to change as opposed to 4, 6 or more with T5 or PC.
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