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Old 05-21-2002, 09:38 AM   #1
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Lighting comparison

This is a comparison of different lighting methods.

This chart is not intended to do anything other than show the differences in intensity between the different bulb types, to discourge the watts per gallon formula of lighting reef aquariums. The link below will show a very informative discussion on the inadequacies of this chart as well as give lots more info on lighting aqariums......
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?p=699#699
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Old 07-17-2002, 09:12 AM   #2
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Lighting comparison???

The lighting chart which was posted in the "Lighting comparison" sticky seems rather useless. I'm curious as to why it was posted at all.

If you're going to compare something, at least use examples that are relatively in line with each other.

I'm also curious as to how 192 watts of light can be produced from pc lights while only using 174 watts of electricity....
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Old 07-17-2002, 10:04 AM   #3
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For easy reference the link to the post in question is here http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewtopic.php?t=12
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Old 07-17-2002, 10:49 AM   #4
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My point is, this chart is very misleading, not to mention incomplete. Someone with little lighting experience could make some very wrong assumptions from the skewed information, which, I'm sure is what Custom Sealife is hoping for.
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Old 07-17-2002, 01:13 PM   #5
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I have a chart I use as far as what I want the lights to look like, of course that's after you make sure you have ENOUGH light in your tank. I find alot of people don't realize how different lights make your tank different colors aside from the "blue" lights. also there is no proces on this page, my guess would be because prices vary so greatly from oe supplier to another.

http://www.coralreefecosystems.com/ltg_bulb_color.htm
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Old 07-17-2002, 08:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ashcraft
My point is, this chart is very misleading, not to mention incomplete. Someone with little lighting experience could make some very wrong assumptions from the skewed information, which, I'm sure is what Custom Sealife is hoping for.
Sorry Bob, I'm listening, but you not saying anything, your just griping. Please state why it is misleading. The comparison was posted so people can see the difference in lumens v watts that each particular type of light produces. Also in what way is it incomplete? What wrong assumptions could be made? That watt for watt, PC is more intense than VHO or NO, well no that wouldn't be a wrong assumption, that would be correct, it is more intense. What else, that watt for watt, MH is way more intense than any of them? Well not that is right also. That was the point of the comparison, there was a paragraph explaining resevations with the particular comparison, I do not believe pc is more tha twice as intense as VHO, but from some figures done with some friends, a 67K PC bulb produces 1.6X as may lumens per watt as NO or VHO, which are compareable watt for watt. Oh and to answer how it can use less electricity, it's simple, the figures on the bulbs are approximations and when they did the tests, those were the actual watts consumed. If you can show where it is wrong, I will be happy to remove it, I do not wish to mislead anyone in this hobby, but I would like to see some fact first, not just what is quoted above.....Any reason your posts are particularly grumpy today? Anything we can help with?
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Old 07-18-2002, 11:58 AM   #7
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Sorry Bob, I'm listening, but you not saying anything, your just griping. Please state why it is misleading.
Normally, when comparisons such as this are done, the criteria being used is more in line with each other. Comparing a lighting system of, 192 watts to a system of 440 watts is misleading.

Quote:
The comparison was posted so people can see the difference in lumens v watts that each particular type of light produces.
Possibly, except for the fact that these wattage figures are way out of line. It appears that all the examples are severely underdriven, except for the MH, wihich is overdriven. Without knowing what ballasts were used, it's impossible to extract any useful information from the chart.

Quote:
Also in what way is it incomplete? What wrong assumptions could be made?
Three values are missing for the MH system.
The replacement cost for the PC system is zero. This gives the impression that they last forever. The cost should have been prorated. Someone with little or no lighting experience, could make wrong assumptions.

Quote:
That watt for watt, PC is more intense than VHO or NO, well no that wouldn't be a wrong assumption, that would be correct, it is more intense. What else, that watt for watt, MH is way more intense than any of them? Well not that is right also. That was the point of the comparison,
And this is my point, these wattage values are bogus. You admitted yourself that the information was "slanted".

Quote:
there was a paragraph explaining resevations with the particular comparison, I do not believe pc is more tha twice as intense as VHO, but from some figures done with some friends, a 67K PC bulb produces 1.6X as may lumens per watt as NO or VHO, which are compareable watt for watt.
In reality, VHO is somewhat less efficient than NO.

Quote:
Oh and to answer how it can use less electricity, it's simple, the figures on the bulbs are approximations
No they are not. These are the manufacturers specifications. They are not approximations.

Quote:
and when they did the tests, those were the actual watts consumed.
If the power consumption figures are what they actually measured, this indicates, as I said before, that the lamps are being severely underdriven. If so, it's because of improper ballasting and should not be used for comparison.

Quote:
If you can show where it is wrong, I will be happy to remove it, I do not wish to mislead anyone in this hobby, but I would like to see some fact first, not just what is quoted above.....
Just the fact that the power consumed is so much less than the actual bulb wattage indicates that something is very wrong with this chart.

Quote:
Any reason your posts are particularly grumpy today? Anything we can help with?
I'm sorry if I seemed "grumpy". Beleive me, this was not my intention at all. Again, I apologize.
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Old 07-18-2002, 01:25 PM   #8
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Hi Bob,

I'd have to admit I took your first post as a bit "grumpy". I very gald you took the time to explain your disagreements. I also have some disagreements with the charts but most are different from yours.

I'm aware that IceCap ballasts underdrive VHO bulbs. They operate differently that other ballasts. They ramp up the voltage to very high levels and instead of 60 cycle it pulses at an incredible rate (40,000/sec I think) and the ballast is smart enough to deliver just enough wattage to keep the bulb lit at normal brightness. So, if a normal ballast requires 110 watts to light a VHO the IceCap would only use 75 to maintain the same brightness.

The same IceCap Ballast will overdrive NO bulbs to put out about twice the light while only adding about 50% more power.

This isn't a problem for me....

My biggest complaing is with using Lumens to compare reef lighting. Lumens are a measure of light intensity around 550nm. I don't really want a lot of light in that range. This is why I prefer MH or VHO over PC bulbs. I believe the light from PC is very intense, looks great but lacking in the quality wavelengths that I (personally) prefer.

Had the charts listed PAR I would pay a lot more attention to them. Lumens are just meaningless unless you are lighting a warehouse.

Guy
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Old 07-18-2002, 02:02 PM   #9
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Hi Bang Guy,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang Guy

I'm aware that IceCap ballasts underdrive VHO bulbs. They operate differently that other ballasts. They ramp up the voltage to very high levels and instead of 60 cycle it pulses at an incredible rate (40,000/sec I think) and the ballast is smart enough to deliver just enough wattage to keep the bulb lit at normal brightness. So, if a normal ballast requires 110 watts to light a VHO the IceCap would only use 75 to maintain the same brightness.

The same IceCap Ballast will overdrive NO bulbs to put out about twice the light while only adding about 50% more power.
Do we know if these tests were done using icecaps?

I would venture to guess that they weren't. Otherwise, the NO's would have been overdriven.

Also, I would doubt that Custom Sealife uses Icecap ballasts in their fixtures. Of course, I could be wrong.

Quote:
This isn't a problem for me....

My biggest complaing is with using Lumens to compare reef lighting. Lumens are a measure of light intensity around 550nm. I don't really want a lot of light in that range. This is why I prefer MH or VHO over PC bulbs. I believe the light from PC is very intense, looks great but lacking in the quality wavelengths that I (personally) prefer.

Had the charts listed PAR I would pay a lot more attention to them. Lumens are just meaningless unless you are lighting a warehouse.

Guy
I agree 100%!
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Old 07-18-2002, 09:05 PM   #10
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Lighting is one of those things that is extremely important, but also the most misunderstood. I do not claim to be any kind of lighting guru, but I know barely enough to get me by. I know enough about lighting to tell someone, "yeah, that will probably work", I also know enough, to find out what type of animals they want to keep prior to suggesting anything. One thing I do not know, nor has anyone (yes I've asked you, Guy) ever explained to me, is PAR. I know it is very important, but I also know that it isn't printed on the label of the bulbs, or is it? I know the initials are an acronym for photosynthetic ???? Radiation. I know that if you use "PAR" as a keyword in a google search, you will go through at least 15 pages and find nothing to do with lighting (maybe after page 15, that's where I got bored and stopped). So please give us the goods on PAR...... I also know that if going by the standard watts per gallon that is used so often in this hobby, two things are going to happen.
1) PC users are going to have one helluva algae problem, not to mention burning some corals....
2) MH users are going to more often than not, under light their aquariums.

These two types of light simply do not fall into the watts per gallon category. This is what the chart was intended for, it was not intended to be anyones bible for lighting. The reason the MH is incomplete, is because, I did the MH, it was not part of the original comparison, I did not feel the categories that were left out were an important part of the comparison. The PC and VHO and NO are all comparable in the wattages used, because of the lux provided, also this is what would be recommended to light the same tank, in each respective type. I don't know about the MH, Bob, I used the amount of lumens produced by a 6700K 175W MH bulb and converted it to lux (the rest of the chart was in lux) if it is wrong, it could be my mistake, although I used a conversion from M. Moe in his book; Marine Aquarium Reference, Systems and Invertebrates, but I always thought it looked out of line. If possible I will reopen the sticky and merge this topic with the chart. This should make anyone aware of resrvations and inadequacies with the chart. As far as the grumpiness, I was not offended, simply concerned that a fellow reefer was going through a tough time.
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Old 07-19-2002, 12:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reefrunner69
One thing I do not know, nor has anyone (yes I've asked you, Guy) ever explained to me, is PAR. I know it is very important, but I also know that it isn't printed on the label of the bulbs, or is it? I know the initials are an acronym for photosynthetic ???? Radiation.
PAR = Photosynthetic Active Radiation. Unfortunately it's not listed on the bulb or in any bulb specs. You have to find someone with a PAR meter that is willing to give up some time to test a bulb.

When explaining lighting to a new hobbiest I like how you do it Kevin, just say yup that should work or nope I don't think so. Anyone wanting to grow Acropora at the bottom of a 2' high tank is just going to have to use MH 400+ watts. Anyone wanting intense light in a 20 gal is just going to have to use PC. All lighting that I've seen has a great use and I don't believe any of them work best in all situations. Watts per gallon is a WAG pretty much like anything else. Anyone who has had reef tanks in the past probably already know what they're looking for next.

Back to PAR but first... I used to be a really big fan of PUR - Photosynthetic Useable Radiation. PUR has two peaks one near 430nm and the other at 670nm. I've since discovered (through the works of several modern Coral scientists) that these two peaks are only slightly higher in quality for corals, specifically Zoox. (Kevin spelled that word for me once but I'll never remember it!)
Zoox can redily adapt to any light in the PAR range it's just that light in the PUR range is easier to convert to energy.

PAR is light including all in the visible range and just a little beyond. about 420-680nm. This range corresponds to the light that can be used by Zooxanthelle (sp?? LOL) according the the latest research.

My problem with Lumens is this. Take two bulbs; bulb one puts out all light at 550nm (theoretically) The other, bulb 2, puts out light at two peaks 430 and 670nm. They will look similar in color, the second will look dimmer and have almost NO Lumens. The first will register on a Lux meter as being 100 times brighter. They both put out the same amount of PAR but the second will have 100 times more PUR.

This is why I'm such a big fan of URI VHO bulbs and the Iwasaki Mercury Vapor bulbs. That does NOT mean I think this type of lighting is better... it just means I like it better for MY tanks.
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Old 07-19-2002, 07:45 AM   #12
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Thanks for that explnation.

Personally I dont think I have ever heard of PAR or PUR used in the context of lighting.

I would have to ask this question then. If one was to compair 10K bulbs of each type would that be a fair representation? If a chart could be done showing the output of different types of 10K bulbs. Either try to make the intensities match or make the wattage match as best as possible and show how different bulb's have different intensities at the same or less wattages.
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Old 07-19-2002, 08:26 AM   #13
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This is another page from the link that blueabyss posted. It talks about PAR and other stuff. In your options is this accurate in what its saying?

http://www.coralreefecosystems.com/l...nical_data.htm
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Old 07-19-2002, 09:55 AM   #14
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I would have to ask this question then. If one was to compair 10K bulbs of each type would that be a fair representation? If a chart could be done showing the output of different types of 10K bulbs. Either try to make the intensities match or make the wattage match as best as possible and show how different bulb's have different intensities at the same or less wattages.
All bulb comparisons from manufacturers, IMO, need to be taken with a grain of salt.

In order for a comparison to have ANY meaning, more information must be presented as to how the tests were preformed.

Color temps and wattages of all the bulbs should be matched as closely as possible. Comparing a 6500k Iwasaki to a 20,000k Radium is nonsense.

Operating temperatures must be controlled. All bulbs have a temperature window where they operate most efficiently. While maintaining this temperature in the real world may be nearly impossible, some attempt should be made to at least equalize a temperature during testing so as to simulate real world conditions.

Ballasts.... ballasts have the biggest impact on light intensity. The same bulb run on 3 different ballasts will give off 3 entirely different readings. Close attention must be paid to the ballast factor rating provided with all fluorescent ballasts. This will determine whether the bulb will be over or under driven.

Just for the record, I'd like to say that, I have never used an Icecap, I don't know how they work, and to be perfectly honest, I would never spend the money that they want for them.

Presently, I'm using MH's, NO fluorescents, overdriven NO fluorescents, VHO fluorescents and PC's. The only preference I have, is that I like the way the MH's look over all the others. Other than that coral and plant growth seem to be great with any kind of lights.
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Old 07-19-2002, 10:08 AM   #15
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I am curoius about where you saw a compairson of 6500k Iwasaki to a 20,000k Radium is nonsense.

The only place I can remember seeing this was on the link that blueabyss posted but that page was intended to show color differences and nothing else.



Kevin and myself would be more than willing to post a better compairson if we can find one or if someone could point us to one on the web. If there is one on the web I will pesue getting permission to either link to it or to repost it here.
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Old 07-19-2002, 10:18 AM   #16
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I am curoius about where you saw a compairson of 6500k Iwasaki to a 20,000k Radium is nonsense.

The only place I can remember seeing this was on the link that blueabyss posted but that page was intended to show color differences and nothing else.
This was my point. I should've expanded more.

A comparison between these 2 bulbs for anything other than visible color would be nonsense.
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Old 07-19-2002, 01:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishfreek
This is another page from the link that blueabyss posted. It talks about PAR and other stuff. In your options is this accurate in what its saying?

http://www.coralreefecosystems.com/l...nical_data.htm
Yep. That's great information! i wish they went a bit further in the definition of lumens but that wasn't their purpose.

They didn't list the actual bulbs used unfortunately but I believe it's accurate for comparison purposes between PC and VHO.

I like it. I hope someone expands on their starting point.
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Old 07-19-2002, 05:19 PM   #18
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we have used it alot, to explain to people why if they want a MH the ones at lowes just aren't "right" for aquariums. what are they 4200K or so. and how big of an impact lighting can make on how your tank looks. Sorry if the chart caused some confusion, I didn't mean for it to do that. We like our tank white, with a hnt of blue. I've seen the pinkish bulbs in catalogs but aside from on there have never seen one in use. has anyone else?
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Old 07-19-2002, 07:01 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Ashcraft
All bulb comparisons from manufacturers, IMO, need to be taken with a grain of salt.
Agreed, it says so on the chart.

Quote:
In order for a comparison to have ANY meaning, more information must be presented as to how the tests were preformed.
While I agree that for any comparison to have significant meaning it needs more info presented, I do not agree that it will have no meaning. As stated in a previous my intention in posting the lighting comparison chart, was to debunk the "watts per gallon" lighting method that is so popular in this hobby. I think it does that to an extent.

Quote:
Color temps and wattages of all the bulbs should be matched as closely as possible. Comparing a 6500k Iwasaki to a 20,000k Radium is nonsense.
I said as much in the disclaimer on the chart.

Quote:
Operating temperatures must be controlled. All bulbs have a temperature window where they operate most efficiently. While maintaining this temperature in the real world may be nearly impossible, some attempt should be made to at least equalize a temperature during testing so as to simulate real world conditions.
I did not realize the light was a product of the heat, but that the heat was a byproduct of the light, the more light, the more heat.

Quote:
Ballasts.... ballasts have the biggest impact on light intensity. The same bulb run on 3 different ballasts will give off 3 entirely different readings. Close attention must be paid to the ballast factor rating provided with all fluorescent ballasts. This will determine whether the bulb will be over or under driven.
What should be looked for, what will be the consequences of overdiving the bulb (aside from increased intensity) or underdriving?

Quote:
Just for the record, I'd like to say that, I have never used an Icecap, I don't know how they work, and to be perfectly honest, I would never spend the money that they want for them.
I have found Icecap ballasts to be one of the most versatile and reliable ballasts on the market today, but whatever works for you. I am interested to know how you are overdriving you NO flos. I seem to remember a post about this on another board, but didn't quite follow it.....
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Old 07-19-2002, 07:10 PM   #20
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This thread has been upgraded to a sticky, so it will stay on the front page of the general discussion forum and a link to this thread has been placed in the original Lighting Comparison Chart, as well as more disclaimer info.
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