Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community

Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community (
-   General Hardware/Equipment Discussion (
-   -   MH bulbs (

ccCapt 05-20-2008 07:25 PM

MH bulbs
For those of you that use MH's, what bulbs do you use?

I've been using Hamilton 175w SE 14K bulbs for the last 5-6 years and have been happy with them. I tried those cheapo Ebay bulbs and thought they were junk.

I was checking bulb performance at Sanjay's Lighting site and decided to order Iwasaki 175w 15K's. Instead of PAR (Photosynthetically Available Radiation), Sanjay does his measurements in PPFD (Photosynthetic Photon Flux Density), which is a measure of the number of photons in the range of 400-700nm falling on a 1 meter square area per second.
The Hamilton 14k's are 29 PPFD while the Iwasaki's 15k's are 71 PPFD (which, by the way, is higher than many 250w bulbs). I'm going to have to light acclimate my tank when I add these new bulbs as there is quite an increase in output. Has anyone used these bulbs and if so, how do/did you like them?

I figured I would add this if anyone was interested. This is the performance of all the bulbs Sanjay tested using a 175w Advance magnetic ballast. The CCT is the actual color of the bulb. The Iwasaki is 15,215k colored bulb.

roka64 05-20-2008 08:52 PM

That's pretty cool. I'm assuming you want the spectrum to peak between 400 and 460nm?

ccCapt 05-20-2008 09:26 PM

Well, I'm no lighting expect by any means, but the 400-480nm is the blue-er (is that a word? lol) end of the spectrum and is typical for 14k-15k bulbs to spike in that area.

cmor1701d 05-21-2008 04:51 PM

What didn't you like about the eBay bulbs?

ccCapt 05-21-2008 06:52 PM

I tried the 14k bulbs from Greatdel for $10 each. The color was good at first, but I noticed right off the bat they weren't as bright as new Hamilton 14k's. Then 1 bulb blew out in 2 months (the seller did send me a replacement) and they started shifting got really yellow after about 4 months.
I asked Sanjay about the bulbs. He said they are typical of Chinese knock-offs. They lose PAR fast and are just a low quality bulb.

ccCapt 05-22-2008 07:52 PM

Oh well. Either I'm the only person on this entire forum that uses MH one knows what kind they use? It's not a test or a trick question :)

pat8you 05-22-2008 08:32 PM

Sorry don't use MH. I'm using you as my tester though. If i do eventually get MH i have this thread bookmarked so i can go back and see which one was the best : )

roka64 05-22-2008 11:17 PM

Oh, sorry, I have the 834W one of these:
Metal Halide Aquarium Lighting: Aqualight Pro HQI/Compact Fluorescent/Lunar Light Fixture
But am unsure of the manufacturer of the MH bulbs.

Ziggy953 05-23-2008 11:53 AM

I Have used the Ebay bulbs in the past. The 10,000k bulb is not as bad as the 14,000 or the 20,000. I have also spent well over $80 on one bulb (XMs) and wasn't impressed with them. I think the growth of my corals speaks for the quality of the bulb. Iwasaki bulbs are supposed to be pretty good but I'm not going to find out wiht them at the price they are.

ccCapt 05-23-2008 12:51 PM

Ziggy, what bulbs are you using now?

I'm all for trying to save a few $$$ where ever I can...that's why I tried the Ebay bulbs. They were around $40 for 2 shipped from Hong Kong, but I only got about 4 months out of them. I ordered the Iwasaki's from HelloLights for $80 each, but with a 5% discount for Reef Central members (you don't actually have to be a member, just know the coupon code) and free shipping. Supposedly these Iwasaki's are rated for twice the hours of a standard mh bulb and only need to be replaced every 18-24 months. Well see. If I get 18 months out of them, they end up being more economical than the Ebay bulbs.

I tried XM's and found them very similar to Hamiltons. They are also in the same price range...about $60 each. I used to get Hamiltons a few years ago at a real good price from a member here. still around?

Ziggy953 05-23-2008 02:31 PM

I'm using 10,000K bulbs from Greatdel. I've used the 14,00ks that he had as well but wasn't happy with them. I switched to the 10,000k and have seen a marked increase in growth on my corals. When I was using the XMs (I paid $75 plus shipping each) I was very disapointed in the light I was getting and I really didn't notice much coral growth.

I'm on my second set of 10,000K bulbs from ebay now (I change my bulbs every 6-8 months) and I'm very pleased with how my tank looks and the growth I'm getting from my corals.

cmor1701d 05-23-2008 02:51 PM

Scott, your fixture came with Coralife MH bulbs as did mine. I replaced them with cheap eBay bulbs in January (10k). I don't have a meter to check them but the corals I got from Ziggy are doing great under them. I'm considering replacing them at the end of June (6 months) instead of waiting a year like I did with the Coralife's.

My eBay bulbs were like $10.00 vs. $60.00 each for the name brand bulbs. Replacing 3 bulbs every 6 months vs. a year is worth it to me for the $150.00 savings.

Next bonus I may buy a light meter :confused:

ccCapt 05-23-2008 05:28 PM


Originally Posted by Ziggy953 (Post 869729)
I'm on my second set of 10,000K bulbs from ebay now (I change my bulbs every 6-8 months) and I'm very pleased with how my tank looks and the growth I'm getting from my corals.

That's cool. I probably would have stuck with the 14k bulbs if I was happy with them. I tried XM 10k's and didn't like the color so I never really thought about trying them (10k) from Ebay.
After my bad experience with the 1st one blowing out, then Sanjay telling me about their "quality", I figured lighting is pretty important so I'll stick with the more proven bulbs.
Bottom line is you got to stick with what is successful for you. :)

ccCapt 05-24-2008 07:07 PM

I got my bulbs in today (and a free 1st impression...WOW! These bulbs are B R I G H T. Here's some pics comparing the bulbs. My camera isn't the greatest, but all the pics were taken with the same settings. All I did was resize them. I took pics of the Hamiltons, turned them off. Put in the Iwasaki's, let them warm up for about 15 mins, then took the pics.

Here is the Hamilton 14K.

Iwasaki 15K

Hamilton 14K

Iwasaki 15K

Ziggy953 05-24-2008 09:27 PM

Very nice!! I like the new look!

cmor1701d 05-25-2008 11:39 AM

That's a pretty big difference. How old are the Hamilton bulbs?
Re-take the photo in a couple of weeks after the new bulbs reached their burn in period (about 100 hours?).

ccCapt 05-25-2008 12:39 PM

The Hamiltons are exactly 1 yr old. I get replacement bulbs every year for my birthday :)

Yeah, I'm thinking they may "blue-up" a little more after they break in. They are very white now. I'll take a few more pics in a couple weeks to see if there is much of a change.

cmor1701d 05-25-2008 01:19 PM

Happy Birthday Larry :bday:

Mine was the week before.

I'm thinking of heading up to TooFishy after lunch for some 89 base rock, a royal gramma and perhaps a new clam. Though with gas prices approaching $4.00 I keep re-thinking that idea :(

mandown123 05-25-2008 06:55 PM

looks great. is this the first time you're going with iwasaki?

ccCapt 05-25-2008 11:33 PM

cmor - Thanks. Mine was last weekend ;)

mandown - Yes, first time with the Iwasaki's. I've used Coralife 5K, Coralife 55K, Coralife 65K, XM 10K, XM 15K, Ebay cheapos (I think they were AqauMacz..or somthing like that), Hamilton 14K and now these Iwasaki 15K.

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:46 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.