Planted Tank VIP
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
On reef central as well as a few canadian reef boards (apparently, intense lighting fixtures are very expensive in Canada) there are dozens, maybe even hundreds of hobbyists who have used this method without a single report of fire or severe hazard. The worst I've heard is a few burned out ballasts from incorrect wiring. I certainly haven't heard about any bulbs exploding. You have to understand a few things:
1) These bulbs were designed to carry more current than they usually see. Not only do they have a certain factor of safety built in, but most ballasts are energy saving at 88% delivered current. When you actually deliver 2x that amount, it is still not far beyond the bulbs standard output, and definitely not over capacity.
2) While the ballast might draw nearly 4x (not quote, but close) the electricity, its efficiency decreases at this level and doesn't quite deliver that much to the bulb. At the most, users have seen 2x the energy going to the bulb. Yes, this means that you're using four times as much electricity to get only twice the light, but the initial expense is the most significant benefit of this system, not the operating expense. If your energy costs are extravagant, you'd be better off with a Metal Halide system. But it would take a long, long time to recover the cost of a MH system with the energy savings you'd see.
- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage