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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if anyone out there was still using metal halides, I know they are less energy efficient, they run hotter, among other cons...but they do give off a very natural light, and was wondering if anyone out there is still using them or even if anyone has any thoughts on modern applications for this all but abandoned lighting solution


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My roommate had a 400W MH above his 90 gallon tank that was converted from saltwater to fresh. You can buy the lamps from 1000bulbs in the grow section of the site for pretty cheap. That thing grew hair algae and cyano pretty well until he realized he couldn't keep the MH in his canopy and had to build a hanger for it.
Needless to say he doesn't have any long-term experience with it and growing plants (we had to break our tanks down because a water pipe broke during a bad freeze we had here in January and we are moving anyways in a couple months, so we didn't want to go through the hassle of setting two 90 gallons back up only to turn around and break them down again...) but I assume someone else on here is using one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know that they're still widely used as grow lights in hydroponic gardening, so they're stilling readily available, that's where I gained my familiarity with them, I used a combo of HPS and MH's in my greenhouse, and I know they sure do a great job of growing plants out of water. And I've never even heard of using HPS lighting in aquariums, why is this, I can't remember exactly what the spectrum is for HPS But I know they're more on the red side than MH's, I would think that they would simulate a Dutch style lighting system.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So I take it by the death of this thread that they have pretty much been all but phased out


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So I take it by the death of this thread that they have pretty much been all but phased out


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They have been phased out where they are not needed. Most of them tend to target high light in larger spaces. Most planted tanks just are not very big. In fact it seems few people even make planted tanks as big as reef tanks. LED strips are sufficient for most people. They should work fine if you get the light level right but it seems they would only be needed on a large deep tank. However if you like the color there is nothing wrong with using one if you can manage the heat and light output.
 
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I used them for a while in one of my tanks... They're really more than you need and too bright for some plants and fish. My guppy hated the halides and slowly died. The plants didn't seem to grow unusually fast, either. They're actually growing faster now in a high-nutrient, low-light environment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm assuming you mean that you used halides only right, not HPS...If anyone knows the answer, I'm really looking for someone to give me a reason why HPS lights won't work on a planted tank.


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All 6 of my scapes done with my 75P have been with a 150w MH, I'll never replace it unless I come across an LED pendant that really blows me away. The minimalist design of being hung from the ceiling, and the pendant itself being super small, makes it look slick. Also you can't beat it's intensity without going high-end LED, it can grow the most demanding of plants at incredible speeds. The shimmer is great, the reflection on the ceiling is great, the depth of water it can pierce is great, the flexibility it has by lowering and raising it is great... I can go on and on. Check out some of my journals in my sig, I'll be posting an update of my current scape around friday-saturday.

But yes they are out of date and being phased out sadly due to poor efficiency.

Oh and the ADA 8000K 'Green" bulb cannot be matched when it comes to green scapes, it's the ultimate NA and Iwagumi bulb.
 

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Your making up for lack of spectrum w/ pure power.. and a ton of it wasted........
Yes they work, yes they actually are more "full spectrum" than most lights.. Yes they cost you a small fortune in electricity.. ;)
not sure of the accuracy, but the content is fairly representative..


I looked at the advertised spectrum of the Blue Halide. It is really superior to other Metal Halides, but it still is not a good match for PAR http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/4773/bluehalide.jpg . I still stand by my statement that high end LED lights are superior to Halides or HPS. Sodium is terrible in the blue wavelengths. The best Bang for the Buck are CFL's or fluorescent tubes with a combination of Daylight 5600k and Warm White(2400k).

Of course if you have a row of 1000 watt Blue Halides then they're going to be superior to fluorescent bulbs because of the density of light per square meter. A jet goes faster than a motor scooter, but the capital cost per mph and energy cost make the jet not nearly as practical to the average person.
http://www.tomatoville.com/showthread.php?t=25775

;)


http://www.eyesolarlux.com/light-technology/full-spectrum/

Typical MH ..
 

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Your making up for lack of spectrum w/ pure power..
Sorry, but the child in me now likes MH even more :flick:

With the combination of the growth I get, along with the look of the setup (minimalist, shimmer, color, etc)... I'll be using it a long time. It also helps to be using a bulb that was was specifically designed with plants in mind (ADA). I'll eventually switch to a high-end LED pendant.

And yes they are quite inefficient to run. For me, it's worth it.
 

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Sorry, but the child in me now likes MH even more :flick:

The combination of the growth I get, along with the look of the setup (minimalism, shimmer, color, etc)... I'll be using it a long time. I'll eventually switch to a high end LED pendant.

The OP really was interested in HPS... ;)

you can get all of that and more w/ LED's .. at a cost..

http://www.ledgroupbuy.com/lumia-5-1-100w-full-spectrum-5-channel-led/

The child in you may like one or 2 of these........... ;)
AND one thing you can never get..
I am 100% satisfied with this full spectrum LED aquarium light. Installation was very easy. The range of colors produced is essentially limitless! I love the flexibility offered by this product!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sorry, but the child in me now likes MH even more :flick:

With the combination of the growth I get, along with the look of the setup (minimalist, shimmer, color, etc)... I'll be using it a long time. It also helps to be using a bulb that was was specifically designed with plants in mind (ADA). I'll eventually switch to a high-end LED pendant.

And yes they are quite inefficient to run. For me, it's worth it.

What size MH are you using, and if you don't mind my asking, how much does it effect your electric bill?


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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I know when I was doing my greenhouse it was almost like paying a second rent, I was running 4000 watts of HPS and MH for 18 hours a day at certain points, but still IME I would think even one small fixture would have a noticeable effect


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i know when i was doing my greenhouse it was almost like paying a second rent, i was running 4000 watts of hps and mh for 18 hours a day at certain points, but still ime i would think even one small fixture would have a noticeable effect


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eeeekkkkkk.................. ;)
 

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What size MH are you using, and if you don't mind my asking, how much does it effect your electric bill?


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150w over a 75P (around 40g). Not at all noticeable due to the size of the bill already. That's not to say that they don't draw a ton of power, I realize how inefficient they are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
150w over a 75P (around 40g). Not at all noticeable due to the size of the bill already. That's not to say that they don't draw a ton of power, I realize how inefficient they are.

They are inefficient as far as fixture for fixture goes, but as far as point source lighting is concerned, if that's what you want, you'd be hard pressed to find any ONE bulb that threw out as much useable light as a good MH. One LED, Bah


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They are inefficient as far as fixture for fixture goes, but as far as point source lighting is concerned, if that's what you want, you'd be hard pressed to find any ONE bulb that threw out as much useable light as a good MH. One LED, Bah


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Useable to who???

The output of a 400 watt incandescent bulb is about 25 watts of light, a 400 watt metal halide bulb emits about 140 watts of light. If PAR is considered to correspond more or less to the visible region, then a 400 watt metal halide lamp provides about 140 watts of PAR. A 400 watt HPS lamps has less PAR, typically 120 to 128 watts, but because the light is yellow it is rated at higher lumens (for the human eye).
http://www.sunmastergrowlamps.com/PAR_Watts.htm

Sure it is "brighter" (like the mostly useless to plants yellow part of HPS) to you but over half is UV and heat...and not "great" PAR per watt..

Aesthetically speaking the Metal Halide is also hard to beat, however the latest technology LED lights are now beginning to surpass MH for Reefs and LEDs have been proven to surpass MH with plant growth in nursery/hydroponics environments (one study/test shows a 12 Watt Full spectrum LED producing better growth than a 175 Watt MH of the same type!).
http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/aquarium_lighting.html
;)

High-pressure sodium (HPS) lights
are much more common in greenhouses than
metal halide, although both have similar
efficiency in converting electrical energy to PAR
(20-25%).
http://www.greenhouse.cornell.edu/crops/factsheets/SuppLight.pdf

And from there we could go into a discussion of how PAR is not very accurate either..
The facts are you can have a light with a higher PAR be a considerably lesser PUR and thus an INFERIOR light.

http://www.aquarium-pond-answers.com/2012/03/pur-vs-par-in-aquarium-lighting.html

PAR meters are a "standard" but not a very realistic one (since it treats all light frm 400-700mn as "equal" when in fact that assumption is technically in error) based on:


HPS PAR and MH made measure equal but their PUR is probably not.............
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I know LEDs are by far better in every aspect, when you look at the entire fixture of diodes, but one bulb vs. one bulb, efficiency asside, PAR, watts, lumens, whatever measurement you want to use one MH bulb will pulverize one LED bulb. though I realize the impracticality of the comparison


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