Metal halide lamps are more popular choices for aquarium lighting compared to incandescent lamps. Metal halide lamps can produce really intense and strong light that is five times as bright as the light produced by incandescent ones. Metal halide lamps can also reach deeper than other kinds of lamps. But in spite of their power and intensity, metal halide lamps come in compact sizes so they're perfect for the smaller aquariums
Metal halide lamps also last for long time. They have a life that spans anywhere between 15,000 to 20,000 hours, which is ten times as long as incandescent lamps that last between 1,500 to 2,000 hours only.
If you're already convinced to get metal halide lighting for your aquarium, it's best to go for the 15-Watt 15000K Metal Halide Bulb - XM from Pet Store
. This double-ended lamp gives off a bright white light with just the right tinge of blue. The blue tint complements fish's and corals' natural pigmentation more than any other hue.
The 15-Watt 15000K Metal Halide Bulb - XM works well with either an electronic ballast or metal halide ballast, which makes it very versatile. It can also be used with actinic lamps if you want a stronger blue tint.
The XM 150W double-ended metal halide bulb offers good coloration and intensity. The color is between an 10,000K bulb and a 20,000K bulb: white with a distinct blue tint. This bulb will work with standard magnetic ballast, magnetic pulse-start ballast, magnetic HQI ballast or elextronic IceCap ballasts. An excellent choice for nano-reefs and other reef tanks up to 22" deep.
Common questions/problems concerning metal halide lamps:
- 15,000K Color Temperature
- Excellent with or without actinic supplementation
- Operate on a HQI metal halide ballast or electronic ballast
- Metal halide lamps of the same kind are different colors?
Metal halide lamps operate by passing an electric arc through an arc tube that excites particles in the arc tube. When the metal particles reach an excited state they emit energy in the form of visible light. It takes 100 hours of operation before the metal particles stabilize and become a consistent color. All metal halides require 100 hours of operation before color and light output stabilize. All metal halides inherently have a slight color variation between individual lamps.
- The metal halide lamp fires and then either burns dull or the arc extinguishes?
Usually the ballast and lamp are not receiving enough power. Metal halides pull a high current. Usually the problem is either there is too great a load on the circuit or the extension cords are of a small wire size and can`t handle the power needed by the ballast. Use only heavy duty extension cords and try running a ballast
off a circuit from another part of the house.
- Do I need a cover shield between the lamp and the aquarium?
Metal halide lamps produce a large amount of UV and also have a potential of exploding. The single ended metal halide lamps have an outer jacket which eliminates most of the UV. However, they have an inherent risk of exploding and UL requires metal halide lamps to be enclosed. On double ended lamps there is no UV shield. Double ended lamps must have a glass shield or major eye injuries including blindness may occur.
- Can I operate a ballast and lamp together which are designed for different wattages?
Each wattage lamp and ballast are designed together for optimal performance and safety. If you over drive the lamp it may explode and shorten the life of the ballast and lamps. If you under drive the lamp it will also shorten the life of both components and also may explode. Do not mix different type wattages of lamps and ballasts.
NOTE: The bulb should be handled carefully during installation and replacement.
|Bulb Replacement Guide|
|Bulb Types ||Life of Bulb* |
|Normal Output Fluorescent ||6-12 months |
|Very High Output (VHO) ||6-12 months |
|Power Compact (PC) ||9-12 months |
|T5 High Output (T5HO) ||9-
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Defective, mislabeled or both?
(Posted on 1/18/14)
Comments: I purchased the XM 15K bulb predominantly based on reviews and I couldn't be more disappointed. This was to replace a 14K Phoenix that has been performing flawlessly for 12 months. The XM bulb would not fire after multiple attempts even with a dedicated circuit. After 23 attempts I got the bulb to fire after a lot of crackeling and popping and much to my surprise, this bulb is as white as the 4.1k HIDs in my wife's Acura. Clearly, this bulb is DEFECTIVE and/or it's color has been mislabeled. After multiple attempts to fire the bulb again this morning to no avail, I'm done. I promptly put the Phoenix back and it fired fist time as it has for the last year out of the box.
Excellent Bulb for 8 Months
(Posted on 10/3/12)
Comments: I have been using this XM bulb for 3 years now (changed the bulb every 8 months during mentioned 3 years), and am very satisfied with the stability of the light and it's reliable firing when used with reef timers. For a 15K bulb, they are a bit more blue than one would expect but I enjoy that look. These bulbs especially make fluorescent coral pigments pop when used with actinic T5's, and some Blue LED strip lights. The tank I'm using this bulb in conjunction with is 3 feet deep and I have no issue with penetration for clams and bottom dwelling corals. For their price you shan't find a better & more reliable bulb (in my opinion).
72 gal bowfront reef
(Posted on 8/12/12)
Comments: These lights look fantastic. The color gives my tank a perfect blue hue and the corals seem to love it too. Defiantly would recommend these lights
XM 15000k best with t5's
(Posted on 10/6/11)
Comments: XM 15000k 250 watt metal halide bulbs have the best color to really enhance the color of sps, lps, and soft corals. The exact look of the bulbs are a white color with a hint of blue, they go excellent with actinic blue t5 bulbs, this really makes the corals explode with color. The XM's also go great with 10000k t5 bulbs this changes the spectrum to less of a blue tint but really brightens up the tank with a mix of blue and white from the XM's and a hint of natural day light with the 10000k t5's. Both combinations go excellent with this type of metal halide bulb, it is what the hobbyist prefers.
(Posted on 5/11/11)
Comments: Consistent color and is a perfect mix of 12k's and 20k's. I am very pleased.
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