View Full Version : H.I.D's For Lighting?

08/30/2009, 10:12 PM
Planning a 150g in wall set up for when I finish my basement, looking into lighting right now. Been reading all about mh vs. t-5 and i was wondering if anybody experimented using H.I.D'S for their tank? I think the bulbs are rated similar if not the same as mh bulbs. If not what do you think the outcome may be?

08/30/2009, 11:22 PM
You might want to check out this Xenon & Led article (http://glassbox-design.com/2009/part-1-lfps-xenon-and-led-reef-lighting-system/)


08/30/2009, 11:41 PM
not sure on a tank, but im in love with the HID kit on my motorcycle :)

09/06/2009, 12:29 PM
I've actually been messing with Xenon bulbs for about a month now. You can check out the thread:


09/06/2009, 12:30 PM
Sorry wrong copy and paste...


09/06/2009, 12:32 PM
For some reason, I can paste la reef club, but it submits as clay-boa....

anyways the thread is at La Reef Club, under lighting and equipment, thread is spectrum analyzer, Xenon bulb

09/06/2009, 01:07 PM
metal halide and high pressure sodium lamps have long been refered to as HID (high intensity discharge) lamps.

09/06/2009, 10:48 PM
Thank you, but I think the thread is refering to the H.I.D. used in automotive applications, also known as a Xenon bulb (which is a specialized metal Halide).

09/06/2009, 11:02 PM
This comes up every couple of weeks or so, I guess it will just keep coming up forever. In my opinion the most important part of a light other than the type of light you use is the reflector. If you can find a good way to reflect the light you should be ok... When it comes down to it I would suggest just buying halides, engineers have been working for years perfecting the technology for its use in marine aquaria and no used up Mazda headlight is ever going to match a well manufactured and engineered light bulb and reflector.

09/07/2009, 09:54 AM
Aww, where's you sense of adventure!!!

Here's an interesting read on those "well engineered" aquarium bulbs.


Theres actually vary little difference from your $10 Metal Halide from lowes and you $80 Xm bulb, just how it looks to you.

I'm not saying there is no science behind those aquarium bulbs, I mean, there's got to be...... right?

Here is my own research thus far on the xenon bulbs. While I have not been able to make it to Lake Charles to use their PAR meter, I was able to get a crude spectum for an 8k 35w bulb.


The spectrum "found via online" of a 150w Phoenix has a vary similer wavelength spectrum. While I have no tech data to support PAR, visually one 12K 35watt Xenon bulb is twice as bring as a 12k 70 watt HQI.

Remember these are my personal testings and oppinions, so no need to burn me at the stake. I've always used good ol' aquarium metal halides for my aquariums. The "engineers and specialists" have shown their support for the reef type metal halides. Of course then came the high power LED's..........

Keep trying new ideas everyone, thats how this hobby was made!!!

09/09/2009, 07:55 AM
Hey man, I respect independent study and people gathering data on just about anything. I would love to see a spectral analysis of a HID car headlight. Ill admit that IMO halides seem to just kind-of shoot out a bunch of light, not always the "right" spectrum for what we need but the useful wavelengths are usually represented. But as usual when this type of question comes up a bunch of RC regulars end up discussing it and the OP disappears. Oh well I like discussing lighting.

09/09/2009, 08:00 AM
BTW, Welcome to RC nathan634!!!!


09/09/2009, 08:45 PM
Why thanks:rollface: !!

I know that this topic tends to run off with speculations and oppinions, thats why I try to stay technical. I like hard facts!!

I did order a real spectrum analyzer so I will have an extact wavelength spec. PAR testing against 150w MH will be this weekend. I will keep everyone posted.

09/09/2009, 09:12 PM
If you would please PM me when you post it up. I rarely check this part of RC.

09/09/2009, 10:06 PM
yes, please keep us posted. I thought about making this sort of a "science fair project" maybe take two tanks have one with Mh and one with hids and 2 frags and see what kind of development i get out of each light.....i guess i would have to put some thought into what design/shape to make the reflector....

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=15676721#post15676721 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by nathan634
Why thanks:rollface: !!

I know that this topic tends to run off with speculations and oppinions, thats why I try to stay technical. I like hard facts!!

I did order a real spectrum analyzer so I will have an extact wavelength spec. PAR testing against 150w MH will be this weekend. I will keep everyone posted.

09/14/2009, 10:23 PM
Got my new spectrum analyxer scope in today, so sometime this week, I will be running another battery of tests on the 12k 35watt Xenon (which is metal halide) bulb. Does anyone know how many hours it takes to burn these bulbs in? I could do some research, but I just ate pizza and now have lost all motivation except to breathe.

On a different note. The 8k I have been running over my test tank is working wonderfully. Its basically a true white light which tends (to me) to look slightly yellowish in the water. I have a test orange monti cap and it is growing the same as a similar in size monti in my main (except the Xenon bulb is using less then a fourth of the power!) Unfortunately, the 8k (having not only a peak in the 460nm, but also in 545nm and 630nm) seems to produce more algae. Its not bad at all, but you can tell a difference. I'm hoping the 12k will be more useful (lower high nm peaks). I will keep you all posted.

09/15/2009, 12:39 AM
liveforphysics is actually using Xenon bulbs with lenses instead of reflectors along with LED's to light His 4' x 4' x 2' rimless tank. It is a super cool Japanese style "spotlight" look. He had access to a real deal spectral analyzer and tested LOTS of bulbs before finding ones that had the correct spectrum for corals.

Here is a link to that thread :)


09/15/2009, 06:43 PM
Cool, thanks for the PM.

09/15/2009, 07:57 PM
That's sorta what inspired me to start this whole thing, that and I have a few kits lying around. I'm going in a different direction, using the xenon's like a reefer would use a MH. That seems more applicable to most of are systems. Plus thats allot of light and lots of projectors, lol. My planned setup is a 29 biocube with the filter system removed, drilled and sumped. I'm going to use twin 16.372 Actinics T5HO with twin 12k 35w Xenon bulbs, and possibly the twin 420nm actinic PCs that came with the system (as you can't find 16.372 T5HO actinics in 420 nm... those bastards!!!)

Most Metal Halide systems used today utilize some sort of actinic supplement. So I plan to stay with that but test the Xenon against its older brother (MH)

09/16/2009, 09:48 AM
Where did you get your spectral analyzer scope?

09/17/2009, 07:30 PM
The spectrum pictured above was from a home made scope. I have the new one but am having trouble getting a pic of the image I see with my eyes. I got that scope from a hunnington labs.