halogen..... why not? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-03-2011, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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halogen..... why not?

So, I was looking though my dad's garage and there are a bunch of new outdoor halogen lights, I think they are 150w or 250w (you know the big rectangular kind you screw to the sophet of your house and they hang down in their sealed felfector box). I was thinking, with the right color temp bulb, these would work great. No ballast to worry about, very easy to mount, and really cheap. So why do we not use them?

I know metal halides are much brighter, but for the price, add one more $15 halogen fixture and all is well.

I know they get really hot, add a few cooling fans in your canopy hooked up to a different timer so the fans keep going after the bulb is out to get rid of the heat build up.

Bulb life is about 33% of that of a metal halide, but bulbs being so cheap i wouldn't mind changing the bulb once every year.

If anyone else has an oppinion on the use of halogen lights in the aquarium world, share your thoughts.

Last edited by Seanmiller09; 04-03-2011 at 11:57 PM. Reason: spell
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-04-2011, 10:25 AM
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I'm no lighting expert, but here are the issues, in my opinion, with halogen bulbs:
1) they get really hot: 400-600 degrees!
2) they give off a significant amount of UV light and if the protective lens is not in place, you can actually get a radiation burn ("sunburn") from a halogen light
3) They operate at 2400K-3800K, not the correct spectrum for aquatic plants.

There may be other reasons also. You can't get different "color temps" of halogen bulbs, I don't think(?), due to the way the bulb operates.
Metal halides are available from 3,000K to over 20,000K

Last edited by DKRST; 04-04-2011 at 10:28 AM.
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-04-2011, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Ah, I figured you could get different temp bulbs. Does tempered glass block UV?
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-04-2011, 10:41 AM
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I think it's a requirement that halogen fixtures have a UV blocking lens of some type in place.
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-04-2011, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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I guess its somewhat irrelevant if the bulbs can only opperate at such a low color temp. Ill have to check when I get home.
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post #6 of 6 Old 04-05-2011, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
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looks like you are right. Found an article testing the true color temp of various bulbs, even the halogen rated at 8000k was hardly above 4000k while most were in the mid 3s.
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