Bulbs blowing

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Mouse, 23 Aug 2010.

  1. Mouse

    Mouse

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    Hi all

    I seem to have a problem with my light bulbs blowing, I have now had to replace my bulb twice in a matter of months....any ideas why?

    They cost over R700 each so I'd like to get to the bottom of it...perhaps it's the bulb quality, so maybe someone can point me in the right direction of which MH bulbs to use / where to get them etc.

    I have a MH T400W 250V system.... The bulbs normally survive for over a year, but the last 2 have blown in a month.

    Please help? :thumbup:
     
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  3. Pistolshrimp

    Pistolshrimp

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    what bulbs are you using? have you ever considered maybe your lamp control gear could be faulty and is destroying the lamps?
     
  4. lIghty

    lIghty

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    Is the control gear magnetic or electronic? as it maybe it like Pistolshrimp said.

    what brand of bulb are you using?

    Just to confirm, when you say blown, you not talking about the bulb glass actually breaking?
     
  5. Andreas

    Andreas

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    Is the unit that is housing the bulbs making good contact with the bulb?Maybe a bit of corrosion might be causing the bulb to lose connection.
     
  6. Mouse

    Mouse Thread Starter

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    hey guys, sorry for the delay, had no access to internet.....

    The bulbs don't actually crack or shatter, they stop working...and you can see that the fuse (or whatever you call that thingy inside) has gone.

    But this has happened twice in a month now.

    To explain it, there is a big, heavy "box" like thing that sits on the floor next to the tank. There is a cable which runs from it up to the lighting hood, and one to the power.
    There is no "control gear" as such that you can manually do anything with, you literally plug it in.

    I don't really know what to do or how to sort it out. I have now bought another bulb and screwed it in really tightly, so let's see.

    On another note, can someone please help me with types of bulbs, I have been buying aquamedic (or something along those lines - horribly expensive but from the LFS who has the same tank as mine and uses the same bulbs).
    I noticed that on the last bulb I bought, there was a 14000 on it (and what looked like a coloured graph next to it), but I see you can also get 20000... what does this mean, is that to do with the colour or something?
    I only managed to get a 400W MH bulb that had "CLEAR" written on it and the colour of the light it emits is totally different to what I had.
    Is this going to be a problem for my corals etc until I can get another bulb?
     
  7. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    the big heavy "box" - that is the control gear - or ballast.

    14000, as in K
     
  8. Mouse

    Mouse Thread Starter

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    oh, hahaha DOH. I was told the ballast was inside the hood and connected the bulb to the unit. :p

    So what does K mean then, is it the colour? And are my corals going to be sad with no K?
     
  9. Mouse

    Mouse Thread Starter

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    :blush:
     
  10. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    14000K should be a bright crisp look with a tint of blue,
    10000K more a pure white to almost faint yellow
    below 10000 would look like pee water
    20000K is actinic, blue colour

    our sun is 6500K but it looks crap over the tanks. And the red to yellow is blocked out by the water too soon and do not reach that far down as compared to the blue spectrum.

    So between 10000 and 14000 should be fine.

    So it is single ended globes, without a splashguard (not needed in single ended)
    Do not overtighten the bulbs, you can break them, and they should be able to expand. Anyway, now you will not be able to get them out if they are even slighty hot to the touch. Also you could break them when you replace them, and then you sit with the socket part still in there. Bummer.

    Well if this new globe also blow in a short period, then replace the big heavy box.
     
    Last edited: 25 Aug 2010
  11. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    And do not touch these globes ever with your hands. Always use some soft cloth to handle them. Oily residue from your fingerprints stay behind, effecting the globes.

    Do you clean the globes sometimes and remove salt spray? Or are the globes high enough to prevent salt spray on them?
     
  12. Mouse

    Mouse Thread Starter

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    Thanks Riaan... the unit is high enough to prevent spray but I guess a wipe down every now and then won't do it harm.
    I had 14000K with the last bulb that blew and the previous, and the colour was great, I noticed this clear one is horribly bright but more yellow, like sunlight, that's why I wonder whether it may not be good for the tank.
    Sadly I can't get from JHB deep south (where I work) to far North to the LFS to pick up a new bulb until the weekend so I went for some light rather than none. I hope the tank will be OK until the weekend with pee-pee colouring.

    What does 20000k do, is it too blue?
     
  13. Mouse

    Mouse Thread Starter

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    Oops, and I stand corrected, my previous bulbs were Reftek
     
  14. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    This should do until this weekend

    Only problem is that algae would like the more yellow / red spectrum and they will grow very nicely this week. :)
    But do not worry, by the time the algae starts to react, the weekend will be here. ;) Cannot wait.
     
  15. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    I tested a Reeftek and AquaMedic, but T5 tubes, 10000K and Actinic. And the Aquamedic is far more superior than the Reeftek. Not sure on the MH bulbs. But AquaMedic is more expensive.

    But I would buy they cheapest 14000K bulb. Because of the suspect control gear, I would rather run the next couple of months with a cheaper globe, just in case this thread name happens again.
     
  16. Mouse

    Mouse Thread Starter

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    Thanks Riaan, I appreciate your help!! :thumbup:
     
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