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Thread: So this is it?

  1. #1
    swords's Avatar
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    I thought maybe it just needed a few hours to warm up to full brightness and I had just fired it up last night for an hour or so. I figured that today it might be brighter but it is not.

    I am using a 250 W MH and it doesn't seem too bright. This ballasts wattage is unmarked but the other 2 ballasts I have are. There is a slightly larger ballast which says 175W (shouldn't a 250 ballast be bigger than a 175) and an enormous one which says 400w/x2 (this ballast lights two independent bulbs of 400 W).

    What I'm wondering is if the 175W and 250W might have got their labels mixed up? What would happen if I were to test that theory and put the "175w" ballast on the 250W bulb just for a few minutes?

    Is there a way to know for sure that this is a 250 W bulb? Perhaps this is the 175W bulb and that's why it's so dim?

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    It shouldn't take more than 15-20 minutes to get up to full brightness. Perhaps the bulb is old? It should be marked somewhere as to its wattage. Perhaps your running a mismatched bulb/ballast like your thinking. Who's the manufacturer for your 250watt ballast? I would give them a call if you have that information.

    Not sure about the physical size. The actual ballast is inside the metal case which is acting like a heat sink.

    When you say it's not too bright do you mean the light at the plant level or do you mean when your up close to the bulb? How far away is the light from the plants?
    Tony
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    swords, connecting the small ballast to the larger bulb is likely to destroy the ballast but that is up to you.

    Screw the 250 watt bulb into the 400 watt ballast(yes you can do this it will only draw 250 watts). If the bulb is significantly brighter than the other ballast has problems. If it is still dim then trash the bulb.

    joe
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    Hi Josh,

    the ballast you do use should be designed for the wattage of lamp you do use. If you don't have the proper one, the voltage across the lamp might be too low or to high. This could easily be seen in a shift in light colours. With the 175W ballast I would expect the lamp to be somewhat too reddish. (The MH lamps available over here would act so.)

    The firing up of MH-lamps will take some minutes, but nothing like hours or so. The efficiency of new MH-lamps and fluorescent tubes should be quite similar, so you should get a similar amount of light from the same wattage. Typical MH-lamps do have a life span of about 5000 hours, when getting older the light levels decrease and also the colour temperature shifts slightly. So it also may be your lamp is at the end of its lifecycle.

    Joachim

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    Joachim, with the M59 ballast there is a slight blue shift when placing the smaller bulb in a larger ballast and the life of the bulb will decrease slightly. However when compared to the cost (initial and electrical) of the higher wattage bulb it is most often cheaper to run a lower wattage bulb if it is all you need.

    As for the higher wattage bulb in a low wattage ballast, definately a large red shift, although I wouldn't expect the ballast to live too long.

    Excellent observations, you've been doing this a while I assume.

    joe
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    swords's Avatar
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    This bulb is indeed "blue" I thought the guy told me it was 6500K but none of my compact florescents which are supposed to be 6500K are this blue so perhaps it is a 175 watt bulb in a 250 ballast. (when he sold me these ballasts and bulbs he just stuffed the bulbs in whatever sleeves he had laying around from assembling his new SWreef lighting setup. and being it was over a year ago when I got them (before the 9/11 thing) I have long forgotten if this bulb was a 175 or 250, I couldve swore he said it was a 250... I looked at the bulb and the only markings is a little metal disk inside the bulb that says Ushio (the manufacturer). no model number or wattage.
    The ballast says Hamilton Technology there is no model number or serial number on the ballast.

    I guess I might just bit the bullet and set up the dual 400 watt MH but I wonder how much that will cost to run? (800watts for 14 hours everyday) Any of you with those monstrous 1000W metal halides care to say?

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    You don't want to know, just run one side of the 800 and you'll still be able to afford frozen pizzas.

    joe
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    Hi, it will you about 75 cents a day to run, energy is pretty cheap in minnesota.

    Here's how to calculate approximate cost. KwH x Kw x # of hours in use.

    Example: my kilowatt/hour in Richfield is $0.063500 x 800w (800 watts = 0.8 kilowatts) x 14 hours of use/day = $0.7112 a day x 30 days a month = $21.336 a month.

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