MH lighting question

cloak

New member
I'm currently using an older Hamilton magnetic ballast right now, 175 watts. Everything is fine in the tank, but I'm thinking about buying an Icecap or Lumatek ballast, same wattage, same bulb. (XM 20,000K) Will I see any significant change going electronic, or will it pretty much just be the same?

Thanks.
 

Moebuis

New member
From what I've heard, the IC ballast will make the XM20k bulb very blue. Some people like it, some don't. I just got some Reeflux20k bulbs for my 250w IC ballast and love them so far. Still burning in, but very nice color and similar to Radiums. I'm not sure how XM20k will look on a Lumentek ballast.
 

cloak

New member
Do you think I'm sacrificing anything by using that older magnetic ballast? Should I just buy the electronic ballast and be done with it?
 

Moebuis

New member
If you like the color of what you have now, I see no reason to change. Different ballast will fire bulbs differently. The IC may not fire your XM the way you want. Is there anyone in your area that is using an electronic 175 ballast that you can test with?
 

cloak

New member
No, not that I know of. My LFS is running a 400 watt XM bulb on an electronic ballast and the color is very different to my eyes. Here's a picture of the ballast I'm using for reference. I just have some extra money right now and I'm not sure if I should upgrade. I feel as though I might be missing out on something with this dinosaur. Thank you.

ballast2.jpg
 

gt6188a

New member
An electronic ballast provides more output of Watts.


I have Galaxy 250W with XM 20K. Color is not deep blue.
 

Mike31154

New member
I have no experience with the electronic MH ballasts and am running 'dinosaur' Advance M58 magnetic ballasts to fire my 250watt MH lamps. They work fine and I've resisted the urge and hype to 'upgrade' to electronic. Nothing wrong with magnetic technology. It will use more power than electronic ballasts but I've read that this higher power use also translates to brighter light from your lamps. I came very close to converting a while back, but the more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that there's little reason to change as long as what I have is working.

If a coil or capacitor goes on your magnetic ballast, it's not difficult or overly pricey to replace that component. Try getting parts for an electronic ballast when it packs it in. Not going to happen, the whole thing goes in the trash unless you're willing to send it back for service. One significant advantage of electronic over magnetic is that most newer electronic ballasts can fire almost any bulb, pulse, probe, DE, SE etc. The magnetics need to be matched to specific bulbs. So electronic is great if you're in the habit of constantly changing bulb type.
 

aoc230

Aoc230
No, not that I know of. My LFS is running a 400 watt XM bulb on an electronic ballast and the color is very different to my eyes. Here's a picture of the ballast I'm using for reference. I just have some extra money right now and I'm not sure if I should upgrade. I feel as though I might be missing out on something with this dinosaur. Thank you.

ballast2.jpg

electrics are alot smaller, alot less heat... you wont see that large of a difference in electricity when switching from magnetic to electric in the same wattage's. but like mention in above posts they will power your bulbs differently thus giving you different colors from the same bulb used on magnetic ballasts
 
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