Yet another 250W DE bulb question thread...


Premium Member
I've currently got a Current-USA SunPod Pro with two 14K 250W DE bulbs. It's time to replace them, so I'm looking at my options. I'm happy with the color(white with a medium blue hue) of the PowerPaq bulbs that come with the unit, but I don't have any idea what kind of PAR they put out. I haven't seen outstanding growth with them as of yet. I don't know who manufactures them as there's no stamp on the bulb. Current USA's website says "When coupled with Currentââ"šÂ¬Ã¢"žÂ¢s proprietary electronic driving system, PowerPaq lamps produce the highest lumen per watt of any comparable HID lamp." Of course they don't provide any numbers. The SunPod Pro also uses M80 magnetic ballasts.

So, I don't want to sacrifice PAR for color, but I don't want to run any supplemental lighting either. Here's what I'm thinking:

1) PowerPaq 14K. I already know about the color, but I'd like to find some PAR data.

2) Phoenix 14K. It seems to have good PAR and a similar color to what I'm used to.

3) XM 10K. It seems to have decent PAR as well, but I'm not sure if it will be too white

4) Giesemann 13K "Coral". Good PAR again, but I've heard reports that it's too white/yelllow on it's own.

So, feel free to chime in with your thoughts and opinions. Thanks!


Premium Member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=12270624#post12270624 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by 46FiatYamaha
I just got two retrofit kits with this bulb and I LOVE the color, and the output seems to be very good compared to the 250w's at my LFS

Everyone seems to have great things to say about the CoralVue bulb's color, but they seem to be on the weak side, PAR-wise.

I'd be willing to entertain the BlueLife SPS bulbs as well if the price really was justified.


Premium Member
After reading and reading, including many of Sanjay's articles, I decided to order a Helios 12,500K bulb. I haven't seen any discussion on this bulb, but Sanjay's spectrum plot convinced me it was worth a try. Should be interesting to see how it looks.


Salty Dude
Premium Member
I have a Phoenix 14K and I love it. I havent run any of the other bulbs so I can't comment on them. I also supplement my halide with 2 x 39 w T5's.


Reef Hugger
I run a 14K Phoenix bulb with no supplements and LOVE it! I used to run all kinds of actinics, and/or 20K to get the blue that I wanted, but with these there is no need. I highly recommend them.

On another note, how do you like your Sun Pod? I have been seriously considering these, but am unsure of the build quality, and light spillage. I actually started a thread about it here:

How do the moonlights look?


oh yeah - one of the main reasons I like the sunpod is because I know I can just switch out the stock bulbs for Phoenix 14K's and be happy with the color they produce.


Premium Member
Well, I ended up going with the Phoenix 14K bulbs and I'm very happy with the choice. I've had them running for 2 weeks now and I've seen some very significant changes in both coloration and growth rate in that short time.

The color is very similar to the stock SunPod bulbs, so I was pleased to see that. The intensity increase seems pretty dramatic subjectively, but I don't have a way to measure it. Of course new bulbs always seem brighter than old ones.

I have my rock laid out in basically two levels with most of my staghorn-type SPS at the top layer which is probably about 6-8 inches below the lights. Nearly all of them have shown a dramatic increase in tip coloration almost from day one. I didn't decrease the photoperiod, so a few actually looked like they were going to bleach, but they've come back nicely after a few days.

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=12431778#post12431778 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by stunreefer
On another note, how do you like your Sun Pod? I have been seriously considering these, but am unsure of the build quality, and light spillage.

How do the moonlights look?

I'm happy with the SunPod so far. I would say the build quality is average. It's not finely manufactured with no seams or edges, but it's not cheap. I don't worry about it breaking or failing and I haven't had any build issues with it yet. I have the SunPod Pro, so it has external M80 ballasts which seem to be pretty good quality. As for light spillage, that's tough to say. I have mine pretty close to the water, and in a subjective test with the lights off, I would say that there is fairly minimal spillage. The reflectors(pebbled) aren't too deep. If they were hung higher, I would say spillage might become an issue, but I haven't actually seem them in that configuration in person. I've been working on some photography, so maybe I can get some photos.

I like the moonlights. They're not bright since they're LEDs, but I think that's more natural than using something like actinics to simulate moonlight. I've been night diving on reefs down in Cozumel and I would say that the general effect is pretty similar. The LEDs provide enough light to make out shapes, but not enough to really pick out details without getting out the flashlights.


New member
i went from sunpods with the powerpaq bulbs to phoenix 14k 250 DE's and lumenmax 3 reflectors. i love the phoenix bulbs and not having to use actinic supplemention.

i own four sunpods, the 70,150 and 250 watters all in the 20" inch size and the 2x250, 36". they are fine for what they are. i had to reverse the fan on the 150 and 250w models as they were blowing air into the fixture rather than exhausting the hot air out. the 250 became so hot it started on fire, they replaced it and if i hadnt reversed it's fan it too would have burned up. i didnt even try the 2x250w without first reversing the fan. they were great fixtures for nano tanks but their refectors dont have a very wide spread of light for larger tanks, especially if you use the tank mounted legs. i still use two of the sunpods for my sump and an anenome tank and are fine for the smaller tanks.


In Memoriam
The Giesemann 13,000K is called the 'Marine' and would be too yellow on its own for most. The 14,500K is the 'Coral' bulb (same bulb as Ushio/BLV aqualite/nepturion 14,000K) that some do run on its own (Sanjay does himself)... it has more actinic in its output than any other halide on the market.