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Thread: Light fixture bulbs. Metal Halides vs Sodium vs Mercury Vapor

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    Tek's Avatar
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    Light fixture bulbs. Metal Halides vs Sodium vs Mercury Vapor

    Ok soooo confused.

    what is the difference between pressurized sodium, metal halide and mercury vapor bulbs? Are they interchangeable or does different fixture require a certain bulb?

    For Example if I bought a fixture from company X, will it be for metal halides only or would the sodium or mercury bulbs work?

    My fixture came with the bulb but I got it second hand so I don't even know what type of bulb I have. Anyway to find out? Cant read the markings.

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    wesleydnunder's Avatar
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    All three types are considered HID (High Intensity Discharge) lighting. Each type has its own voltage requirements. Sodium is yellow to orange and useless for plants or reefs. Metal Halide is typically used for reefs and higher-end planted setups. Mercury Vapor is close to sodium in its voltage/current requirements and emits bluer light than sodium. Fluorescent lamps are actually a type of mercury vapor lamp. I don't know of any mercury vapor HID that's used in the aquarium trade.

    Check the ballast on your light. It should tell you what type of fixture it's for.

    Mark
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  3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to wesleydnunder For This Useful Post:

    SunnyHouTX (06-25-2012), Tek (06-25-2012)

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    +1 to marks answer
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    Tek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wesleydnunder View Post
    All three types are considered HID (High Intensity Discharge) lighting. Each type has its own voltage requirements. Sodium is yellow to orange and useless for plants or reefs. Metal Halide is typically used for reefs and higher-end planted setups. Mercury Vapor is close to sodium in its voltage/current requirements and emits bluer light than sodium. Fluorescent lamps are actually a type of mercury vapor lamp. I don't know of any mercury vapor HID that's used in the aquarium trade.

    Check the ballast on your light. It should tell you what type of fixture it's for.

    Mark

    Thanks so much. +1

    That helped tons, and I ended up finding out what it was.

    It is metal halide system. Looked up the replacement bulbs and whoa, they are pricey. Thanks again

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    I have some for sale if you're in the market, pm me. 3mh's and 2 vho's in a 84" canopy.

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