Product Review: Spectral Analysis of Aquarmckzo and Catalina Metal Halide Lamps
This article presents an analysis of the Aquarmckzo and Catalina metal halide lamps. The lamps tested along with the ballasts used are shown in Table 1 below. The Aquarmckzo lamps were sent to me by a reefs.org member. These lamps are being sold on ebay for around $10. At this price it definitely increases the curiosity to determine the type of value these lamps represent. The Catalina Reef Grow series of lamps are sold by Catalina Aquarium (www.catalinaaquarium.com).
| ||175 Watt||250 Watt||400 Watt|
|Lamps||Catalina 15000K||Aquarmckzo 10000K
Lumen General (Electronic)
|PFO-HQI (ANSI -M80)
Reef Fanatic (Electronic)
Icecap –New (Electronic)
Comparision of Lamp Performance Under Different Ballasts
This section presents the results of testing the different lamps using different ballasts. For each lamp tested different ballasts were used to fire the lamp and data is presented for the unshielded and shielded case. Spectral data is only provided for the shielded case, since we feel that most lamps will be used in this manner.
Aquarmckzo 250W DE 10000K
|HQI – M80||349||122.4||3.05||166.1||6458||137||6230|
|Icecap - New||263||123.7||2.25||116.1||6832||95.5||6562|
Aquarmckzo 250W DE 14000K
|HQI – M80||322||121.8||2.92||62||7217||51.3||6903|
|Icecap - New||264||122.4||2.28||46.4||7135||37.9||6666|
Catalina 250W DE 15000K
|HQI – M80||302||122.3||2.74||59.7||-||48.6||67272|
|Icecap - New||263||122.9||2.27||60.8||-||46||-|
Aquarmckzo 400W Mogul 14K
Aquarmckzo 400W Mogul 20000K
Catalina ReefGrow 175W Mogul 15000K
Fig 7, 8 and 9 and show how these lamps compare in PPFD values to all the other lamp and ballast combinations tested over the last few years. The data for all the lamp ballast combinations is grouped into categories (6500K, 10000K, 12000-18000K, and 20000K as specified by the lamp manufacturer’s ratings) and plotted on a chart showing the complete range of PPFD output for a given class of lamps.
Fig. 7 shows all the data for 175W mogul lamps, and superimposed on it is the data for the Catalina 175W Mogul 15000K lamp. As seen from the chart, the PPFD values for Catalina 15K lamp falls in the bottom third of all the lamps tested in the 12000-18000K range. Furthermore, the spectral plot for this lamp indicates that it will appear very blue since it has a spectral plot similar in profile to the lamps sold as 20000K. This lamp tends to perform better with the electronic ballasts. Comparing the output to 20000K lamps shows that this lamp performs around the middle of the range of the 20000K lamps.
Figure 8, shows the comparison of the Acquarmckzo 250W DE 10000K and the 250W DE 140000K lamp against all the other 250W DE lamp and ballast combinations previously tested. Interestingly, the 10000K 250W DE lamp tested has quite high output when compared to the others in its class, especially on the HQI-M80 ballast. The performance with the other ballasts is quite good and compares well with other lamps. The tested correlated color temperature is in the 6200-7000K range, which is very similar to a lot of the 10000K lamps. The 14000K 250W DE lamp on the other hand is a very poor performer when compared to lamps in its class. Spectrally this lamp has a higher correlated color temperature than the 10000K lamp, but the output is significantly low.
The Catalina 250W 15000K DE lamp has a spectral output more similar to the 20000K rated lamps, and as seen in the chart the output is quite low compared to the lamps in the 12000-18000K range.
Figure 9, shows the comparison of the Acquarmckzo 400W 14000K and 20000K lamps against all the other 400W mogul lamp and ballast combinations previously tested. The best performance of the 14000K lamp on the PFO HQI ballast puts it in the middle of the pack, and on other ballasts the performance is quite poor. However, once again the 14000K lamp has a spectral plot that is quite similar to the 20000K lamp, and if compared to the other 20000K lamps the output is quite comparable to lamps in the lower middle of the pack.
When compared against other lamp and ballast combinations, these lamps tend to have lower output. However, this does not mean that the lamps are not useable. Given the low cost of the lamps, their use can be justified. Knowing that the output lies in the lower half to the lower third of comparable lamps, this information can be used to extract the most out of these lamps. For example, these lamps could be adequate if you could mount them lower and use them on shallower tanks, or with corals that require lower light levels.