Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
Log in
Sections
You are here: Home Volume IX January 2010 Feature Article: Spectral Analysis of Metal Halide Lamps: AquaMaxx 14000K Series

Feature Article: Spectral Analysis of Metal Halide Lamps: AquaMaxx 14000K Series

By Sanjay Joshi, Ph.D. Posted Jan 14, 2010 07:00 PM Pomacanthus Publications, Inc.
This article presents a review of the spectral analysis and light output of these lamps when used with a wide variety of ballasts.

Recently Marine Depot (www.marinedepot.com) introduced a new line of AquaMaxx 14000K lamps. The lamps are available in 400W, 250W and 175W mogul versions, as well as 250W and 150W double-ended versions. These lamps were sent to me curtsey of Marine Depot. This article presents a review of the spectral analysis and light output of these lamps when used with a wide variety of ballasts. Table 1 presents the list of lamps and the ballasts used to test the performance of these lamps.

Table 1: List of lamps and ballasts tested
Lamp Ballasts
AquaMaxx 14000K
400W Mogul
PFO-HQI
Taiwan HQI
EVC (Electronic)
Magnetic (M59)
Blueline (Electronic)
Sunlight Galaxy (Electronic)
Vertex (Electronic)
AquaMaxx 14000K
250W Mogul
Magnetic (M58)
PFO HQI (M80)
Blueline (Electronic)
Galaxy (Electronic)
Vertex (Electronic)
Icecap (Electronic)
Lumatek (Electronic)
AquaMaxx 14000K
175W Mogul
Galaxy (Electronic)
Vertex (Electronic)
Lumatek (Electronic)
Icecap (Electronic)
Magnetic (M57)
AquaMaxx 14000K
250W Double Ended
PFO HQI (M80)
Blueline (Electronic)
Galaxy (Electronic)
Vertex (Electronic)
Icecap (Electronic)
Lumatek (Electronic)
Reef Fanatic (Electronic)
AquaMaxx 14000K
150W Double Ended
Aromat (Electronic)
Lumen General (Electronic)
Vertex (Electronic)
Galaxy (Electronic)
Sunpark/Current USA (Electronic)
HQI (M81)

Comparison of Lamp Performance with Different Ballasts

This section presents the results of testing the different lamps when used with different ballasts. The data is obtained in an identical manner, using the same set of instrumentation and distance (18" from the center of the lamp to sensor) thus allowing for direct comparison between these lamps and all others tested and reported on in my earlier articles and subsequently archived on the website (http://manhattanreefs.com/lighting ).

AquaMaxx 400W 14000K Mogul

Table 2: AquaMaxx 400W 14000K Mogul
Ballast Power Voltage Current PPFD CCT Efficiency
EVC 418 122.3 3.55 107.2 na 0.2565
Vertex 444 121.8 3.77 121.2 na 0.2730
Lumatek 464 122.3 3.95 127.7 na 0.2752
Galaxy 459 122.1 3.89 129.5 na 0.2821
Taiwan 464 122.5 4.06 118.1 na 0.2545
HQI 542 122.8 5.36 142.8 na 0.2635
Magnetic 392 122.7 3.62 79.7 na 0.2033
fig_1_aquamaxx_400w_mogul_all_ballasts.jpg

Figure 1: Spectral Plot of the AquaMaxx 400W 14000K Mogul Lamp with the different ballasts

AquaMaxx 250W 14000K Mogul

Table 3: AquaMaxx 250W 14000K Mogul
Ballast Power Voltage Current PPFD CCT Efficiency
Magnetic (M58) 276 121.3 2.73 45.9 na 0.1663
PFO HQI (M80) 332 123.1 2.92 68.7 na 0.2069
Blueline 255 123.5 2.16 46.1 na 0.1808
Galaxy 286 124.2 2.44 55.6 na 0.1944
Vertex 263 123.4 2.25 52.7 na 0.2004
Icecap (New) 266 123.8 2.27 52.9 na 0.1989
Lumatek 286 124.3 2.46 55.2 na 0.1930
fig_2_aquamaxx_250w_mogul_all_ballasts.jpg

Figure 2: Spectral Plot of the AquaMaxx 250W 14000K Mogul Lamp with the different ballasts

AquaMaxx 175W 14000K Mogul

Table 4: AquaMaxx 175W 14000K Mogul
Ballast Power Voltage Current PPFD CCT Efficiency
Galaxy 192 123 1.67 38.4 na 0.2000
Vertex 188 123.2 1.62 36.3 na 0.1931
Lumatek 182 123.5 1.65 37.6 na 0.2066
Icecap 182 123.4 1.63 35.7 na 0.1962
Magnetic 185 122.8 1.99 30.6 na 0.1654
fig_3_aquamaxx_175w_mogul_all_ballasts.jpg

Figure 3: Spectral Plot of AquaMaxx 175W Mogul Lamp with the different ballasts

AquaMaxx 250W 14000K Double Ended

Table 5: AquaMaxx 250W 14000K Double Ended
Ballast Shielded Power Voltage Current PPFD CCT Efficiency
Icecap N 266 123.7 2.26 58.9 na 0.2214
Icecap Y 266 123.7 2.26 49.3 na 0.1853
Blueline Y 252 122.9 2.16 48.4 na 0.0175
Blueline N 252 122.9 2.16 57.8 na 0.2294
Lumatek N 287 123.1 2.48 68.2 na 0.2376
Lumatek N 287 123.1 2.48 54.8 na 0.1909
Vertex Y 264 123.4 2.24 48.8 na 0.1848
Vertex N 264 123.4 2.24 62.5 na 0.2367
Galaxy N 288 123.1 2.45 71.5 na 0.2483
Galaxy Y 288 123.1 2.45 57.3 na 0.1990
Reef Fanatic Y 259 122.9 2.23 49.1 na 0.1896
Reef Fanatic N 259 122.9 2.23 61.7 na 0.2382
PFO HQI N 302 123.6 2.78 68.8 na 0.2278
PFO HQI Y 302 123.6 2.78 55.4 na 0.1834
fig_4_aquamaxx_250w_de_all_ballasts.jpg

Figure 4: Spectral Plot of the AquaMaxx 250W 14000K Double Ended Lamp with the different ballasts (Shielded)

AquaMaxx 150W 14000K Double Ended

Table 6: AquaMaxx 150W 14000K Double Ended
Ballast Shielded Power Voltage Current PPFD CCT Efficiency
Aromat Y 164 122.9 1.42 26.9 na 0.1640
Aromat N 164 122.9 1.42 33.9 na 0.2067
Lumen General N 176 123.9 1.63 36.7 na 0.2085
Lumen General Y 176 123.9 1.63 29 na 0.1648
Vertex Y 186 123.5 1.61 29.9 na 0.1608
Vertex N 186 123.5 1.61 37.2 na 0.2000
Galaxy N 145 123.4 1.25 29.6 na 0.2041
Galaxy Y 145 123.4 1.25 23.3 na 0.1607
Sunpark Y 154 124.3 1.31 24.8 na 0.1610
Sunpark N 154 124.3 1.31 31.3 na 0.2032
HQI N 188 123.2 1.67 34.2 na 0.1819
HQI Y 188 123.2 1.67 27.4 na 0.1457
fig_5_aquamaxx_150w_de_all_ballasts.jpg

Figure 5: Spectral Plot of the AquaMaxx 150W 14000K Double Ended Lamp with the different ballasts (Shielded)

Discussion and Conclusions

Figure 6 shows a comparison of the spectral outputs of all the highest output combinations of the AquaMaxx lamps and the ballasts used for testing. From the spectral plots at first glance it seems that the spectral output of these lamps shows similar characteristics of the lamps sold in the hobby with the "20000K" label.

fig_6_aquamaxx_all_lamps.jpg

Figure 6: Comparison of the Spectral Plot of all the AquaMaxx 14000K Lamps

Given that the spectral plots look very similar to the blue ("20000K") lamps, the 400W AquaMaxx was compared to a Radium 400W - both running on a PFO HQI ballast. Figure 7 shows the spectral plots of the 2 lamps - and as is clearly obvious the output is almost identical to that of the Radium along with very similar PPFD values (142.8 for the Aquamax and 147 for the Radium). This lamp would make an excellent substitute for those that are currently running Radium lamps and at a significantly reduced cost.

fig_7_aquamaxx_400w_mogul_comparison_with_radium.jpg

Figure 7: Comparison of the 400W Mogul AquaMaxx 14000K to the Radium 400W on PFO-HQI Ballast

When comparing the AquaMaxx 250W mogul version to a Radium the predominance of blue at 454nm is quite obvious (Figure 8). However in this case the AquaMaxx lamp has an output that is about 19% lower that that of the Radium lamp when both are fired using the same HQI(M80) ballast.

fig_8_aquamaxx_250w_mogul_comparison_with_radium.jpg

Figure 8: Comparison of the 250W Mogul AquaMaxx 14000K to the Radium 250W on PFO-HQI Ballast

The 150W Double Ended AquaMaxx lamp has a spectral output that is different from that of the 150W Double Ended Radium lamp, with the AquaMaxx showing increased output at 420nm that is lacking in the Radiums (Figure 9). The AquaMaxx lamp in this case also has a higher peak at 454 nm, but the overall output is much lower for most of the other wavelengths accounting for its much lower PPFD (almost 40% lower).

fig_9_aquamaxx_150w_de_comparison_with_radium.jpg

Figure 9: Comparison of the 150W AquaMaxx 14000K to the Radium 150W on HQI Ballast

The 250W Double Ended and 175W Mogul AquaMaxx lamps do not have any Radium counterpart, hence the highest output ballast and lamp combinations were compared with other commonly available highest PPFD output lamp and ballast combinations. The 250W AquaMaxx is compared to the EVC 250W 20000K lamp and the spectral plots are shown in Figure 10. The PPFD output of the AquaMaxx lamp is about 16% lower.

fig_10_aquamaxx_250w_de_comparison_with_evc.jpg

Figure 10: Comparison of the 250W DE AquaMaxx 14000K to the EVC 250W DE on PFO-HQI Ballast

The 175W AquaMaxx lamp on the Galaxy electronic ballast is compared to the XM 175W 20000K lamp on a standard magnetic ballast (M57) and the spectral plots are shown in Figure 11. The PPFD output of the AquaMaxx lamp is almost 25% lower.

fig_11_aquamaxx_175w_mogul_comparison_with_xm.jpg

Figure 11: Comparison of the 175W Mogul AquaMaxx 14000K on Galaxy Ballast to the XM 175W 20000K on standard magnetic (M57) ballast

In conclusion, I feel that hobbyists considering these lamps should evaluate them as "20000K" lamps to bring them more in line with what the aquarist is likely to see in terms of color and performance. The AquaMaxx 400W lamp is an excellent replacement for the Radium lamp. As for the other wattages, these have performance very similar to the middle of the pack lamps in their respective categories and at comparable prices.

Document Actions
blog comments powered by Disqus
ADVANCED AQUARIST