newbie question: am I able to use lower wattage bulbs on a..

Discussion in 'Hardware & DIY' started by jarthel, 1 Dec 2009.

  1. jarthel

    jarthel Member

    MH fitting that uses 400W normally?

    I was looking at a online shop and they are selling the supposedly OEM version of Aqua Medic's 2x 400W. Anyway, I think this much light can actually kill fish and bring algae galore unless the lights are way up in the ceiling. So I', thinking of buying lower wattage bulbs. I suppose this is okay?

    same question but for T5 HO lighting. The lighting normally uses 54W and wondering I can use lower wattage bulbs.

    thank you very much :)
  2. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

    nr Bath
    Hi all,
    You can't use a low wattage bulb in the Metal Halide fitting, the fitting has a specific related electronic ballast to fire the bulb. Metal halide lamps produce light by passing an electric arc through a mixture of gases, depends a little bit on the type of lamp, but the strike/ re-strike voltages required to vaporise the gases are huge.

    For both the MH and T5 lights (they are both discharge lights so they operate in a similar way), If you can have a look at the ballast in the fitting it will have a rating on it, and it may be you can use a slightly low wattage lamp. I'm not sure about the metal halides, but certainly for the T5's a tube at the lower wattage rating for the ballast will be "overdriven", so you may well find a lower wattage tube actually emits almost as much light as the 54W tube.

    I'd try and find a more suitable fitting, as 800W is a lot of energy to have on for 10 hours a day.

    cheers Darrel
  3. MarkyG

    MarkyG Newly Registered

    once watched a 400w in 600w ballast shatter hope that helps
  4. jarthel

    jarthel Member

    thanks everyone :)

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