We offer a wide variety of Metal Halide bulb choices to suit your aquarium lighting needs.
A Metal Halide Lamp is a high-intensity discharge light source in which the light is produced by the radiation from mercury, plus halides of metals such as sodium, scandium, indium, and dysprosium. The K at the end of color rating for each bulb stands for Kelvin. This is a measurement of the color temperature. The higher the Kelvin rating, the cooler (bluer) the color of light given off by the bulb. In general, the color given off by the 10,000K German is interpreted as being a perfect white color.
There are two main considerations to decide upon when chosing Metal Halide bulbs and systems: wattage and color temperature.
Common questions/problems concerning metal halide lamps:
Metal halide lamps operate by passing an electric arc through an arc tube that excites particles in the arc tube. When the metal particles reach an excited state they emit energy in the form of visible light. It takes 100 hours of operation before the metal particles stabilize and become a consistent color. All metal halides require 100 hours of operation before color and light output stabilize. All metal halides inherently have a slight color variation between individual lamps.
Usually the ballast and lamp are not receiving enough power. Metal halides pull a high current. Usually the problem is either there is too great a load on the circuit or the extension cords are of a small wire size and can`t handle the power needed by the ballast. Use only heavy duty extension cords and try running a ballast off a circuit from another part of the house.
Metal halide lamps produce a large amount of UV and also have a potential of exploding. The single ended metal halide lamps have an outer jacket which eliminates most of the UV. However, they have an inherent risk of exploding and UL requires metal halide lamps to be enclosed. On double ended lamps there is no UV shield. Double ended lamps must have a glass shield or major eye injuries including blindness may occur.
Each wattage lamp and ballast are designed together for optimal performance and safety. If you over drive the lamp it may explode and shorten the life of the ballast and lamps. If you under drive the lamp it will also shorten the life of both components and also may explode. Do not mix different type wattages of lamps and ballasts.
Bulb Replacement Guide Bulb Types
Life of Bulb*
Normal Output Fluorescent
Very High Output (VHO)
Power Compact (PC)
T5 High Output (T5HO)
~5 years (50,000 hours)
* Manufacturer Recommendations
Since the North American operations began in 1967, it has been USHIO America, Inc.`s charter to provide customers with unrivaled customer service. With over 4,000 products in their portfolio, from unique specialty light sources for critically important and demanding applications, to general illumination lamps for architectural and task lighting, USHIO has earned worldwide respect as a company that delivers on its promise to meet the world`s lighting needs.