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Aquarium Supplies

Metal Halide Bulbs

Metal Halide Bulbs
Which Metal Halide Bulb is Right for Me?

There are three main considerations to decide upon when choosing metal halide bulbs: type of bulb, wattage and color temperature.

There are two different types of sockets for aquarium metal halide bulbs. The first type are for single ended bulbs, also referred to as mogul based or SE. Single ended lamps have a threaded end like a normal light bulb, only a little thicker to screw into a mogul socket. The second type of socket is for double ended metal halide bulbs (sometimes referred to as HQI or DE). DE bulbs lack the threads and UV casing found on single ended bulbs. Single ended and double ended bulbs are available in wattages from 70 to 400 watts. Bulb and ballast wattage must match, so you cannot run a 175 watt bulb on a 400 watt metal halide ballast.

The color temperature of metal halide aquarium bulbs are rated using the Kelvin (K) rating scale. Lower Kelvin temperatures are more yellow and green in color, while higher Kelvin temperatures are more white and blue in color. 10,000K and higher bulbs tend to be the most popular for reef aquariums. 10,000K bulbs generally have a crisp white color. As you go higher in K value, the bulbs take on a more blue color. Most metal halide light bulbs of the same wattage and base type are interchangeable with different K rated bulbs, so you can replace your 250 watt DE 14,000K with a 250 watt DE 20,000K metal halide aquarium bulb without any issues. Read this short metal halide bulb comparison article or contact us for more information on metal halide lights.

Read More: Lighting: What To Know Before You Buy & Replacing your Reef Tank Bulbs


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Metal Halide Bulb Videos
In this MarineDepot.com video, we demonstrate how to replace the bulbs in your T5, Metal Halide or Power Compact Fixture. You should replace your aquarium lights every 9-12 months, depending on usage. Changing out your bulbs during this timeframe is the best way to maintain a healthy aquarium. This step-by-step video shows you how easy it is to perform routine bulb replacement for freshwater, marine and reef aquariums.

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