Aquarium Metal Halide Lighting
LED vs metal halide aquarium lighting
Every technology has tradeoffs. LED is unsurpassed in coloration and energy efficiency. Both LED and metal halide give great shimmer effect. However, a metal halide fixture has better light spread, penetrates light deeper, and supports fast coral growth. Some aquarists combine both, with options like the Reef Brite metal halide LED hybrid.
A typical metal halide aquarium light will include a metal halide pendant, metal halide socket, metal halide ballast, and power cord, sold separately or as a kit. Each metal halide pendant covers a 2-3 foot radius. Bulbs come in 150w, 250w, and 400w, single ended (mogul base) or double ended (HQI), with bulbs ranging from yellow (6000k) to white (10000k) to blue (20000k).