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Old 08-28-2002, 10:27 AM   #1
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electronic ballast vs. tar ballast


I have been considering adding 2 250W MH to my tank, but I was wondering what is the difference in power consumption between a 250W tar ballast versus 250W electronic ballast? Cost is not an issue, power consumption is. Or is there even a difference. I don't have the electronic, but do have the tar so if someone could measure their electronic ballast, I'll power what I have with yours.

Thanks
Jim
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Old 08-28-2002, 10:43 AM   #2
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I've been told that Electronic Ballasts Are more Power Effecient then Regular Ballasts.

I'm having a major issue with power right now as well, so I'm trying to make everythign as efficent as possible, but I don't know if its going to be possible yet.

I have a 20 amp circuit I'm working with, and right now, the only thing on it is my stupid Refriderator and some small stuff for my Freshwater tank.
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Old 08-28-2002, 11:00 AM   #3
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That's what I heard. but how efficent? Are we talking about it only consuming 2A, 1.5A. If we are talking about only .5 it may be questionable as to if it's worth it. I know it probably won't be 1.5A, but would be great if it was.
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Old 08-28-2002, 11:04 AM   #4
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As far as impact on your power bill, I don't know if you would notice or not. But I have one of each on my tank and can say with no hessitation that quite a bit of power is lost to heat on the tar ballast vs. the cool running e-ballast. I can easily hold to e-ballast after hours of operation. The same cannot be said for the tar. Also, the e-ballast is much smaller.

I hope this helps a little. I know it didn't answer the question directly, but it does provide some info. Hopefully someone else will chime in.
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Old 08-28-2002, 11:12 AM   #5
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Thanks... but power bill is not an issue. I have already accepted that I'm pay close to $100 / month on my tanks alone. But I need numbers as my display tank is already pushing on 2 15A circuit and need to know if it can handle 2 more 250W (tar or electronic) before life shuts down. Didn't want to make the investment on the lighting if I can't use it. Running another circuit is not an option. The builder did a crappy job with my electrical work.
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Old 08-28-2002, 11:22 AM   #6
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Ballast


I have the PFO 2 ballast ( will run 4 96 watt pc's), they use 1.82 amps per ballast for a total of 3.64 amps total. This is the one with the built-in timers. HTH
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Old 08-28-2002, 12:00 PM   #7
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Here is the stats straight from IceCap for the 175W electronic MH that I recently installed:

IceCap 175W MH light: 2.3 Amps at 210-watts
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Old 08-28-2002, 01:41 PM   #8
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2.3A seems high for a 175W electronic ballast. Are you running SE or DE? I was hoping your consumption came in around 1.5A - 1.7A. My 400W ranges from 4.0A - 4.3A. The range is from the measurement of the 3 400W MH.
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Old 08-28-2002, 01:46 PM   #9
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Jim,

According to these guys:

http://www.championlighting.com/e/en.../eballast.html

the difference is 2.5 amps (magnetic) vs. 2.1 amps (electronic).

Economically the e-ballast is not worth it. Not even close. Especially if you have a failure after the warranty period and the e-ballast is much more likely to fail. If you have a heat issue, like you mount the ballast under/next to the tank, different story, big difference in heat. If 0.8 amps make a difference to your application, you better get another circuit because you are already too close to the limit.

If you are going with Iwasaki 6500K there are even cheaper options but the color isn't the best. This bulb will run on a MV ballast. I did two 400 W Iwasakis with reflectors, ballast, cooling fans for less than $300.

Good Luck

Bill
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Old 08-28-2002, 01:49 PM   #10
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It's single ended, and again, those are quotes from IceCap--the best thing is the ballast is barely even warm when on, you can almost not tell.
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Old 08-28-2002, 01:58 PM   #11
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http://www.icecapinc.com/specsheet250&400MH.pdf

Is the specs on the Electronic Ballast from Icecap.
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Old 08-28-2002, 02:10 PM   #12
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I saw on that Championlighting page that They have problems with the SunBurst bulbs.. anyone else have any expereince with these bulbs?
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Old 08-28-2002, 02:14 PM   #13
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First, I am not an electrician.

I can't help but think that there is a benefit from the electronic ballast. If the tar is putting off lots of heat (and it does) that energy is not going toward lighting the bulb, hence wasted energy. The e-ballast may not be a lower draw on current, but the energy it does draw goes toward lighting the bulb, not heating the room. Just my thoughts. I'd love to hear someone elses thoughts on this, especially someone who understands how the energy is used in the tar ballast vs. e-ballast.
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Old 08-28-2002, 02:46 PM   #14
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I believe, but I am often wrong, that tar ballast use a LOT more power on start up then electronic ballast which is often more of a problem on low power places. HTH

Jon
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Old 08-28-2002, 04:56 PM   #15
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Heats not an issue as the ballast are either on top of the hood or back of the tank.

Reedman, I see what you are saying, but are the bulbs brighter? I don't know as I don't have either to compare to. I've always had tar ballast as they are cheaper.

Bill, thanks for that insight on the failure. realiability is much more important. I did a search on MV and learn that Iwasakis were developed to help transition MV users to MH. And that's what the PFO EYE ballast are, MV ballast internal. But I've moved away from the 6500K to 10000K. And yes, I'm just playing the number game. I actually had to change all my incandescant bulbs to PC bulbs because when all the lights are on in the tank and my house, I will blow the circuit on the tank. Kinda bad when there's a roomful of people. I had to tap in to my kitchen outlet as those are hardly used.
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