Product Review: Analyzing Reflectors: Part V

Since the last set of reflector tests in 2004, I have received
five new reflectors for various metal halide lamps. This article
presents test results on the fixtures/reflectors available for
these lamps. The reflectors were tested using the same setup and
methodology as used for the tests on other reflectors, described
in [1]. The data is also presented in an identical manner with
plots for light dispersion for each reflector at distances of
6″, 9″ and 12″ from the center of the lamp. This
article continues in a similar vein as the previous reflector
articles and presents the data and analysis of the remaining
reflectors in my inventory.

Table 1: Listing of the Reflectors Tested
Reflector Ballast Lamp
PFO Lighting New 400W/250W DE Reflector 400W PFO HQI Ballast HappyReefing 400W DE 10000K
PFO Lighting New 400W/250W DE Reflector 250W PFO HQI Ballast AB 250W DE 10000K
Icecap 400W/250W DE Reflector 250W PFO HQI Ballast AB 250W DE 10000K
Sunlight Supply – LumenMax 400W Magnetic Ballast (M59) USHIO 400W 10000K
Icecap 70/150W Pendant Icecap 150W Ballast Iwasaki PAR Lamp 6500K, Med base.

Reflector Data and Analysis

The data plots for each reflector at the distances 6″,
9″, and 12″ are plotted as a surface graph, top view
graph, and a % distribution graph to illustrate the intensity and
spread at different points on the measuring grid. Table 2 below
shows the list of figures associated with each reflector.

Table 2: List of Figures associated with each reflector
Reflector Figures
PFO Lighting new 400W/250W DE Reflector – 400W DE
Figs. 1-3
PFO Lighting new 400W/250W DE Reflector – 250W DE
Figs. 4-6
Icecap 400W/250W DE Reflector Figs. 7-9
Sunlight Supply – LumenMax Figs. 10-12
Icecap 70/150W Pendant Figs. 13-15

Figure #1: PFO Lighting new 400W/250W DE Reflector – 400W DE



Figure #2: PFO Lighting new 400W/250W DE Reflector – 400W DE


Figure #3: PFO Lighting new 400W/250W DE Reflector – 400W DE


Figure #4: PFO Lighting new 400W/250W DE Reflector – 250W DE


Figure #5: PFO Lighting new 400W/250W DE Reflector – 250W DE


Figure #6: PFO Lighting new 400W/250W DE Reflector – 250W DE


Figure #7: Icecap 400W/250W DE Reflector


Figure #8: Icecap 400W/250W DE Reflector


Figure #9: Icecap 400W/250W DE Reflector



Figure #10: Sunlight Supply – LumenMax


Figure #11: Sunlight Supply – LumenMax


Figure #12: Sunlight Supply – LumenMax


Figure #13: Icecap 70/150W Pendant


Figure #14: Icecap 70/150W Pendant


Figure #15: Icecap 70/150W Pendant


One of the measures of a reflector performance could be its
ability to direct light into the aquarium. A reflector’s
total incident light upon a surface of a given area is
representative of the performance of a reflector. It is computed
by adding up all the measurements taken at the discrete points
within the region. It demonstrates how much light the reflector
is able to focus downward when compared to other reflectors with
similar operating conditions (same ballast and lamp). While it
can be argued that adding all the PPFD values is technically not
a valid measure as per the definition of PPFD (since PPFD is
defined as microEinstiens/m2/sec), it can be used to
provide a metric for reflector performance. Further summing over
the data points on a given area can easily be used to compute the
average, if so desired. Since the area under consideration is the
same for all reflectors, we can just as well use the sum of the
PPFD values distributed over this area (169 data points) instead
of an average as a performance metric.

Table 3 presents this data for the reflectors in this article.
Note that the initial PPFD values of the lamp/ballast combo used
to test the reflector influences this data. For example, the PFO
DE reflector used a 400W DE lamp on an HQI ballast with a PPFD
value of 229 where as the Sunlight Supply Lumenmax used an Ushio
400W lamp on a magnetic ballast with a PPFD of 120.


Table 3: Total Incident PPFD on a given Surface area
Total Incident Light
Reflector: Distance: 3×3
PFO Lighting new 400W/250W DE Reflector –
400W DE Lamp
6″ 61861 61756 55161 4226
9″ 60400 58810 40033 2238
12″ 55981 50333 28277 1468
PFO Lighting new 400W/250W DE Reflector –
2500W DE Lamp
6″ 36452 36384 32389 2220
9″ 34003 33052 22624 1180
12″ 29966 26700 14748 750
Icecap 400W/250W DE Reflector 6″ 42529 41921 33345 3176
9″ 41750 37794 25596 1889
12″ 39202 32480 18791 1168
Sunlight Supply – LumenMax 6″ 46636 46542 28846 1682
9″ 45596 44010 26180 1338
12″ 45713 40933 21246 996
Icecap 70/150W Pendant 6″ 22914 21987 18245 2539
9″ 21486 19398 13871 1223
12″ 20411 17386 10312 727

In addition to knowing how much light is incident on a given
area, we could also look at how much loss of light occurs on a
given area when moving the lamp and reflector higher. Table 4,
presents the % of light lost on a specified area as one moves the
lamp/reflector from 6″ to 12″ above the surface. A
higher % loss would indicate that the reflector is creating a
larger spread.

Table 4: Percent of PPFD lost from 6″ to 12″ from
the lamp
Reflector 3×3′
PFO Lighting new 400W/250W DE Reflector – 400W DE
9.5 18.5 48.7
PFO Lighting new 400W/250W DE Reflector – 250W DE
17.8 26.6 54.6
Icecap 400W/250W DE Reflector 7.8 22.5 43.6
Sunlight Supply – LumenMax 1.9 12.0 26.3
Icecap 70/150W Pendant 10.9 20.9 43.4


This article is the 5th (and possibly last) in this series and
presents the data and a brief analysis some of the new reflectors
I received in the past year.


We would like to thank several people whose help made this
study possible. They were kind enough to provide us with lamps,
reflectors and ballasts for testing: Patrick at PFO Lighting,
Andy at Icecap, Dave at Sunlight Supply.


  1. Joshi, S. and Marks, Timothy. 2003. Analyzing Reflectors:
    Part I – Mogul Reflectors
  Advanced Aquarist
Sanjay Joshi

 Sanjay Joshi

  (43 articles)

Sanjay Joshi in real life is a Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Penn State University. He has been a reef addict since 1992, and currently keeps several reef aquariums at home including a 500G SPS coral dominated reef. He also co-manages the 500G aquarium at Penn State. He has published several articles in magazines such as Marine Fish and Reef Annual, Aquarium Frontiers, Aquarium Fish, and Advanced Aquarist. In addition, he has been an invited speaker at several marine aquarium society meetings in the US and Europe. He received the MASNA award in 2006, for his contributions to the marine aquarium hobby.

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