Spectral Analysis of Metal Halide Lamps: AquaMaxx 14000K Series

Recently Marine Depot (www.marinedepot.com) introduced a new line of AquaMaxx 14000K lamps. The lamps are available in 400W, 250W and 175W mogul versions, as well as 250W and 150W double-ended versions. These lamps were sent to me curtsey of Marine Depot. This article presents a review of the spectral analysis and light output of these lamps when used with a wide variety of ballasts. Table 1 presents the list of lamps and the ballasts used to test the performance of these lamps.

Table 1: List of lamps and ballasts tested
LampBallasts
AquaMaxx 14000K
400W Mogul
PFO-HQI
Taiwan HQI
EVC (Electronic)
Magnetic (M59)
Blueline (Electronic)
Sunlight Galaxy (Electronic)
Vertex (Electronic)
AquaMaxx 14000K
250W Mogul
Magnetic (M58)
PFO HQI (M80)
Blueline (Electronic)
Galaxy (Electronic)
Vertex (Electronic)
Icecap (Electronic)
Lumatek (Electronic)
AquaMaxx 14000K
175W Mogul
Galaxy (Electronic)
Vertex (Electronic)
Lumatek (Electronic)
Icecap (Electronic)
Magnetic (M57)
AquaMaxx 14000K
250W Double Ended
PFO HQI (M80)
Blueline (Electronic)
Galaxy (Electronic)
Vertex (Electronic)
Icecap (Electronic)
Lumatek (Electronic)
Reef Fanatic (Electronic)
AquaMaxx 14000K
150W Double Ended
Aromat (Electronic)
Lumen General (Electronic)
Vertex (Electronic)
Galaxy (Electronic)
Sunpark/Current USA (Electronic)
HQI (M81)

Comparison of Lamp Performance with Different Ballasts

This section presents the results of testing the different lamps when used with different ballasts. The data is obtained in an identical manner, using the same set of instrumentation and distance (18″ from the center of the lamp to sensor) thus allowing for direct comparison between these lamps and all others tested and reported on in my earlier articles and subsequently archived on the website (http://manhattanreefs.com/lighting ).

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AquaMaxx 400W 14000K Mogul

Table 2: AquaMaxx 400W 14000K Mogul
BallastPowerVoltageCurrentPPFDCCTEfficiency
EVC418122.33.55107.2na0.2565
Vertex444121.83.77121.2na0.2730
Lumatek464122.33.95127.7na0.2752
Galaxy459122.13.89129.5na0.2821
Taiwan464122.54.06118.1na0.2545
HQI542122.85.36142.8na0.2635
Magnetic392122.73.6279.7na0.2033
fig_1_aquamaxx_400w_mogul_all_ballasts.jpg

Figure 1: Spectral Plot of the AquaMaxx 400W 14000K Mogul Lamp with the different ballasts

AquaMaxx 250W 14000K Mogul

Table 3: AquaMaxx 250W 14000K Mogul
BallastPowerVoltageCurrentPPFDCCTEfficiency
Magnetic (M58)276121.32.7345.9na0.1663
PFO HQI (M80)332123.12.9268.7na0.2069
Blueline255123.52.1646.1na0.1808
Galaxy286124.22.4455.6na0.1944
Vertex263123.42.2552.7na0.2004
Icecap (New)266123.82.2752.9na0.1989
Lumatek286124.32.4655.2na0.1930
fig_2_aquamaxx_250w_mogul_all_ballasts.jpg

Figure 2: Spectral Plot of the AquaMaxx 250W 14000K Mogul Lamp with the different ballasts

AquaMaxx 175W 14000K Mogul

Table 4: AquaMaxx 175W 14000K Mogul
BallastPowerVoltageCurrentPPFDCCTEfficiency
Galaxy1921231.6738.4na0.2000
Vertex188123.21.6236.3na0.1931
Lumatek182123.51.6537.6na0.2066
Icecap182123.41.6335.7na0.1962
Magnetic185122.81.9930.6na0.1654
fig_3_aquamaxx_175w_mogul_all_ballasts.jpg

Figure 3: Spectral Plot of AquaMaxx 175W Mogul Lamp with the different ballasts

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AquaMaxx 250W 14000K Double Ended

Table 5: AquaMaxx 250W 14000K Double Ended
BallastShieldedPowerVoltageCurrentPPFDCCTEfficiency
IcecapN266123.72.2658.9na0.2214
IcecapY266123.72.2649.3na0.1853
BluelineY252122.92.1648.4na0.0175
BluelineN252122.92.1657.8na0.2294
LumatekN287123.12.4868.2na0.2376
LumatekN287123.12.4854.8na0.1909
VertexY264123.42.2448.8na0.1848
VertexN264123.42.2462.5na0.2367
GalaxyN288123.12.4571.5na0.2483
GalaxyY288123.12.4557.3na0.1990
Reef FanaticY259122.92.2349.1na0.1896
Reef FanaticN259122.92.2361.7na0.2382
PFO HQIN302123.62.7868.8na0.2278
PFO HQIY302123.62.7855.4na0.1834
fig_4_aquamaxx_250w_de_all_ballasts.jpg

Figure 4: Spectral Plot of the AquaMaxx 250W 14000K Double Ended Lamp with the different ballasts (Shielded)

AquaMaxx 150W 14000K Double Ended

Table 6: AquaMaxx 150W 14000K Double Ended
BallastShieldedPowerVoltageCurrentPPFDCCTEfficiency
AromatY164122.91.4226.9na0.1640
AromatN164122.91.4233.9na0.2067
Lumen GeneralN176123.91.6336.7na0.2085
Lumen GeneralY176123.91.6329na0.1648
VertexY186123.51.6129.9na0.1608
VertexN186123.51.6137.2na0.2000
GalaxyN145123.41.2529.6na0.2041
GalaxyY145123.41.2523.3na0.1607
SunparkY154124.31.3124.8na0.1610
SunparkN154124.31.3131.3na0.2032
HQIN188123.21.6734.2na0.1819
HQIY188123.21.6727.4na0.1457
fig_5_aquamaxx_150w_de_all_ballasts.jpg

Figure 5: Spectral Plot of the AquaMaxx 150W 14000K Double Ended Lamp with the different ballasts (Shielded)

Discussion and Conclusions

Figure 6 shows a comparison of the spectral outputs of all the highest output combinations of the AquaMaxx lamps and the ballasts used for testing. From the spectral plots at first glance it seems that the spectral output of these lamps shows similar characteristics of the lamps sold in the hobby with the “20000K” label.

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fig_6_aquamaxx_all_lamps.jpg

Figure 6: Comparison of the Spectral Plot of all the AquaMaxx 14000K Lamps

Given that the spectral plots look very similar to the blue (“20000K”) lamps, the 400W AquaMaxx was compared to a Radium 400W – both running on a PFO HQI ballast. Figure 7 shows the spectral plots of the 2 lamps – and as is clearly obvious the output is almost identical to that of the Radium along with very similar PPFD values (142.8 for the Aquamax and 147 for the Radium). This lamp would make an excellent substitute for those that are currently running Radium lamps and at a significantly reduced cost.

fig_7_aquamaxx_400w_mogul_comparison_with_radium.jpg

Figure 7: Comparison of the 400W Mogul AquaMaxx 14000K to the Radium 400W on PFO-HQI Ballast

When comparing the AquaMaxx 250W mogul version to a Radium the predominance of blue at 454nm is quite obvious (Figure 8). However in this case the AquaMaxx lamp has an output that is about 19% lower that that of the Radium lamp when both are fired using the same HQI(M80) ballast.

fig_8_aquamaxx_250w_mogul_comparison_with_radium.jpg

Figure 8: Comparison of the 250W Mogul AquaMaxx 14000K to the Radium 250W on PFO-HQI Ballast

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The 150W Double Ended AquaMaxx lamp has a spectral output that is different from that of the 150W Double Ended Radium lamp, with the AquaMaxx showing increased output at 420nm that is lacking in the Radiums (Figure 9). The AquaMaxx lamp in this case also has a higher peak at 454 nm, but the overall output is much lower for most of the other wavelengths accounting for its much lower PPFD (almost 40% lower).

fig_9_aquamaxx_150w_de_comparison_with_radium.jpg

Figure 9: Comparison of the 150W AquaMaxx 14000K to the Radium 150W on HQI Ballast

The 250W Double Ended and 175W Mogul AquaMaxx lamps do not have any Radium counterpart, hence the highest output ballast and lamp combinations were compared with other commonly available highest PPFD output lamp and ballast combinations. The 250W AquaMaxx is compared to the EVC 250W 20000K lamp and the spectral plots are shown in Figure 10. The PPFD output of the AquaMaxx lamp is about 16% lower.

fig_10_aquamaxx_250w_de_comparison_with_evc.jpg

Figure 10: Comparison of the 250W DE AquaMaxx 14000K to the EVC 250W DE on PFO-HQI Ballast

The 175W AquaMaxx lamp on the Galaxy electronic ballast is compared to the XM 175W 20000K lamp on a standard magnetic ballast (M57) and the spectral plots are shown in Figure 11. The PPFD output of the AquaMaxx lamp is almost 25% lower.

fig_11_aquamaxx_175w_mogul_comparison_with_xm.jpg

Figure 11: Comparison of the 175W Mogul AquaMaxx 14000K on Galaxy Ballast to the XM 175W 20000K on standard magnetic (M57) ballast

In conclusion, I feel that hobbyists considering these lamps should evaluate them as “20000K” lamps to bring them more in line with what the aquarist is likely to see in terms of color and performance. The AquaMaxx 400W lamp is an excellent replacement for the Radium lamp. As for the other wattages, these have performance very similar to the middle of the pack lamps in their respective categories and at comparable prices.

Categories:
  Advanced Aquarist, Advanced Aquarist
Sanjay Joshi
About

 Sanjay Joshi

  (51 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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