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View Full Version : Lighting a tank with a Xenon bulb?


GoFish
10-25-2013, 07:05 PM
Has anyone seen someone use or used a Xenon automotive bulb to light a tank?
I have several ballasts wiring and new bulbs from BMWs in different Kelvin ratings lying around.

Thoughts?

hillegom
10-25-2013, 11:00 PM
Sorry I don't know either, following along

StirCrazy
10-25-2013, 11:26 PM
yup several times years ago, to much heat not enough usable light, very inefficient lights

Steve

sphelps
10-26-2013, 12:51 AM
I've changed such bulbs in my BMW before, I wouldn't want that bill twice a year for bulb changes :lol:

mike31154
10-26-2013, 04:05 AM
Interesting topic, so I started surfing & found some cool info. Xenon automobile lamps are actually Metal Halide that only use Xenon for quicker start up, i.e. instant on for safety reasons! Last thing you want on car headlights is a prolonged start up time. Also interesting to note that Xenon lamps closely mimic sunlight, so they really should be ideal for our hobby, no? Of course most of us prefer a bluer light for our tanks to make the coral 'pop', so Xenon might be a little to white.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenon_arc_lamp

I recall working on these in my former life as a technician. You could light up your tank from a mile away! All you need is a 28 Volt DC power supply that can pump out 55 to 62 amps, so somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1600 watts. Check your local army/navy/air force surplus store, perhaps you can score a second hand unit for cheap! Or contact Spectrolab directly, maybe we can do a group buy!

http://www.spectrolab.com/searchlights/pdfs/SX-16%20020910%20REV%20E.pdf

hillegom
10-26-2013, 04:35 AM
Wow
we really need 40 million candlepower

mrhasan
10-26-2013, 04:37 AM
Interesting topic, so I started surfing & found some cool info. Xenon automobile lamps are actually Metal Halide that only use Xenon for quicker start up, i.e. instant on for safety reasons! Last thing you want on car headlights is a prolonged start up time. Also interesting to note that Xenon lamps closely mimic sunlight, so they really should be ideal for our hobby, no? Of course most of us prefer a bluer light for our tanks to make the coral 'pop', so Xenon might be a little to white.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenon_arc_lamp

I recall working on these in my former life as a technician. You could light up your tank from a mile away! All you need is a 28 Volt DC power supply that can pump out 55 to 62 amps, so somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1600 watts. Check your local army/navy/air force surplus store, perhaps you can score a second hand unit for cheap! Or contact Spectrolab directly, maybe we can do a group buy!

http://www.spectrolab.com/searchlights/pdfs/SX-16%20020910%20REV%20E.pdf

The corals will bleach before you even turn that thing on! :razz:

mike31154
10-26-2013, 05:06 AM
40 million candlepower? poo poo, how about 70 million? You could burn a hole into concrete at close range. But hey, there are low power Xenon lamps out there too, for cheap!

http://www.lampsplus.com/products/xenon-50-watt-mr16-cover-glass-bulb__81879.html

http://aviation.technomuses.ca/collections/artifacts/aircraft/CanadairCP-107Argus2/

GoFish
10-26-2013, 05:46 PM
Using the bulb to directly light a reef aquarium i agree would have issues of "usable" light and would most certainly "bleach" corals. I was thinking along the lines of using a Hamilton pendant reflector along with a colored diffuser panel covering the opening. I can't think of the name right now (maybe opaque?) but heres a picture of what im thinking of
http://indulgy.net/6h/oT/Yd/5882833885267499509xgRnric.jpg
A tinted non clear panel to act as a diffuser in whatever colors are possible, aqua blue, actinc, fiji purple etc. (not sure if these panels exist but thats the idea)

This was from a website selling replacement bulbs...
The ballast is needed to trigger and operate a D2S / D2R Xenon lamp fitted to a 12 volt electrical system. To trigger the lamp the ballast produces a high voltage of approx. 23,000 volt. At the same moment it adjusts the current flow through the lamp to 2.5 A and the maximum power of 70 watt. After triggering , during operation, the ballast adjusts the lamp power of 35+/- 1 watt. The lamp voltage is then between 67 and 112 volt.35 watts sounds pretty efficient to me, as far as heat from the bulb and ballast, the system would be running on 12v's already, fans could be used easily enough where needed

Xenon headlight kits can be purchased for very cheap on ebay these days ($30 including bulbs and ballasts)

The odds of me attempting this project is quite unlikely as i'm happy with my current lighting, it's just one of the first things i thought of last year when starting out in the hobby. I keep thinking about it from time to time and wondering if anyone had actually attempted it. Perhaps i will be bored enough one day to try...

mike31154
10-26-2013, 07:45 PM
Never hurts to throw an idea out there, that's often how progress happens. Seems like Xenon is very similar to MH with respect to ballast technology & the amount of heat produced compared to light. One has to wonder why there aren't any commercially available Xenon fixtures though.

Then of course there's Plasma. Seemed to be a blip on the radar for our hobby in recent years, but not much heard since. LED technology is nowhere near completion in developing & I have a funny feeling diode lighting is going to push everything else aside in the next few years, execpt for certain specialty applications where a certain lighting technology is a must.

byee
11-04-2013, 03:07 PM
Using the bulb to directly light a reef aquarium i agree would have issues of "usable" light and would most certainly "bleach" corals. I was thinking along the lines of using a Hamilton pendant reflector along with a colored diffuser panel covering the opening. I can't think of the name right now (maybe opaque?) but heres a picture of what im thinking of
http://indulgy.net/6h/oT/Yd/5882833885267499509xgRnric.jpg
A tinted non clear panel to act as a diffuser in whatever colors are possible, aqua blue, actinc, fiji purple etc. (not sure if these panels exist but thats the idea)

This was from a website selling replacement bulbs...
35 watts sounds pretty efficient to me, as far as heat from the bulb and ballast, the system would be running on 12v's already, fans could be used easily enough where needed

Xenon headlight kits can be purchased for very cheap on ebay these days ($30 including bulbs and ballasts)

The odds of me attempting this project is quite unlikely as i'm happy with my current lighting, it's just one of the first things i thought of last year when starting out in the hobby. I keep thinking about it from time to time and wondering if anyone had actually attempted it. Perhaps i will be bored enough one day to try...



Xenon kits are pretty cheap on ebay. Alll you need to add is a high current 12V power supply to run it....say 10A.

Please keep in mind, the ballast lets of a high frequency noise.