View Full Version : Before I indulge

Edmonton Eskimo
11-23-2004, 06:05 AM
Before I spend 240 bucks on a 250 mh setup(without bulb) does anyone have any metal halide bulbs,ballasts,reflectors,etc for sale-please! And if not is that a good price for that setup? I don't really want to spend that much so anyone who could help would kick a**

11-23-2004, 06:19 AM
Check the phone book if there is a Brite-lite store in your area ... the ballast and starter should run about 70 - 80 bucks ... a mogul base about 10 bucks or less ... I have had the local hydroponic shop bend 6 ft long reflectors out of spectral aluminium for 90 bucks or less ... if you are looking for a reflector just for that MH only it wont cost half that ... and then a stop at Home Depot for wiring and plugs :mrgreen:

Putting it all together is not so bad ... the ballasts have instructions right on them as far as wiring goes ... you can use a metal toolbox or similar to house the ballast ( I have a tank room so ballasts are mounted to the wall with just the cords going to the hood )

Good Luck

11-23-2004, 04:45 PM
You can also go to Bartle&Gibson 13475-Fort rd 472-2850.
They sell:
M57 ballast for 62.70(175wt)
M58 74.25(250wt)
M59 75.00(400wt)

Make sure you go to the one of Fort rd. I made the mistake of going to another branch without calling ahead of time, and they didn't have any. As for the socket and reflector, I just got a DIY kit from J&L.
Including the two 175watt ushio bulbs I got, I spent around 450 bucks on a 2x175watt setup.
A single 250 watt setup would cost around 260-280 bucks including bulb, a good 12" reflector, and ballast.


11-23-2004, 05:01 PM
You should really look into pulse-start ballasts because a lot of the bulbs we use in this hobby will start easier and run better on them, since these are closer to the specs required by the lamps (with exceptions; you have to look at the specs of the lamps you wish to use to be certain; but the "majority" of the bulbs tend to be pulse-start rather than probe-start).

175W = ANSI M137
250W = ANSI M138
400W = ANSI M135

150W HQI = ANSI M80
250W HQI = ANSI M81

You can use the HQI ballasts to fire the double-ended lamps, or the standard mogul lamps. Even some mogul lamps will run best on the HQI ballasts (European bulbs in particular tend to fit this category).

And, as if this isn't enough info to digest, if you consider going pulse-start, then look into "long distance" ignitors. The standard ignitors tend to have a BTL ("ballast to lamp" distance) rating at 2 feet. If you want to remote mount the ballasts then you will want the "LR" (or "long range") ignitors (which you just have to order when you order your ballast) and those tend to be good for up to 10' or even 20' in some cases.

Just some food for thought. Pulse-start ballast will probably cost some nominal amount more up-front (like say $20 or so, I'm not sure), but it's better than finding out you need the other kind of ballast after you've already bought the one kind...

11-23-2004, 05:06 PM
Thanks for the great post Tony!
Excellent info to file away for future use. :biggrin:

11-23-2004, 06:37 PM
You should PM Dez on the board here. Its crazy how much stuff he has stockpiled in his basement. I don't know if he has any spare lighting though, but hey, its worth a shot.

Edmonton Eskimo
11-23-2004, 10:59 PM
I am probably going to just buy the ballast from where richer said I'm more interested in where to get cheap bulbs and reflector. I am handy so if anyone has any ideas for a diy reflector let me know. Delphinus where dp you get those pulse starts?

11-24-2004, 12:02 AM
You should be able to get them anywhere you can get the other ballasts, basically any industrial lighting supplier.

If you want to do some reading (you would not believe how complicated these ballasts can get), try this site:

www.advancetransformer.com (go to "Catalog" then "HID Lookup")

You should be able enter information such as ANSI code (i.e., M137 or M57 or whatever), or "MH" and "400W" and so on, then press search, and you should get a list of specs (and more importantly, part numbers, which is handy when you order at a lighting supplier).

So for example if I was interested in a 175W metal halide ballast, you enter iin that info, press search, and get 17 results. For our purposes we want the "quad tap"(*) (which probably the most universal ballast), so the part # for that is "71A5592."

(*) - Quad tap means there are 4 taps. By "tap" that means what power supply type to use. Household electricity is 110V or 120V or whatever so that's the tap you'd want to use, but if you had 220V you could use the 220V tap, and so on.

So anyhow armed with this information you can go to a lighting supplier and ask for a "metal halide ballast made by Advance Transformer, part #71A5592 with long range ignitor" and then they should be able to look up a price for you.

There's enough info on that website to make you dizzy. Looks like you can actually take a course on metal halide ballasts! :eek:

PS. In a pinch, the probe start ballasts are not the end of the world. But I thought I would mention the pulse-starts because I wish someone had made me think about this before I had bought the probe start ballasts. I run 2x175W Ushios on one tank, and Ushios run better on pulse starts. Sometimes my lights don't fire up right away, it can take anywhere from 1 to 10 minutes for the lamp to strike and stay lit. If I were running pulse-starts I wouldn't have that problem. But, since I made the investment already, I choose to live with the phenomenon since the money to replace the ballasts could be used to buy other toys... er ... "tank stuff" in the meantime. :mrgreen:

I hope I haven't muddled the issue too badly for anyone!

11-24-2004, 12:12 AM
Definately agree with Delphinius. I was trying to run 175watt ushios on those ballasts, and often it took a while for them to fire.
The ballasts may cost a little more initially, but definately worth it in the long run.

Edmonton Eskimo
11-24-2004, 01:28 AM
Thanks guys.