Reef Brite MH Fan Club

Discussion in 'Aquarium Lighting By Dana Riddle' started by Syntax1235, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. Syntax1235

    Syntax1235 Well-Known Member

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    I thought I'd start a "club" thread for the Reef Brite MH Pendants and see where this goes. I recently purchased three of their MH/LED pendants from BRS during the black Friday sale. I have three of their pendants, ballasts and 14k twin-arc bulbs... I'll be setting everything up in a couple of weeks.

    I am currently running a led/t5 Pacific Sun Fixture but am having issues with shadowing on my acro colonies. The hybrid was great when I had frags, but shadowing is an issue now that they have grown into colonies. I have nothing against led's. I was at a point where I was either going to purchase more led's or move to straight t5's, I saw the sale at BRS and decided to dive in. I researched, called Reef Brite and researched more, this seems to be the right decision for me.

    I'll update when I have time to install everything.

    Please feel free to post your experiences and pictures!

    First impression: Sexy

    53376957805__5773B2CE-0862-4282-9829-EFCB4D158C80.JPG-1.jpeg 53376955382__48330E27-33EB-4070-BED5-B0E9582141D5.JPG-1.jpeg 53376980321__4038776A-66ED-4524-A1FC-791106E31B18.JPG.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2017
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  2. A. grandis

    A. grandis Well-Known Member

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    Aways very tempting to see pictures of those fixtures and to imagine how good they dissipate the heat through those holes. The concept of it is great and many times seen as "too good to be truth". I've got the system coming on the mail right now and still didn't get my hands on it.
    I was truly decided to run one of those when I just realized that the bulb I want to use won't be driven as it should. The Reef Brite ballast will run the 250W Radium bulbs at ~ 255W and the recommended for the bulb on electronic ballast would be ~300W using the HQI setting for the Luxcore. The magnetic ballast recommended for the Radium, by the manufacture, for it's the ultimate performance, is ~ 330W. To use the bulb running with a wrong wattage, at ~255W, would shorten it's life from 12 months to 6 months. So I'm thinking of returning the system.
    Some people reported that the bulbs keep flickering and other electrical issues.
    I'm sure those cases aren't the majority, but I'm not sure if I'll be happy to try it, knowing that those problems are happening more often with Reef Brite fixtures/ ballasts than other brands, like the Luxcore.
    I would love to hear from Reef Brite about my questions.
    I had a thread running, but after a while they stopped posting. I'm sure they must be busy or on vacation with the holidays.
    Here is the link:
    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/reef-brite-halide-system-users.337885/
    That post was opened because of the good reports, so it is working very well for many people with a great success..
    Let's wait and see what we get running here! Could I be wrong in my assumptions?
    Grandis.
     
  3. lancesmith1

    lancesmith1 Active Member

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    following, I received mine with shipping damage earlier this week and have the replacement coming in today. I will install this weekend. I am trying the Geissman 17.5 and 22 K lamps with the Reefbrite ballast. I am going to start with the 22K and if I like it, I will return the 17.5. I ran the 17.5 a few years ago on a Hamilton Cebu and it is really white. More like a 14K to me. My first impression of the damaged one was that it is very lightly built and has a lot of ventilation openings which may contribute to it running cooler. I was going to go back to the Cebu, but with the BRS sale and the idea of cooler operating temps and not having to replace the T5's intrigues me.
     
  4. jporter17

    jporter17 Well-Known Member

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    I have been running their 36" MH/XHO Hybrid model for a few years now. It is the 250W single ended model that came with 4 XHO strips. I've since removed the 2 inner XHO's and replaced them with RB T5 retrofit kits. Tullio installed a moon light LED in the middle portion, between the MH's. I'm also using their dimmable ballasts. I run the Radium bulbs in mine with no issue. As a matter of fact, I used to use the dimming feature with my Apex controller, but since changing over to a new tank I just run the MH's on, or off. Now I don't know if the bulbs are being driven to spec or not, but haven't seen any flickering. Maybe a little when I used to fire them at 60% when the dimming feature was being used, but that was just at turn on. I've also run some twin-arc, plus rite and other MH bulbs in them. No problem with any of them. My only complaint would be the amount of outlets required to fully utilize all the lights in the ramp up/down LED, T5, MH, and moon light cycles. Once I dedicated a powerbar for this, that is a non issue. I can tell you that these lights allowed me to grow SPS anywhere I wanted in my old 30" deep 150G. They are now above a 19" tank, and the MH's are only run for a max of 4 hours a day. I haven't taken any PAR measurements, but needless to say, this is more than enough light for a 47"X31"X19"T tank. Prior to this fixture I used another MH/T5 fixture and the RB is hands down a cooler running fixture. The old fixture had fans that drove me crazy with the hum. It was a DE unit and I hated changing out those bulbs. Customer service is another shining star for RB. I've always able to reach Joy and Tullio any time I've needed to. Very responsive and great to work with. I am very happy with my decision to go with this fixture. JP
     
  5. KJoFan

    KJoFan Well-Known Member Partner Member 2018

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    I'm firing my Radium with the Reefbrite ballast, but as you stated this likely reduces the life of it. I will probably try the TwinArc bulb next as I have one in line to try. But, ideally I'd like to run the Radium bulb probably. I can pick up a pair of used Lumatek Select a watt 250/400 w ballasts locally pretty cheap, they have an HQI setting. I'm thinking of picking them up just to see how they fire the Radium in comparison to the Reefbrite ballast.

    Does this seem like a smart move or am I just wasting my time and picking up excess stuff I don't need? :)
     
  6. KJoFan

    KJoFan Well-Known Member Partner Member 2018

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    Can anyone chime in? Reefbrite ballasts with Radiums underdriven or try out Lumateks with the 250HQI setting?
     
  7. jporter17

    jporter17 Well-Known Member

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    I’m toying with the idea of wiring in a M80 ballast on one side of my fixture and do a side by side comparison with Radium bulbs. I’ve reached out to Hamilton about matching the wiring with the IEC connectors on the RB. Looks like I may have to order a connector and wire it into the lamp cord off the Hamilton. I may order the ballast early next week and will post as this plan comes along. It will also be neat to see the difference with the ballast on heat and any noise or hum. JP
     
  8. A. grandis

    A. grandis Well-Known Member

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    Well, I was thinking the same and in the future to get the Spectra. Then I though why wasting so much money with all the stuff around the house.
    My point getting the Reef Brite was the cool fixture too, but I'm not willing to sacrifice the bulb for that and I don't think it's ok to run cooler but not the way it should. It's just me.
    I also though about getting only the Twin-Arc bulbs and run only that, but there was a stronger side of me pulled by the Radiums's efficiency and color. Besides, with the Luxcore I could go less wattage too if I want try some other 175W bulbs, other than the Radium.
    I'm sorry to write this, not my intention to talk bad about the Reef Brite system. There are many happy campers with the system and indeed there is a club. :D

    I wanted to do that!!!! LOL! ... and Reef Brite is strongly against it!
    Please read:

    "The wiring (Connectors) used for the pendant and ballast is actually designed to be very user friendly. We use standard IEC connectors so that if for any reason a user wants to extend the cord length they can simply buy IEC extension cables available on Amazon or elsewhere. We also offer replacement cord's so users can wire their existing pendants without modifying them or cutting the ends (Which we never recommend and highly advise against) to work with our ballasts. IEC connectors are used on desktop PC's and other popular electronic equipment around the globe. There are certainly other quality ballasts on the market but we designed the entire system from the ground up to run cooler, save energy, and have a compact footprint. The XHO LED's on the Halide Hybrid also make a big difference. People are often amazed when they see the difference between the LED's on and off when we demonstrate the 250 watt and even 400 watt system at trade shows and events. As for popularity with the popularity of LED's being what they are Halides were thought to be a thing of the past. But we were able to overcome the draw backs like energy and heat and now can factually say that watt for watt our Halide systems use the same amount of energy as LED, and T5HO. The performance of Halides is undeniable and has proven for decades to work well so we are very proud to see they are making a come back of sorts and that hobbyist and professionals are again enjoying their performance."
    FROM:
    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/reef-brite-halide-system-users.337885/page-2#post-4201486

    That could be a risk of fire, perhaps. I wouldn't try!!!
    Either to have another fixture with Reef Brite ballasts, or another ballast with the Reef Brite fixture, which would be the worse case scenario because of the extra heat/energy from the magnetic ballast!!!!!

    Grandis.
     
  9. Syntax1235

    Syntax1235 Well-Known Member

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    For those of you who have your pendants suspended from the ceiling I have a couple of questions....

    1) if using chains and eye hooks how do you balance the fixture with the weight of the ballast cable? I would think that any torque on it would mess up the angle of the pendant?

    2) Is the hanging kit worth the price? Does it give you the ability to balance the fixture easily?

    3) Is the weight of the fixture enough to counter torque from the ballast cable? Doesn't seem like it.
     
  10. lancesmith1

    lancesmith1 Active Member

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    got the 250 watt mounted last night and it fired this morning. I am running the Geismann Mega Chrome Blue 21k with the 2 blue strips. It is perfect to me. Just the right color. I don't have a good camera so the color is not that great but here is what it looks like mounted on the AI mounting system on my 70 cube. It is about 10 inches AWL and seems about right with good even coverage. I will route the wires later today. DSCF0001.JPG
     
  11. KJoFan

    KJoFan Well-Known Member Partner Member 2018

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    I don't have the hanging kit...I just used chains and eye hooks. It does not seem to torque, except sometimes the cord side might get angled back/forward, but it's just a matter of sliding the cord forward/back. It does not hang uneven otherwise at least to my eye.

    [​IMG]Untitled by KJoFan, on Flickr
    [​IMG]Untitled by KJoFan, on Flickr
     
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  12. lancesmith1

    lancesmith1 Active Member

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    looks nice. it does come with a couple of 1/4 - 20 eye bolts for hanging. I don't think it will be any more prone to twisting than any other fixtures that i have used in the past. I just couldn't hang mine because I am in my basement with a drop ceiling and the tank is 45 degrees in the corner so the joists are not where i would need them to be. So, i went with the AI HMS kit. I can pretty much hang any fixture i want with this kit.
     
  13. lancesmith1

    lancesmith1 Active Member

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    also... on the twisting issue... if it does tend to want to twist you can use the stick on holders on the back of the tank to position the wire and clamp it down. they come in various sizes that should work to mitigate or eliminate the issue. it has worked for me with a Cebu Sun I have used in the past.
     
  14. Syntax1235

    Syntax1235 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the ideas! Good stuff.
     
  15. Syntax1235

    Syntax1235 Well-Known Member

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    I really like this mounting technique, especially how the light is almost bolted to the steel cross bar eliminating any swinging or influence from cable torque. I think I'm going to hang a 6 foot piece of hollow square steel tubing from the ceiling and attach the three pendants to the bar in similar fashion to yours. I'm going to use my Pacific Sun Hanging Kit to attach the steel bar to the ceiling so I can easily adjust the height and the angle of the lights. I'll post pictures next weekend when I get this done.
     
  16. jporter17

    jporter17 Well-Known Member

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    I would run the lamp cord from the magnetic ballast and wire it into this connector. I could then plug directly into the MH power cord.
    Screen Shot 2017-12-02 at 5.17.26 PM.png
     
  17. A. grandis

    A. grandis Well-Known Member

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    That is a neat idea! Would be great if you could leave them a link for the connector.
    I'm out of the club. ;Shy Already returned my order.
    Grandis.
     
  18. billwill

    billwill Well-Known Member

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    Worth mentioning is that the heat with HQI ballast running 330w on radium bulbs is significant. Much more heat than 250w setting with gieseman bulb. Significantly brighter too
     
  19. A. grandis

    A. grandis Well-Known Member

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    Are you comparing the HQI magnetic ballast running 330W on radium with the 250W Giesemann with electronic?
    For the Radium alone, with the HQI magnetic = ~330W (ultimate performance, recommended by manufacture). If we use electronic on 250 setting = ~245W, and if electronic with HQI setting = ~300.
    Grandis.
     
  20. lancesmith1

    lancesmith1 Active Member

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    Once you get the cross bar in place you can pretty much mount any type of fixture you want.
     
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