Metal Halide SE vs DE bulbs

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by perculation, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. perculation

    perculation Guest

    So I'm looking at upgrading my 150w Coralife DE fixture to a 250w of any kind and I want to understand all of my options.

    What are the advantages to running a Single End bulb versus a Double End bulb?

    Most of you you guys, you know who you are 8) , who have pro tanks all run SE as far as i can tell. My best guess is that SE offers more options as far as fixture. Seems like large, horticulture style fixtures are popular.

    Please let me know why you choose SE over DE or vice versa.
  2. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    SE have a built in shield
    DE require a separate one

    SE are mechanically more robust and have Radiums in the 250 flavor.
  3. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    I can get a little long winded on the subject, so I'll try and concentrate on a couple of points.

    DE lie, they do I swear. A 150w DE usually runs over 200w, so in reality a 175w SE draws less power, why is this the case? Because.

    For the most part DE reflectors are horrible little janky things based on spider reflector technology they create a more focused light rather than creating a wide uniform spread like a Lumenarc will, that makes dealing with hot spots more of an issue.

    A SE bulb with a properly matched ballast (bulbs are generally designed for one specific type of ballast, M58-59s or HQI, electronic, they all vary), will outlast an overdriven DE bulb, only by a couple of months, but it's still a couple of months.

    For most of us tough the choice comes down to choice, there's a wider variety of SE bulbs available than DE, giving SE users more options.
  4. sid700

    sid700 Supporting Member

    I find SE bulbs easier to replace.
  5. r0ck0

    r0ck0 Guest

    I heard that DE bulbs are the wave of the future, oh wait was that LEDs? I have a DE bulb in my lumenarc mini and its pretty nice. Best part is that it doesn't have the mogul base that sticks out of the side, which is ascetically pleasing since my fixture is exposed above my tank. I think more important than the bulbs connector is the quality of the reflector.

    From what I understand of Sanjay's articles on DE and SE bulbs is that DE bulbs have higher PPFD and thats good or something...

    Compare these two articles:

    Spectral Analysis of 250W Mogul base Metal Halide Lamps - Part III: EVC, Happy Reefing, Agromax and Coralvue

    Spectral Analysis of 250 Watt Double Ended Metal Halide Lamps and Ballasts - EVC, Happy Reefing, IceCap, AB, and CoralVue

    Also check out this site for more info:
  6. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    Remember DEs draw quite a bit more power than do SEs, so compare them from an efficiency standpoint requires a different model.

    For example an XM 250w DE driven by an M80 ballast cansumes 269w gives out 42PPFD and has an efficiency of .15, compare that to the SE version of the same bulb on an Icecap ballast and you get 240w w/ 53ppfd @ .22 efficiency.
  7. perculation

    perculation Guest

    You put down a good case for the SE Jeremy. I already want to run a kilawatt and see what my DE is actually using at any given time.

    Hey Tony, were you implying that the 2nd layer of shielding required by the DE cut down on the light making it out of the fixture and into the water?
  8. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    the SE bulb has the shielding built into the bulb. The DE needs it externally. to a zero order approximation, they both take the same light hit.
  9. bookfish

    bookfish Guest

    All that's true in theory. But let me give you the lazy reefer perspective. The HQI UV cover glass can get dirty very often. The amount of spray, creep and dirt that collects on a cover glass even 6" from the water surface is considerable and should probably be washed twice a week. With a SE bulb and a large reflector you can have the bulb a lot further from the spray and dust doesn't tend to collect as much up inside a reflector. Plus I've broken more than a few DE bulbs getting them into and out of some of the wonky bulb mounts some mfg's use. They're definitely the right choice for certain specific situations but they're never my first choice if I can avoid them.
  10. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    I see a use for DE with "smaller" tanks that also want to use T5s.
  11. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    Penetration, that's what DEs are good for, tall narrow tanks that have corals placed on the bottom. I'm getting ready to go do a 240 that is 3.5' tall and has 3 400w DEs, it's a pretty sweet display.
  12. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    Jeremy, I can see the case for that with some of the smaller DE reflectors, but what about DE vs SE penetration on lumenarc or lumenmax etc type big reflectors.
  13. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    Most of the DE pendants you buy are the smaller spider type, if you want a DE with a larger reflector for the most part you have to piece them together.
  14. Gomer

    Gomer Honorary Member

    ok, just making sure we were on the same page :)
  15. tuberider

    tuberider Guest

    Yep, page two of thread 10765...
  16. GreshamH

    GreshamH Guest

    I run all DE in my current tank.. only reason was the bulb I wanted was best delivered in DE.

    next tank will have SE.... only reason is I hate seating DE bulbs
  17. Mr. Ugly

    Mr. Ugly Past President

    For me, DE 150w 14k Phoenix over a small tank. Otherwise SE 250w 20k Radium or XM for bigger tanks - simple setups that work, and I don't have to spend time and money chasing after the latest greatest whatever.

    And what everybody else said.
  18. bookfish

    bookfish Guest

    +1 to what Norm said about what everybody else said.
  19. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    Have fun reaching to the bottom of that bad boy.
    My armpits are sore just thinking about it!
  20. r0ck0

    r0ck0 Guest

    In my quest to derail this thread, how do you manage a tank that is 3.5' deep? tongs, chopsticks, NBA basketball player with a 82" reach? What if you have to move a rock or something heavy on the bottom of the tank? Mask and snorkel? Seriously I would like to know.

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