Ceramic Metal Halide vs. HPS

FlyerFlyer Flyerponicsâ„¢Posts: 322
edited November 2012 in The Cutting Edge
Philips MasterColor Ceramic Metal Halide
HPS-Retro White Lamps

So maybe you have hear about the best grow light bulb on the market...or maybe not - but now you have! The Philips MasterColor Ceramic Metal Halide HPS-Retro White Lamps are something new to horticulture. These bulbs are being manufactured to replace high pressure sodium (HPS) bulbs in factories and warehouses. Along comes the indoor gardener who sees the light and gets them thinking - I bet these would grow great plants! Well they do.

Grow Light Express has been testing these lamps for years and has sold lots of them. We honestly believe in these lamps. We get asked all the time if this is such a great bulb why isn't Phillips directly selling / advertising them to the horticultural markets. Well the technical reason is that with this type of bulb they would have to retool their manufacturing plants at great costs. With the coming advanced in lighting technology (and there is really some amazing stuff heading our way) we believe that they are unwilling to spend the money until the market proves worth investing further in Ceramic Metal Halide technology.

The basics:

These bulbs can be used in BOTH vegetative and bloom cycles - no more changing lamps during your grow.

NO DIGITAL BALLASTS - you will destroy the bulb. ONLY use a standard coil and core HPS ballast (dont let the name confuse you). CMH bulbs cannot handle the frequencies of digital ballasts. Of course there are exceptions to this rule as there is at least one digital ballast that is designed to work with CMH lamps. They are fairly expensive and unless you know you have one of these you don't so don't try. The Ceramic Metal Halide bulbs are positional. This means that they are designed to be EITHER horizontal or vertical (they cannot be used universally) but not both. Placing the bulb in the wrong position will cause it to fail early. A tip to success is that most gardeners are reporting better success with the use of supplemental silica. Since these bulbs will make your plants grow fast, silica is helpful. Silica is involved in cell division and overall plant strength.

Benefits:

There are many benefits to these lamps. The main reason for even considering these lamps is the fantastic spectrum of light they produce. Check out the chart below to compare to output of a CMH to a HPS lamp.

image

As you can see there is a great deal of light energy available in the blue spectrum as well as the red. HPS lamps produce lots of light but its not the "right" light. It is true that plants can adapt and grow well under HPS but they will do better under CMH. Think of it this way, the sun, the light we are trying to reproduce inside, is full spectrum not just a lot of yellow / red. So why just give them yellow / orange? Basically HPS has become the standard for growing in supplied lighting conditions. This is mostly historical (now) because that was the best we had...now we have alternatives.

Other benefits include they "throw" less heat, they have very little color shift (less than 200K over their life time), your plants will have less stretch (tighter internodes).

Ceramic Metal Halide FAQ:

1. I have noticed that the Ceramic Metal Halide HPS Retro bulbs produce less lumens compared to other HPS bulbs?

A: Lumens is an antiquated way of comparing grow lamps. Lumens are a scientific definition based on the human eye and NOT on a plants response curve. This is the hardest part for people considering trying the CMH's to get past. We have been snowed over by the manufacturers just focusing on the max lumens.

2. When are bigger wattage bulbs going to be available?

A: Hum...sometime soon if Phillips keeps their promise! Also there is some new Ceramic Metal Halide technology on the horizon. This may keep bigger wattages of the market but the good news is that the new ones maybe extremely more efficient so you may not need bigger wattages. We will keep you posted on this!!

3. Will they run on my DIGITAL ballast?

A: NO (unless you have a specifically designed digital ballast for CMH lamps). They must be used in HPS ballast.


For additional information refer to the specification sheet for [URL="http://www.growlightexpress.com/pdf/cmh.pdf"]Ceramic Metal Halide Bulbs from Phillips.

Original article can be found here: http://www.growlightexpress.com/pages/ceramic-metal-halide-pv-c0-2.html

The main disadvantage of this bulb is that it currently is only available in 250W and 400W.

400W is $52.00 USD.
Post edited by Flyer on
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Comments

  • GoKart MotzartGoKart Motzart checking out the weather Posts: 955
    edited November 2010
    sweeeet!...We've read up on these and they sound awesome. Have you had a chance to try them out?
  • FlyerFlyer Flyerponicsâ„¢ Posts: 322
    edited November 2010
    I have Lumatek digital ballasts currently so its not easy for me to test the bulbs. I am building a new 4' x 4' soon and plan on running two of these in the 400W ceramic metal halides. Though the SunPulse has a little better spectrum from bulb to bulb, allows color shifting tweaks, it's alot of work changing out all 4 bulbs during a grow season. This set up is much cheaper than my SunPulse setup and less work!:D
  • FlyerFlyer Flyerponicsâ„¢ Posts: 322
    edited November 2010
    As you can see in the graphs below, the SunPulse bulb has the flatest spectrum across line 40. The ceramic metal halide has slightly less than perfect full spectrum, but is priced at only 1/3rd the cost!


    HORTILUX SUPER HPS EN Price: $94.95 per Each

    [URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=91&pictureid=809"]image

    HORTILUX - BLUE Price: $129.95 per Each

    [URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=91&pictureid=810"]image

    SunPulse Price: $124.95 per Each
    [URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=91&pictureid=814"]image

    MasterColor® Ceramic Metal Halide Price: $41.98 per Each

    [URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=91&pictureid=811"]image

    High Pressure Sodium
    [URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=91&pictureid=813"]image
    [URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=91&pictureid=824"]image
    Ceramic Metal Halide
    [URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=91&pictureid=823"]image
  • FlyerFlyer Flyerponicsâ„¢ Posts: 322
    edited November 2010
    guest;58553 said:
    So how about a real world solution you ask...

    Right now the 'best' bulb and HID in terms of PAR is the Hortilux-Blue 1000MH...sorry about that to the HPS/lumens crowd...:p

    The reasons I choose the Blue MH are based upon available and accurate scientific information (see thread starting post):
    a) Lumens are not a factor in this choice as they are not an accurate measurment.
    b)Photons (PPF/D) are not a factor in this choice as their measurements are not known.

    *A bonus to MH is they are cooler running and cost less than HPS.

    The Blue MH offers 45-50% relative energy (wavelength) within the blue PAR and 25-30% is in the red PAR. Not to mention that the whole PAR range is produced by the Blue MH.

    -----------------------------------------

    Spectral Graph of Hortilux Blue MH
    (PAR range is 400-700nm)
    [URL="http://img528.imageshack.us/my.php?image=hortbluespecdm2.gif"]image


    great post
    plants that mature in the fall outside of the tropics need more red light though, while tropical sativas should in theory do fine with more blue light all the way through


    Interesting how the ceramic metal halide is slighly shifted to the red spectrum compaired to the Hortilux Blue metal halide.
  • SpringsSprings Fall Posts: 1,212
    edited November 2010
    good possible combo I think, the horti blue + phillips CMH.
    " Forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza."
  • FlyerFlyer Flyerponicsâ„¢ Posts: 322
    edited November 2010
    Springs;102248 said:
    good possible combo I think, the horti blue + phillips CMH.



    I ran HPS for years and it was hard for me to let go and try something new. You know, if it's not broken, don't fix it motto. If it wasn't for the all the heat issues I was dealing with, I think I would still have my HPS setups. It's going to take time for people to make the change.
    Hind sight is always 20/20 and I do wish I would of gotten set up with cmh instead of my SunPulse bulbs. But even at the greater expense, it is still fun to dim the bulb down and phase shift the 6.4k bulb to 7.2 Kelvin.
    I didn't really even consider the combo, but you could run both the Hortilux blue and the cmh at the same time in one of those dual hoods. I bet that would really work. Two 400W's with the spectrum efficiency should outperform a 1KW HPS, would be fun to experiment with.. :)
  • memyselfandimemyselfandi Senior Member Posts: 249
    edited November 2010
    from what i read in *cough* ICM the best is to combine a hps with a cmh.

    there are a few experiments, but i think it's very difficult to a compare it, you need to replicate the exact env. in both grows.
  • FlyerFlyer Flyerponicsâ„¢ Posts: 322
    edited November 2010
    memyselfandi;102280 said:
    from what i read in *cough* ICM the best is to combine a hps with a cmh.

    there are a few experiments, but i think it's very difficult to a compare it, you need to replicate the exact env. in both grows.


    Could you please link me if you find it?

    I often find confusion of regular metal halide with pulse start metal halides and ceramic metal halides. In fact, if you look at [URL="http://www.rollitup.org/indoor-growing/50429-theory-cmh-hps.html"]Rollitup, you will see that it looks like they have all three confused in one post. Regular metal halides are heavy in the blue spectrum, where as ceramic metal halides tend to roll higher in the red.
    • Ceramic Metal Halide
    (CMH) technology was introduced to the lighting industry. Like most new lighting technologies, it has taken some time for these great new lamps to be universally adopted, but today you can find them almost anywhere. CMH lamps were introduced to provide a high quality, energy efficient, alternative to incandescent and halogen light sources. In order to accomplish this, the lamp technology had to solve many of the problems inherent in older style quartz metal halide lamps such as high lumen depreciation, low color rendition, and poor color consistency. We've all seen projects in which some of the metal halide lamps look white, some blue, some pink, etc. By contrast, CMH lamps offer high CRI (Color Rendering Index) values in the 80-90 range, color temperatures of 3000K or 4100K, and are guaranteed not to color shift more than +/- 200k over the rated lamp life. They also have improved lumen maintenance characteristics. CMH lamps are available in ranges from 20 watts through 400 watts, and in most standard configurations including ED17, PAR20, PAR30, PAR38, and T6. One of the newest types is designed specifically as a direct lamp retrofit for 400 watt High Pressure Sodium lamps. This retrofit offers far better color quality without requiring the replacement of existing ballasts.

    • Accent Lighting

    Accent lighting has traditionally been dominated by incandescent and halogen sources due mainly to excellent color quality, source flexibility, and good optical control. Standard Metal Halide and color corrected High Pressure Sodium lamps have been used as energy efficient replacements for some accent lighting applications with mixed success. Problems with color quality and consistency have been limitations of these lamp technologies. CMH lamps overcome most of the problems of the older style energy efficient lamps while producing crisp light with excellent color rendition and optical control that is almost identical to halogen sources. In fact, many of the available CMH lamp types have been specifically designed to be optically equivalent to the halogen sources they are designed to replace.

    • Color Critical Applications

    While the color rendition of CMH lamps is excellent, spaces like museums or galleries have specific requirements. While the light that is being delivered is perceived as 'white,' the spectral distribution of the source is not truly continuous like sunlight or halogen light. Some colors may be slightly muted while others are enhanced changing the perception of art.

    • Benefits

    More efficient than halogen
    More efficient than high pressure sodium
    More efficient than mercury vapor
    Better color quality than Standard MH
    Better color consistency than Standard MH
    Lower operating cost
    Lower bulb cost

    • Drawbacks
    Requires a ballast
    Higher initial cost for e-ballast
    Not easily dimmable
    Requires restrike time


    [URL="http://www.nam.lighting.philips.com/us/ecatalog/hid/pdf/p-5497.pdf"]Up to date data sheet :kind:
  • FlyerFlyer Flyerponicsâ„¢ Posts: 322
    edited November 2010
    Just ordered two 400W cmh and a couple of powerhouses. I'll post updates once I get growing with them. :)
  • memyselfandimemyselfandi Senior Member Posts: 249
    edited November 2010
  • FlyerFlyer Flyerponicsâ„¢ Posts: 322
    edited November 2010
    memyselfandi;102398 said:

    That's a great thread over there at IC, tons of good information there. Thanks for finding that for us. Found it comical when Pontiac trys to hijack with a pulse metal halide conversation.
  • Monseigneur StroganoffMonseigneur Stroganoff Posts: 4,340
    edited November 2010
    lol
  • memyselfandimemyselfandi Senior Member Posts: 249
    edited November 2010
    i love to get my hands on one of there babys

  • FlyerFlyer Flyerponicsâ„¢ Posts: 322
    edited November 2010
    Those look very nice, we will have to wait and see what the actual emitting spectrum really is. I imagine it is around 6000 Kelvin which is what he states in the video. If nothing else, will be a less expensive way to the veggetative process someday.
  • FlyerFlyer Flyerponicsâ„¢ Posts: 322
    edited November 2010
    Took a drive out to the desert to help Frogz set up his new Cmh light rig. I was surprised to see that the light was very warm looking compared to most metal halides. Not as orange as my SunPulse 3k, but it was cooler in output temperature than even my SunPulse 6.4k. The hood we used was Hydrofarm's daystar ac which gave a great spread of light.

    Unfortunately after only one cycle, the bulb stopped working. Luckily we had a second bulb which seems to be working now. I think future purchases of the bulbs will come from Advanced tech lighting.

    http://advancedtechlighting.com/cdmed18.htm

    We are the Only Company to Pre-burn all lamps!

    Each Receive 3, 12 hour burn cycles to ensure the cermets seal is seated properly. This is 100% Needed as there is a High initial failure rate. If this is done you are sure to have a full life from your lamp

    Talked to a friend of mine who operates a million dollar/year hydro store here and he said his customers are saying the 250w cmh's transfer energy like 400w hps. I took it as just hersay and I will have to test it for myself.

    I read somewhere that the US Navy uses these bulbs in their submarines. Again, hersay, I don't know if it is true, but apparently we need light close to the sun's normal spectrum to fuction aswell.. ;)
  • FlyerFlyer Flyerponicsâ„¢ Posts: 322
    edited November 2010
    Tossed the light up just to test it, litterally in a garage.. Plants were stringy and sick prior to lighting with cmh. Plants are doing much better now in about a weeks time. Ceramic metal halides have a very warm-white appearance, unlike most bluish standard metal halide bulbs.

    [URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=90&pictureid=858"]image
  • spacemanspaceman Civilized worm Posts: 8,537
    edited November 2010
    real interested in these, want to try a 1000 if they ever appear //./
    There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.
  • SpringsSprings Fall Posts: 1,212
    edited November 2010
    yeah me too, definitely would be nice if there was a 1000w version.

    thanks for the update flyer:tiphat:
    " Forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza."
  • FlyerFlyer Flyerponicsâ„¢ Posts: 322
    edited December 2010
    Ah... Nothing like the smell of a fresh 4x4 tent being baked by a cmh, just waiting for its new aeroponic system.. lol

    [URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=91&pictureid=905"]image

    Some pictures below, testing of the new plumbing for the system that will be ran in this tent. Single Danner 18 running both spray bars. :bong2:

    [URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=104&pictureid=906"]image[URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=104&pictureid=908"]image[URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=104&pictureid=907"]image
    [URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=104&pictureid=910"]image[URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=104&pictureid=909"]image
  • FlyerFlyer Flyerponicsâ„¢ Posts: 322
    edited December 2010
    Growzilla may be the answer to having to use two 400w ceramic metal halides instead of a single 1kw.



    image

    http://hightimes.com/grow/agrossman/594
  • c-rayc-ray germinating Posts: 14,577
    edited December 2010
    for now
    "One cannot develop taste from what is of average quality but only from the very best."
    Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
  • FlyerFlyer Flyerponicsâ„¢ Posts: 322
    edited December 2010
    Today I spent an hour on the phone with the owner of Advancedtechlighting 'Tom'.

    He tells me that both Phillips and GE will be discontinuing the manufacturing of high pressure sodium bulbs. He said that ceramic metal halide are far more efficient than high pressure sodium and will be taking the market. Tom tells me that I will not be disappointed growing with the cmh bulbs. He did mention that the vegetative time will be shorter and the plants would flower sooner due to the higher energy transfer.

    Ceramic metal halide bulbs have a high failure rate for initial startup and cycling. For this reason, http://advancedtechlighting.com pre-burns the bulb for three cycles to ensure you are getting a fully working bulb. And as a plus, they warranty the bulb for 18months (longer than the manufacture does).

    Also, you will need a high quality ballast to fire the cmh bulb. Frogz and I have tested this to be true by trying to use a Hydrofarm Xtrasun which did not work. The Powerhouse ballasts and the Sunsystem 1 by Sunlight Supply work beautifully with ceramic metal halide bulbs. If these ballasts are too expensive for your budget, Advancedtechlighting sells a ballast kit for $58.

    Tom finished stating that growing under a ceramic metal halide is the same as growing outdoors under the real sunlight.

    European Supplier: http://www.cp-lighting.co.uk/GE-CMH400-TT-UVC-U-830-E40-3-000K
  • FlyerFlyer Flyerponicsâ„¢ Posts: 322
    edited December 2010
    So we spent most of the week here and there getting the cmh grow up and running. I swear to gawd if Frogz asks me to help with another rubbermaid grow, he will get a million fu's PB style!

    Sorry about the funky lines on the pics, I will take new pictures soon with a better camera.
    2010-12-17_23-30-51_60.jpg
    1 x 1 - 0B
    2010-12-17_23-32-12_682.jpg
    1 x 1 - 0B
    2010-12-17_23-31-25_643.jpg
    1 x 1 - 0B
  • SpringsSprings Fall Posts: 1,212
    edited December 2010
    cool deal, is that a dual hood? What strain?

    Thats some build up though " same as growing with the sun "
    " Forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza."
  • FlyerFlyer Flyerponicsâ„¢ Posts: 322
    edited December 2010
    BlackJack is the strain growing. Just out of the cloner as pictured.

    It's just a single Daystar AC hood 400w. We decided against the dual bulb hood and we are mechanically attaching two Daystar AC hoods together for better light angles. :8)
  • FlyerFlyer Flyerponicsâ„¢ Posts: 322
    edited January 2011
    Well it's been two weeks since the blackjack girls were planted. We flipped them to 12/12 and they are coming along. Been cold out in the desert recently and the water has been a chilly 52 degrees until just recently we added a heater and brought the water to 68F. We added an additional 400w cmh and are now running at 800w. I am actually impressed with the energy transfer from the cmh bulbs, they do seem to have an equivalence to about 1200w in hps (400w=600whps). Added a couple of switched outlets to the power bar to help Frogz when changing nutrients out.

    [URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=91&pictureid=977"]image[URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=91&pictureid=976"]image
    [URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=91&pictureid=975"]image[URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=91&pictureid=974"]image[URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=91&pictureid=973"]image
  • memyselfandimemyselfandi Senior Member Posts: 249
    edited January 2011
    found a supplier in Europe

    http://www.interlampadas.pt/ they sell them on order
  • FlyerFlyer Flyerponicsâ„¢ Posts: 322
    edited January 2011
    I wouldn't normally post a reply with pictures after only a week later, but I wanted to show growth during this cmh test. Deffinately feeling cmh envy..

    [URL="http://www.cannabis-world.org/cw/picture.php?albumid=90&pictureid=993"]image
  • spacemanspaceman Civilized worm Posts: 8,537
    edited January 2011
    very nice we watch keenly.,.,
    There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.
  • hazedaze Senior Member Posts: 141
    edited January 2011
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