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Old 04/06/2007, 11:44 AM   #1
Moved On
hahnmeister's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Brew City, WI
Posts: 10,156
Hello Al, long time no see...

Hello Al, been a long time since I have seen you at a WRS meeting. I bought a Quantum meter alot like the one you have and have been conducting a similar test, as well as a 'Red Tide' Radiospectrometer to see the spectrum shift. I have been comparing the outputs of pheonix bulbs running on a PFO HQI ballast for one year, and on the the Icecap ballasts. I didnt think I had enough of a control group (not enough bulbs to declare anything... only 2 HQI running bulbs, and 2 IC bulbs), so I havent posted anything, but I did see these trends...

The Icecap ran the bulbs into the ground faster than the HQI. Granted, the Icecap has a lower output to begin with, but also over time, the Icecap degrades more than the HQI. This contradicts the claims that the e-ballast can make this bulb run longer. After one year, 8 hours per day on a timer, on the IC ballast, the pheonix bulbs were only retaining about 65% of their output. They also looked like 20,000K bulbs... very monochromatic blue.

The PFO HQI ballast ran the bulbs much brighter, and slightly whiter, but after a year of running 8 hours per day, still kept about 85% of its output! After a year, the bulbs looked whiter as well: no yellow tint, but they do look more daylight like a true 14,000K... not bad really.

Granted, the spectral shift of the HQI may account for some of the greater PAR reading on the HQI ballast, but maybe 5% as Dana Riddle's experiments showed with an old XM 20,000K. The M80 ballast seems to be the better ballast here.

It would seem that Icecap's claim that the 'higher frequency' doesnt apply to HQI bulbs. While Im sure their technology maintains SE/probe start bulbs much better than a magnetic ballast, it isnt enough to keep the DE bulbs from degrading, or being 'underpowered'. The lower output of the IC (compared to M80) running DE bulbs should be proof enough, as if a higher frequency is supposed to make up for lower wattage to the bulb, then the output should be the same, no? Otherwise, an underpowered halide would end up with some of its contents burning into the quartz because it doesnt get excited enough, causing the potential output from those gasses to be lost, as well as blocking the output from the remaining gasses. I mean, if a higher frequency is supposed to make up for less power, then we should see just as many photons from a HQI run bulb as a IC one, right?

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