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Old 06/20/2010, 10:47 PM   #1
yankee26th
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Exclamation Galaxy Select-A-Watt VS Lumatek Dimmable Ballast

Hello Everyone ---

I recently upgraded to 250W Radium bulbs. I'm currently driving them with the CoralVue Dimmable Ballasts. I understand that the CoralVue do not drive the Radiums properly. I want to upgrade to either the Galaxy or Lumatek Adjustable ballasts so I can properly drive the Radium Bulbs.

Which one would you recommend?

I would appreciate your input.

Thanks ---
Chris


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Old 06/21/2010, 08:16 AM   #2
ganjero
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Galaxy and Lumatek are pretty much the same, they both are from Sunlight Supply. Also, most of the electronic ballasts are the same, so I dont think you'll see a difference changing from Coralvue to a different e-ballast.
The galaxy and lumatek have an "HQI" option which overdrives the bulb by 10% but a some reefers measured PAR and reported that under the HQI the PAR doesnt increase. You have a CV dimmable ballasts, this ballast will overdrive your bulbs by 10% as well if the knob is turn all the way up, then again I dont see a need to change to other e-ballast. You should be fine running Radiums with your CVs.


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Old 06/21/2010, 09:48 AM   #3
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There's a huge difference between the coralvue dimmable and the Lumatek adjustable. They aren't even in the same league in my opinion. Radium's only pull 220-235 on a good day from the non-dimmable, so add 10% to that on the dimmable (as they can "overdrive" supposedly 10%). You'd be lucky to get 250w from the wall from a coralvue dimmable I'd bet, where the Lumatek adjustable can run it decently close to spec. Some were doubting that the adjustable setting did anything, so I tested it and recorded. Yes, yes, yes, we all know that wall wattage is not 100% exact in terms of what is being delivered to the bulb, but it's a good starting point we can easily measure.

That being said, I think you could go with either Galaxy or Lumatek and have similar results because as mentioned they're both coming from SLS.




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Old 06/21/2010, 10:00 AM   #4
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Running a lamp to spec is not just about the amount of watts pull by a ballast from the wall.

Anyways check out this article( http://cnidarianreef.com/G180/lamps.php ), has great info and it shows actual power coming out of the ballast to the bulb. It also shows that most e-ballast get similar PAR values out of the Radiums. Only a true HQI ballast will come close to run radiums to spec, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work on e-ballast as well.


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Old 06/21/2010, 10:34 AM   #5
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Completely understood, which is why I made that statement. Unfortunately I don't see any of the newer style ballast (dimmable or adjustable) included in the test at least from what I can tell. You're right they will indeed fire on eballasts, however they don't all drive them the same. And just because it fires doesn't necessarily mean it looks like it should and/or will have the correct life expectancy.

PAR between a non-adjustable Coralvue (~220-235w at the wall) does not compare to the "250" setting on a Lumatek (~270w) let alone the "HQI" setting (~310w). I tested that with multiple CV ballasts (had three at one point), and actually have in my temporary 100g stock tanks one radium on a Lumatek and one radium on a CV about 6' apart. I'm not discounting the info on the webpage you linked, but it just doesn't match up to my own testing.


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Old 06/21/2010, 10:58 AM   #6
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Did you test the CV with a radium? Maybe you had defective or old CS ballasts and also e-ballast have different power factors. I know the lumatek and galaxy are not included in the article, but I doubt the galaxy/lumatek are “miracle” ballasts that are running a lot different than icecap, aro, cv, etc.
The article shows the CV pulling 260w with a radium.
Again to the OP IMO changing from an CV dimmable to galaxy/lumatek is not going to make a justifiable difference.


PS. I run lumateks because that’s what I got since day 1 on my current tank.


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Old 06/21/2010, 11:29 AM   #7
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Did you test the CV with a radium?
Sorry, maybe I wasn't clear. Yes I have and with multiple ballasts. I see the result and difference between the two multiple times a day I've actually been running for four or so months that way, 5-6' away from each other as I'm consolidating tanks. In my basement one 100g poly lit by my Lumatek and radium are all my LPS. Literally turn around and there's a 100g poly of a mixture of live rock and base rock that I'm growing coralline algae on lit by a CV and radium. There is indeed a visual (color and intensity) and PAR difference (Quatum measured) between them from day one to four or so months later (today).

As for "justifiable", that's really up to the OP. If he/she feels the money is well spent, then it's justified However, we have taken the thread a bit off track, as my main point was to point out that as a general rule classifying all eballasts as being similar isn't always completely accurate. When it comes to the reasoning (which we would need more feedback from the OP), as we both know neither ballasts listed will run the bulb to spec as that requires a true HQI non-eballast. The Lumatek does have the capabilities to pull more wattage from the wall, and burns it a bit whiter as it would when run to spec. The CV I use burns it with less PAR are more blue. If the OP's want is to get a slighly whiter natural to spec look out of the radium, then the Lumatek can provide that. If they want the higher PAR, the Lumatek can provide that. If they're worried about it being run exactly to spec to ensure the results are as designed and the lifespan is as advertised, neither are technically able to do that and may invalidate the reason for the switch.

A good check for the OP would be to measure what wattage the current CV is pulling. If it's low, I bet you'll see a bit of difference on either the Lumatek "250" or "HQI" setting. If it's 260ish, you probably won't see a big change at Lumatek "250", but will see some at "HQI".


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Old 06/21/2010, 11:33 AM   #8
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RokleM and ganjero ---

I've tested the CV dimmable ballasts, set to max., on a Kill-a-Watt and the best reading I was able to get is 255w.

Chris


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Old 06/21/2010, 11:36 AM   #9
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So Chris, what's the reasoning behind your concern or thoughts to switch? More PAR, more white like to spec, bulb life expediency, what?


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Old 06/21/2010, 12:46 PM   #10
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Eric ---

I would like to drive the Radiums closer to specs. The way they were designed and hopefully at the same time get more PAR. I know they will probably run more whiter but thats fine. I'm also using VHO actinics. I'm getting some nice colors and good growth at the same time. I'm also getting quick coral damage repair, which is nice.

I'd like to see the difference running the Lumatek or Galaxy ballasts when using the HQI setting.

I'm also curious about something. I've taken photos of my display tank. Why is my tank bluer in the photos than the way I see it?

Thanks ---
Chris


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Old 06/21/2010, 01:16 PM   #11
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Eric, you are right I was too general when I said most e-ballast, but I do believe Ice Cap, Galaxy, Lumatek, even ARO and CV are the same league and should perform very similar with the difference that the "dimmable" ones allow you to use different types of bulbs (150w-250w, 250w-400w, etc). BTW since you've been taking PAR measurements with the dimmable lumatek, do you see a increase in PAR when using the HQI option?
I've seen readings from other users where the PAR only goes up, if it goes up, by 2-4 points, which doesn’t really justify using ~50w more.


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Old 06/21/2010, 01:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yankee26th View Post
I'd like to see the difference running the Lumatek or Galaxy ballasts when using the HQI setting.

I'm also curious about something. I've taken photos of my display tank. Why is my tank bluer in the photos than the way I see it?

Chris, personally, I've found the Radium 20k is a notoriously difficult bulb to take a picture of due to the amazing actinic/blue look of the bulb. Pictures bring it out even more. These are about the best I've been able to do, and they still have too much blue in them.



In your area (any reef clubs?) do you know of anyone that has a Lumatek? It would be worth begging someone to borrow one for a few hours to see what type of difference you visually see. As my CV's are not doing as well as yours wattage wise, any PAR numbers I give you will likely be off a bit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ganjero View Post
Eric, you are right I was too general when I said most e-ballast, but I do believe Ice Cap, Galaxy, Lumatek, even ARO and CV are the same league and should perform very similar with the difference that the "dimmable" ones allow you to use different types of bulbs (150w-250w, 250w-400w, etc). BTW since you've been taking PAR measurements with the dimmable lumatek, do you see a increase in PAR when using the HQI option?
I've seen readings from other users where the PAR only goes up, if it goes up, by 2-4 points, which doesn’t really justify using ~50w more.
Yup, that's actually what I'm doing in that video when I reach down. ~10-15% increase. More watts, more PAR, about equal ratio.

"250" ~270w ~1460 PAR
"HQI" ~310 ~1660 PAR


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Old 06/21/2010, 06:01 PM   #13
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No Eric, unfortunately their aren't any that I'm aware of in my area. I still feel confident that it would be more beneficial to use the Lumatek or Galaxy over the CV.

By the way, when it comes time for me to sell my CV dimmables, IYHO what would you think would be a good price to ask? I've had them for a year and a half and they are in excellent condition. Please let me know.

Thanks ---
Chris



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Old 06/22/2010, 09:09 AM   #14
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No Eric, unfortunately their aren't any that I'm aware of in my area. I still feel confident that it would be more beneficial to use the Lumatek or Galaxy over the CV.

By the way, when it comes time for me to sell my CV dimmables, IYHO what would you think would be a good price to ask? I've had them for a year and a half and they are in excellent condition. Please let me know.

Thanks ---
Chris
As far as I've seen, I'm not aware of many that are unhappy with the Lumateks at this point (with the few of those that are arguing and/or unsure about if the 250-HQI knob actually does something). I don't think it's a bad buy at all if for nothing else than the flexibility. In the end the visual difference is a personal opinion and you might see little to nothing or be very happy, as well as the cost involved. Only you can make that call.

On the old ballast, hard to tell. I'd say hit up your local forums for previous prices or main for sale forums here if you plan to ship. Seems like ballasts of quality, especially current models sell for a pretty decent price, sell from 50-75% of new (or even higher if it's a well liked brand/model).


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Old 07/17/2010, 09:10 PM   #15
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RokleM, thanks for the video


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Old 07/19/2010, 09:33 AM   #16
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So for a 250 watt application, which ballest would be the best?


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Old 07/19/2010, 10:34 AM   #17
yankee26th
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So for a 250 watt application, which ballest would be the best?
Bern Mac ---

I purchased 3 of the Lumatek Adjustable Ballasts-Model #902527. It allows me to run 250 or 400 watt Standard or Radium style bulbs. I love them, they work great.

Chris


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Old 08/23/2010, 11:43 AM   #18
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I just purchased an adjustable lumatek with a Radium bulb/SE reflector. I should get it in a few days. Thanks to the above ppl who gave their input.


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Old 06/23/2011, 04:25 PM   #19
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Bumb,

I have been debating on whether or not I want to switch back to MH from T5, and if I did I would probably go with one of these two select a watt ballasts.

I didnt see any more current reviews on Galaxy vs Lumatex.

I would love to see how people feel about their ballasts now that more time has passed and they have been on the market longer.


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Old 06/28/2011, 02:43 PM   #20
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bump any updates on these two ballasts?


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Old 06/29/2011, 06:58 AM   #21
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I installed my Radiums a couple months ago. Two run on Cv ballast that are 7 years old the other on a CV ballast that is a couple years old. Compared to my Reeflux 12K they are not as blue and are brighter checking with a meter both on top of the water and at the bottom of the tank. M80 ballast run the lamps at 350 watts so of course you will have more par and it will be whiter, I don't believe the lamps will last longer because of it. Coral growth has been great also.


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Old 08/16/2011, 06:24 PM   #22
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bump any updates on these two ballasts?
+1

I'm working in a new project - 700g - and trying to decide between MH+T5 or LED.

Any advises on Galaxy vs Lumatek vs CoralVue ballast?


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Old 08/17/2011, 04:54 PM   #23
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Galaxy and Lumatek are near identical, both from SLS.

CoralVue is extremely unimpressive IMO.


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Old 11/23/2020, 07:01 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RokleM View Post
Galaxy and Lumatek are near identical, both from SLS.

CoralVue is extremely unimpressive IMO.
I have trying to get some lumatek select a watt for 400w halides but I can not find them. any idea where would they have them??

thanks


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Old 11/30/2020, 06:59 PM   #25
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I have trying to get some lumatek select a watt for 400w halides but I can not find them. any idea where would they have them??

thanks
They are no longer made, Sunlight Supply used to make them.


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