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Lighting System Gallery

AB Aquaspace Cooling System
AB Aquaspace Light
DIY (Do it Yourself) Dual T5 SLR Light Hood
Dual T5 SLR Light Hood Lighting Fixture Hanger
AB Aquaspace Light - Rewiring Project

IceCap MHI Ballast

Pictured left is one of my electronic ballast that I used to use for powering my Metal Halide lighting system. This ballast is specifically optimized to power a 250 watt Iwasaki 6500K bulb. IceCap, Inc. makes a few different versions of their metal halide ballast. Unlike a typical metal halide ballast which is a large bulky thing that run ultra hot, the IceCap ballast is small and compact (11-¼" x 3-¼" x 1-¾"). It weights only 1.5 pounds.

The draw back of metal halide is that you need a ballast for each bulb in your system. Unlike florescent lights which can run multiple bulbs per ballast. This is starting to change. IceCap does make lower wattage metal halides ballast that can power two lamps.

My metal halide lights come on and off at preset times using my IceCap Digital Timer.

Service Repair: On March 3rd, 1999 I had to send one of the IceCap ballast back for repair. It had a problem getting the bulb lit. When first turned on the bulb would flicker for about 3 seconds and then go out. I contacted IceCap and they said that a fix was available. Its called a "Re-start circuit" and you just need to request this fix if you have a problem like I did. Turn around time was about 1 week.

Note: After running these ballast for several years I'm not very happy with them. They still flicker, one burns brighter than the other, one has an issues with burning out bulbs. I replaced them with a PFO Dual 250w ballast. I've seen so many tanks that use these and none of them have lighting problems I have. And sure enough after swapping out the ballast the flicker went away and both sides of the tank are equally lit.

Burned Out Iwasaki Bulb

This is an example of the metal halide bulbs burning out of my Ice Cap ballast. The black areas are not supposed to happen. That vessel should remain crystal clear. Believe it or not, the bulbs pictured here are only 4 to 6 months old. You should easily get 12 to 18 months from these bulbs and even then the vessel should be clear.

IceCap Tech Support blamed the issue on bad sockets. I changed out the sockets with known good sockets from another reefers tank and it still happened. It did take longer and progressed slower, but the bulbs still turned black.