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Change Your Lightbulbs


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First off, I know I was wrong. Secondly, I urge beginners to start this early. I knew I should change my MH bulb every 6 months or so, but they were expensiove and I never got to it. Well, things started dying recently and I couldn't figure out why. I decided to change all the bulbs. It looked like a new tank. The old bulbs were at least a year and a half old. I hope I am not to late to revive some of the stuff. We'll see.


Oh yeah, do the same 6 months rules apply to all bulbs, or just MH?

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From what I know about metal halide having a lifespan of 10000-20000hrs (2-4.5years) I would change them once a year to keep correct spectrum if I were you.

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klagos, you cheeeep bastage! :P



MH's - every 8~10 months


PC's - every 12~14 months


VHO's - 8~10 months for actinics (i used to run actinics 12-hrs/day for dusk/dawn effect - see comment below) and 10~12 months for daylight/similar


NO's - 12+ months (didn't really stick with them long after that to gauge)

Overdriven NO's - 5~7 months


photoperiods will obviously affect usage rates, e.g. 12-hour daily photoperiods vs. 8-hour daily photoperiods.

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IMO PC's should be changed every 6 months. They loose their intensity very quickly. Ive let my pc's go over 8 or so months, my corals all looked like CRAP, all was due to lighting.

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Thanks all. "Tinyreef" seems to have a lot of good info here. Rock on.


By the way, after the change, within two days everything has come back strong.

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I'm going to agree with Clarkii, PCs should be changed every six months or so. They lose intensity faster than halides do. For halides, I would switch them every 8 months.

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I stick to every 14 months for my halides and PC's. I cant say this is the best way to go....but its what I can more readily afford.

Im amazed everyone has such different opinions.


Maybe we need to consolodate the life of bulbs by stating our daylight periods.



My halides are on for 8 hrs a day and I replace them every 14 months.

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T5 bulbs last 18 months? I thought I remember reading somewhere that they should be replaced annually?
What the manufacturer states can differ widely from personal experiance. I replace my bulbs annually, no matter what type of bulb it is. JMO.
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