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I'm just embarking on my first 'real' boat build & I'm wanting to use HPS lights (If money will allow)
I used to run halos on my old boat & while I have no real complaints, more light would have been better. My genny can only take so much though & I'm thinking that HPS would be a far, far better option. I'd love MHs but I also enjoy being married & spending more on light fixtures than on the rest of th boat would soon see me in divorce court.

A few questions then;

Are 250W HPS any good, compared to 500W Halos, or am I wasting time even thinking about them?

This ballast thing. Can someone explain it to me? Should it be remote? Why can't I leave all that magical stuff in the fixturs the way God intended? (I know more about theoretical physics than I do electrics)

Where do you buy these things? All I've found so far is industrial floodlighting with either 100 or 150W blubs

Can I fit 400W blubs into these smaller fixtures?

Can someone point me in the right direction to buy good fixtures at a reasonable price?

What should I expect to pay, per fixture?

Sorry for all the mundane blabber, but this is all a bit new to me. I really do not want to go back to halos & then end up replacing them a year from now, I'd rather get it right the first time out.
 

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HPS and halos are night and day. Price and weight on the 250 vs the 400 is darn near the same, so most go with the 400's. I have a pair of both on my boat. I left everything in the fixture, unless you got too much weight on the nose, there is no reason to move them IMO. econo light has cheap fixtures, but you get what you pay for. I bought hubbels because I didn't want to mess around with bracking up cheap housings and brackets. Minilighters (hubbles) are built like a rock but will run you almost 300 bucks per light....where as you can get teh econo's for about half that.
 

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Rob, you might want to try some 150 HPS with caps inside for sixty something bucks a piece.Alot of folks use 150's and are very happy.
 

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I ran 150hps lights for a while and was really not that impressed. Yeah they work and are about the same brightness as a 500watt halogen but mine were $70 each at the time.
I got 250hps ballast kits for about $50 and then bulbs are about $8 and the reflectors I got from old bald guy were $15. I decided on the 250 instead of the 400s because the 250 is still 2-2.5 times brighter than the 500 halo and saw some good pics of old bald guys boat and you can see that 250s are plenty. I am going all MH right now but with HPS ballasts you can run either MH or HPS bulbs.
 

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I'm just embarking on my first 'real' boat build & I'm wanting to use HPS lights (If money will allow)
I used to run halos on my old boat & while I have no real complaints, more light would have been better. My genny can only take so much though & I'm thinking that HPS would be a far, far better option. I'd love MHs but I also enjoy being married & spending more on light fixtures than on the rest of th boat would soon see me in divorce court.

A few questions then;

Are 250W HPS any good, compared to 500W Halos, or am I wasting time even thinking about them?

This ballast thing. Can someone explain it to me? Should it be remote? Why can't I leave all that magical stuff in the fixturs the way God intended? (I know more about theoretical physics than I do electrics)

Where do you buy these things? All I've found so far is industrial floodlighting with either 100 or 150W blubs

Can I fit 400W blubs into these smaller fixtures?Can someone point me in the right direction to buy good fixtures at a reasonable price?

What should I expect to pay, per fixture?

Sorry for all the mundane blabber, but this is all a bit new to me. I really do not want to go back to halos & then end up replacing them a year from now, I'd rather get it right the first time out.
You can't run 400 watt HPS bulbs on a 150 watt ballast.
These 400's are nice.
http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-400-WATT-HI...042?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2560e183da



 

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There are a few reasons to move your ballasts and other stuff out of the fixtures. For me it was more for getting the weight out of the fixture. These lights are made to sit on a posts or mount to a wall. The housings aren't designed to bounce around and see the stress of a ride on a trailer going down the rough roads like they do when mounted to our decks and boats. Even if the housings are great, they are being used outside of their intended design. I moved my ballasts for this reason alone.. Then I still used bracing on the housings to keep them from cracking from the vibration they see on road trips and trips across the lake. Another is to move the weight to other parts of the boat and help balance the load in the boat. And if you get even more advanced, you can have specialty housing made to fit a specific spot on the boat or deck, if you remote locate the ballasts and other goodies, the housings can be nearly a third the normal size give or take a few inches. This opens up the possiblities of deck design and light mounting.
I have ten hps 150s. I would have rather gone with a few 400's between the 150s. But we don't have any gaps in light coverage and the 150s don't put any stress on the genny we use. We can see about thirty feet in front and to the sides of the boat as it is now. Not really sure if I'll spend the time and money to get an extra ten to fifteen foot of light coverage in the future.
There is a fella from tenessee that sells lights on e-bay. Several folks have used him to purchase lights including me.
GLV or GVL lighting I think. And if you get the hps, get the caps, they're worth every penny.
I paid around 60 bucks per fixture on my 150s
Can't run higher wattage bulbs in lower wattage fixtures. The ballasts and all have to match up to bulb wattage.
If you buy cheaper fixtures and get weaker housings , just means you'll have to use more bracing to mount them. A good idea anyway becasue the factory mounts aren't made to endure the stress a fixture sees on a bowfishing rig anyway.
Good luck with the decission and project!
 

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Good advice Oldsmoker. I went remote years ago because the ballasts kept vibrating loose inside the fixture. Now I run reflectors that weigh about 1lb each.
 

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Not trying to hy-jack, but thats a awsome pic. It has been too long since the boats been out of the garage. That pic will get your heart going for sure!
 

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if im not mistaking those reflectors kinda look like turkey pans.
If I get hungry on one of them long nights at least I got something to cook a possum in!

Ditto....
See below.
How do i get those kind of reflectors.
They are reflectors out of cobra head street lights. Ballast box is under the deck and light switches on the console.
Not trying to hy-jack, but thats a awsome pic. It has been too long since the boats been out of the garage. That pic will get your heart going for sure!
For sure. Makes me want to go now.
 
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