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Thread: 300 watt vs 500 watt halogen

  1. #1
    Gurgling Guppie
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    300 watt vs 500 watt halogen

    Hey new to the forum. I am just wondering what are the advantages and disadvantages of using 500 watt halogen style work lights. I am wondering if i can still get the same amount of light out of the 300 watt lights and put less strain on my Loud Coleman Powermate. Buy the way i got 4 of them 2 pointed to the center of the boat stright ahead and 2 angled on the outsides any help will greatly be appreciated

  2. #2
    Frazzled Flounder Founder choppedliver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudd_cat23 View Post
    Hey new to the forum. I am just wondering what are the advantages and disadvantages of using 500 watt halogen style work lights. I am wondering if i can still get the same amount of light out of the 300 watt lights and put less strain on my Loud Coleman Powermate. Buy the way i got 4 of them 2 pointed to the center of the boat stright ahead and 2 angled on the outsides any help will greatly be appreciated
    welcome to the forum mudd.

    When you talk about halogen vs LED vs HPS ( high pressure sodium) you need to understand watts , efficiency, and lumens.

    Watts = how much power consumed. Watts = voltage x amperage. A 500 watt light on a 12 volt system will draw 41.7 amps. If your battery bank or generator cannot sustain 41.7 amps, you cannot run that light period. Doesnt matter if its HPS or halogen.

    Lumens = How much light is produced.

    Efficiency = How many LUMENS are produced PER WATT.

    More efficient means you can put out same light with less power. Your generator or your bank of batteries can only produce so much power.

    HPS is expensive, but you can get more light on the boat than with any other technology, because it is efficient AND you can get it in high wattages. It is more efficient than Halogen, so a 300watt hps will emit more lumens of light than the 300watt halogen. A 500watt hps will emit more lumens of light than a 500watt halogen.

    LED is more efficient than either HPS or Halogen PER WATT. They just don't make LED's that put out the total lumens, which is what you really care about... lots of lumens, total output.


    Here is an example, for explanation sake, don't hold me to the numbers exactly:


    There are some high efficiency, led's that push around 200 lumens per watt. But a "typical" led is 3 watts.

    200 lumens x 3 watts = 600 lumens

    That hps bulb might be pushing 400 watts and 40,000 lumens
    100 lumens per watt x 400 watts = 40,000 lumens.

    To get 40,000 lumens with LED ( in this example ) you would need 200 leds to match one HPS!

    Then halogen is about 15 lumens per watt, so a 500 watt halogen would be about 7500 lumens of light

    You would need several 500 watt halogens to get the same lumens as one 40,000 lumens HPS light.

    So halogen is not as bright, but it's cheaper, and you can't run as many without killing your battery or generator. But guess what plenty of people find they work just fine.

    HPS is expensive, and really bright. Nothing really compares.

    You have to keep in mind, people have been floundering for years, and some people just use a flashlight or a lantern. HPS are nice, but definitely not a necessity.

    A lot of the light from above water lights is wasted as it just bounces off the surface. If you put your lights underwater, you can get away with less lumens. When angus and I go, we only have 165 watts , halogen , or about 2400 lumens. One HPS bulb is 20x that

    All that matters, is can you see the flounder?

  3. #3
    Frazzled Flounder Founder choppedliver's Avatar
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    To answer your question, I am not sure how many amps your generator can supply.

    If you have 4 work lights, 300 watts each, you have about 1200 watts of halogen work lights.

    efficiency varies with each bulb manufacturer, so for this example:

    Let's say your halogen lights have an efficiency of 15 lumens per watt

    Let's also say your HPS lights you want to purchase have an efficiency of 100 lumens per watt.

    You already stated you can run 1200 watts ( 4 work lights x 300watts )

    You are currently emitting 18,000 lumens ( 1200 watts x 15 lumens per watt for halogen )

    To match your current total output of 18,000 lumens, you would need only one 180 watt HPS bulb ( 18,000 divided by 100 lumens per watt )

  4. #4
    Gurgling Guppie
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    right now im running 500 watt halogens and i have a 2500 watt gen. the gen handles it fine its just ive heard the 300 watt cuts the water better with less glare then the 500 watt bulbs im going to stick to my current set up for this year with the halogen and maybe go to hps next year i would love to find 4 hps lights the size of halogen work lights but i havent been able to find them.

  5. #5
    Frazzled Flounder Founder choppedliver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudd_cat23 View Post
    right now im running 500 watt halogens and i have a 2500 watt gen. the gen handles it fine its just ive heard the 300 watt cuts the water better with less glare then the 500 watt bulbs im going to stick to my current set up for this year with the halogen and maybe go to hps next year i would love to find 4 hps lights the size of halogen work lights but i havent been able to find them.
    Well, cutting the water is really to do with lumens. So if you have more lumens, you will penetrate the water better.

    A 500 watt halogen produces more light than a 300 watt halogen. It should cut the water better.

    You also have to remember that a 500 watt will bounce more light off the water than a 300 watt, which is where the glare might come in. Might need to adjust the angle some if you are getting blinded.

  6. #6
    Babbling Barnacled Blue Crab InshoreCommander's Avatar
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    Actually, it is the spectrum of the light source that dictates how much it "cuts" through the water.

    In other words, water absorbs different wavelengths of light differently.

    Plus, add in sediments, algae, plankton, whatever, and the game changes even more.

    Lights like high pressure sodium are shifted towards the "orange" side of the spectrum.

    Others, like halogen are more "full spectrum" (i.e. they contain almost all colors red-orange-yellow-blue-green-indigo-violet).

    Since red is the lowest frequency and violet is the highest frequency, the reds tend to be absorbed quicker (they penetrate the least) than the higher frequency colors.

    But, then you have to get into the physics of the eye. The eye responds best, or has the highest sensitivity, to colors in the "green" area of the spectrum (which is the narrowest part of the visible spectrum).

    Furthermore, if your source doesn't contain enough "colors" then you will lose the ability to tell between colors and will lose the ability to distinguish between different colors - although flounder are well camouflaged by nature, so you really don't lose anything by floundering w/ a narrow spectrum light source because the flounder already "blend in" with the background.

    So, you don't want sources of light that are shifted towards the red side of the spectrum (HPS are "orange'ish") if you want maximum penetration.

    I say all of that to say that the halogen's are the best "bang for your buck" - they are efficient, they are "full spectrum", they are inexpensive, and they are readily available.

  7. #7
    Frazzled Flounder Founder choppedliver's Avatar
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    You are correct, I didnt mention spectrum didn't want to go that deep... I should have said "given same color temperature, more lumens will work better. "

    I think he was comparing halogen 300w vs halogen 500w and wondering if the 300w would "cut better" and I was simply stating that given both are halogen, more lumens would penetrate further.

    I've seen color temp differences in action... led's towards the blue end vs halogen which are yellowish.

    See banjovies taliban flatty video where he has a side by side comparison of a 3200k color temp halogen ( yellowish ) vs 9000k temperature led ( towards the blue end ) of the spectrum



    There is something to be said though for raw lumens and HPS can throw a ton. I would agree the bang for the buck is halogen. That's what we use

  8. #8
    Rambling Redfish patoz's Avatar
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    After watching that video, it looks like the LED is the winner hands down. Of course what the camera lense sees, and what the human eye sees aren't necessarily the same thing.

    I have replaced the incandescent lamps with Cree 260 Lumen lamps in a couple of my Sure Fire weapon lights, and the difference is unbelievable. Plus a lot less heat and four times the run time. Of course LED does not produce IR, so if you happen to gig with night vision equipment, you're out of luck.

    But then you could also strap this 3,000 lumen HID baby under your gig, and you wouldn't have to even cook the fish. Banjovie, I'm sure you have seem a couple of these in operation before.

    Handle every stressful situation like a dog. If you can't eat it or play with it, just piss on it and walk away!

  9. #9
    Bodacious Bull Minnow Randall Lee's Avatar
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    With the Halogen or the HPS how hot are standing over them? I did a lot of floundering years ago and started with a 2 mantel Coleman lantern then moved up to the old mega-base 1000 lumen bulbs. I’d really like to get back into it and have started looking at boats, lights, power that has changed in the last 20 years. Man am I behind the curve on this new tech……, you were styling if you had 2 batteries and a double underwater light setup back then.

  10. #10
    Salty Slippery Speckled Trout Feebleoldman's Avatar
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    You had a lantern? you were the lucky one.

    All we had was a torch and a sharp stick and damn lucky to have them. You have found a veritable cesspool of floundering knowledge. in these guys. That's a complement by the way.

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