How to Burn In / Season T5 Bulbs for Use with a Dimmable SunPower Fixture: Part #2 – Replacing Bulbs on Existing Fixture

As we discussed in Part #1, burning in your T5 bulbs prior to dimming is an absolute must to ensure optimal bulb performance and prevent spectrum shift and premature bulb failure.

To properly burn in a bulb, it needs to run at 100% for a full 50 hours. The 50 hours does not have to be 50 straight through, however it does need to be completed in full prior to dimming any new bulb.

Below is our recommended procedures for replacing and burning in bulbs on an existing Dimmable SunPower fixture…

Relamping: Replacing Bulbs on Existing Dimmable SunPower Fixture

Burn-In Station Method (Recommended)

  1. Set-up a 2-bulb fixture or retrofit kit in an area away from your aquarium.
  2. Run each bulb for a full 50 hours @ 100% before dimming. Since the burn-in station is not over an aquarium, it is safe to run the fixture for 50 straight hours which translates to 2 days and 2 hours. Just make sure you give it a minimum of 50 hours.
  3. Install the 2 new, just seasoned bulbs in the fixture with the labeled end of the bulb over the small hole in the fixture housing.
  4. Repeat the process with 2 additional bulbs until all bulbs are burned in.

Over Tank Method (More Common)

A burn-in station is the preferred solution, however for most folks it is not a very practical solution. To burn your bulbs in using the fixture over your tank, please follow the following procedure.

  1. Install 2 new bulbs with the labeled end of the bulb over the small hole in the fixture housing in the bulb slots for Channel 2. Channel 2 is the channel that only controls 2 bulbs, so you should only have the 2 new bulbs on this channel.
  2. Run the program below for Channel 2 for 5 full days. Please continue to use your normal program for Channel 1. Please feel free to adjust the times to better match the program on Channel 1. The goal is to run the 2 new bulbs on Channel 2 for 10 hours per day at 100% intensity.
  3. After the 5 days, marked the burned in bulbs on Channel with a sharpie, so you know they have been burned in and move then to a known location in Channel 1. Repeat this process with an additional 2 bulbs until all bulbs have been burned in.

Following this process should also benefit the health and well-being of your corals as it gives them 5 full days (or more to be safe) to adjust to each set of 2 new bulbs. That being said, it is always a good idea to carefully monitor the health of corals and tank inhabitants every day as new bulbs have significantly more output than old bulbs and your corals may not react favorably to them.

Channels 2 Only

  1. 08:00 On
  2. 08:01 100%
  3. 18:00 100%
  4. 18:00 Off
  5. 00:00 —%
  6. 00:00 —%
  7. 00:00 —%
  8. 00:00 —%
  9. 00:00 —%
  10. 00:00 —%

Tell if you have any additional tricks or recommendations for how to burn in / season your bulbs prior to dimming. We would love to hear from you, so please post in the comments below!

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