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    An MT-250 Surprise, Hands on with the Japanese Halide

    While walking the snow covered streets of Chicago I could not think of what it was. I really had no idea. USPS only left a note saying to pick up the package and pay the hefty customs fee. I patiently waited in line at the post office trying to think back, what the hell did I […]

    While walking the snow covered streets of Chicago I could not think of what it was. I really had no idea. USPS only left a note saying to pick up the package and pay the hefty customs fee. I patiently waited in line at the post office trying to think back, what the hell did I order? When it was my turn I  paid the customs charge to accept the package and politely asked the postal worker if she could tell me who the sender was.

    I got hit with a one two combo consisting of a puh-leese eyebrow raised look, followed by a verbal assault. It was so quick that it took me a second to digest what she actually said, “Do-I-look-like-I-can-read-Jap-a-nese!” As if the way you look conveys the languages you are able to read or speak. Nonetheless, coming from Japan I knew it would be good. Good enough that I had a big smile on my face. I think that pissed off the worker more than anything.

    The package’s  shipping label and contents description were mostly in Japanese, but I could make out  two names: Blue Harbor and MT-250.

    If you’ve been reading GBD, you are likely familiar with the MT-250 Metal Halide light that we’ve featured in the past. It was sent to me by Tetsuo Otake & Koji Wada via Koji’s store–Blue Harbor. It was a complete surprise, and quite a good one.

    The MzOne MT-250 Metal Halide spotlight is arguably the most popular, and expensive, aquarium lighting fixture in Japan. The smaller Supercool 115 (superkaru) 150w spotlights (Deep Blue lamp shown at right) are more often talked about and typically garner the most attention outside of Japan, but it is the MT-250 that you will see used as the core light in some of the country’s most admired aquariums. If you look carefully at photos of Japanese reef tanks you can often find the signature barn doors.

    The MT-250 is carefully made in Japan with high quality aluminum. I am unsure if the final product is painted or powderocoated–based on the quality I would think the latter. They are typically come in a flat black color, but as we show here a metallic silver is also available.

    The fixture is very well balanced. It is simple, effective and strong, without being overbuilt. Every corner and bend is crisp and on point. There are no fitting issues or gaps that plague many lower end aquarium lights. MzOne adds a tiny amount of industrial adhesive in the inside of each corner bend to ensure they stay true. Internally, a series of vents are designed to allow hot air to travel up and out of the fixture while preventing any stray light to escape.

    Here you can see the barn doors are actually a solid face plate which also holds the UV blocking glass–a must when using double ended metal halide lamps. The barn door / UV glass plate can be taken off by unscrewing two bolts with your hands. This allows easy access into the fixture for bulb replacement.

    MT-250 reflector with MzOne Coral Glow lamp

    Unlike most reflectors that are made using multiple sheets of polished metal, the MT-250 is made from a single piece of spun aluminum which is then highly polished and treated to a hammertone finish. This creates a true spotlight out of a otherwise typical 250w DE Metal Halide.  Additionally you can position this light to illuminate the exact area you would like with minimum light spill. Any stray light that is sprayed outwards can then be blocked with the attached barndoors–this is particularly helpful when using bright metal halides in a household setting. There is no reason to light up the entire room, or even the aquarium glass– just the corals.

    Despite being available in Japan for sometime, this may be the first MT-250 to make its way to the U.S.. More updates to come on installing this light and seeing it in action. A special thanks to my friends Tetsuo Otake and Koji Wada for sending over this great fixture.

    8 Comments

    1. Daniel B.
      December 29, 2009 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

      Wow Eric, I’m sure you were excited! Definitely nice. Keep us posted!

    2. December 29, 2009 at 8:17 AM | Permalink

      Very cool. When we going to see this puppy over the glassbox?

    3. Nicholas Sadaka
      December 29, 2009 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

      Sounds like someone else got an after Christmas present…your excitement is oozing out of this blog. Very cool of them to send you that.

    4. John D
      December 29, 2009 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

      About 20 yrs ago, track lighting was availabe that was very similar to the MT-250 for aquarium use. Does anyone else remember?

    5. December 31, 2009 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

      Eric, I’m sure you’re psyched, that’s a great light.
      I have three of the 150 watt versions (my tank is too shallow for 250’s). You’re right the superkaru’s get all the props,but I love the MT fixtures as much as I do the superkaru’s.

    6. unknown reefer
      January 4, 2010 at 2:08 AM | Permalink

      ok, so how much us this bad boy shipped here to the usa. it would look great over my new rig. is there a us distributor. is there a se Bulb version?

    7. glassboxdesign
      January 6, 2010 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

      These are only available in 150w and 250w DE halide and retail for $1,400 USD. Shipping and customs from Japan will tack on another bill.

    8. January 7, 2010 at 2:58 AM | Permalink

      These are only available in 150w and 250w DE halide and retail for $1,400 USD. Shipping and customs from Japan will tack on another bill.

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