I am tired. Tired of repairing and replacing failing lighting.
I started out with only minimal concern for budget. I have had my 250 watt hqi fail and be rebuilt at least 6 times now (and it's flickering again, so will be out in a week or so). I had my 2x96pc fail and be repaired 3 times, finally had a fire with one of my two odno's (water sprayed into fixture - not the odno's fault). That is all on the same tank (see sig line). I am tired.
Now for the math. I ran 250 watts with a good reflector and it was very nice
. I ran 192 with top of the line reflectors and they were nice as well (but lost the point source reflections
). I ran about 220 watts with the 4 odno t8's and it pearled like soda (and looked like a redneck shop rather than my living room).
So a new direction. Trying to decide between over the counter 36" 28watt Finnex Ray 2 (per various posts that would still be considered high light). and a diy using something like a pair of citizen 40watt 12x12's. I convinced myself 3 citizen 60watt 18x18 would be out of budget, hard to do the same if the 2 40's is going to put more useful light on my plants than my current system for 2/3 the price of the Ray 2. (fwiw considering using a meanwell ELN ballist. It will require wall wart for a 10v source - but will want that for a fan(s) anyway).
A tired mind request others input.
Just a follow up. Ray 2 should be arriving Friday. I might continue work on the citizen for another tank - but I did not feel that I could realistically collect the parts and assemble a diy project before I started loosing plants.