Cheap lighting - ODNO - Page 9 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #121 of 280 (permalink) Old 01-17-2003, 03:55 AM
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gulf coast aquarian says:

<<4x is roughly 200% (double) standard NO (1x).
4x is probably around 150%-170% brighter than 2x.>>

are these #'s you've actually measured, or are they calculations?

reason for asking: i, too have been spending hours reading this and other forums, and appreciate the info. however, in the reef central thread, there appears to be a shift away from 4x overdriving back to 2x. now, there is talk on the reef thread about "PAR" (photosynthetically active radiation something-or-other) being increased only modestly when you increase from 2x to 4x, (and a whole lot more heat generated as well) so maybe this is what made the reef central posters change their strategy. anyway, i don't expect anyone here to necessarily be an authority on what other forums are discussing, but from what you are saying, for planted tanks (mine's still not set up yet), 4x OD on one bulb is better than 2x OD one 2 bulbs. sorry for the thick head, but do i have this clear?

btw, i have found a supplier for 4x ballasts and t8 36" tubes in atlantic canada; let me know if more info needed.

regards, and tia

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post #122 of 280 (permalink) Old 01-17-2003, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, jart, I actually learned about this stuff on that reefcentral thread. PAR is what feeds the zooaxenthellae (sp?) that provides corals with intense coloration. Some lighting configurations might appear more intense than other, while still having less PAR. Like Iwasaki 5500K bulbs. They appear brighter than Radium 20k's but have you see coral grow with one or the other? Iwasaki-grown SPS corals will generall be larger, with more drab coloration, while Radium 20k-grown SPS corals will not be as large, but have some intense coloration.

I'm really not sure how PAR affects plant growth, or maybe even plant coloration. Hobbyists are relatively new to the concept of ODNO lighting, even though it has been used in photography for decades. Time will tell what its long term effects are.

As for the output specs I gave... they are based on data from the reefcentral thread, as well as measurements taken by my Fluke AVG current meter. I measured a 4-F32T8 ballast driving two four foot tubes and current draw was approximately 0.8 amps (converted to RMS). When I took one bulb out and connected all four outputs to one bulb, current draw shot up to almost 1.7 amps! Since these electronic ballasts are extremely efficient, very little of that energy is translated to heat inside the ballast, so I generally assume most of that current draw is also seen at the bulb. But the bulb itself decreases in efficiency as current increases, evident by significant increases in heat output, so not all of that energy is translated into light.
Put more simply, even though the current draw was double for one 4x bulb over two 2x bulbs, light output isn't double because the lone 4x bulb wastes some energy through heat.

How much heat? Hmmm, I might be able to take some temperature measurements and calculate energy lost through heat convection. Must find... old college... Heat... Transfer... text.. book.

- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #123 of 280 (permalink) Old 01-21-2003, 09:28 PM
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Gulf, or anyone that knows.. in the diagram of the ballast you posted on page one, it looks like you connected the two blue wires and connected the two red wires, if i wired a red and blue and another red and blue does it make a difference since they are all going to the same place anyway?

Does that make any sense at all?
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post #124 of 280 (permalink) Old 01-22-2003, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Oh ok, I get what you're asking. No, it doesn't matter where you splice them, since like you said - they're all going to be connected at one junction anyway.

This only applies for 4x ODNO, though, since all four outputs are going to splice down to one wire. If you're doing 2x ODNO, then you need to make sure you're splicing two of the same color.

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post #125 of 280 (permalink) Old 01-22-2003, 11:07 PM
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do you use only one power supply for the whole thing? I am running two ballast meant to run 4 lights each all from one power supply is that ok? Not really a power supply just the cord. Reason i'm asking is because i got it all hooked up and the lights came on but both dim and one really dim. I hooked up just one ballast the first time to one bulb and it seemed really bright so i figured it worked and went on to hook up other one. Then it was dim. So either there is a bad connection or not enough power. BTW, I used speaker wire connectors which my girlfriends dad told me was a big mistake, so i am using wire nuts this time. I figure if I get this working my 55 will have 4.6 watts/gallon

oh ya, and one other question. On the actual socket or end cap of my shoplight there are 4 connectors where you insert the wires. I got it assembled and there were only two used on each one. Do i need to use all 4 or just 2 or does it matter?
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post #126 of 280 (permalink) Old 01-23-2003, 02:07 AM
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ok its all hooked up and seems to be working. working meaning that its bright, equally bright, but how do i know its 4x what its supposed to be. I dont have a control to see what normal would look like. Im a bit drunk so bare with me. The compact alone looks brighter to me, granted, they are different kelvin ratings. Im using the ge plant bulb from lowes t-12 . Anyway let me know
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post #127 of 280 (permalink) Old 01-23-2003, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Took quite a few swigs of the DIY Yeast mix to get the job done, eh? haha

Congrats on getting it all to work. A few things:

1) A T12 bulb won't appear quite as bright as a T8 bulb because the same light output is being distributed over a larger bulb area. But the overall luminosity will still be slightly higher.

2) Even a T8 bulb won't appear as bright as a PC bulb to your eye because the PC bulb (5000 lumens) is distributing its luminosity over an even smaller area than the T8 bulb (~6000 lumens at 4x ODNO). So, while looking at one given spot at a particular bulb, the PC's will appear twice as bright as the ODNO T8 bulb.

3) If you want to get an idea of your output, you need to measure the current draw in the power cord. I guess you got your power cord issues sorted out. You'll need an averaging multi-meter or else the current will rise and fall with the 60Hz Alternating Current coming from the wall. If you do measure it, let me know what the current reading is. I'd be interested to know and could help you estimate bulb output.

- Sam P -
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post #128 of 280 (permalink) Old 01-23-2003, 04:27 PM
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I dont have any equipment to actually measure the output sorry. What is kind of funny though is the meter to my apartment is going like 3 times faster then any of the other apartments. Wait a minute thats not funny at all! Doh.

Maybe i shouldnt leave the tv on while playing on the computer and cooking dinner while washing clothes and looking at my 4 fish tanks all while the heat is running full tilt. Holy power bill :\
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post #129 of 280 (permalink) Old 01-23-2003, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, it's actually pretty amazing at how much electricity a Planted Tank or Reef Tank can consume. A set of four ODNO bulbs will draw roughly 6.7A. Pretty significant! At anywhere between 10 cents and 13 cents per kilowatt/hour, that's $1.00-$1.20 a day for a 12 hour photoperiod!

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post #130 of 280 (permalink) Old 01-30-2003, 12:54 AM
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hello all,

went to litemore distributers 2 weekends ago in burnside (near halifax) nova scotia 902-468-1043

all prices canadian

sylvania qt 4x32 120is ballast electronic $28.00
sylvania t8 tubes 950 (5000k) 36 " $7.25 each
sylvania t8 tubes 865 (6500k) 36 " $5.25 each.

think i'll try a combination of tubes over my tank ie one 6500k and two of the 5000k, as this is what some people have advocated.

no hardware stores had any of the above. some of you in western canada or us might have had some luck at home depot, etc, but not me.

gulf coast: re your earlier statement, "I've talked to one or two that have run two three footers in series. Let me look more into it, since you may need an F40T8 ballast instead of an F32T8."

did you find anything out yet? thanks.
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post #131 of 280 (permalink) Old 01-30-2003, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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I looked into it and most 4F32T8 ballast are able to run two three footers in series (six foot bulb), but not to 4x. They are designed to run only three bulbs. Any more and it would exceed the ballasts maximum current capacity and you risk damaging internal circuitry.

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post #132 of 280 (permalink) Old 02-03-2003, 03:22 PM
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Hi Sam;
I need your opinion. I have my shop fixture converted to ODNO with T8 48" Phillips bulbs rated to 5000k. Everything is fine but I'm wondering if I would make the plants any happier with a couple of T12 P & A bulbs. What do you think?
:hehe:

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post #133 of 280 (permalink) Old 02-03-2003, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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My personal opinion is that it won't make a difference, but you never know unless you try it. The spectrum of the Plant & Aquarium bulbs is perfect for plants but the 5000K regular bulbs are probably not far off from perfect. The T12's will appear less bright when you look at the bulb because the light is distributed over 50% more area, but the overall light output should be a few percent higher. (F40T12's are 5%-10% brighter than F32T8's but use 25% more energy))

The P&A bulbs are only $5 or so. I doubt you'll notice a huge difference but it'd be interesting to try it and see!

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post #134 of 280 (permalink) Old 02-03-2003, 04:08 PM
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I'm going to give it a shot and see if it is worth the trouble. My efforts are finally paying off in that for the first time since I hooked up the CO2 my plants have pearled now for 3 days in sucession! I got the Plantex started and I want those babies to be thrilled to be in my tank. I'll let you know if they like it any better. Thanks for your opinion.
Dewey :hehe:

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post #135 of 280 (permalink) Old 02-04-2003, 02:45 PM
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I replaced the T8 bulbs with T12 P&A bulbs from Lowes. The plants began pearling 10 min after lights on! The fish are also more colorful. The tank is still at least as bright as before, if not better. So far it looks good. Now the next question, I wonder if some bulbs in the T8 size from Drs Foster & Smith would be enough better to justify the cost. I refer to the "Reef Sun" bulbs for $14.99/ea. Ideas, comments?
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