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-   -   My inexpensive CFL light solution (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=153195)

jmrmotorhead 10-31-2011 02:48 PM

My inexpensive CFL light solution
 
I was PMed recently about my lighting setup after seeing one of my pictures on the forum. I guess not much attention has been given to the clamp shop-light approach so this thread is simply to show what can be done with them. I know many people may know about this, and I am not taking credit for the original idea, just wanted to share a cheap, effective method of lighting a planted tank.

Ok, here's a shot of my tank before we start-
http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6019/...d9a7beee_b.jpg

For my tank I decided on three 9 inch clamp on lights from home depot. These are super cheap-usually around 6-10 bucks each. I found them in one of the electrical isles, not the lighting isle, as they are intended as work lamps.
http://www.mattrothacher.com/wp-cont...lamp-light.jpg

The great thing about this is it accepts cfl bulbs with the normal light bulb socket. I went with 5000K 19w bulbs because I couldn't find any 6500's. Once I find them I'll make the switch though.
http://stuffthathappens.com/blog/wp-...007/12/cfl.jpg

There are a lot of options with this method, such as hanging them from one pipe of pvc, and wiring all three together, or as I did, just sit them on top and use a short extension cord to plug all 3 into a timer. Once I'm done with my wasser-controller I'll set these up to come on and off one after another to mimic sun rise and sun set.

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6168/...3194aba3_b.jpg

Hope this may help some of you who don't want to spend lot of money on lighting,

Matt

Wasserpest 10-31-2011 02:57 PM

I think that's an excellent option. Some might not like the visual aspects, but it has a bit of a steampunk feel to it. :biggrin: Definitely cheap and effective.

Is that a 29gal tank?

Since you mention the Wasser-Controller, keep in mind that with the DIG 8006 you can only run up to 2 things at the same time (unless you double up on the controllers).

jmrmotorhead 10-31-2011 03:45 PM

Wasserpest- thanks for the positive feedback! I was surprised when a member pled me saying they never had seen this before. I can't remember where I saw this but I thought it was more common. Works excellent for me, and i kind of like the look. It grew on me. Regarding the controller- check out my thread about using a different irrigation controller that allows up to 8 zones active at a time, network scheduling, ect. Really awesome find
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...ontroller.html
Matt

redmikee 10-31-2011 04:08 PM

I think that's very clever, and it looks as though it's working great too.
I will try it myself

kevmo911 10-31-2011 04:11 PM

It's in a sticky in the lighting forum, http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...tml#post837592

I use 3 of those over a 20L tank, about 4" off the top, with 14w bulbs. My Lowes carries 6500 bulbs in a couple different brands, including Sylvania mini CFL's.

redmikee 10-31-2011 04:13 PM

it looks like a simple lighting solution and inexpensive. why drop a lot of money when you can have something inexpensive but effective for a fraction of the cost.

jmrmotorhead 10-31-2011 04:30 PM

Come to think of it, kevmo, that is where I saw the first use of this when I was researching lighting. Glad to spark some interest here

Matt

junko 10-31-2011 04:47 PM

Perfect! I'm going to start with 2 26 watt 5000K's over my 100g stock tank I just set up and tweak it from there. Thanks for the link, Kevmo- I was looking for that yesterday and couldn't find the fantastic data... I forgot you have to scroll down to find it!

slavecorps 10-31-2011 05:25 PM

This is an excellent option for low budget lighting. I have had this type of setup for years and always get excellent growth from my plants. I use GE 26w 6500K and the light is not only good for the plants, but is also visually appealing.

Rich Conley 10-31-2011 05:51 PM

Looks like this is working great for you.


There's also the equally cheap option of the ikea stainless bowls, and hanging light fixtures (about $8-10 each fixture total)

OverStocked 10-31-2011 06:09 PM

I use these on a turtle tank. I greatly prefer the clamp lights menards sells. They use a different clamp and it sits on the tank much better. Works great from "nano" tanks as well.

I can'd find a picture of one so I will ahve to take one later. the Clamp looks "cleaner" than the normal ones, too.

galabar 10-31-2011 07:10 PM

I just set up something similar over a 10 gallon. However, I went with a 15 watt LED (4900K) from Home Depot. It is very bright, but I think I will need two of them for the 10 gallon. At $37 each, it is a bit expensive, but should last a while, and, I think they are sealed off from moisture better than the CFLs.

galabar 10-31-2011 07:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OverStocked (Post 1575110)
I use these on a turtle tank. I greatly prefer the clamp lights menards sells. They use a different clamp and it sits on the tank much better. Works great from "nano" tanks as well.

I can'd find a picture of one so I will ahve to take one later. the Clamp looks "cleaner" than the normal ones, too.

Which one do you use:

http://www.menards.com/main/search.h...ch=clamp+light

I purchased a goose neck floor lamp from Home Depot, but I needed to reinforce it with PVC because the LED I'm using is too heavy. I might try a clamp light for additional lighting.

galabar 10-31-2011 07:13 PM

By the way, do folks think it is safe for the plastic covered metal clip on the clamp light to be in contact with the water of the tank?

OverStocked 10-31-2011 07:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by galabar (Post 1575224)
Which one do you use:

http://www.menards.com/main/search.h...ch=clamp+light

I purchased a goose neck floor lamp from Home Depot, but I needed to reinforce it with PVC because the LED I'm using is too heavy. I might try a clamp light for additional lighting.

http://www.menards.com/main/outdoor/...865-c-7546.htm

http://www.menards.com/main/store/20...e/370-3902.jpg
Notice the clamp differences? It sits naturally at a perfect angle. It doesn't slip down like the others, either.


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