Cheap lighting - ODNO
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > General Planted Tank Forums > General Planted Tank Discussion > The Planted Tank FAQ


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-16-2002, 05:45 PM   #1
GulfCoastAquarian
Planted Tank VIP
 
GulfCoastAquarian's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 3,578
Send a message via ICQ to GulfCoastAquarian Send a message via Yahoo to GulfCoastAquarian
Default Cheap lighting - ODNO

Some aquarists seem to have unlimited budgets. Their tanks are outfitted with high dollar lights and the latest technology in controllers and monitoring electronics. But let's face it, most of us are on a tight budget. We want to provide the best environment for our fish and plants, but we are usually forced to compromise to stay within a fixed income situation.

Here's where I want to help. One of the most expensive components (perhaps even the single most expensive) of a planted tank is the lighting. Metal Halide lighting being the ultimate, yet most expensive option, Power Compacts seem to be a popular choice for planted aquaria. Bulbs are expensive, though, and fixtures aren't within the reach of every hobbyist, either.

For a standard 4 foot long aquarium such as a 55 gallon (as well as an AGA 75, 90 and 120) the popular poor man's light setup consists of a shop light or two. The sheet metal strip lights cost roughly $6-$10 and house two standard 40 watt tubes. For about $40, you can crowd four 40 watt tubes over your tank and end up with a total of about 12,000 lumens. This is enough to keep most moderate-intense light demanding plants, but it can get quite crowded having four bulbs on a 55g.

Ok, here's the ticket, then... Overdriven Normal Output Flourescent lighting (ODNO). Most bulbs get their super long life (20,000 hours+) by running much cooler, at lower current levels than they are capable of. This is great for office lighting or other industrial applications where energy efficiency and bulb life are the most important factors. But we want to cram as much light over our small tanks as possible.

An overdriven F32T8 bulb will produce about 6500 lumens. Why the smaller 1" diameter T8 bulbs? They're more efficient and produce more lumens/watt. Two of these ODNO T8 bulbs will make more light than four 1 1/4" T12 bulbs in the aforementioned shop lights.

How does it work? The output of an electronic ballast designed for driving four F32T8 bulbs is coupled to one bulb as such:


If two bulbs are desired, two ballasts need to be purchased. The intensity these lights put out is amazing. More intense than a 55w Power Compact bulb, and far cheaper to replace bulbs. The bulbs get considerably warmer than normal, but not even as hot as a PC bulb. A fan is useful to help extend bulb life, which should be approximately 1-2 years.

This method is also applicable to various other bulb sizes. I am using a 2-F32T8 ballast to drive two 18" bulbs with 64 watts total (normally 30w).

Here's where I read about it...

Reef Central Thread
__________________
- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
GulfCoastAquarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2002, 05:47 PM   #2
GulfCoastAquarian
Planted Tank VIP
 
GulfCoastAquarian's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 3,578
Send a message via ICQ to GulfCoastAquarian Send a message via Yahoo to GulfCoastAquarian
Default ODNO Faq

To help answer some of the questions surrounding ODNO, I've decided to edit this post and create an FAQ. It will be updated from time to time, as more questions arise.

What type of light output will I see with my setup?
This isn't an easy question to answer since there will be many variations in output depending on bulb configuration, type, and the make of ballast you are using. In general, though, these are the increases one can expect to see with ODNO:
  • 2xODNO (2 power leads per bulb) - ~50% increase
  • 3xODNO (3 power leads per bulb) - ~75% increase
  • 4xODNO (4 power leads per bulb) - ~100% increase
For example: For a single 48" F40T12 40 watt bulb being powered by 4 power leads (4xODNO), you can expect the equivalent about 80 watts of output (100% more than normal).

Why don't I see four times the amount of light in a 4xODNO setup?
Not all of the electricity that you pump into a bulb is converted into light. Even in normal output (NO) fluorescent lighting, some of that electricity is lost as heat. The more electricity you pump in, the more that is lost as heat. So in a 4xODNO setup, you lost more than half of the energy you're putting in to heat. That is why a fan is recommended for any ODNO setup.

What about series type ODNO setups?
In 'series type' ODNO setups, two bulbs are placed in line with each other (Shown Here). The ballast is 'tricked' into thinking it sees a bulb twice as big as each individual bulb by itself. So two 18" F15T8 15 watt bulbs placed in series will seem like a single 36" F30T8 bulb instead. So in a 2xODNO series type application with two F15T8 bulbs, you'd see 50% more light, which would result in 45 watts of output from the two 18" bulbs in series.

Can I put two 36" bulbs in series and make the ballast 'see' a six foot bulb?
Theoretically, you could, if you were able to find an electronic ballast rated to drive six foot bulbs. All 6' bulb ballasts on the market are generally magnetic so it is recommended that you do not put any bulb larger than 24" in series.


Can I use the magnetic ballast that came with my shop light or aquarium canopy?
No. You must use an electronic ballast. Not all types of electronic ballast might work with ODNO, but most should be able to with no problems. Here are a few known 'overdriveable' electronic ballasts:
  • Advance REL-4P32-SC
  • GE B432I120RH
  • Sylvania QT 4x32/120 IS-SC
  • Fulham Workhorse 5
I personally recommend the Workhorse 5 (which can be purchased at a local lighting supply store for around $20-$30) since it has the highest ballast factor (power output) and is more flexible than a conventional 4 bulb F32T8 electronic ballast. You can even drive 55w and 96w Power Compact bulbs with a Workhorse.

Is ODNO completely safe?
No. There is always risk when using electronics in a means not intended by a manufacturer. If you are not familiar with electronics, I recommend you invest in a premade canopy or a retrofit kit from a company such as www.ahsupply.com.
But if you are comfortable working with electronic devices, many many hobbyists have used ODNO setups for years without any problems. As long as the system is wired correctly and the bulbs light up rapidly without flickering, the system is perfectly safe and will provide reliable service for many years.

Is bulb life affected by ODNO?
Yes. The increased heat will cause a bulb to degenerate somewhat more rapidly. It is recommended that you replace your bulbs once every 12 months to keep light output at its peak.

Does ODNO affect color temperature and spectral output?
Possibly. This has not been documented, but the increased heat may cause the phosphors the shift their spectral output more rapidly than a normal output configuration. Fortunately, plants are very adaptable and the color shift should not affect growth if bulbs are properly maintained and replaced once a year. Saltwater reef aquariums using ODNO technology might benefit from a more aggressive bulb replacement schedule.

I will reiterate Planted Tank's Warning:
Warning: Use ODNO at your own risk. The Planted Tank and its affliates take no responsiblity for any damage/injuries that might occur.

If anyone notices any errors or has any additional questions you'd like answered in this FAQ, please post them on this thread.

Last edited by GulfCoastAquarian; 10-28-2004 at 06:11 PM.. Reason: Update: Add FAQ
GulfCoastAquarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2005, 06:48 PM   #3
Amaster39
Newbie
 
Amaster39's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Hudsonville, MI
Posts: 3
Default

Hello,

I am new to this forum and I have been reading up on lighting, I am a bit overwhelmed by it all.

I have a 55.Gal tank I just finished up the hood and added Co2. I have about 9 or 10 plants they look ok but I think they could look better. I am using the original lighting fixtures that came with the tank ( 15 inch bulb length)
I replaced the bulbs 8 month ago with 2 15 watt grow bulbs to help the plants.

I want to use 2 or 3 (36 inch) fluorescent bulbs staggered to get the most light I can. I don't think 48 inch bulbs will fit. it would be tight end to end.
I have a community tank with about 22 small fish and a 10 inch pleco.

So the questions is : what size ballets should I use and that type bulbs should I use. I have read you should have about 2 to 2 1/2 watts per gal. of lighting. Please keep in mind I am working on a budget so the latest and greatest is not an option. What am I looking at in terms of cost where can I get the parts, also is theur a diagram showing how to put it all together. I am a handy person so as long as I have a plan to go by im ok.

Thanks

Ken
Amaster39 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2005, 08:30 PM   #4
GulfCoastAquarian
Planted Tank VIP
 
GulfCoastAquarian's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 3,578
Send a message via ICQ to GulfCoastAquarian Send a message via Yahoo to GulfCoastAquarian
Default

Unless you've got some oddball 55 gallon tank, the 48" tubes should fit over your tank quite nicely. If your tank is 36" wide, though, then I'd suggest going with either four 30 watt 36" bulbs overdriven 2x or 2-3 of them overdriven 4x.
With the four F30T12 bulbs each overdriven 2x, you'll end up with something like 3.2wpg, which will allow you to grow a considerable number of plants.
With two F30T12 bulbs overdriven 4x, you'll end up with ~2.2wpg which still isn't bad, but the bulbs will get quite hot.
GulfCoastAquarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2005, 10:04 PM   #5
Amaster39
Newbie
 
Amaster39's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Hudsonville, MI
Posts: 3
Default

Thanks for the reply,

No I have a normal 55 Gal. 48 inch tank, So 48 inch bulbs would fit ok?

The hood fits over the tank nicely I guess I was thinking that would be to tight. As I said I am a bit overwhelmed by some of the terms like "F30T12 bulbs or T8 ect..." I do have electronics in my background so I can follow a plan. is this something I can go to a Home depot or Lows to get parts. The bulbs I can order Just would like to know what to get. the 3.2 wpg sound good. What type of 48in bulb should I use, Should I use 3 bulbs or 4. what size ballets should I use. Sorry to sound so green here I am in the learning stages and enjoying it LOL

Thanks

Ken
Amaster39 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2005, 03:40 AM   #6
75sausage
Algae Grower
 
75sausage's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Woodbridge, NJ
Posts: 97
Send a message via ICQ to 75sausage Send a message via AIM to 75sausage Send a message via Yahoo to 75sausage
Default

Ok I think I answered my own questions and TADA!!! im running 3 2xOD 40W T12s. Which in theory should give me approx 180W of light !!!

Please just confirm my diagrams below. When I was asking about the single/double leads, I meant that there is only 1 lead going 1 side of the bulb like in the F32T8 diagram; for a regular 2 bulb hook up 2 blue leads on one side (need to jumper the endcap terminals) and only 1 red lead to the other side of both bulbs (need to jumper endcap terminals and both endcaps together).

INTENDED WIRING FOR A 2 BULB T8 (48" MAX) ELECTRONIC BALAST
( SINGLE WIRE PER BULB)


2X ODNO WIRING FOR A 2 BULB T8 (48" MAX) ELECTRONIC BALAST
( SINGLE WIRE PER BULB)


IMPORTANT UPDATE
The particular balast model referenced below DOES NOT WORK FOR ODNO.
I have made this corelation regarding Advance balasts: I have seen Advance balasts advertised as Instant Start and Rapid Start. The above REL-2P32-LW-SC balast is Instant Start and WORKS. The bellow REL-2S40-SC balast is a rapid start ballast and DOES NOT WORK for ODNO in my experience. I have found that it will not light up a single NO bulb and you have to connect both bulbs for it to work in NO mode. If someone has some insight on this, it would be greately appreciated.

INTENDED WIRING FOR A 2 BULB T12 (48" MAX) ELECTRONIC BALAST
( DOUBLE WIRE PER BULB)


ODNO WIRING FOR A 2 BULB T12 (48" MAX) ELECTRONIC BALAST
( DOUBLE WIRE PER BULB)
__________________
Raf

Last edited by 75sausage; 03-02-2005 at 01:06 PM..
75sausage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2005, 03:52 AM   #7
75sausage
Algae Grower
 
75sausage's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Woodbridge, NJ
Posts: 97
Send a message via ICQ to 75sausage Send a message via AIM to 75sausage Send a message via Yahoo to 75sausage
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amaster39
Thanks for the reply,
No I have a normal 55 Gal. 48 inch tank, So 48 inch bulbs would fit ok?
Sorry to sound so green here I am in the learning stages and enjoying it LOL
Thanks
Ken
Ken, it seems you eaither have not read this thread fully (17 PAGES !!!) or you feel very intimidated. I would suggest taking the time to read this thread thouroughly as it answers most questions you might have including equipment and where to get it.
To give you a general idea for a 55 gallon, 3xT12 2XODNO each will give you approximately 180W of light give or take a few (I just finished this exact setup today). That's the ballpark you want to be in. You can even stick 2xT8 4XODNO each for an even bigger punch (as far as I understand it after reading this thread.

The setup I did in my 55G is running on 2 balasts. One is a 4 bulb T8 balast (F32T8) which I am using to drive 2 T12 40W bulbs (works like a charm). I got this balast from a local electric supply distributor. The 3rd buld is overdriven with a 2 bulb T12 balast.

Again study this thread and everything will start making sense.

To All, thanks for the great info in this thread.
__________________
Raf
75sausage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2002, 09:34 PM   #8
m.lemay
Planted Tank Guru
 
m.lemay's Avatar
 
PTrader: (9/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Naugatuck, CT.
Posts: 2,647
Default

Now that is cool. Too bad I already spent my $ on compact PC's. But theres a 180 or 250 gal tank in my future, and I'll be printing this thread and throwing it in my files.
m.lemay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2002, 02:46 PM   #9
GulfCoastAquarian
Planted Tank VIP
 
GulfCoastAquarian's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 3,578
Send a message via ICQ to GulfCoastAquarian Send a message via Yahoo to GulfCoastAquarian
Default

It's cool, allright, as long as you put a fan on the system. But even without a fan, the overdriven NO bulbs get no hotter than a standard 55w PC bulb (which is pretty stinkin hot). I added a fan to my CSL PC strip and bulb life has increased tremendously.

I've got an old Perfecto twin strip hood for a 55 with some fried ballasts. I'm going to retrofit two of these ODNO ballasts into it and see how it looks. Might try to sell it, but shipping would probably be expensive.
__________________
- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
GulfCoastAquarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2002, 01:13 AM   #10
Steve
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Springfield, Virginia
Posts: 46
Send a message via AIM to Steve Send a message via Yahoo to Steve
Default

Great post Gulf. I'm all for trying new things although the most difficult part is getting off my lazy rear and starting a new project
Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2002, 12:48 PM   #11
GulfCoastAquarian
Planted Tank VIP
 
GulfCoastAquarian's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 3,578
Send a message via ICQ to GulfCoastAquarian Send a message via Yahoo to GulfCoastAquarian
Default

Same here. But I was setting up a new reef tank so I decided to give a try anyway. Now I'm starting to re-think my planted tank lighting, hehe. I might ditch the Power Compact lights altogether and just stick with three overdriven 40w GE Plant & Aquarium bulbs. The PC bulbs are way too bluish for a planted tank, anyway. They belong on a reef.
__________________
- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
GulfCoastAquarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2002, 03:07 PM   #12
Steve
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Springfield, Virginia
Posts: 46
Send a message via AIM to Steve Send a message via Yahoo to Steve
Default

What kind of PC bulbs are you running?
Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2002, 03:36 PM   #13
GulfCoastAquarian
Planted Tank VIP
 
GulfCoastAquarian's Avatar
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Posts: 3,578
Send a message via ICQ to GulfCoastAquarian Send a message via Yahoo to GulfCoastAquarian
Default

I was running 8800K and they almost completely washed out my Gold Angels and made them look almost white/beige. I switched to 5500K and they are very much improved, but when they swim to the front of the tank, where the GE P&A bulbs are, their color is astounding. The Rasbora Tetras as well.

I can't imagine what they'd look like under a pair of ODNO 6500 lumens GE P&A bulbs!
__________________
- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
GulfCoastAquarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2002, 04:30 PM   #14
Steve
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Springfield, Virginia
Posts: 46
Send a message via AIM to Steve Send a message via Yahoo to Steve
Default

I hear ya. I have 6500k MH's running over my african cichlid, his colors are amazing. He doesnt mind the wattage either.
Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2002, 09:52 PM   #15
SNPiccolo5
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
SNPiccolo5's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 859
Default

I was using the plant and aquarium bulbs, and I thought they were far too blue... They might not be GE though. Do you know where I could get some and if they fit in a standard 48" 40-watt strip?

-Tim
SNPiccolo5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Found new cheap lighting for my 20gal bigpow Lighting 7 06-24-2004 12:28 PM
Cheap PC lighting!! oldfarmhouse Lighting 1 06-16-2004 11:01 PM
Quick and cheap DIY lighting fixture (with pictures) Basilisk DIY 2 04-08-2004 02:37 AM
DiY ODNO lighting - what endcaps do you use? hooha DIY 2 04-02-2004 01:47 PM
Cheap lighting? Twiggies Lighting 4 02-07-2003 10:29 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012