My inexpensive CFL light solution
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:48 PM   #1
jmrmotorhead
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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-


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.


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.


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.



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

Matt
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:57 PM   #2
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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. 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).
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:45 PM   #3
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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
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:08 PM   #4
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I think that's very clever, and it looks as though it's working great too.
I will try it myself
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:11 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:13 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:30 PM   #7
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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

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Old 10-31-2011, 04:47 PM   #8
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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!
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:25 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:51 PM   #10
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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)
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:09 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:10 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OverStocked View Post
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.
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My 40 gallon breeder (and 20 gallon long): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ta07C0y0nk
My 10 gallon with PAR30 LED: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rbms5asKmA
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:13 PM   #14
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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?
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My 40 gallon breeder (and 20 gallon long): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ta07C0y0nk
My 10 gallon with PAR30 LED: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rbms5asKmA
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Old 10-31-2011, 07:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galabar View Post
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


Notice the clamp differences? It sits naturally at a perfect angle. It doesn't slip down like the others, either.
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