Ah Supply Lights - Are they worth it???
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Old 09-19-2003, 01:21 PM   #1
Davo
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Gday,

I am about to upgrade my lighting on my 4x2x2 tank as I have just purchased a Dupla pressurised CO2 system. I currently have 1.6w/g which is not enough. I have looked at the different types of lighting and I like the look of compact fluorescents. I have looked at Metal Halide but I don't want to build a larger hood (taller).

Over here in Australia compact fluorescent systems are not very common and the setups that you can buy are way too expensive. I have looked at AH Supply and the setups that they have look good and all the reviews in the US are very good.

AH Supply can supply me with 2 x 55w setups inc the bulbs for A$289 ($US190) including shipping. Will this be enough? If I need to in the future I can always add an extra fixture or two into my hood.

Due to the voltage difference (we have 240V) I have to buy a stepdown transformer which is $A170.

Regarding all the above do you think that it is worth investing in these lights in relation to the price, risk in shipping etc?

Also do they sell bulbs in the 9000 to 10000 k range?

Regards,
Dave,
Sydney. Australia.
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Old 09-19-2003, 02:17 PM   #2
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That's going to come out to over US$300 when all is said and done.
Your tank is 4ft x 2ft x 2ft = 120 gallons. (correct me if I'm wrong)
With 1.6 wpg now (190 watts?), adding these 55w lights will increase your lighting levels to 2.5 wpg. This is a great level, and you'll be able to grow a ton of plants, but for some reason, I think you can do better than $300.
Then again, I'm not from Oz, so I can't be sure!
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Old 09-19-2003, 02:54 PM   #3
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Try looking for a lighting supply company in Australia. Ask them about electronic balasts for power compact fixtures. It would seem that you could find a much better price, at least for the balasts.
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Old 09-19-2003, 03:09 PM   #4
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Is it the shipping that pushes the price up so high? When I bought my AH supply lights I think I paid around $110 US.

When I was looking at lighting for my new tank, I couldn't justify the cost of piecing together a DIY lighting system compared to the cost of AH supply's system.

They really are a great value.

However, considering all of the additional costs you would have to incur to get PC lighting it doesn't seem like a good value. Are there any other options? I hear the HO T5 lighting is all the rage in Europe right now. Do you have access to those?

Oh, something I just thought of. The AH Supply kit comes with a Fulham Workhorse 5 ballast. (http://www.fulham.com/wh5.html) Maybe it would be possible to get the 277V model from AH supply instead? Would that work maybe? I am not an electrician.

Sorry about the disjointed post :? Just writing what I'm thinking while I'm thinking it.
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Old 09-19-2003, 04:54 PM   #5
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Davo,
You might want to try to contact Rumples Riot, a member of the board. If I remember correctly he is also from Australia. He would be able to help you find a source closer to home I am sure.

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Old 09-19-2003, 05:16 PM   #6
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What about just buying AHSupply reflectors and then building your pc's from locally available supply? It seems to me that while the Fulham ballasts are good it is really the reflector that is what makes ahsupply's stuff so great...

Ron
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Old 09-19-2003, 07:33 PM   #7
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I would most definately build my own system for that price. It will run much less if you buy the individual components and build a lighting system to your own specifications.

If you have some basic electrical and mechanical abilities it will no be hard at all. I made my own hood and lighting system for around $90.00 us dollars for a 40 gal. It included 4 T-8 flourecents and then I lined the light compartment with some acrylic mirror for a reflector.
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Old 09-20-2003, 01:08 AM   #8
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First off they sell some REEF bulbs in the high K range. I would not recommend using them on a planted tank. Second they should be able to get you a ballast that will work with your voltage. Third I would have Kim check the price of shipping the stuff via USPS Global Priority mail. It should not cost more than $40 USD to ship that way.
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Old 09-21-2003, 01:42 PM   #9
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I agree try locally first as the shipping will kill ya.
As for reflectors hardeware stores may have something quite suitable for your needs
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Old 09-22-2003, 09:17 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies,

Today I located a lighting shop that sell compact Fluoros and ballasts etc. The tubes are made by Osram and are 5400K. I will have to buy a box of 10 at $AU14 each per tube ($US9.30) which is a good price. These tubes are the same length as the tubes in the US. The ballast (twin) are $AU42 ($US63) and I will need two. The end caps are only $AU5 each. All up this is a good price as I save on shipping bigtime and also the risk of breakage via shiping.

Unfortuantly I still need the reflectors which I cannot find over here (similar to the AH SUpply design). Can I buy them seperately from AH Supply and if so what is the price?

Thanks,
Dave
Sydney.
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Old 09-22-2003, 12:11 PM   #11
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Kim will sell the reflectors. Not sure how much they are but I know he will sell them. I suggest you CALL him and talk to him.
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