Spiral CFL lighting on 18" wide tank
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Old 04-16-2015, 05:01 PM   #1
Freemananana
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Spiral CFL lighting on 18" wide tank


I'm back to debating lighting. I have a 18" wide tank in mind that I am wanting to light with spiral CFLs in aluminum dome shop lights. My question is what diameter shop light should I go for and how high should I suspend it to get uniform-ish coverage. I was thinking of either a row of 10" shop lights suspended above the surface or two rows of 8" shop lights.

My searching sucks, if there is a similar thread just send me that way. I always have trouble with key word usage in the search function and I end up reading the same threads no matter what I search.
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:06 PM   #2
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18" is that a cube or a 5.5 gallon rectangle? I have the cheapo 6.5" (i think) fixtures and two would be incredible coverage for a 20" wide 10 gallon.
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Old 04-16-2015, 11:34 PM   #3
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It was actually a 75G (48"x18"x21" LxWxH). I wasn't sure if I would cover the whole width. I know I can cover the length easily.
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Old 04-17-2015, 12:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freemananana View Post
It was actually a 75G (48"x18"x21" LxWxH). I wasn't sure if I would cover the whole width. I know I can cover the length easily.
With my 6" reflectors you would need 2 rows to get even coverage. I don't think 8" will make much difference because they are not that deep and the main light just comes from the bulb. With 13watt bulbs that will be a ton of light though.

Do you plan to have a carpet? Slightly uneven lighting isn't the end of the world, especially with high light.
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Old 04-17-2015, 12:25 AM   #5
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Nah, I am aiming for low light with 9-13w CFLs. I just wanted semi-uniform coverage. I tried to type the original post out like 3 times and I guess I forgot to include that.
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Old 04-17-2015, 01:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freemananana View Post
Nah, I am aiming for low light with 9-13w CFLs. I just wanted semi-uniform coverage. I tried to type the original post out like 3 times and I guess I forgot to include that.
Depending on the light level you need at the substrate a single row might work for you. 18 inches above my substrate the light is kinda even. Don't use egg crate for a lid as it blocks side lighting. My bulbs are 13 watt.

The good thing is the fixtures and bulbs are so cheap it is very easy to experiment.
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Old 04-17-2015, 01:25 AM   #7
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I do not know if this helps you, but it is interesting reading for CFL lighting. http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=153195
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Old 04-17-2015, 01:47 AM   #8
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IKEA has some nice 10 inch domes called "Foto". They are only 14.99$ and look a ton better than traditional Home Depot ones.
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Old 04-17-2015, 06:41 AM   #9
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I have a two 36 watt 865 Philips PLL on my 18" tank and they lit the whole tank beautifully. Here are the pics of those.[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:56 AM   #10
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4x 10" domes/w 26W bulbs suspended from a wooden rod/pole(industrial broom handle)
and remove the clamps. Hang by wires(electrical cord) from pole. Use Bookshelf
brackets to support the wood. About 6-8" up from the top of the tank for better coverage.
The 26W is because of the height.
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Old 04-17-2015, 10:43 AM   #11
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Thanks for the responses. I have actually read through that thread. I was planning on a hood over this tank anyway, so the look of the lamp wasn't really a factor for me. I was also hoping to use it to limit over spill from the lights.

I'll start with 4 and suspend them to see how the coverage is. 6-8" seems manageable. I know the distance to substrate at that point will be almost 30" and I'll need a higher wattage light bulb. The 9-13w was based on 8 lamps over the tank with some areas getting light from more than one lamp.
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Old 04-17-2015, 11:16 AM   #12
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I read a thread about the bigger domes having more PAR about a year ago. I cannot find it now, but the 10" domes had better PAR performance than the 7 or 8 inch domes. The thread WAS on TPT so maybe perform a search for CFL PAR and you may find it.


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Old 04-17-2015, 11:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcutl002 View Post
I read a thread about the bigger domes having more PAR about a year ago. I cannot find it now, but the 10" domes had better PAR performance than the 7 or 8 inch domes. The thread WAS on TPT so maybe perform a search for CFL PAR and you may find it.


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http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...light=cfl+dome
This one?

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...t=85667&page=2
This one is in the first link? Looked pretty good.
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Old 04-17-2015, 11:26 AM   #14
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YES! That's it! Olive really put some effort in this.


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Old 04-17-2015, 04:11 PM   #15
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Really?! That is counter intuitive to what I was reading and thinking myself. I read the idea that larger reflectors give a better spread but less par throughout because it throws the light in a larger area and isn't as intense. I suppose a better reflector is always better. There is also the mounting depth. If the whole light is being reflected down because it is a deeper socket, it might be better than if the bulb is 'peeping' out of the reflector.

I'll keep my eyes peeled for some top notch stuff like that at my local hardware store. I read the rest of her post/thread and it is all good information.
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