Cardboard strip light
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Old 07-22-2003, 04:14 PM   #1
evan
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Can i make a 30 watt strip light with just cardboard and foil? i already have the socket and stuff i need. i can cut some vents to let the heat out. what do u think?
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Old 07-22-2003, 04:21 PM   #2
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I would say get some plastic rain gutter. Cardboard and foil just won't cut it. And if you are planning on using tin foil as a reflector then forget that as it is a very poor reflector. Just hold it up and try using it as a mirror. White paint would work much better.
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Old 07-22-2003, 04:37 PM   #3
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I am using white PVC raingutters, and last night I cut some silver mylar stripes and glued them to the sides of the raingutter. It does make a difference, it's like looking at three bulbs instead of one. The raingutters have a pretty good angle for that, if the bulb is all the way in the back (I had to attach the endcaps sideways).
Also I cut 2l soda bottles in two halves, and lined them with mylar and stuck them behind the compact fluos in the rain gutter. Adjusting the position of the bulb, the light increase can be significant.
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Old 07-22-2003, 04:39 PM   #4
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can you show me a picture of a rain gutter? is it a big or small? do i have to cut it? its going to be for another mini tank. 8) i like mini stuff.
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Old 07-22-2003, 04:42 PM   #5
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but if i get a rain gutter... and have to cut in all that... isn't that more expensive than stuff i have lying around the house? i already have everyhting i need except for the bulb. what if i don't use the foil as a reflector but as a decoration for the unsightly cardboard? would that work?... just not at maxium performance? can 20 watts with a good reflector beat a 30 watts with no reflector at all? or is this comparing an apple to an orange?
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Old 07-22-2003, 04:48 PM   #6
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The white PVC raingutters are $3 for 10ft in HD, this will give you plenty of stuff to play with. Yes you need to cut them, but that's really easy.
Cardboard over a tank... with electric stuff in it... I wouldn't.
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Old 07-22-2003, 04:51 PM   #7
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ok. its cheap. good. but the question is "how" to i cut it? i don't have any tools in my house. all i have is scissors for cutting thin plastic.
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Old 07-22-2003, 04:55 PM   #8
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If you know what length you will need, ask some helpful sales associate right in the store, they have strong scissors. That's what I did, I cut them in half (2x 5ft, because it wouldn't fit in the car otherwise, and at the end that's what I needed... 4x 5ft).
So scissors that are used in the garden to prune trees would work, or a good knife, or a little metal saw. The PVC is not too hard.
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Old 07-22-2003, 05:08 PM   #9
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can i fit a round fluorescent bulb in there? or does it have to be like long and slim? i bought a screw in bulb socket and its attached to a powercord. can i get a pin socket for fluorescents? cuz its gonna be pretty hard to fit a round bulb in there cuz the screw in socket will not lie flat on the rain gutter. it will either be hanging or glewd to the side. thats pretty complicated
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Old 07-22-2003, 05:33 PM   #10
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I imagine with the round ones (spiral shaped) you loose a lot of light, plus the long slim ones let you optimize the reflector better. You need to find a way to attach the socket, I wouldn't just let it dangle in there.

What do you mean by a pin socket? Remember, if you want to use regular fluorescent bulbs you will need a ballast too... see all the other threads :?
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Old 12-10-2003, 01:51 AM   #11
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well i saw this idea and decided to try it on my 5.5 soon to be planted... i fouind some gutter stuff in the garage i used a hack saw to cut it... This stuff has little ripples in like tiny tiny v's all through it to increase water flow i'm guessing. ? is will this harm reflection? And is tihere any reflective taping i could use to put on it to reflect even more.
This tank i just used like 5 monthes ago from friends... it come with inc . light. i increased too 10 FLO [screw in] and i opens up the hood and saw it had two openings. SO i thought of just using this idea and doubling my lighting
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Old 12-10-2003, 02:42 AM   #12
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I just went to Wal-Mart and bought like 6 sheets of mirror for $9. I'm going to cut them down and hot glue them to the inside of my cruddy hoods for more reflection. You could try that instead of reflective tape.
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Old 12-10-2003, 02:59 AM   #13
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how do you cut mirror???? where in the store was it at?what department?
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Old 12-10-2003, 06:05 AM   #14
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I got a glass cutting tool at HD for like $3, you score it, then break it over the line. There's better instructions on the tool packaging. I got the glass near the furniture dept in Wal-Mart. It was with a ton of other mirrors and near the lamps, at least it was in mine.
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Old 12-10-2003, 09:45 AM   #15
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After you cut it just glue some of that cardboard to the ends then you can attach your sockets to that

Seen from below (only left side shown)
| = cardboard
---- = gutter
}{ = socket
0 = bulb

|-----------
| }{ 0
|------------
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