30w tubes in 36w retrofit?
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Old 04-02-2004, 04:16 PM   #1
compulsion
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i would like to use the last bit of space in my hood to add a 4ft shoplight.. proberly will come with magnetic ballasts.. the striplight is 36w but the tubes i want to use are 30w, will this make any difference in the opperation or safety of the lights?.

another option is to use a 2ft 18w light with 20w tubes.. but will i lose light doing this? and will magnetic ballasts have any unwanted effects? on either setup?

the reason for wanting a 4ft striplight for smaller tubes is because i only have a 3ft hood and want to modify the fitting to fit inside. modify with a hacksaw of course there also cheap

thanks in advance

Edit i just checked out that they use switchstart ballasts...
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Old 04-02-2004, 04:57 PM   #2
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How much light do you have now? If you already ahve a shot light in there that you've modified in the same way why dont you just buy an electronic ballasts that can drive all 4 bulbs? That way you have only one ballast producing heat, much tidier wiring, and less weight above your tank.
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Old 04-02-2004, 05:25 PM   #3
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ive been debating this but the only place i (found) that i could get 4x ballasts dont stock them anymore.
this was just a cheap idea to add a few more tubes.
only 2x 25w T8's at the mo on a 46g (55US) :s but plants are ok. but i want more
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Old 04-02-2004, 05:46 PM   #4
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Go to your local industrial lighting supply places and try to find a Fullham Workhorse 5 ballast.. that will drive 4 tubes really nicely. I use two of them over my 90 gallon to drive 7 25watt tubes.
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Old 04-03-2004, 04:52 AM   #5
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Can you find the miniature 1x32w electronic ballasts(2x1x1in)? It has to be really really tight to not be able to fit one in.
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Old 04-03-2004, 05:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by compulsion
i would like to use the last bit of space in my hood to add a 4ft shoplight.. proberly will come with magnetic ballasts.. the striplight is 36w but the tubes i want to use are 30w, will this make any difference in the opperation or safety of the lights?.
Nah - as long as your bulb wattage doesn't exceed the ballast power rating, you're fine. I was running a 9W bulb on a 54W Workhorse lead - no probs. The bulbs will only draw as much power as they need.

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Originally Posted by compulsion
another option is to use a 2ft 18w light with 20w tubes.. but will i lose light doing this? and will magnetic ballasts have any unwanted effects? on either setup?
The ballast will heat up.. It's only 2W over, but it could potentially get warm enough that you'd have to cool it with fans.. I wouldn't bother, but you could try plugging it in and let it go for 4-5 hours and then feel the ballast. If you can still touch it odds are it's fine - but bear in mind that aging tubes will start to consume more power which might cause a little too much heat later on. You can mitigate that by constantly replacing the tubes... But I wouldn't rely on myself to do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by compulsion
the reason for wanting a 4ft striplight for smaller tubes is because i only have a 3ft hood and want to modify the fitting to fit inside. modify with a hacksaw of course there also cheap

thanks in advance

Edit i just checked out that they use switchstart ballasts...
I know what you mean about the 4 foot strips - it's insane how much more a 3 footer is - even the bulbs! But that's what you get when you deviate from the standard. Look at how many office buildings there are, and figure how many hundreds of 48" fixtures are in there. :P

How are you planning to fix the bulbs in? Remove the sockets and place them closer together? If you can get the geometry figured out it's a good idea financially, and makes for a fun project.
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