DIY lighting fixtures - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-08-2004, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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DIY lighting fixtures

hey. so far in my 30 gallon tank, i have a single 20 watt 24" plant gro bulb. i just bought another 24" 20 watt striplight, too. all i need to do is splice the new one with the old one, mount them on a piece of wood, and hopefully get 2 incandescant fixtures. for the incandescant fixtures i want the flourescent bulbs because they work so well for me in smaller tanks. i can get 24 watt flourescant bulbs for each one... so that equals... 88 watts, or 2.9 wpg. any tips on wiring it or mounting it? im not that handy with wiring, with only a little experience in computer wiring and my dad who works on computers. any help would be much appreciated thanks in advance
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-08-2004, 07:19 PM
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Why not save yourself the money and the hassle and get some AH Supply kits and mount them in your strip lights?

The spiral CF bulbs you are looking at are a very poor choice for a planted tank. At most they are 30-40% efficient. So figure that into your plan.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-09-2004, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
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really? my 10 gallon (only one in house that has CF bulbs) its the only one that i have seen plants pearl in. on my allowance im not exactly ready to buy a $40 kit, so ill check out similar items on ebay.. thanks for info rex
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-07-2004, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
Why not save yourself the money and the hassle and get some AH Supply kits and mount them in your strip lights?

The spiral CF bulbs you are looking at are a very poor choice for a planted tank. At most they are 30-40% efficient. So figure that into your plan.
Hey Devil Dog, I don't mean to question your expertise, but why are the spiral CF bulbs a poor choice for a planted tank? What makes them 30-40% efficient?

Semper Fi
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-07-2004, 12:41 PM
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because the design of the bulb wraps in a circle so you have a lot of lioght lost in the center... kind of liek the aga 3 bulb fixtures because the ligth in back has no where to go it's so tight
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-07-2004, 01:07 PM
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Re-strike.

A perfect bulb would have only one surface that radiated light. And that surface would be flat and point down (for aquarium use). Thus one would not need reflectors and you would get pretty close to 100% efficiency out of the bulb. But once you starting twisting the bulb you lose efficiency. Just look at one of these bulbs and see how much of the glass is facing other glass or not facing in the direction of the aquarium. Now in a light fixture it's not so bad since these bulbs are are designed to light up an area. But in an aquarium we want the light to go into the aquarium. This is why standard CF bulbs and good reflectors can make a huge difference.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-08-2004, 12:59 AM
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"Spend your money right the first time. This hobby can be expensive and it gets even more expensive if you end up with a bunch of hardware you don't use anymore. When buying things like lighting anticipate future wants/needs it's cheaper to buy a lot of good quality lighting first than to buy several half assed lighting solutions over time." -Rex Grigg's Website
Advice like this has worked well for me in other areas of life, I guess it will work just as well, if not better, with a planted tank.

My original plan:
Spiral CF bulbs (19W 6500K) - 4 x $8.00 = $32.00
Sockets - 4 x $4.00 = $16.00
Extra Plywood for the DIY hood (to mount the sockets) - $5.00
Electric Hardware (Wire, Wire nuts, Plug) - $10.00
Total - $63.00

AH Supply:
2 x 36 Kit - $63.00
2 36W Bulbs - $32.00
Total $95.00

I'm the type of person who would be really pissed off if I spent $63.00 and wasn't happy with what I got. I would much rather spend a little more, be happy with the results and not have to fart around with trying to improve a bad setup.

Thanks for the advice.
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