20" Lighting setup - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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20" Lighting setup

So I'm in the process of preparing a 10 gallon tank at the moment which has a partially broken incandescent hood. Because of the broken hood I've been debating two possible light setups and wanted to see what you guys would say.

Setup 1:
Salvage bulb sockets & switch from broken hood.
Use 2 x floodlight style CFLs

Setup 2:
Buy basic aluminum reflector work lights. (2x 8.5" or 3x 5.5")
Use normal spiral CFLs.

Both setups would basically cost the same. I'll be making a hood which would have the same basic design for both setups. And there is only 8" of space between the top of the tank and a self above it so both setups will leave the lights just above the water level.

The main thing keeping me undecided is how good the lighting from a floodlight style bulb would be. I've never used a floodlight fixture before anywhere so I have no idea if the light would spread out enough for the tank at this short distance or if all the light would be focused more or less straight down and not spread out at all.

Another not so important thought is that with floodlights you don't need to use a fixture with a reflector, so you can fit more into a smaller space if needed. But with shop lights I'd be able to fit at max 3x 5.5" reflectors or 2x 8.5" reflectors.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 05:03 PM
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https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...t-fixture.html works very well, and the advantage is that you can use bulbs from 11 watts to at least 26 watts, for varying light intensities. I have never tried the reflector flood CFL bulbs, but they are so uncommon I doubt that you could find a 6500K bulb, or various wattage bulbs.

If you are short of room above the tank you can also mount the bulbs horizontally, making aluminum foil lined reflectors for them. You get a lot less light per bulb this way, but you can also fit more bulbs in if necessary.

Which ever way you do it, be sure there is a glass lid on the tank or a splash guard on the light fixture. Having those bulbs down close to the water, unprotected, may not be a good idea.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-17-2010, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Thanks Hoppy, your thread is actually where I got the idea. After looking a little better at the flood lights I see what you mean about the lack of variety in them so I guess I will be going with the work lights.

As for the glass lid, was definitely planning on having one. Have some spare Plexiglas sitting around so I'll probably end up using it for now.
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