Drawer Slide Light Support - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Drawer Slide Light Support

Has anyone tried to make an adjustable height light support using ordinary pre-made drawer slides? This morning, while I was doing something else, an idea popped into my mind for how to do it. I've made a few sketches, and looked at a catalog and I'm almost convinced it can easily be done. But, if someone has tried what I want to try and it didn't work, I don't want to waste time I should be using for something else trying this.

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 04:26 PM
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Seems interesting. But, how are you going to lock it in place? With my diy emt light bar, I just made myself a pulley system and have full adjustability from over the tank to about 15". Could of been more if I had made the light bars taller.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 04:28 PM
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Lets see the drawings. I could imagine that working well for horizontal movement, but I am not sure how you would do it vertically.
Personally I hang my lights from the ceiling with retractable hangers. It works very well for me.


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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 04:34 PM
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Seems like a neat idea. It would work however, it would have to be designed in such a way that it wouldn't be so obtrusive with anything else. I'm using these for my light suspension, and they work well.
http://www.specialty-lights.com/710120.html

I'd be interested in seeing how the drawer slides work, since I'll be needing to do this on another tank soon.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Nobody really discouraged me, so I bought a $6.50 set of kitchen cabinet drawer slides at Home Depot, and used scraps to make this:



With the slide "up" to raise the light it looks like: (light attaches at the left end.)


And the two pieces separated look like:


I will attach a connecting piece at the "bottom", the left end, to attach to the light, with the electric cord going down behind the tank. To lock it in any position I will use a screw knob, like http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/200...-x-2-Stud.aspx going through the sliding part (drawer) through a thread insert in the back of it, through one of several holes in the fixed part "cabinet".

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-29-2011, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Here it is, completed, other than painting, and plugging a couple of extra holes on the "drawer" which were there because the wood was used for something else last time. It works very well, as best I can tell. The locking into position is very positive, and the light holding bracket doesn't rock in any direction at any position. I have holes letting me adjust the height in 1 inch increments down to the top of the tank and up to 12 inches above it. I used a 16 inch slide, which only gives 12 inches of movement. A 20 inch slide, for about the same price, would have given me 16 inches of maximum height, if I wanted that. I spent $7, roughly, for the drawer slides, $2.50 for the locking knob, and $6 for 10 thread inserts, which I could have gotten cheaper if I went to Home Depot instead of WoodCraft. So, let's say $11 for the whole thing, plus whatever the wood pieces would have cost if I didn't already have them.

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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My wife says, why does it have to be so bulky? And, it doesn't. If I use a piece of aluminum channel for the outside housing it gets a lot slimmer. For example:


Tomorrow I will visit my surplus metal store and see if I can find something to do this with, without spending too much.

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 06:08 PM
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I'm having a hard time visualizing this in use, so please post a pic once you get it set up?





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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 07:02 PM
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Hey I like this idea...If im thinkin the same as hoppy, this would stand vertically behind the tank with the light attached to it. C channel and a few rivets and that thing would look super clean as well.


Ooh and I had another Idea...lets see if I can explain it through typing. So to make it even cleaner spin the whole shebang around and route a slit up the middle of the C channel (don't cut it in half just make a slot). Then mount your light through that slit so your drawer slides and adjustment knobs are facing away from the tank.

hope that made sense....


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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-30-2011, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baadboy11 View Post
Hey I like this idea...If im thinkin the same as hoppy, this would stand vertically behind the tank with the light attached to it. C channel and a few rivets and that thing would look super clean as well.


Ooh and I had another Idea...lets see if I can explain it through typing. So to make it even cleaner spin the whole shebang around and route a slit up the middle of the C channel (don't cut it in half just make a slot). Then mount your light through that slit so your drawer slides and adjustment knobs are facing away from the tank.

hope that made sense....
You are right about how it works, but if I had the locking knob behind the channel, how could I reach it to lock/unlock the slide? And, with drawer slides you have to be careful to keep the load in the right direction so it doesn't cause the slide to come apart. I'm leaning now towards leaving it just like it is, only painted, of course. The more I look at improvements, those wouldn't be major improvements, other than the aluminum channel idea. And, aluminum channel is sold by my local store in 8 foot lengths - 8 feet of 4 inch channel is about $30 as I recall. That's too much for me.

I also looked at under the drawer slides. Potentially this could be about an inch thick using one of those, but the locking of the slide would get complicated. So, I've given up on that for now.

So, I just sprayed it white, after a little cleanup and drilling the mounting holes so it will hold my LED light, https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...ml#post1264269

I will post a picture when I get it installed over the tank. (Then, the world will beat a path to my door!)

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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Painted once, but still to get a coat of the wall paint after installation, and installed onto the LED light fixture. Still looks like it will work perfectly.




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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 01:00 AM
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that turned out great. I couldn't really visualize it until this last pic. great job as always Hoppy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post


Painted once, but still to get a coat of the wall paint after installation, and installed onto the LED light fixture. Still looks like it will work perfectly.


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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 01:02 AM
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very nice a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference in the world.


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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Two more pics added, to help show how the support mounts to the light, and the drawer slides in the support structure. I don't think it looks nearly as big once it's installed on the light.

Tomorrow I will reattach the power cord, and adjust the Meanwell driver to make it start more dependably. Wednesday I hope to bring it to our local plant club meeting to show off a bit.

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-31-2011, 01:18 AM
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Oh, man! If I would have seen this before, I wouldn't be making a canopy. This is ingenious, Hoppy!

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