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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
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cheap lights

i'm just asking, is there anyway that i can make and buy lamps and everything to build a cheap light system from lowes? i kind of don't want to spend alot of money for something i can make.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 05:06 AM
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What size tank is this for? For a 10 gallon tank it isn't hard to make a good cheap light. For a 90 gallon tank it gets a lot harder.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 05:36 AM Thread Starter
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i have a 55 gallon long i kind of to do some t8s =\ i thing the only hard thing to find is a ballets but if i can't find on i just still the one from my aqua pod...
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 06:45 AM
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Retrofit kits in general are a good idea if you want to build the hardware (frame) but leave the wiring to somebody who knows what they're doing. For example, if you don't care about looks so much, just hang a piece of plywood and screw 2-4 retrofit bulb/endcap/ballast/reflector/wiring setups into it. Hit up an online aquarium site and do a search for retrofit.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 10:55 AM
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Can't find a ballast at Lowes? Better ask somebody in lighting, there are replacement ballasts available. You choose what you want based on number and size of lamps. It will be written right on the ballast what it is designed for.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by RickRS View Post
Can't find a ballast at Lowes? Better ask somebody in lighting, there are replacement ballasts available. You choose what you want based on number and size of lamps. It will be written right on the ballast what it is designed for.
...or you can just buy a prewired shop light and just plug the thing into the wall. LOL. They have some 4' shop lights that are less than $10.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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well i did find some thing at lowes http://="http://www.lowes.com/Search...e&Ntt=ballasts but it don't really tell me anything about them.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 02:24 PM
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This is what I've been using for my emerse setups and they're growing wonderfully: 4' Home Depot diamond plated polished reflector T8 fixture. This fixture goes for $34.97 before taxes. They also sell Phillips 6500K bulbs an isle down for $6.97/pair. Can't get any cheaper than this.




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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 02:48 PM
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That last fixture, http://www.homedepot.com/Lighting-Fa...atalogId=10053 looks outstanding, for a T8 light. I think you might get good low light with one of those on a 55 gallon tank. I don't think I have seen any better reflectors on a shop light.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
That last fixture, http://www.homedepot.com/Lighting-Fa...atalogId=10053 looks outstanding, for a T8 light. I think you might get good low light with one of those on a 55 gallon tank. I don't think I have seen any better reflectors on a shop light.
I'm running 2 fixtures over four 10g tanks, set side by side lengthwise. The tanks fit perfectly under a 4'x2' footprint. So far these lights have been performing superbly as far as growing plants. I highly recommend them.

If you think these are nice, they also sell a 6 bulb fixture HERE. Super polished reflectors with no diamond plating. That sucker was BRIGHT! All at Home Depot.


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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 03:09 PM
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Lowes on-line catalog has no specs. You can get the basic spec (#lamps, length, and bulb type) for GE ballasts Home Depot sells in their on-line site if you check there. If you're looking for lowest price, pay attention to whether it "Residential" or "Pro-line". Hope the links work for you: here a 2 lamp T8 4 foot ballast and a 4 lamp T8 4 foot ballast available at my local HD store in the $15 and $20 price range.

And I agree, the 4 foot shoplight fixture is one of the cheapest setups going.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 03:32 PM
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Hi fishstick41,

24"; 1X55 watt; MIRO 4 Reflector; PAR = 110 @ 13"; air-cooled; 3-6-10 AHS bulb = $89.00 including bulb & shipping

1X55 Watt AH Supply Gutter Light w/3-6-10 Bulb


1X55 Watt AH Supply Gutter Light w/6700K Bulb


Front


Interior

Roy_________
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75 Gallon, 2X55W AH Supply CF 8800K, 1XFluval F&P 2.0; 45 Gallon Tall, 96Watt AH Supply CF 6700K; 30 Gallon Long; Fluval F&P 2.0; 20 Gallon, 1X26W AH Supply LED; all with CO2 and (Calcined) Montmorillonite Clay
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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dude thanks for yalls comments its helping out =]. i was thinking about stealing my aqua pods ballet and changing it to a t8 (unless i can find 2 6500k PCs.) and buy some of these bulbs can 6500k bulb his be done ? =\ i like speedie408 and Hoppy idea but do they come with balletes?
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 06:01 PM
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...or you can just buy a prewired shop light and just plug the thing into the wall. LOL. They have some 4' shop lights that are less than $10.
Maybe it's just me but lately I've bought three fixtures and had them all start burning out bulbs within a month. Brand new bulbs, fixture suspended 16" above the tank. The bulbs would only last a few weeks and be burnt out.

Maybe it was just a bad batch of fixtures I bought, but all three found the trash very quickly. Before I was using the same brand fixtures (about two years ago) for an anemone project and had zero issues. Odd...

Filstar Pimp #84
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedie408 View Post
I'm running 2 fixtures over four 10g tanks, set side by side lengthwise. The tanks fit perfectly under a 4'x2' footprint. So far these lights have been performing superbly as far as growing plants. I highly recommend them.

If you think these are nice, they also sell a 6 bulb fixture HERE. Super polished reflectors with no diamond plating. That sucker was BRIGHT! All at Home Depot.
It looks like you could cannibalize that 6 bulb fixture to make two 3 bulb fixtures, that should be great for a 55 gallon tank.

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