Ceiling mounted lights...Power Cord??? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Ceiling mounted lights...Power Cord???

I've looked at all the various ways to use a stand to suspend a light over my tank from Conduit to Hoppy's DIY- PVC T.V articulated wall mount. I just don't want the "structure" in the line of site. My 'scape will have driftwood and maybe plants coming out of the top of the tank.

So that leaves me with a hanging fixture. I had always planned low light -low tech. The nice thing I can hang a higher output fixture higher above my tank.

My Question:
How do I deal with the power cord? We're going for a very clean, modern look in the living room. I want to do this as minimalist as I can.

You thoughts?

Thank you,
Frank
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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I should add, I have the basic skills of a typical American home remodeler. I do my own wiring, drywall, carpentry, painting, work on the cars etc.etc. I have all usual power & hand tools. I am not afraid to go to the Rental store for MORE POWER
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 01:29 PM
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My recommendation is if there is an outlet down below is to pull some electrical wire up the wall and but an electrical outlet up high. Wall fishing it will make it look like the outlet was susposed to be there.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 01:37 PM
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Why not just put a can in the ceiling? You could put it on a timer and a switch and use the cord to suspend the light.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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The ceiling outlet box is a given, of course.

I had a thought about modifing a small 3-light track light. I'd just remove the cans & wires from the end lights and use the light bases as mount points to hang the braided cable to hand the fixture. Remove the can from center light and hardwire the fixture.

Thinking aheads I would need to buy extra light heads, if I ever sell the house (not likely any year soon) or relocate the tank. Lighting fixtures tend to change pretty fast and finding compatible heads in the future might be impossible.

Bruce the timer...great idea!.

I could pick-up power in the basement, run the wiring through a box with a timer at that point, then run it up a wall to a local switch.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 07:44 PM
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I think the minimalist approach is not to hang the light, but to mount it on the end of an aluminum conduit, with a 90 degree bend spaced just right to reach the wall behind the tank, then down to below the top of the stand. For example: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...t-fixture.html With this, the electric cord goes through the conduit, and isn't visible at all, and the conduit, if painted the same as the wall, is not obtrusive.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
I think the minimalist approach is not to hang the light, but to mount it on the end of an aluminum conduit, with a 90 degree bend spaced just right to reach the wall behind the tank, then down to below the top of the stand. For example: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...t-fixture.html With this, the electric cord goes through the conduit, and isn't visible at all, and the conduit, if painted the same as the wall, is not obtrusive.
I'm not too fond of that approach myself, especially if the tank is to be viewed from all sides.

I think the appropriate resolution is lights with the cord in the hanger. something like pendant lights would work with the appropriate build or LED fixture But, once we get to these full length lamps there isn't a super clean solution to powering these lights, this becomes even more apparent when we're given hardware for hanging the lamp from a thin cable.

i don't have the answer... or any options...
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 08:58 PM
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Perfect solution- invent wireless lighting.

Then retire with your millions and build your dream tank.

(I want intellectual property rights on the patent! )





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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-27-2011, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Minimalist approach is in the eye of the beholder

After some 45min staring at the light fixture in Home Depot, I have my design in my head.

Next step reread the Lighting PAR sticky. I need to understand how high I can hang how much light over a 16" deep tank that won't use CO2.

I won't get to this for a while too many things still on the living/dinning rm. remod punch list., I will folow-up with pics.

Bruce thanks again for the thought about using a timer on the power supply...perfect solution. I've got a spot to mount it next to the breaker pannel. That will give me easy access and if we have a power outage, easy reset. I'm going with a simple mechanical timer hardwired inline to the ceiling outlet, running through a switched box for local on/off.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-01-2011, 11:46 PM
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Tesla invented (well made work anyway) a method of illuminating lights miles away from a power source using wireless energy transfer over a hundred years ago, nothing new there and already patented just as long ago.
And if memory serves him and Westinghouse invented fluorescent lighting too, so there's probably already proven cases of it working.

As far as supplying power without visible cables (and not induction based) I would say that you would need to suspend the lights on shielded power wires and use them to do the job
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-02-2011, 05:36 AM
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.

As far as supplying power without visible cables (and not induction based) I would say that you would need to suspend the lights on shielded power wires and use them to do the job
And, I think that is a great solution, easy, in principle to do, and it makes the power cord disappear. If you used 4 shielded 22 gauge wires, they would look almost exactly like the cables usually used. Then connect two of them to the hot wire and two to the neutral wire, with the cables being terminated inside the light fixture so the connections wouldn't be visible. At the upper end they would have to each go through the ceiling and be connected to the power wires there. (Twist pairs of the shielded cable together, add a "collar" where they are separated near the light fixture, and you have what appears to be an ordinary cable suspension.) How to make this easily height adjustable would be more difficult.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 01:04 AM
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In the ceiling fan/lighting section of your local Lowe's their will be hollow tubes(im guessing aluminum) that are colored to match ceiling fans and the such for the precise reason as what your doing

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 02:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFish View Post

Next step reread the Lighting PAR sticky. I need to understand how high I can hang how much light over a 16" deep tank that won't use CO2.

Since you have basic homeowner DIY skills, you could easily do an LED array, build a nice pine pendant for them.

If you use the right optic lenses, you can hang the LED array in the top of a sycamore tree and get very good PAR


Seriously though, if you used 40 degree lenses you can hang it around 20-30 inches from the surface. You can go even tighter and use 20 degree lenses but you definitely need to plan on having it up REAL high, which then becomes a headache-maker for anyone sitting it the room.


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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-03-2011, 03:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFish View Post
I just don't want the "structure" in the line of site. My 'scape will have driftwood and maybe plants coming out of the top of the tank.

So that leaves me with a hanging fixture. I had always planned low light -low tech. The nice thing I can hang a higher output fixture higher above my tank.

My Question:
How do I deal with the power cord? We're going for a very clean, modern look in the living room. I want to do this as minimalist as I can.

You thoughts?

Thank you,
Frank

I did a little research on the same thing a while back and have some pictures I liked. It's not "ceiling mounted" so I'm not sure if this will help you. But it's very minimalist and I haven't seen it done anywhere yet.

It might take some searching but I think attaching your fixture directly to the wall by using a some sort of bracket would look great.





You could make it nice and sleek by covering up the cord with any kind of cord cover. Here's one example



Or run the cord behind the dry wall if you can.

If there aren't any brackets that work with your fixture you could always try using an "L - type" wall bracket. Something like this. You could cover up the cord with a cord cover like above, or run it behind the drywall.



Sorry if this isn't what you were looking for. Just some thoughts.

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