If things ain't broke, I get bored and try to fix them
So I have this 10gal hood
now for a few years, and it works great, therefore I want to get rid of it and try something new.
Goals here are to make a decent looking hood, using less wattage than now, and getting more light into the tank. Currently, 2 13W PC bulbs combined with AHS reflectors are using 30W of energy.
I want to reduce that by 50%, and at the same time get more light coverage. I am going to use a single 15W T8 bulb, and overdrive it to ~20W. The current AHS 13W reflector will be replaced with a larger AHS reflector, like the ones used for 55 and 96W PCs.
As often in life, everything starts with a piece of scrap wood, an old electronic Helios ballast ripped from an unused fixture, leftover pieces from AHS reflectors, a bulb and some endcaps.
Features that I want to implement - a thermistor controlled fan to be used in Summer, some high powered LED beams to highlight nooks and crannies in my tank, as well as the usual blue moonlight. I am thinking of using a plexiglass/lexan cover screwed to the fixture to prevent bowing. Plus I want easy disconnects for the lights and fan on the back so I can remove the canopy easily for water changes.
Oh yeah, there is no rush to get this done at all... if it takes a couple of months, fine.
Any thoughts, experiences, things I should be aware of or implement or avoid?