$70 DIY 70W HQI Metal Halide - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 110 (permalink) Old 12-17-2006, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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$70 DIY 70W HQI Metal Halide

This is a 70 watt HQI metal halide pendant that I made for around $70, in this picture I am just holding it over my 75 gallon:







It would probably have been a little brighter but the bulb was brand new and not fully warmed up, I think they break in for a little while and get brighter.

Here are all the parts:






$29.99 BallastWise.com HID E-B DXE70HID1 70W Electronic Ballast

$20.20 Astralux MH 70W DE 8KK Ultra White Bulb

$10 Brinks 300W Halogen Outdoor Floodlight from Walmart

$6 Grounded Power Cord and two extra wire nuts.

For about $70 plus a little extra for shipping, you can make this light. The floodlight comes with 3 wire nuts, so you only need two more. The wiring is very simple, there is a diagram on the ballast, it's pretty self explanatory. The floodlight comes with 300 watt halogen bulb that you throw away, and a 70 watt HQI bulb fits the same socket.







*The wire that is hanging down from the floodlight is for ground, the setup is not grounded in that picture, MAKE SURE TO GROUND THE LIGHTING ENCLOSURE/REFLECTOR/SOCKET AND BALLAST.

Here is the light output shortly after turning it on, I am using a different ballast and the setup is grounded in this pic:







You can remove the reflector and socket, and mount them in a hood or enclosure. You could just hang the floodlight, but it would be kind of industrial looking.

I am using this same kind of bulb over a 60cm (18 gallon) tank and it's the perfect amount of light for that tank. I think that one of these along with one or two compact flourescents would be great over a 3 foot tank, or two of these with CF's for a 4 foot tank. I think that a 96 watt CF with two of these hanging 10" above a 4 foot/120cm tank would be perfect.


***Warning: Use this information at your own risk. I take no responsiblity for any damage and/or injuries that might occur.***

-Craig
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post #2 of 110 (permalink) Old 12-17-2006, 10:48 PM
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sweet. ive been waitinf for something like this. gonna go piss my dad off now. haha

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post #3 of 110 (permalink) Old 12-17-2006, 11:23 PM
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The warning is well deserved.

How much did the bulb cost after shipping from Singapore?

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post #4 of 110 (permalink) Old 12-17-2006, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brilliant View Post
The warning is well deserved.

How much did the bulb cost after shipping from Singapore?
This is no different than any retrofit you buy. I ripped that warning right from the orignial ODNO thread, there is a risk anytime you use electricity near water.

-Craig
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post #5 of 110 (permalink) Old 12-18-2006, 12:05 AM
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I was wondering how much the bulb cost after shipping and if you had to order 10 of them.

AFter seaching a bit I found this same idea elsewhere with the same bulb...still looking for the bulb from US vendor.

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post #6 of 110 (permalink) Old 12-18-2006, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brilliant View Post
I was wondering how much the bulb cost after shipping and if you had to order 10 of them.

AFter seaching a bit I found this same idea elsewhere with the same bulb...still looking for the bulb from US vendor.
Show me where the "same idea with the same bulb" is. As you know, I am not the first person to use this floodlight on an aquarium, but I haven't seen anyone use the same bulb and ballast and save a lot of money in the process. ODNO drives bulbs with more power than they were designed for, this DIY does not, I used the warning not the design. The ballast is UL listed and if installed correctly is not dangerous. The housing itself is designed to be used outdoors (where it can get wet). You're not going to find that bulb from a US vendor, Viclite was easy to deal with.

-Craig
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post #7 of 110 (permalink) Old 12-18-2006, 01:50 AM
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How much was the bulb with shipping? I think that is a great deal (but dont want to buy 10)

How-to: Make your own 70w MH Pendant - Nano-Reef.com Forums

BTW..I asked the question because the site says export pricing at the top and prices then start at 10 pc.

These HQIs are no joke...they are like mini super novas. Just be careful

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post #8 of 110 (permalink) Old 12-18-2006, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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That is not the same bulb.

Also, it is hard to find that ballast for $30.

I'm just trying to save people money. BallastWise's price seemed so cheap, nobody wanted to try them out. I took the risk and am just trying to pass along info to help people.

-Craig
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post #9 of 110 (permalink) Old 12-18-2006, 02:20 AM
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OK. thank you. How much was the bulb with shipping?
How much was the total cost after mouting expenses and shipping?

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post #10 of 110 (permalink) Old 12-18-2006, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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I bought 2 bulbs from Viclite over 6 months ago and I don't remember how much the shipping was, but it wasn't very much.

-Craig
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post #11 of 110 (permalink) Old 12-18-2006, 02:44 AM
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Hey I think this is a great idea of a HQI Metal Halide I might even take it a step further with 150watt model and Coralife 150 WATT - 10,000K bulb. I seen that ballastwise.com offers up to a 400 WATT model. But very good DIY HQI setup.
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post #12 of 110 (permalink) Old 12-18-2006, 02:48 AM
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Everyone knows that DIY is far more satisfying (and money saving) than buying commercial products already made for aquariums. even with that said, you must wiegh the DIY satisfaction against the peace of mind that a tried & true tested product professionally made for specific applications brings to the table.

cheers,

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post #13 of 110 (permalink) Old 12-18-2006, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conduct View Post
Hey I think this is a great idea of a HQI Metal Halide I might even take it a step further with 150watt model and Coralife 150 WATT - 10,000K bulb. I seen that ballastwise.com offers up to a 400 WATT model. But very good DIY HQI setup.

Thanks. The BallastWise 150W does look good, you could also use the ADA 8,000k bulb if you went that route. It costs more than the Coralife, but the color of the ADA is worth it IMHO. If you do go with 150W, you can't use the Brinks Floodlight, the contacts are farther apart, you can use something like this. Then you will have to find a reflector.

-Craig
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post #14 of 110 (permalink) Old 12-18-2006, 02:54 AM
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Cool idea. Let us know how the plants like it and any potential problems you run into. DIY stuff is always neat to watch come together and work well.

I believe that ANY light fixture is a potential danger. The problem lies with the operator.

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post #15 of 110 (permalink) Old 12-18-2006, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdb416 View Post
Everyone knows that DIY is far more satisfying (and money saving) than buying commercial products already made for aquariums. even with that said, you must wiegh the DIY satisfaction against the peace of mind that a tried & true tested product professionally made for specific applications brings to the table.

cheers,
I know what you're saying, and you are right

-Craig
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