Heat, Ballast or lights? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Heat, Ballast or lights?

I built my hood in a few days. It is all pine and very sturdy, My issue is the lights and ballast.

I have a 2 Jebo light fixtures each one has 2 ballast and 4 CF Lights. I am taking it apart and re assembling them in my new hood. My questions are:

1) Can I mount he ballast directly on the wood? **I have an idea below if it is an issue.

2) Can I mount the Lights with reflector directly on the wood?

3) Should the ballast be in the hood or out of the hood? I.E. mounted on the backside of the hood?

4) What produces more heat, the ballast or the lights?

My main concern is obviously , starting a fire.

**I have also considered, if anyone is familiar with the Jebo fixture, to mount the ballast with the metal plate directly on the wood to try and divert the heat from the wood as much as possible or is this futile?

I just went through 16 pages of DIY with no luck on the issue. But their was one post about using washers to create space.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 03:18 PM
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I have mounted CF ballasts and reflectors directly to wood canopies several times. You can offset the ballast from the wood by putting a couple of washers under it. To answer the heat question, I find that ballasts generate most of your heat.

Remember, you do have the option of mounting the ballasts in a remote location, such as on the back of the hood. This will prevent you from transferring too much heat to your water.

------------------------
Mike Hossom
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 03:33 PM
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#1- Yes, but you need to run a ground wire to the power cord. Sometimes a ballast like on a shop light will be labelled "do not surface mount". That's so the ballast gets proper air circulation. I don't think it's an issue with the ballasts we commonly use. If you're still concerened, just use some sort of spacer between the ballast & the wood, maybe around 1/4"-1/2".

#2- Yes, but My AH Supply kit had nylon spacers so the wood has very little direct contact with the hot reflector. I didn't use them as I have aluminum strips in the hood to mount stuff to, kind of a home made modular system.

#3- Mounting the ballast outside the hood helps cool the ballast, but I haven't had any problems with them on the inside. Every indoor fluorescent light fixture has the ballasts totally enclosed.

#4- My 96 W CF bulbs produce the majority of the heat. I have a 4" fan in my hood.

Not the best picture, but it gives you some idea what I'm talking about:



Tommy

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Been @ it since 11am varnishing and painting the hood. Such pain! All that is left is to cover it all up with polyurethane tomorrow. I bought some 14 guage wire to make some jumpers to install the ballast on the backside of the hood. I will use washers to space the ballast and lights. Thanks for all the advice guys!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 12:17 PM
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Edit to my last post-

It is against the NEC to mount ballasts on a flammable surface. When I fed the fish this morning I realized I have a piece of sheetmetal behind my ballasts & they're spaced 1/2" off the surface. I don't know what I was thinking!! See what happens when you go totally from memory!

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 05:06 PM
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If fire is a big concern I might look to a different ballast manufacturer all together jebo doesnt have the best track record...

As for your heat question that depends in part by the efficiency of the ballasts. But in any electronic ballast I have used there is FAR MORE heat in the bulbs. The current Ice Cap ballasts I am using dont even get all that hot really, warm to the touch. And thats all the power combined. But just touching 1" of bulb (out of 192") could leave some of your skin on the bulb if its not cooled.
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