DIY lighting not working, what is the problem? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2008, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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DIY lighting not working, what is the problem?

Hello,

I am trying to get my DIY CFL lighting to work but am having issues. I tried using 27W screw-in CFLs in the fixture pictured below, but they just kept shutting off at first and then they blew completely and are now dead.
I figured that work light would be a good reflector to direct more light down into the tank.
My first thougth was that CFLs are overheating very quickly but then again the worklights are rated for incadescent bulbs up to 75w, so they should be fine with 27w CFL, right? incadescents are producing a lot more heat than the CFLs.

Does anybody have any thoughts on this?
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MIKE
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2008, 07:03 PM
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doesnt make any sense. have you tried any reg flores. in the fixture to see if they work? may be the fixures bad or theres a short in it, the cfl should work fine!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2008, 07:40 PM
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I agree, seems like there's something else wrong.

CFLs should be fine in there.

Thanks,
AndrewH


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2008, 07:50 PM
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I use two of those fixtures with CFL's and I have no problems.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2008, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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I asked that same question on another forum and people seem to think that the heat reflecting off the tank cover is causing the CFLs to overheat and blow.
I am going to try few things when I get home. run them with the opening up just to make sure its not a faulty socket and try to run a fan in the canopy to help keep things cooler.

Bodo, what wattage bulbs do you use? when I was first testing it I had 2 27w bulbs that blew and a 14w that was fine.

MIKE
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2008, 09:36 PM
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If you have them sitting directly on the cover glass and therefore creating a pretty tight seal overheating is most likely the reason for their early demise.

Keep in mind that "rated for 75W incandescent" means that the fixture itself doesn't get harmed by those temperatures, but your fluorescent bulbs can still heat up past their spec. As an example, in your kitchen stove you probably have an incandescent bulb, which can handle those temperatures. You wouldn't want to replace that with a CFL.

I am not sure what the standard temp specs for CFL bulbs are, but for sure nowhere near as high as incandescent bulbs.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2008, 09:47 PM
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I use 26W 6.5k CFL's from Wal-Mart. I don't have them sitting tight on my cover though...
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-13-2008, 09:51 PM
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just drill some holes in the reflector around the socket.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-14-2008, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honor View Post
just drill some holes in the reflector around the socket.
yeah that would reduce the heat build up some, the way its shapped the heat stays in it unlike most fixtures. my diys with spiral lights have no glass. theres about 6" from the bulb to water, i use 27w and 14w spirals.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-14-2008, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
I am not sure what the standard temp specs for CFL bulbs are, but for sure nowhere near as high as incandescent bulbs.
I thought the spiral CFLs were "sealed fixture rated" or at least rated to be installed into a recessed housing with an IC rating (which basically mean there's no air movement through the fixture to keep the lamp cool), but I could totally be wrong. I sent Osram Sylvania and GE an e-mail asking them what the heat rating is for the spiral CFLs (I asked specifically for the 23 watt spiral, but asked for a website link for information on all the CFLs).

The reflector design, heat dissipation method, and fixture orientation play a big roll in lamp life, so I'll post back as soon as I hear back from either of them.

Thanks,
AndrewH


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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-14-2008, 08:59 PM
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Heard back from GE...

They said their meant to be operated within 5*F-120*F.

From 0*F-5*F & from 120*F-150*F there are major lumen output losses.

The didn't recommend operating the spiral screw-ins (the ones which have a ballast in the base) above 150*F.

They said the optimum operating temp (for the 23W - GE size) is 97*F.

My personal experience would say, if they normally run at 97*F and you seal them off from air circulation, reaching 150*F shouldn't be too hard.

How long do the lamps last when you put them in the fixture?

Thanks,
AndrewH


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