Modified Hampton Bay Light - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-11-2008, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
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Modified Hampton Bay Light

I used to have the Home Depot Hampton Bay desk lamp as a light fixture on a nano tank:


I got rid of that tank over a year ago, but kept the lamp. It has sat on my desk just taking up space, making me wonder what to do with it. A recent post in the Lighting forum about modifying an existing hood to take the guts of this lamp intrigued me, so I decided to convert mine to a light for a ten gallon tank. Here is the sketch I made:


A couple of hours in the garage got me this far:



Notice that my goal is to capture much of the light from the back of the bulb and direct it down into the aquarium. I will use aluminum foil glued onto the wood form as a reflector. More details to follow as I proceed.

Hoppy
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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-11-2008, 07:25 PM
 
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flat white paint reflects light better then aluminum foil. If you can get yourself some Mylar that would be best. Its developed by NASA and reflects something like 95% light. You can find it at hydroponic stores if you live close to one.
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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-11-2008, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Several months ago I tested white paint, aluminum foil, and aluminized mylar as reflectors. To my surprise the mylar was the poorest of the three. White paint was probably the best for uniformly lighting the aquarium, but aluminum foil was just about the same, if not a bit better directly under the light. The mylar I used was good quality heavy mylar, with aluminizing on both sides, so very little, if any light went through it. My conclusion was that, for a shaving mirror, where you want a true reflection of something, mylar is far superior, but for total reflectance, the ability to reflect the maximum of light, the paint and aluminum foil were the best.

I'm trying to do this project without spending a dime - I had the wood scraps and the light fixture, so I'm just rearranging stuff. If I were to spend some money I would shop for flat "ultra white" paint, in a spray can, since I still believe that is the best reflector for the crudely shaped reflectors we can make. The money I will spend is for a method to suspend this above the tank, using the technique described here: http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...t-fixture.html

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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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With the inner part of the "W" reflector glued in and the glue drying. On the right is the top of the reflector, held on with 4 screws, the bracket for the bulb socket, and the socket.

Hoppy
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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 03:43 AM
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I LOVE those hampton bay lights. Cheapest lighting for nanos ever. This will be very interesting, I'll be watching this one.

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post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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The bulb has now been installed, two views showing the bulb with its spring clip and socket, from the original lamp, and the top of the fixture, showing where the ballast and wiring will go.





Almost all of the wood is 1/4" hardboard (MDF), and everything except the removable top is attached with yellow glue only.

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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 06:53 PM
 
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can't wait to see it operating
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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 01:53 AM Thread Starter
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The ballast is now installed.


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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 02:02 AM
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Hoppy,

So glad you posted your findings about reflective surfaces. I was just designing a DIY fixture myself and I thought for sure mylar would be superior to just about anything else.

I wonder how a piece of reasonably buffed aluminum stock would do...

No matter- white paint it is!

Thanks!
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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 02:04 AM
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how big are those hampton bay lights? the bulbs look huge in pic. since ive never seen one before, what wattage are they? and the ballast is just taken from the lamp housing i guess.
the hood will cover the whole 10g?
im about to do 2 10g tanks so im intereted. thanks
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post #11 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Hooked View Post
Hoppy,

So glad you posted your findings about reflective surfaces. I was just designing a DIY fixture myself and I thought for sure mylar would be superior to just about anything else.

I wonder how a piece of reasonably buffed aluminum stock would do...

No matter- white paint it is!

Thanks!
ive been using metal flashing used in roof valleys etc. bending it like a regular reflactor, wonder if its worth a dam for reflection? its shiny! and cheap
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post #12 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
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The Hampton Bay light is a 27 watt bulb, and it is about 4 inches long - 4 tubes. All of the electrical parts are from the original lamp, including the ballast. This reflector is smaller than a 10 gallon tank, but I will be suspending it above the tank, and doing a non-CO2 tank, so I think it may work ok. The way I plan to suspend it is:


This is a parallelogram linkage that attaches to the wall behind the tank, and allows the fixture to swing up and down, keeping the light pointed down at the tank. It will give me about 6 inches of vertical movement without the center of the light moving too much fore and aft. I have my other tank set up this way.

Hoppy
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post #13 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 05:06 AM
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This is awesome! I'm in the middle of designing something very similar, though with sheet metal. Well, design is done....just need a free weekend to go home and put it all together (no tools at school).

Can't wait to see it all finished!
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post #14 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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It is fully assembled, electrically, and here is how it looks, with white painted reflective surfaces, and with aluminum foil just laying on the same surfaces:


This convinces me that it will work best with aluminum foil glued to the reflective surfaces. The white spray paint I had on hand just isn't "ultra" white, so I suspected it wouldn't be as effective as I hoped.

Hoppy
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post #15 of 56 (permalink) Old 11-13-2008, 05:47 PM
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Add a mylar shot, you could go buy a cheap mylar balloon to test the reflectivity.

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