Before anything, I'd like to give credit to haagenize
for the inspiration. I've added a few things to his design, and made it (hopefully) easier to execute. I intend on using this design to house the electronics of the hampton bay lamp.
His thread: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...student-4.html
Ok, there are two iterations of this fixture. The first will be more difficult, but offers a more finished look. The second (which is the same as the first, minus the end caps) will be easier and will function just as well, but will be exposed on both sides.
The plan is to make it out of sheet metal. The sides of the ballast tray are bent so I can screw the hood and the tray together. This way I get the curve and I don't have to weld. I'll be hanging this using conduit and wire as many have done before. It fits and I like the way it looks. I plan to route the switch to the backside of the fixture, and run the power cord up in to the conduit. I plan to have the socket inside the reflector with the wires running through a space cut in both the reflector and the ballast tray.
If I decide to go with the end caps, and I decide to make them of metal, I'm going to need to be very precise when cutting...and I'm not sure I can work a jigsaw in a perfect curve. Mess ups mean more metal, more waste, and more cost. If anyone has a cheap way to cut a perfect curve let me know!
The other possibility is I use a cheaper, easier to cut material....like mat board. Black mat board wouldn't look too bad on the sides, and would be a hell of a lot more forgiving.
If I don't go with the end caps, then I just don't and it's one less consideration at the cost of pretty much nothing but looks. I'm not even sure the idea of exposed sides bothers me, it kind of fits since I'm not finishing the metal.