DIY upgrade for basic hood w/ lights. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-04-2009, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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DIY upgrade for basic hood w/ lights.

My 55 gallon tank kit came with a basic 2 piece full hood with a 15W T8 bulb in each hood. 30W total for a 55 gallon tank just wasnt going to cut it. So this is a quick, cheap, and easy upgrade I did.


First thing I did was take out the existing light fixture. Pretty straight forward. Just take two screws out and then undo the wire nuts and take the fixture out.


These are the materials I used.
4 26W spiral CFL bulbs $15
4 outdoor bulb sockets $1.50 each
4 1.5" pvc tube brackets $0.75 each
roll of aluminum tape $3.50
Total $27.50


I covered the inside of the fixture with aluminum tape to act as a reflector. (In hindsight, it probably would have been better just to paint it all white.) Then I screwed the tube brackets into the screw holes, put the sockets in, and connected the wires with the wire nuts. The whole thing took maybe an hour.


And here is one of the completed hoods. By no means is this some serious high tech lighting but as a quick cheap upgrade to "stock" lighting, I think it works great.
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-05-2009, 12:58 AM
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That is a great idea!!! Looks great too!
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-05-2009, 01:10 AM
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Pretty good. Few of these have popped up here and there. I did something similar way back. Let me see if I can dig it up.


Edit: Here is the link to where I posted it


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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-05-2009, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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Oooh nice! I like yours gmccreedy. Thats a great idea to add the cold cathodes. I think I may try to squeeze them in to mine.
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-09-2009, 06:38 PM
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I like seeing other cheapskates like me. Mine are in my 10g in my sig and about to be in my 20L.

Flat white is by far the best reflective color/substance available. Right now my reflector is just the inside of the 3" duct, but it is about to be rattle canned flat white.

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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 03:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmccreedy View Post
Pretty good. Few of these have popped up here and there. I did something similar way back. Let me see if I can dig it up.


Edit: Here is the link to where I posted it
Wow that DOES looks really nice.

What did you use to cut the 6" PVC in half?

Those who say it can’t be done, shouldn’t interfere with those who are doing it.
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 04:36 AM
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It looks like he used the PVC as reflectors for the lights.
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 11:37 AM
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Wow that DOES looks really nice.

What did you use to cut the 6" PVC in half?
LOL... tricky and certainly not for the faint of heart.

Its 6" PVC. I used an 8" pine board and screwed it to the pipe. No matter ho you screw it, it will creat a flat edge for the pipe to "ride" on.

Did some math to find where the "middle" of the pipe was. Used the wood as a "fence" guide for my table saw and ran it through.

Go slow and please be careful. Follow all safety precautions.


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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-28-2009, 10:21 PM
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Do the bulbs have to be 6500K?
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-28-2009, 11:17 PM
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What kelvin are you looking to use?


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post #11 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 12:11 AM
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I'm not sure. I am very new to this and I have plants that really just don't grow. Today I added a DIY CO2 system and did this project with the lights. My 4 bulbs are rated at 60W each but I wasn't sure that the kelvin rating was important.
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post #12 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 12:26 AM
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So you did the Compact Flourescent Fixture modification? The bulbs should list what the kelvin temperature is. What does it say?

Your looking at a Kelvin range of 5500 to 10000 for plants (for the most part).


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post #13 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 12:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmccreedy View Post
So you did the Compact Flourescent Fixture modification? The bulbs should list what the kelvin temperature is. What does it say?

Your looking at a Kelvin range of 5500 to 10000 for plants (for the most part).
OK, they say they are 2700K each. So I guess that's 10800K total? I just noticed that the ones in the image in the first post are 6500K each. So am I OK with the 10800K?
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post #14 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 12:32 AM
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Lol, no. The Kelvin is the temperature of the color spectrum. You don't add them up, they are what they are, 2700K.

No good for plants. Sorry.


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post #15 of 46 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 01:04 AM
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So long story short, I need the 6500K or better bulbs, right?
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