The Planted Tank Forum banner

DIY ADA style nano lighting

3310 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  !shadow!
Hello and welcome to what will likely be a waste of money!
I am getting a nano tank for christmas and I decided to set up my own Mini M style lighting.
I don't know which tank I'm getting so I cant start on it yet but I'm feeling antsy.

Materials I've bought or salvaged:
Hampton Bay table lamp
12''x18'' 22 gauge steel sheet metal
Silicone good to 400 degrees
I will also need to either hang or suspend the light in some way and that will be a project for after I've got the tank

big tin snips
dremelcaulk gun

I'll post up pictures when I've got something to show but I'm going to bend the sheet metal over a pvc pipe to make the outer shell of the lamp and then I'm going to dismember the hampton bay lamp and attach the bulb socket to the sheet metal via silicone. Since the HB lamp has a 4 prong socket I think I can use a different bulb, probably one of the longer ones for a better light spread. It'll just be a matter of getting some good reflective qualities on the inside of the sheet metal, possibly with primer and lots of wet sanding and metallic spray paint. The other challenge will be craftsmanship - i want this to look good or theres not much point dismantling the hampton bay lamp.

Any suggestions? anyone tried anything like this? I'll post up a picture of the sheet metal i'm using later tonight

I dont know how power compact flourescent works so heres another question, does the Hampton Bay lamp have some kind of ballast inside of it? Would it be possible to replace the bulb with one of these ???
That bulb may be unreasonable and I donno if i'd need 60 watts on a 5.5-8.5 gallon tank so what about this one
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
I've been wanting to try something like this for a while but l didn't want to mess up the hampton bay lamp :p. l like the color spectrum of the hampton bay lamp but as you said it the bulb might be too small for the light spread you might want. l wouldn't worry too much on the 60w on the 5.5-8.5g tank as there is so many ways to dim the light such as raising the lamp up higher or covering it up with something to cover up the intensity. l like your method of the pvc pipe bending method, it's very creative and l've never thought of such idea. To answer your question about the ballast l wouldn't know what to tell you as l've never taken it apart but l would assume it wouldn't be so hard to find out as it has just a couple of screws. looking forward to seeing how this will turn out because frankly l think the ada lights are waay overpriced but hey that's the price you pay for quality, just look at apple :). lastly what if you were to try led's with the sexy design of amano's fixures instead of cf?
See less See more
LED's are a possibility but not as the primary light source, and this is only for functionality reasons. I know it would be possible to heatsink 30-40 watts of high power leds to the sheet metal its self but I'm not convinced the light output for the effort would be worth it. But I do like the shimmer effect =]

I'm picturing a mini solar II but obviously DIY.
Picture the solar II and solar mini's curved top and where on either side it has the half circle piece I will silicone a cut out of frosted acrylic so that I can exploit some of the inefficiency of the shape of these bulbs to light my room.

For the stand I'm thinking of suspending it by wire on either side of a piece of bamboo(or some nice grainy wood) running the width of the tank. That piece of bamboo would be supported on either end of the center in some way...
Perhaps I would just hang the bamboo that supports the light from the ceiling or I might end up drilling through its length and putting a support in there that I could hold up from the side of the tank via the Solar Mini style.

Edit: one other reason I thought of would be to find some branches(more like small sticks but thick ones) from outside and find ones that are straight and then fork off in 2 directions fairly perfectly.
Then file grooves into them so they would rest on the edge of the tank. Epoxy the entire branch so it looks encased in a clear sheen and at the same time epoxy the branch into holes in the bamboo. I probably wont go that route but I was imagining it and it seemed pretty cool.
See less See more
I built the frame and ends for a ~ 30" fixture about the same depth / height as an ADA grand solar about 6 mos ago. Used 1/8" x 1" aluminum for the frame and 0.025" sheet for the ends, all riveted together. I plan on riveting the final piece of sheet over the frame after I get the tank it's going on so I can get the sizing just as I want it. Tank's got an indefinite ETA, so the light's even further out.

I've thought about doing a mini w/ the guts of my mini aqualight as practice, but again no current nano tank, and more importantly, extra funds. Point being, I'm about 98% sure my light will look at least, like, somewhat awesome....
Same feeling here, mine better look damn good haha... I started bending the sheet metal today and it looks pretty good, except there are light creases that you can see. I dont have any way to cut the steel plate, its fairly thick, so after I figure that out I'll cut the acrylic side pieces and frost them
I went aluminum since it's softer so I can bend it by hand and cut it w/ tin snips, but bought it thick enough still that it wouldn't easily get dented when in use either. Steel's a whole other animal.

I still don't trust myself to cut the length of the final piece totally straight so I'll just order the piece cut to my dimensions from -- their warehouse is in my neighborhood so convenient enough for me to p/u. If the steel gives you too much trouble, you might want to go that route. Shouldn't be more than $15 or 20 w/ shipping for the size you need.
Thats a really good idea, If I had known I wouldnt have spent 9 bucks on a piece of sheet metal. One thats already the perfect size would be easy...
how did this ever turn out to?
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.