I've been wanting to try something like this for a while but l didn't want to mess up the hampton bay lamp . 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?