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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up this fixture from lowes the other day and got right to modifying it. They also had a 48" fixure for the same price for you 55,75 gallon folks. I had some left over aluminum flashing from another project and an old electrical cord from another fixture that I used.

Just epoxy the aluminum flashing to the fixture and screw in your reflectors. I also spray painted it black with some rust-oleum





Some extra links that helped me with choosing what Lights to go in the fixture
Light Calculator
Bulb Mixes
The Bare Essentials
Hoppy's Chart

Cheers
 

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Aluminum is inherently a very good reflector, and the better it is polished the better it reflects, but even the dull side of aluminum foil reflects very well. I made a reflector for a couple of screw-in CFL bulbs out of thin aluminum, and didn't bother to polish it at all - it was already pretty shiny. It doubled the PAR from the bulbs.
 

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Flat White paint is actually EXTREMELY reflective.

around 90% reflective even with home depot brand paints (from what ive read)

Could be a possible cheap fix for those without the $$ to go buy the glo reflectors :p
 

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The extra cord you had lying around was to just extend the length of the original cord right?

I'm thinking about making one of these, seems solid and cheap.

Would I just need to get bulbs for this to work? The specs says batlast required, what one did you get and how do you wire it?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
hey ben,

It doesn't come with a cord, it's just the fixture. But wiring it couldn't be easier. It comes with the wire nuts so you just need match wire colors and screw 2 wires (black with black, white with white) together. I then wrapped it with electrical tape for extra safety. Ya, it has a ballast with it, it's the same ballast that comes with larger 48" one so I believe you can put any 24' bulb you want in there. Mine just has 1 ge plant bulb and 1 ge daylight bulb.
 

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sorry about that. Hope the dude abides my incompetence. Did you get the 2 light or 4 light one? I shouldn't have assumed the wiring would be exactly like mine.
Lol! I got the 2 bulb 48" fixture. It was really just a fun extra thing to do to get some more light over my 75g until my 3*54w T5HO Catalina fixture arrives on Wed. I was going to use this with my existing 32w T8 fixture that came with the tank. Oh well. I'll get what I need tomorrow and play with it.
 

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Good choice on the catalina!! Awesome fixture for the price. One day I'll own one of those
I don't know man. I found a 3 prong cord and got out the sauder (sp?) and saudering iron and went to town. Then I wrapped each individual wire with electrical tape then everything leading to the entry to the fixture. It puts out alot of light when combined with my 8K T8 48" fixture. 96 watts of T8 right on top of the tank! I'm sure I'll switch out to the new light when it gets here since the wife wants everything to look totally Proffessional. If it weren't for that I'd return the Catalina. This is a great DIY and total was about $27 with bulbs!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
After reading some info about reflectors I decided to try my hand at making some. I didn't give much thought to reflectors when I was making this fixture. I realized that much of my light is bouncing back and forth inside the fixture like this



My goal was to try and have more light going downwards, something like this



This is the old fixture. The faults with this was the siding is straight, and the length of the reflectors are too short.



The new reflectors and fixture. I made the reflectors longer and widened the area.







I Guess my plants will tell me if any of this helped
 
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