View Full Version : Need some help with lighting
12-10-2009, 04:27 PM
I will soon be upgrading to a 46 bowfront, and it has only the single bulb reflector cover right now. I have been looking for fluorescent fixtures that will provide enough light for my plants (@ 3wpg) and that I won't need a 3rd mortgage to buy.
I plan on building a canopy for the tank, so I'd be interested in fixtures that would work inside.
Tank is 36" long, and I haven't had much luck finding fixtures that length, or with sufficient power for the light level I'll need. Using multiple fixtures to get enough light is something I have considered, as long as they will fit inside the canopy.
Suggestions? :help: Thanks!
12-10-2009, 04:54 PM
I am looking into the same thing but for a 30" wide tank. Originally I was looking into taking a cheap HID kit for a car and connecting it to a 12V PSU since this would give an obscene amount of light for little coin. But as I started poking around some more I started looking into standard compact fluorescent bulbs (to replace incandescent) and just wiring up some bulb sockets. I am leaning in this direction since it would allow me to play with light levels better since I could have independent control over each bulb and when it powers up. As well as how many watts are in each spot. My only real concern now is if too much light will be lost in the hood since I do not have a proper reflector. To solve that I was thinking of using a mirror. Might not be the most effecient but should be pretty good.
12-10-2009, 06:19 PM
Personally I would check Lowes/Home depot for HO/VHO T5 fixtures that would fit
12-10-2009, 06:31 PM
I had checked out that site, but being I like trying to do my own thing and I am trying to save some money. I could get (4) 26W compacts done for less than 20 bucks.
12-10-2009, 06:39 PM
The 2x96w retrofit kit they have looks very good, more light than I really need, but it's a tad expensive. The bulbs would cost another $60, too.
I've checked Lowe's and Home Depot websites, but they don't list anything that will work. I will be going there tonight and will look at what they actually have in the store. There MUST be something available that I just haven't found yet.
I've been reading for a long time about people making their own canopies using shop lights, which are considerably cheaper than fixtures made specifically for the aquarium trade. The bulbs are cheaper too!
12-10-2009, 07:56 PM
The hardware store I your best bet. You shouldn't have any problems with 3wpg. The bowfronts angles will help you hide all kinds of crazy lights! You will figure out what's best for you without any problems.
12-11-2009, 02:30 PM
That I'll figure it out in time. I was just hoping someone else had already traveled this road, and could give me some clear directions.
12-11-2009, 02:36 PM
I had no problems getting 36" flourescent light fixtures.
They had them at the local hardware store.
I just got some t-8s to go with them.
12-11-2009, 03:13 PM
If it is really that easy.
Our local hardware stores are very limited. I haven't made it to a DIY big box to check their stock yet. I may walk out with exactly what I need for very little money. Sure hope it ends up that way!
12-11-2009, 03:44 PM
I have to order anything I need up here and its not easy to get.The fixtures are usually in stock.
I'm sure if you ask your hardware store to order them ,they will.
Its not like thay are a special order item.
These are 36" shop light fixtures.
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