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Re: Lighting (getting very frustrated)

Sylvia wrote:
"Lighting seems to be the biggest source of frustration for me in my tanks
(more than algae at this point). Particularly a 29 gallon and a 55 gallon. I
have off-and-on considered A&H *retrofit* kits. I still can't figure out
they are supposed to retrofit, because they don't seem to fit in standard
light strips."

Having just last winter constructed a new full hood for my biggest tank and
installed 6 X 55W Bright Lite Kits, I'm rather at a loss to see what kind of
problem you might think that you will have with AH Supply's products.
Granted, I started with a "clean slate", so to speak, in that I built the
hood from scratch out of Oak, so I was able to design it from the start with
the kits in mind and was able to make some necessary modifications as the
project moved along. But while I'm very handy with wood-working tools, I'm a
klutz around electricity. I found the AH Supply kits to be complete and
accompanied by wonderfull instructions. Wiring up a ballast is not (by a
longshot) as difficult as I thought that it would be. I just wish that they
had been available several years ago when I wasted (quite literally) well
over $1,200.00 Cdn. on hanging metal halide pendants (which now sit,
gathering dust in a storage closet).

Are you attempting (or wishing) to install the kits into an existing hood?
All of the Bright Kits from AH Supply clearly state on the web site the size
of the reflector which accompanies them - they are 4" wide, 2" high, and
varying lengths, depending upon the wattage of the bulb. If your hood is at
least that big, you can fit in a Bright Kit. If you turn your existing hood
upside down, a few seconds with a ruler will tell you whether or not one of
the Bright Kits can be accomodated. The idea of the Bright Kit is generally
that you would "gut" your existing hood, replacing the old internals with
the Bright Kit components. If there is no room inside the hood to also
accomodate the ballast, it (or they, depending upon how many lights you
install) can easily be installed in a remote location (I made a little
"ballast box" out of scrap oak).

I found it almost a pleasure to work with the materials supplied in the
Bright Kits - they included EVERYTHING that most installations will need.
Due to the fact that I was remotely mounting the ballasts, I did have to
visit the local Canadian Tire store to buy some more wire, but that was easy

Also, I found that dealing with Kim (the owner of AH Supply) was a pleasure.
He answered my questions more than adequately. When I need to do another
lighting installation, I know that I'll be giving him some repeat business.
Definately an A+++ in my books.

I realize that some folks would rather just buy a complete hood with the
lights already installed - if you can afford (or _want_ to afford) to do
that, there are some pretty amazing products on the market now. But you
can't beat the AH Supply kits for value.

James Purchase