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Re: Your suggestions for lighting please

> Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2001 14:24:21 -0800
> From: "Tim" 
> I'm intrigued by the idea of dimming because I can't imagine that it is all
> that good for fish (maybe plants, too) to have to instantaneously transition
> from darkness to full mid-day sun and vice versa. Is this of any practical
> concern? As far as I know neither CFs or MHs are presently available in
> dimmable forms. (With the exception of a particular Coralife MH unit that
> uses a proprietary or special bulb - not really interested in that one).
> Apparently, the IceCap VHO ballasts _are_ dimmable. I did read at a lighting
> industry web site, however, that ordinary bulbs used in dimmable electronic
> ballasts represent a fire hazard. I've not seen any mention in any of the
> IceCap or Niche Engineering (makers of the Solar line of dimmers) literature
> that any particular bulbs are required to take advantage of the dimming
> feature. Can anyone shed any _light_ on this for me?

There are dimming fluorescent ballasts available for T8 lamps, and many
of these will also work with 40W CFL's.  Here's some that are certified
for use with CFL's:

I've noticed that my CFL's do not come on at full brightness.  They
quickly get brighter as they warm up.  If you stagger your lights with
separate timers, you might not need to dim them.  Or, just make the
first bank of light dimmmable and use cheaper ballasts for the
subsequent ones.  Maybe have a pair of 40W CFL's or F32T8 lamps that
start at low light and ramp up, then use whatever you want for the
additional lights that come on at full brightness.  That could certainly
simplify your control circuit.

HTH, bob
"A stairway to oblivion is better than no stairway at all"
--Kehlog Albran