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Upgrading Eclipse 3 lights to PC
The archives at The Krib and APD have a number of threads that talk about
the possibility of upgrading an Eclipse 3 hood from two 18 watt T-8s to one
55 watt PC. This upgrade can be done by using either the Custom Sealife
retro kit which Custom Sealife says is specifically for the Eclipse 3 or by
using one of the AH Supply retro kits. None of the threads in the archives
were written by anyone that had actually done the upgrade.
In a reply that I received from AH Supply to an e-mail inquiry about
upgrading an Eclipse 3, AH supply did not recommend the upgrade due to the
additional heat the 55 watt bulb would generate. Since the AH Supply retro
has a better reflector than the Custom Sealife reflector, I would assume the
AH Supply upgrade would run cooler than the Custom Sealife. Yet Custom
Sealife recommends the upgrade and AH Supply does not - I am confused.
Does anyone have any personal experience with upgrading the Eclipse 3 with
PCs? If so, whose retro kit did you use, what is the heat situation, and
are you happy with the upgrade?
Assuming that AH Supply is correct and the 55 watt PC upgrade is not
adviseable, my fallback position is to put a decent reflector into the
Eclipse 3 and switch the internal tar ballast to an external electronic.
Any recommendations on electronic ballasts? The Ice Caps are nice, but are
they really worth the price? (That is another topic discussed in the
archives without any conclusion being reached.) Also, the tank that I am
upgrading is a double Eclipse; i.e. a 60" x 12" x 20" with two Eclipse 3s on
top. Would I be better off using one larger electronic ballast to power the
four 2' T-8s or two smaller ballasts, each to power one pair of T-8s?
Thanks for your help.