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Re: Upgrading Eclipse 3 lights to PC

Roger Gordon asked about upgrading Eclispe lights and IcCap ballast. 
He said that AH Supply didn't recommend putting a 55W under an Eclipse
3, while Custom Sealife sells a kit for just that purpose.  I haven't
done this upgrade but suggest this: talk to CS about any heat issues
and whether they warranty against such damage.

> 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.)

An electronic ballast doesn't necessarily get you much of anything. 
Probably the biggest benefit would be that the frequency would be much
higher than the 60hz of a conventional ballast.  You won't necessarily
get brighter light or longer life, or anything else.  Ifthe ballast you
plan on using is more efficient, check you electric rates and figure
out how long it will take to realize a break-even on the extra cost. 
It might be a few years.

I have used IceCap ballasts and they seem to be very well made.  Out of
two I had one fail and it was repaired quickly under warranty.  They
run cool and they work with lots of bulb combinations -- although some
more successfully than others.  I used a 430 to drive two 24" NOs, and
was surprised when they burned out in just a month.  A model 3000 can
run a single 96 watt or two 55s or a pair of T8s.  Again, though, it's
expensive but not as bad as the 430 or 660.

IceCaps cost a lot of money, even for an electronic ballast and I can't
figure out why.  For the money, I'll take a Fulham Workhorse ballast
any day.  The fulham's run hotter; are slightly less efficient.  But
the price difference is gigantic.  If cost doesn't matter, the IceCap
is a nice ballast.

> 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?

More ballasts allow you to light up gradually and turn-off gradually. 
Other than that it doesn't much matter whether you use one or two. 
Compare the specific ballasts that you can get -- don't be surprised if
you don't see any efficienies except for the difference in initial
If you have more than one hood, then it's nice to be able to move them
separately easily.  If they are both wired together, that makes them
hard to move around.

your opinions may vary, :-)
Scott H.

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