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Standard Lampholders and Safety
In December I started building a sliding hood for my tank based on plans
the Krib. http://www.thekrib.com/Lights/hood.html I thought I had it all
out. The construction of the hood went smoothly. But, when I received
water-resistant endcaps I realized they were longer than I expected.
both endcaps are fit to the ends of the fluorescent lamps, the piece will
into my hood. It is an inch too long. Now I have two choices.
1. Cut a square shaped hole through one side of the hood that will allow
lights to fit. Removing this small section will give me more than enough
I would then build a decorative sliding door of some type to cover the
from the outside. This would remain closed until I needed access to the
and serve to block light coming from the tank at eye level.
2. Use regular hardware store type standard lampholders instead of
water-resistant endcaps. The lighting store calls these "tombstones" or
I bought a few as samples. These are the kind you see if you look at
They have a "tombstone" shape and the fluorescent lamp usually goes in
twists to fit. They don't add much length at all to the lamps. When I
my T8 lamps with these lampholders the piece fit into the hood well. I
not have to cut into the hood at all.
My dilemma comes down to a question of safety. Are the standard
sockets/lampholders safe under the conditions they would face in an
I liked the idea of having the water-resistant endcaps. Unfortunately
they are just
too long. My tank is a 75 gallon. I plan to keep the cover glass on all
unless the heat builds up and then I would leave it off. Either way, are
standard lampholders able to stand up to this heat and moisture? Is
there a risk
of this not being electrically safe?
I would love to keep my beautiful hood the way it is now without cutting
and use the standard lampholders. If it comes down to being willing to
the standard lampholders when they corrode that would be fine. They are
cheap. But for safety reasons I would be willing to cut a hole in the
side of my
hood and use the expensive water-resistant endcaps I now have.
If anyone has built their own hood and used the standard endcaps I would
to hear from you how they lasted in the aquarium environment Especially
leave the cover glass off. And I would like to know if it is safe to
use these standard lampholders. Maybe there are some electricians who
I know I could get compact fluorescents which take up less space or move
36" bulbs but I want to keep the 48" T8 lights I have. They are much
and easier to find at that length. And I have invested in all the lights
at this point.