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Re: lighting: overdriving fl

David Brown wrote:

       There are plenty of smart people who have devoted their lives to
working out all the variables for flourescent lighting systems to find
compromises for you.  Why not take advantage of their expertise?  Why
try to
reinvent the wheel now?
       Do you think there is a conspiracy to keep you in the dark?
       What is your hobby, fish or electronics?

I reply:

My hobby is DIY equipment for planted aquariums. Obviously this sort of
thing is not for you. I think you should buy your stuff off the shelf
from Dupla or Icecap or whatever.

I am not trying to invent a ballast I am just trying to take advantage
of the fact that fluorescent lamps can be overdriven with common and
therefore cheap electronic ballasts. Aquariums are a very specialized
application of artificial lighting. Believe me a company like Philips
for instance, spends very little time and money trying to develope good
aquarium fixtures or lamps. The lamps they sell for aquariums are not
even as good as some of the lamps they make that are intended for other
applications. I am sure it is not their intention to trick anybody but I
am also sure they really just don't care either.

Overdriving lamps does detroy them prematurely especially if they are
frequently switched. For most applications this is not a good thing but
lights over planted aquariums are not frequently switched and
overdriving allows for the possibilty of producing more efficient light
fixtures. If you have a deep tank and the need for a more concentrated
light source then it could be a good idea.  I could go and just buy HO
lamps with the right ballast but then I would not get the lamps I want
and it would cost me a lot more.

About a 100 years ago it was pretty much believed that every thing worth
knowing had already been discovered. If everyone had adopted this
attitude 10 years ago, nobody would be using PCs on aquariums today.
Nobody would be using Plantex trace elements for their tank and
everybody would be using $1000 pressurized CO2 systems. Not only that
but there would be a lot fewer people in the hobby today. No one would
be able to afford it.