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Re: cheap HID lamps




>Well ok, you can get just the ballast for not too expensive but you still
>have the rest todeal withL bas, wiring and the reflector. Maybe you know
>where to get these cheap but I've never seen a source.

The ballast kits I use are made by Advance and include the ballast, and the 
ignitor (actually a 10 uF AC capacitor), along with some simple mounting 
hardware. They should be available at most commercial electrical supply 
houses. I use Coleman Cable's "Seoprene 105", which is a water resistant 
cable rated to 105C, and is the same stuff I've seen on several 
commercially made aquarium pendant fixtures. It's about 24 cents/foot on a 
250' spool for the 16/3 size. I bought mine from Anicom which has since 
gone under, but other wire/cable supply places should have it (Anixter 
comes to mind). I can get inexpensive aluminum chassis for maybe $10-20 
from fair radio sales (http://www.fairradio.com). That just leaves a 
reflector which is in the $20-30 range from Aquatic Lighting Systems 
(http://www.aquaticlight.com), which is the best price I've found. Total 
cost then for a single 175w fixture is maybe  $80-90, and the cost per 
light goes down if you can build a 2 or 3 light setup and share the same 
ballast enclosure. Most of the commercial aquarium fixtures I've seen are 
at least about twice that, often more.

The trick is to check with commercial supply houses, most of which are 
happy to sell to people who don't have accounts with them. The usual DIY 
places like Home Depot and the like typically don't carry the commercial 
lighting components necessary to DIY an MH lighting fixture.

         -Bill
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Waveform Technology
UNIX Systems Administrator