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>>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 105°C, 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.
Ok, having a source for a reflector was the part I was having trouble
>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.
Agreed. I'm happy if I can find a C50 bulb there.
I still maintain the on-the-cheap way is to get a sodium or mercury
outdoor "safety" light and use a 5 gal coffee can cut in half as a refelctor.
They're about $50 US up here for 75W Na and 150W Hg.
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