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[APD] Home depot spiral bulbs

I have recently constructed a DIY Canopy/Hood with Spiral CF's.  Not all of
the links have great pictures...working on that.
There is a lot of theory regarding the sCF's (as I call them).  I have been
using spiral CF's for a year on my planted tank.  I can tell you that they
have served me well.  I bought 3x23w 5100K CF's from www.1000bulbs.com
<http://www.1000bulbs.com/>  for 6.00 each (plus shipping).  I have been
successfully growing plants over my 29 gallon with those. 
I took the housing to my perfecto hood and gutted it.  Then I lined it with
the shiny silver duct tape (not the gray kind).  I wired 3 bulbs to the
switch attached the housing and sat it back on my hood...wala!!!
That was just to get me started...a quick fix. 
NOW...I have now constructed a reflector with the capacity for 6 sCF's.  I
will be putting together a DIY log for this, but this may help you now.  
I took aluminum sheeting, polished it (at Giancarlo's recommendation) and
learned from one of the websites below, how to work with the aluminum
sheeting (see:  Aluminum Reflector Construction
UTF-8&newwindow=1&safe=off&prev=/language_tools> ).  
Then (thanks to Giancarlo's rivet gun) I riveted the shape of the reflector
frame together.  I then made reflector V's to put between the bulbs to
refract the light towards the water surface.  I attached them to the main
reflector with screws I had laying around. (see: Reflector 1
<http://www.gpodio.com/posts/hoodreflector.jpg> , Reflector 2
<http://www.gpodio.com/posts/hoodreflector3.jpg> )
I used sheet of plexiglass to cover the reflector and protect the bulbs.  I
attached this reflector to a canopy I bought at Petsmart. (see:
<http://www.gpodio.com/posts/Hoodopen1.jpg> Canopy Open Unattached  Canopy
Open Attached <http://www.gpodio.com/posts/Hoodopendone.jpg>   Canopy
Finished Underneath <http://www.gpodio.com/posts/Hoodunder.jpg>  Canopy
Finished).  Note: it is essential to provide ventilation for these
bulbs...if they overheat, you can have a problem with blown bulbs.
I recently bought more bulbs online (and will definitely use the ones from
Home Depot (19w 5100K sCF's).  Based on my success, and the fact that it has
cost me only about 60 dollars (including all material costs, canopy and
bulbs) to put 114 watts (3x23w and 3x15w) over my 29 gallon...I am elated.  
The other, albeit unintended, benefit is that I can customize my wattage and
color temp of my tank. Other benefits:
*         I can buy a 6.00 bulb and increase or decrease my wattage (they
make 5100K 42watt bulbs!!!...) with minimal cost.  
*         If I have too much light, I can unscrew the bulbs.  
*         I have them split across 2 circuits, so if I hood them up to two
different timers, I can have ½ come on in morning and ½ come on at 10am or
later.  It give a transitional effect.
*         Finally, If I break one, I don't cry.
Yes, there is some re-strike loss (but at this cost...doesn't bother me).
I have never experienced noise or interference.
I know this is a rough posting, but I am a little busy today...wanted to
respond to you.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2003 20:01:06 -0500
From: "Scott D. Goett" <sdgoett at att_net>
Subject: [APD] Home depot spiral bulbs
To: <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>


How much were the bulbs?  I am looking to make a DIY light with 2 of those
(or the double u-shaped ones I found at Walmart - 6500K and $4.99).  I was
going to house them in a piece of plastic rain gutter cut to the length of
the tank.  I saw this done on a DIY webpage, but unfortunately can't find
the page anymore so hopefully I remember enough about it.




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