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Re: [APD] Lighting or -- Should second string come off the bench?

Fluorescent lamps are not like incandescent bulbs, where
the wattage is controlled by the household voltage (1-7-127
Volts AC in the states -- about double that in Europe) and
the bulb and ballast combination. 

While fluorescent lamps and ballasts have wide tolerances
for what combinations will work well, as rule, you have to
match a ballast to the right kind/size of fluorescent bulb.
Some ballasts can be wired to the bulb sockets more than
one way, allowing for different sizes of bulbs with diff
wirings. Fulham ballasts, for one example, are like this.
But if your hood came readymade with a stock lamp and
ballast, odds are that it won't work well with smaller
bulbs -- it will probably light them but they will blacken
at the filament end quickly, run hot, and burn out

Running higher lighting levels for a small part of the day
is not a bad option if you aren't going to change the
ballast. Run the second bulb in the middle of the day and
you can fancy your setup to emulate the higher, hotter
noonday sun ;-)  .  Another alternative is to block part of
the second bulb's light by placing something (preferably
nonflamable) over the top glass under part of one of the
lights -- for example a piece of plexiglas that you have
sanded lightly to make it translucent and therefore scatter
a good amount of hte the light that strikes it. You can 
get quite creative with this in terms of patterns.

You might try to contact the manufacturer to see if the
ballast can be used with any other size bulb or what it
would toake to change out the ballast and swap in one for,
say, a 55 watt bulb. 

Considser also why you want to go to a higher lighting
level -- 2.5 wpg from a power compact bulb, assuming you
have a good specular reflector, ought to be enough for most
things you'd try to grow under it. People smarter about
these things than me say so. ;-)

Good luck, good fun,
Scott H.
--- Randy Pullen <RPullen at waterpik_com> wrote:
> I currently have a power compact with two 96 watt bulbs.
> I am using
> only
> one bulb on a timer for 10 hours. This produces 2.5 watts
> per gallon.
> I
> am interested in raising the light level slightly, but I
> do not want
> to
> jump up to 5 watts per gallon.
> Would it be acceptable to put the second bulb on a second
> timer and
> have the second bulb on for a couple of hours with the
> first bulb
> during
> the start of the 10 hour period.
> I was told that my light fixture has a 96 watt ballast
> and a lower
> watt
> bulb would burn out quickly????

S. Hieber
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