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[APD] Re: use a fan on my Compact Fluorescent?
I use a coralife Compact Fluorescent 2x 65 watt light. I'm finally
going to follow Tom Barr's advice and only use 65 watts for my 21
gallon tank instead of the full 130 watts. I was just wondering if i
have to use the fans on the light then. I've noticed that coralife's
65 watt, single bulb unit doesn't come with a fan, so i was wondering
if using the fans was needed.
Using fewer bulbs should reduce the overall operating temperature of the
unit, but might be a problem for the ballast which is something you should
check on with the manufacturer.
I know the cooler the ballast runs, the brighter and longer the light
lasts. But i'm wondering if there is an operating temp, meaning is it
always brighter and longer the cooler it runs? or is there a certain
temp where the advantages stop.
I want my lights to be at the optimum, but i do enjoy silence.
The lights actually run *dimmer* at cooler temperatures, all the way down
to being difficult to start at very cold (freezing) temperatures. There
will be an "optimal" operating temperature for the bulb, and anything above
or below that will result in reduced output. Probably not something worth
worrying about though.
My easy test is this: does the plastic soften/melt/smell when the light is
running without the fan? If none of these are a problem, then you are
probably OK without the fan. If you have any problems (usually the first is
a burning smell or just a powerful smell of hot plastic), then you should
use the fan. Obviously it would be wise to stay near the fixture while you
are doing this test.
In my own setup, I use small 12 volt DC fans in the hoods to maintain a
little bit of airflow. Without the fans there was that hot plastic smell
and I didn't like that. The little bit of airflow the fans provide keeps
the temperature low enough that the plastic doesn't have problems (I am
using modified All-Glass hoods on this setup). The fans were only a few
dollars from a surplus place, and a few more for a simple power supply.
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