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[APD] Fw: DIY reflector?

The low-ball shop lights are definitely the cheapest way to go. You get fixture and bulbs for less than the shipping costs for almost anything else bought online!

But know that you are getting simple magnetic ballasts that might audibly hum as the bulbs turn on and off 120 times per second (some folks claim they can perceive the flicker), narrow spectrum bulbs (probably using calcium halophostate as the "single phosphor" -- the plants won't care but the viewers might), and less energy efficiency than with a higher quality set up. But it's hard to beat the "getting in the door" price. I've used shop lights myself on an aquarium when I needed something quick and dirty. Now, I'd rather not use them even in my wood ship, where I'm thinking of converting the fixtures from standard shop lights to compact fluorescents. If you have several mag ballasts in one room, the hum adds up. ;-)


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----- Original Message ----
From: Donald Hellen <donhellen at horizonview_net>
To: aquatic plants digest <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>
Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2006 11:33:04 AM
Subject: Re: [APD] DIY reflector?

For what it's worth, Lowes (and probably all of the
other big hardware stores) have serviceable shop lights
for around $10 or so. We bought several and are using
them on our tanks. They already have white reflectors,
are wired, no work, etc. Stainless steel units are a
bit more expensive, but not that much more if I
remember correctly. 

We were hanging them suspended from our ceiling on
small chains until I added an aluminum channel on the
old (about 30 years old) 100 gallon in the center for
support of the home made versa top (no commercial one
would fit). The channel now gives me support for the
light in the center. 

If you have a glass top, you might be able to just rest
your light on it. 

Just some thoughts. I like tinkering myself, so let us
know how well the home made light works for you when
you're all done.

On Thu, 20 Jul 2006 09:29:58 -0400, "Chris Ferrell"
<cferrell at gmail_com> wrote:

>I've cut a thin-walled, 4" PVC pipe in half and used each side to attach to
>the sides of a shop-light.  I left the sides open to help with airflow and
>heat.  Since you didn't mention the looks of the thing, that's probably what
>I'd do.  The white of the PVC will work well enough as a reflector to get
>what you need for light.  The extra PVC will help prevent light-spillage
>into the rest of the room.
>I've also gone a step further and made a reflectors in an "M" shape with the
>same two pieces of PVC.  You would probably need to gut the shoplight and
>have more DIY work done here to make sure everything works, but it makes for
>a quick and dirty reflector.  If you've seen the AH Supply 13 watt
>reflectors, that's sort of the end result  (but not faceted).
>Hope that helps,
>Aquatic-Plants mailing list
>Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
   -Albert Einstein

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