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cooling fans -

Mack wrote:

I've been told that a good way to provide ventilation for a DIY lighting
setup is with a cooling fan for a computer. I've looked at a few and they all
have power lead cables that can't just be plugged into an outlet. They all
have two cables, one with a male end and one with a female end. 

I am not an expert, but it sounds like you saw fans designed to be plugged into the connectors of a 
computer power supply, which puts out DC (direct current), most likely 12 volts. Unless you want to 
wire it to a transformer (which converts 110 AC to the appropriate DC voltage, look for a fan that is 
powered by 110 V AC (standard household plug). I rummaged around an electronic supply store 
and found a variety of inexpensive fans. I simply wired one of these to  the AC power supplying my 
DIY lighting fixture (6 x 40 watts) using wire nuts, and added a separate power switch for the fan (to 
turn it off when complete silence is needed). The fan draws air outward through the top of the 
fixture. I have been happy with this arrangement. The fan greatly reduces the heating from the 
lights during the day, which is helpful here in Houston area summers where household 
temperatures during the day are typically about 80 C (AC off).

Good luck!

Rick Denney, Dickinson TX
rdenney at ibm_net