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diy hood/lighting and ballast mouting?

Jim Wilson <freaks at aracnet_com> wrote:
>Subject: diy hood/lighting and ballast mouting?
>I have made a very nice wood hood with 2 sets of 2-48" flo-light
>fixtures.  What I was wondering is if it is safe to mount the 2 rapid
>start electronic ballast to wood?  Is this a fire hazard?  The ballast
>do get fairly hot.
>Is there some thing I could use to insulate the ballast from the wood?
>Maybe use some stand-offs (thick washers) so the ballast doesn't
>contact the wood?
>Should I get one of those boxes,for mounting electronic gear, and
>mount the ballast inside of it and wire it into my aquarium stand?

I mounted mine right on the wood. The ballast has to get pretty hot to
start the wood on fire. Try starting a fire youself by touching a dull red
hot piece of metal to a piece of scrap wood. By the time an electronic the
ballast gets hot enough to burn wood, it will be long past non-functional.
Failure mechanisms that cause the ballast to get that hot are very very
improbable, but not completely impossible.

The best thing is to make sure the ballast runs cool. Putting it in a box
will increase its operating temperature, reducing component lifetime. If
you can comfortably hold your hand on it, it's not too hot, otherwise you
may want to mount a piece of 1/16 or greater sheet aluminum behind it to
conduct the heat away.