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Re: CustomSeaLife PCMH72 Lighting Fixture

Steve wrote:

Even when I am downstairs with my two pre-school boys
yelling and screaming, I can hear the CSL MH ballasts humming away in the
dining room upstairs.  FWIW, believe it or not, I am not a noise-sensitive
person.  The CSL fixtures are just plain noisy and to that extent in direct
conflict with the beautiful contemplative hobby we have all come to know and

What to do?  Should I buy electronic ballasts for the Venture bulbs supplied
with the CSL unit.  Pet Warehouse sells electronic Ice Cap ballasts  metal
halide lights for $175 each!  This would increase the overall cost of the
fixture by over 50%!  Are there any other possibilities you can think of?
My buddy Dave Gomberg would probably order good ballasts from Graingers for
me, if we could figure out what to buy.  Can I open up the darn tar ballasts
(if that is what they are) and quiet them down somehow or other?  I've tried
putting pads on the ballasts but haven't noticed much effect.  Can I put the
ballasts in some kind of sound insulated box?  If I were to do that, how can
I get rid of the heat produced?

I reply:

I don't think there is any way to modify the ballasts to stop them from
humming. I believe you can remote mount the ballasts but I am pretty sure
you wouldn't want to do that. There is the possibility that you could
replace the magnetic ballasts with electronic ballasts but I am only aware
of one 175 watt ballast which is the Icecap ballast. A lot of people have
had trouble with those ballasts as they wouldn't light certain brands of
lamps. All of the MH electronic ballasts that I have seen the spec. sheets
for, require the use of a pulse start MH lamp that has an igniter circuit. I
don't know if that's the case with the Icecap ballast though ,you would have
to ask them if their ballast will light your lamps. Maybe you could send the
MH lamps and ballasts back and replace them with a Motorola 100 watt
electronic ballasts and 100 watt pulse start lamps lamps. I don't know what
they would cost and you wouldn't get as much light but they are completely
silent. They are dimmable too which has some interesting possibilities. Some
electronic ballasts can't tolerate high humidity so I would be careful about
mounting them inside your hood. As you can see your options are very limited
if you want quiet MH ballasts.