Hanging a light?
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Hanging a light?

This is a discussion on Hanging a light? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> How do you suspend a light above a tank? I have a good light that already has the suspension cables, but I'm not certain ...

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Old 09-11-2011, 09:44 PM   #1
 
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Hanging a light?

How do you suspend a light above a tank?
I have a good light that already has the suspension cables, but I'm not certain how to mount it to the ceiling. I'd prefer to have the cables adjustable so I can try different heights.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:34 PM   #2
 
Buy two ceiling hooks (watch video) from your hardware store. Measure the distance between your two supension cables on your light strip. To make sure you get the light square over the tank in the right position you will have to take measurements of the length of the tank and how far you want the light from the wall. With these measurements you should be able to mark your two holes on the ceiling that you will drill out..

This is a video how to install the ceiling hooks. If your suspension cables are not long enough you can get all types of decorative chain from your local hardware store. They will cut the chains to a specific length so keep in mind how long you may want them.

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Old 09-12-2011, 08:08 PM   #3
 
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I'd try to hit a joist instead of using those hooks.

Tap on the ceiling above the tank until you hit a hard spot, not hollow sounding. Use a finishing nail or something similar. (Very small) Use that to nail into the spot to make sure you found the joist. If not the hole is tiny and you won't even see it after you remove the nail. If you can see it you can apply a little spackle to the hole.

Once you found the joist use a screw hook.




Sorry for the large pic.


Get some small chain and you can raise it up and down with that until you find the length you want and clip the chain.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:11 PM   #4
 
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You could possibly get away with one hook instead of 2 depending on how long your light is.


Attach both chains to the one hook in the middle making a V.


2 would be best though.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:33 PM   #5
 
Yes finding a stud is best but aquarium placement is not always perfectly situated in order to use those types of hooks. If you do have to use the expanding hooks it will be ok. They are strong enough to hang a potted planted with dirt in it. Light banks dont weight that much. But a stud screw hook Strand mentioned is much stronger and should be used first if your studs are in the right position for you .

Last edited by kmiceray; 09-12-2011 at 11:44 PM..
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:42 PM   #6
 
Actually I have a question now hahah. I was wondering how a person would know how far the light strip needs to be above the tank? My worries is that if your light is already a "low light" then you may hurt the plants by raising it too much above the tank. I am assuming you have t5 lights "strong light"? Even if that is true then still how do you tell how high above the tank you can get it?

Last edited by kmiceray; 09-12-2011 at 11:45 PM..
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Old 09-13-2011, 08:06 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmiceray View Post
Actually I have a question now hahah. I was wondering how a person would know how far the light strip needs to be above the tank? My worries is that if your light is already a "low light" then you may hurt the plants by raising it too much above the tank. I am assuming you have t5 lights "strong light"? Even if that is true then still how do you tell how high above the tank you can get it?
That part is the easy piece - there is a chart on The Planted Tank forum (PAR vs Distance, T5, T12, PC - Updated Again Charts) indicating lighting type and estimated elevation above the tank needed for low, medium, and high lighting. With 2x T5HO's, I'm waaay above "low light" . I need my fixture about 24" above the substrate if I don't use fiberglass screen to reduce the intensity.

I was not as clear as I should have been on my initial post. The ceiling attachment is not the issue, that I can do. My problem is what to do with the cable end itself to make the end loop/attachment to the ceiling hook:
1) secure
2) not visually ugly
3) adjustable

The adjustable part is vexing me the most. I can make a loop in the cables, crimp the sleeves, and hang, no problem. The issue is then what is the best, and least visually intrusive, way to adjust the height. It's in my living room and needs to look nice. I'd really prefer to not cut any of the length off the cable, saving it for future adjustments and/or tank size changes.

Last edited by DKRST; 09-13-2011 at 08:09 AM..
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:18 AM   #8
 
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I find suspended lights to be detrimental to viewing the tank. There is a lot of light dissipated out and it shines directly in your eyes. In a working fish room that is perhaps not an issue as you do not sit in front of the tank to view it. But even then, I can't see into the tank with all that light hitting me; it's like looking up into the sky on a bright sunny day. I have been in fish stores with suspended lights and can never see the fish in the tank well enough so I don't buy them.
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:31 AM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I find suspended lights to be detrimental to viewing the tank. There is a lot of light dissipated out and it shines directly in your eyes. In a working fish room that is perhaps not an issue as you do not sit in front of the tank to view it. But even then, I can't see into the tank with all that light hitting me; it's like looking up into the sky on a bright sunny day. I have been in fish stores with suspended lights and can never see the fish in the tank well enough so I don't buy them.
That's an excellent point and I am worried that light glare could be a problem in my living room. Once I get the light suspended, I'll see how big a problem it is. My backup plan is to build a 3-sided open top (light blocking panels) that extends from the tank top up to a point that is even with the fixture's final height. Making the "top" three-sided will allow reduced weight and easy removal for tank maintenance. I'll likely make the top out of sheet and bar acrylic and paint the backside (inside) gloss black to match the tank and stand textures.
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:57 AM   #10
 
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Originally Posted by DKRST View Post
That part is the easy piece - there is a chart on The Planted Tank forum (PAR vs Distance, T5, T12, PC - Updated Again Charts) indicating lighting type and estimated elevation above the tank needed for low, medium, and high lighting. With 2x T5HO's, I'm waaay above "low light" . I need my fixture about 24" above the substrate if I don't use fiberglass screen to reduce the intensity.

I was not as clear as I should have been on my initial post. The ceiling attachment is not the issue, that I can do. My problem is what to do with the cable end itself to make the end loop/attachment to the ceiling hook:
1) secure
2) not visually ugly
3) adjustable

The adjustable part is vexing me the most. I can make a loop in the cables, crimp the sleeves, and hang, no problem. The issue is then what is the best, and least visually intrusive, way to adjust the height. It's in my living room and needs to look nice. I'd really prefer to not cut any of the length off the cable, saving it for future adjustments and/or tank size changes.
Thanks for the chart . Very interesting stuff!

It is really hard to offer suggestions on how to hide the chain h without being there. Most smaller chains are in links that are not fully closed off. So, if this is the case you can take two needle nose pliers and spread a link apart. This will allow you to create two pieces. The longer one would be the chain you would use. Before you do this it would be a good idea to get an idea how long you want the support chain to be. The only problem with this is that it may be hard to put the pieces back together so you can adjust the length of the chain later down the road. A safe rule of thumb is start longer than you think it needs to be and just keep going until you find the length you want.

Can you post a pic of the chain your using?
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