DIY Power Compact lighting. - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-03-2009, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation DIY Power Compact lighting.

Hi. Here is a good way of making your own Power Compact light fixture with out robbing a bank in the progress.


#1 Buy regular incandescent light fixture of your choice depending on your aquarium size. We will use 30" inch fixture just as example. Since this is incandescent light fixture and no one really uses it anymore it can be bough really cheap in your local pet store. I bough mine for 25$.

#2 Now we need to go to the local hardware store and buy our selfs a 2 closet lights. Every hardware store has them. It's a pigtale with a bracket and on/off switch that you usually install in to a door jam.

#3 Bracket that comes with pigtale perfectly allows us to attach it inside the fixture

#4 Buy some screw in power compacts that you can fit in your new fixture and you are really to go. The good thing about this is that you can buy them 2 or 4 at the time saving money.



in 30" fixture I have 2 14W bulbs with 5500K and 2 18W bulbs with 3000K that gives me 64W of power and around 2000 lumen's and over 300 CRI output for around 55$

Could require drilling 4 little holes for the screws or bolts that will hold brackets inside the fixture.

In my opinion there are several advantages to this approach. One is you can put more powerful bulbs in there and increase you wattage, second, is that after everything is done you will end up with 3 power cords that will allow you to simulate dusk and dawn conditions and third is that you can control amount of light your tank is getting.

I will try to post pics as soon as tonight.
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-04-2009, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-05-2009, 12:32 AM
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since the low K im guessing this is freshwater planted? can you post a full tank shot please. how well do you see this working? how long has it been setup for?
you purchased a light fixture to take the lights out? why not build your own canopy?
maybe try using silver spray paint in the inside of it so it reflects better or building DIY reflectors or buying some to increase its potential. nice work.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-06-2009, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onefish2fish View Post
since the low K im guessing this is freshwater planted? can you post a full tank shot please. how well do you see this working? how long has it been setup for?
you purchased a light fixture to take the lights out? why not build your own canopy?
maybe try using silver spray paint in the inside of it so it reflects better or building DIY reflectors or buying some to increase its potential. nice work.

You are 100% right.. you could as well build canopy yourself

Yes.. low K freshwater planted tank is in mind

Works perfectly. set up for 2 weeks now

I purchased incandescent light fixture! it already had space for 2 incandescent bulbs. I simply added 2 more sockets for additional bulbs.

See my profile pictures for pictures of the fixture
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-06-2009, 11:01 PM
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do you think it could some how work for saltwater

"Fish are Friends not Food"

55 gallon tank
21 pounds of live rock
60 pounds of sand 40 live 20 not
25 to 35 pounds of non live rock
1 three stripe Damsels
1 salfin tang
1 clark's clownfish
1 six line
1 wachtman goby
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-07-2009, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Firstsalt View Post
do you think it could some how work for saltwater
If you buy Tube like screw in bulbs that you see in the first picture here on the post, than 4 of those with around 20 watts each and highest K rating...we will have output of 80 watts total and around 4000 lumens. Ones again we are talking about 30'' fixture! you cant really fit more in to it.

Is that enough for saltwater? I do not know but above idea is probably maximum what you can fit in there.

If you want fixture for salt water I suggest for you to build your own canopy with build in fans on the sides and around 6 spaces for your bulbs.
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-19-2009, 12:17 AM
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a "real" 65 watt power compact or t-5 light puts out over 4000 lumens so the light efficiency isnt up to par with PC light strips. Also I have never seen screw in CFL bulbs that are the right color for corals. I see heat being a limiting factor because these bulbs have an internal ballast and put off more heat inside the fixture. one last note is CRI (color rendering index) is expressed as a percentage so it is not additive. The actual CRI is probably closer to 75. The design could be improved with an aluminum reflector, painting it silver will not improve reflectivity.
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-14-2009, 01:11 AM
These are not power compacts, they are compact florescent lamps.

CRI cannot be higher than 100, as you cannot reproduce over 100% or the full light spectrum.

Good job on the fixture though..
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