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How to retrofit your light for cheap

This is a discussion on How to retrofit your light for cheap within the Freshwater Aquarium Equipment forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> That is a LOTTA work (I have 2 more tanks that need new hoods if you ever get board and wanna see TN along ...

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How to retrofit your light for cheap
Old 01-05-2010, 07:20 PM   #11
 
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That is a LOTTA work (I have 2 more tanks that need new hoods if you ever get board and wanna see TN along the way
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Old 01-05-2010, 07:29 PM   #12
 
Step 9: Put it on the tank.

So your upgraded light should be completely finished now. This light went from 15 watts too 26 watts. If you use the 18watt bulbs which should fit just as well you can get 36watts total out of the hood.

The only change in appearance are the 3 or in some cases 1 screw head that is viable on the top of the housing.





Lastly the comparison of before and after. Due to the visable color change I'm guessing one of the bulbs is not its advertised color temp.

Before: 15 watt T8 6500K


After: 2x13watt 6500K



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Old 01-05-2010, 07:54 PM   #13
 
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That is a LOTTA work (I have 2 more tanks that need new hoods if you ever get board and wanna see TN along the way
I guess you can call it a lot of work.... I can do it in an 90min if I put my self to it. A lot of the steps such as connecting wires and bending the reflector take only a few minuets. The hardest out of everything is the final mounting which can take a while to get everything right.

Building the wooden one is a lot of work
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Old 01-05-2010, 08:27 PM   #14
 
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I hadn't tried your version, but I found the wood one super quick & easy, but I also doubled the seal & reflector into 1 using vapor barrier (yes call me cheater, but it works GREAT) and I used a left over 4ft double florescent fixture, so no wiring except for the plug needed there

What I do REALLLYYYY love about the CFL's if I may add this to your thread: The light warms up slowly therefore gets brighter slowly and I find that sooo much more natural over the tanks, more like a natural sunrise for the fish
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:54 AM   #15
 
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Awesome DIY thread! I've been thinking about upgrading some of my light strips with new retail ones, but now that I've seen this I might just follow your instructions instead.

One thing you didn't mention: your CFL's are listed at 13 watts, but that's their actual power consumption. They put out a lot more light per watt of power than T8's, so even though you went from 15 to 26 watts, the actual increase in light in the tank is much greater than the 73% light increase based on the wattage increase alone.

You'll have to show us before and after pictures so we can see how the light increase affects your plants.
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Old 01-12-2010, 05:27 PM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamntbatman View Post
One thing you didn't mention: your CFL's are listed at 13 watts, but that's their actual power consumption. They put out a lot more light per watt of power than T8's....
Just look at the package when you're at the home store to shop for your stuff, eg I have some CFLs that are 7watts (power consumption) but actually what they give off equals 40 watts. So just really look at the "small print" there, otherwise you'll wind up blinding your fish lol.
If you can, look for Bright effects or Phillips Daylights, those are plain awesome on planted tanks.
Sorry can't post any before-after pics, I've always had "home store florescents" so no comparision pic's there, but I sure think many others can show you some
~Happy Building~
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