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mjbn 06-12-2011 05:22 AM

Help with DIY Lighting
Hey guys, i've got some plants in my tank and i'd like get some light in it but i don't have much money to spend. I've been thinking about the clip on lamp method after seeing this post. New, Fancy, Low-Tech Lights!? |
Any advice? i have a 20G long tank.

badxgillen 06-12-2011 11:40 AM

they do work if you can find the 6500 kelvins..they tend to be spendier than the rest but not too bad..i combine them with a T-8 flourescent tube to get the full spectrum for the your 20 long you could probably get away with the 13 watts..remember to steer clear of the lower kelvins particularly 2700 kelvin as this will look strange and cause some algae issues..oh and bu the way its easy to retrofit the lights into a platic rain gutter costing very little.

mjbn 06-12-2011 12:13 PM

I've seen that but i'm not good with wires/customizations like that.. I'm only 16:/ I'm willing to try if given a little more detail into the process such as where/what size drill the holes and how to cut the gutter in the first place:O haha I really like the gutter idea better though, i just kinda need a little help with it. Or if someone could manufacture one for me and send it to mee that would be waaay better?:O but i know that's asking a little too much. haha

badxgillen 06-12-2011 02:03 PM

well i could give you some instructions if you are up to it...the simplest method would be to get the clamp lamps and just put them on top like the demonstration you have given a link to...the cheapest and arguably the best method is to use the gutter and retrofit it with what you need..i have adapted them even for nanoreef lighting including lunar LEDs but it is a project.

mjbn 06-12-2011 02:18 PM

Yeah, im fixed on the rain gutter method.. It looks nicer and is cheaper. Some instructions would be great!

zof 06-12-2011 06:38 PM

Heres the link to my tutorial it also has links to two other projects on these forums. If you need help with the wiring let us know ;-)

edit: I just saw your PM, I will explain it here so everyone gets the benifit

onefish2fish 06-12-2011 06:49 PM

maybe you have an older brother or father that can help you with this project?

zof 06-12-2011 07:18 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Alright some pointers on making yours, and actually I have one over my 20 gallon long tank. The length I cut my raingutter to was about 30 inches to 30.25 inches, long enough so when you add the end pieces they sit on the plastic rail that goes around the top of the tank.

First the holes in the rain gutter, all these need to be felt out according to the hardware you get, a nice set of drills in all sizes comes in handy here (or a dremel). Cut small then what you think then try the piece of hardware in the hole, increase ever so slightly with larger bits until your piece of hardware fits snugly in the hole. As for where to cut the holes make sure you leave enough space between the holes so you have room to work the wiring, but not to close to where the lights will go.

As for the wiring, its really not that difficult as long as you use double light socket if you want two lights, you just need to make sure you wire everything in series, AND MAKE SURE ITS ALWAYS UNPLUGGED, you go yea yea I know I've heard it a hundred time and its common sense, but hey when I was building my second light fixture I was testing it then turned it off at the switch and completely forgot it was still plugged in. Well some how I managed to touch the right wires and got a nice little shock, quick little shocks wont hurt you as most electricians will testify but never grab wires unless you know its unplugged. ;-)

Below is a simple diagram for the wiring as long as you stick with one socket, double or single the wiring is really just as easy in the attached diagram. I do have a 3 socket one over my 36 gallon tank (1 double and 2 singles) then it gets a little more complicated but even that once you understand a few principals is not that hard, and if you go this route let me know and I will give you that wiring diagram.

mjbn 06-13-2011 12:01 AM

Haha I'm gonna be honest with the diagram, but i don't really understand it yet, in terms of how its gonna be in place with the gutter fixture. I probably just need to see a real walkthrough visual. Is there any possiblilty you could like make a video doing all the work? Doesn't needa be fullsize, but maybe like a 5-10inch piece just showing the holes, wiring, and double light socket spacing/etc. Those are the main "trouble points" for me. I'm gonna be using a double socket and i'm possibly thinking about getting a single along with it, but only if its not gonna be a complete confused mess, but i am not good with all these small variations of nuts/bolts/screws/etc.:O

mjbn 06-13-2011 10:24 AM

IF possible could you link me to the items you bought zof?:O

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