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could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

Posted by Paul_ z4/5 MI (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 2, 04 at 12:36

your light set up using compact fluorescents? : ) A few of you have mentioned using them and I'd be interested to see exactly how you have the hood designed/constructed w/ bulb placement. I know I need to redo my lighting for my 30 gal [presently using the standard 18" fluors] -- my light levels are way too low for many of the plants I want to grow in there. The cf's seem like they might be a good option to consider.

: )


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

You know, I really like www.ahsupply.com. They have quite a few pictures that might help you out. They also sell the kits, and I plan to get my compacts from them.


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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

I'll try to post a pic if I can borrow my paren't digi. again. Be forewarned, it is a DIY project and not pretty looking.


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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

  • Posted by Paul_ z4/5 MI (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 16, 04 at 23:19

don't worry sahoyaref, it doesn't need to be pretty -- just effective. I can work on looks later

; )


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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

I don't use them for my 29 gall. tank. I use two standard 4 ft. shoplights. Not pretty but the perfect length for the tank. Since these size tanks are not very tall I think these lights really work fine.

I use the compacts as spotlights on my orchids in two other rooms.


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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

Okay, sorry it took so long, but I finally had my parents over tonight and took a pic of my lights. Actually had to take two, because the fixture is four feet long and the camera wouldn't do panoramic pics. But anyways, I'll post them as soon as I can (as soon as they email them to me).


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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

Finally! I have the pics for you! Here they are:

The left side of the light fixture

And the right side

I have two bulbs on the left because that is the 'high' light area of my tank, and the right is the low light area. I forgot to take a close-up of the way it's hooked up to the actual bulb, sorry! The smaller bulb on the right side of the left side of the fixture is a Daylight bulb, the one from HD. The others are a highter wattage (150) that my husband has to buy specially at an electrical wholesaler. They are also Daylight spectrum, but the one from HD is more white/blue and less yellow. So eventually I may just add a couple more sockets (translation: get the DH to add more) and use only the HD bulbs. They are only 90 W. Hence the need for more if I switch over.

The entire fixture is four feet long. The white reflector dealie my husband bought somewhere, probably the wholesaler. It was already formed and painted white, on the theory that white reflectors actually do a better job, because they reflect all colours of light, whereas those silvery ones are more grey and therefore scew the spectrum slightly. don't know if that's true or not, and don't really care, since my plants are doing just fine. =)

The black sockets came with the cords and plugs (which, of course, you can't see in the pic) attached, and were bought at IKEA for about $4-6 each. One part of the black socket unscrews from the other, and my DH made some kind of metal holder that screws into the reflector and hangs down and has a hole cut in it for the socket. So you stick the socket through the hole and then screw the other piece back on, which attaches it nicely, and then screw your light bulb in, capice? (sp?)

Any further questions, just ask (on the forum, please. I dislike people I don't know emailing me privately).


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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

Here's a pic of my new one (new reflector). It is noticably brighter, but good luck finding these anywhere. They are actually industrial heat reflectors that sell for $10 a foot, but my DH got it for free at a job site because they were going to throw them out! What a find. . .


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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

sahoyaref:
I wonder if I cover the sides of the fixture with foil will work as a reflector.
Ana :)


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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

Ana: That's all I've used, and going from white paint to al-foil made a big difference to the light output, and more importantly, reduced the temp inside the fixture.


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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

Yes, foil does work! I find that my fixture is hotter now, but it is a heat reflector, so that's probably why!


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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

A heat reflector should be colder, as it is presumably reflecting all the heat. (I guess it may absorb more in the visible region and get hot from that)

Incidently, polished aluminium is one of the best materials to make a light reflector out of - it reflects most of the visible range, but absorbs the much of the heat range. This allows you to conduct the heat away from your lights, and thus plants, more easily.


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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

OOOHHHHH GOOOOOODY! I'll use the foil till I find the polished aluminun!
Thank you all!!!
Ana :)


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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

FYI I've seen postings saying that if you use foil you should use the less shiny side. Reflects the same amount but is more difused so you don't burn sensitive plants. Probably not an issue unless you are using HID's though.


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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

  • Posted by GaWd z9/10 NorCal (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 4, 04 at 13:16

ladybug-

You're not going to find polished aluminum. You will however, be able to find aluminum sheeting and then put a polish on it. It's fairly easy, not terribly complicated and anyone can do it with a $10-20 investment in supplies.

Sam


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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

Dear GaWd,
How do you polish it? I've tried brill pad, but that scratches it. I've polished glass with rouge, but I think that it would be too harsh for Al. I'd like to be able to replace the al-foil mirrors I'm currently using :)

Sincerely,
njh


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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

Yeah, Sam, tell us how to do it!.....please?
Ana :)


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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

Through the miracle of modern search engines I've found a link on how to polish aluminium.

Not sure where to get the chemicals yet, I might have a chance to go to the hardware shop today and look around. The effect is pretty amazing - look at the car at the end.


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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

  • Posted by GaWd z9/10 NorCal (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 5, 04 at 20:12

FOr plain old sheet aluminum I would do it like this:

400 grit wet sand
600 grit wet sand
Aluminim polish either by hand or, better yet, a polisher.

As long as you're starting with a relatively smootha nd inscratched piece of aluminum, you could probably even eliminate the 400 grit step.

To wet sand- spray down piece to be sanded with plain old water, use wet/dry type sandpaper, and sand in nice little circles along the surface of it. Keep it wet, keep it clean.

For the buffing/polishing stage, I usually use a product called Blue Magic. It is a silicone-based aluminum(actually all-purpose) polish. Works wonders. I use the stuff on everything from wheels to auto parts, my wedding ring, you name it, it'll do it.

http://www.lightningstrip.com/blue.htm

I would stay away from high-grit polishes like brasso, but in a pinch, you could probably use toothpaste. Yep, plain old toothpaste. Mother's also sells aluminum polish-find it at your local auto parts stores.

NOTE: When using polishes on aluminum, it is normal to come away with a lot of black residue. THat is the aluminum being removed from the sheet. When you're done and need to see your work, pull out a bottle of windex and a clean cloth to remove it all. THen you can admire your work :-]

For aluminum with more than just a few minor scratches, you may need to bust out the rouge and other compounds, but that's probably a little more complicated than is needed for our purposes.

Oh, and for the polisher, Harbor freight sells dirt cheap power tools and they have a few different models of polishers. www.harborfreight.com

If I wasn't clear about any of this, let me know and I'll try to walk you through it. I've done more than my fair share of metal polishing.

Sam


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RE: could one of you kind souls please post a pic of ...

I will vouch for the toothpaste! I use it to polish my silver, and it works WAY better than Silvo! Keeps the tarnish off way longer, too!


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