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Old 10-07-2002, 11:49 AM   #1
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Retrofit Lighting

Can anyone provide suggestions on two lighting options I'm considering?

I'm looking at either Fluorescent VHO Retrofit http://www.hellolights.com/vhoretrokits.html or Compact Fluorescent Retrofit http://www.marinedepot.com/a_lt_pc_pfo.asp?CartId=

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 10-07-2002, 12:24 PM   #2
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freshmaker,

How adept are you are electrical wiring? The reason I ask is that those prices seem high to me for what your getting. It looks like everything is pre-wired and ready to go and I have to say your definatly paying for it.

IF your willing to do some wiring then I suggest you compare the prices at www.ahsupply.com

While the cost of the pfo kit comes with your first set of bulbs it still will be cheaper to go with a more DIY wiring approach and buy the bulbs separate.

I have no VHO experence but from a lighting thread we had a while back it sounds like ICECAP ballasts are the way to go. They are premium priced but from what I understand they are the ballast all the other companies aim for.
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Old 10-07-2002, 12:28 PM   #3
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Have you ordered from AH supply? Do you know what's included in "The Beast"? I don't mind wiring, I just want to make sure I get what I need. Ballast, clips, lights. You know, the basics.
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Old 10-07-2002, 12:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freshmaker
Have you ordered from AH supply? Do you know what's included in "The Beast"? I don't mind wiring, I just want to make sure I get what I need. Ballast, clips, lights. You know, the basics.
Yes i have used ahsupply for my light kits. I have 3 tanks with PC bulbs over them and all three are driven by ahsupply kits.

You get a reflector, two bulb clips (per bulb), end cap(s), wire, wirenuts, screws, ballast, electrical plug, misc parts.

You have to order your bulbs seperate. You can get your bulbs from them also but I like www.hellolights.com for bulbs.

Depending on what kit you get you will have to buy the correct pin connection on the bulbs. PC bulbs can have 3 different pin configurations. The small 15W bulbs have a specialty connector with 2 pins and a male to female plastic connector. The 36W and 55W bulbs have a 4 pin in a row connector looking like this [ .... ] And the 96W bulbs have a 4 pin connector in a square looking like this [ :: ].

I will post photos of all three of these connectors when I get home tonight. The ballast they sell for all of the kits is a 110W ballast unless you get a 15W kit.

There are some other members here that have also purchased from ahsupply.com I hope they can also post here or check out the Retilers forum and see if there are any options in there.
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Old 10-07-2002, 01:14 PM   #5
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Thanks for the links. Looks like about the same price once you purchase the bulbs. Marine Depot has 2x96 for $184 with bulbs included and AH Supply would be abour $10 more for what appears to be the same.

Looks like I'm leaning towards the PC lights. Just need to find a good deal on one.

Thanks again for your advice.

Will keep you posted when I order.
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Old 10-07-2002, 04:04 PM   #6
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www.hellolights.com has the 96W PC bulbs a few dollars cheaper on average than www.ahsupply.com

I had nothing but rave commnts about www.hellolights.com when I dealt with them and had to get a new bulb because the bulb I got shipped first would not light up.

Good luck with your endevor for your lighting setup.
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Old 10-07-2002, 05:43 PM   #7
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I second the recommendation for ahsupply. You get what order...with optional instructions! Quick and efficient. I would order from them again.
(wiring pc's is a snap)

Mark
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