Ok so here we go.
Rivet me this Rivet me that...
I've been in the process of upgrading my MHs from dual 175s to dual 250s. I've been back and forth on how I wanted to mount the lighting. As my canopy is now it has to be completely removed from the tank for me to do any kind of work. That is a pain so I've come up with a way of working in the tank and not having to remove my lights to do it. This of course is not a new idea.
I've built a lighting rack that will be suspended from the ceiling via 4 points. The rack was constructed of 1" square aluminum tube and put together with a rivet gun. The overall length of the rack is 47" and the width is 14.5". I have total of 22" of surface area and with the T5s attached the lights will cover just over 20". (front to back of tank)
Here are a few images to help you see what I'm talking about
This is the basic "box" that I came up with for the rack. This is a very simple and light design.
As it starts taking shape:
Here you can see the general location the spider reflectors will go in. In this picture the rack is upside-down.
One reflector attached to the rack. 3 Rivets on each side hold it nicely to the aluminum tube.
Here we are with both reflectors attached. The legs you see on each end of the rack will hold the T5s. Since the T5's have individual reflectors that can be aimed this was a great solution to keep them up and out of the way.
Here is a shot of the rack on it's side showing the inside of the reflectors. The cross pieces on either end will hold the VHO
endcaps. The bulbs themselves will run down the lengeth of the rack and not effect the MH
I have a few things to pick up as yet before I can get the rack mounted. I am going to suspend the rack with a light chain. When I need to work in the tank all I will have to do is raise the rack up and hook the chain and I will have the full benefits of my lighting.
My bulbs have still not come in so my tank may go a couple of days with out MHs. I have to mount the VHOs and the T5s and the cooling fans and the rack will be finished. All that is left after that is running the wiring for the new 250 ballasts and we should be good to go.
For the surround I'm going to build a light weight removable box. That may have to wait til next week though.