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Old 02-13-2007, 12:37 AM   #1
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Location: Reynoldsburg, Ohio
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Any electricians in the house?

I have built my own lighting hood for my 55g. Here is an image so far. Just from the outside. No internal pics just yet. And the unit will be painted later this spring. (Boxes on top are weights to hopefully take out some warpage. I used rocking chair runners that Home Depot likes to call lumber.)

What I am wanting to do with this is have 3 bulbs on one switch and the fourth on a second switch. This will allow me to use one bulb for night viewing and the other three for grow lights. I have tested my setup and found that one ballast will not operate at all if one of the bulbs is not installed. The other, however, does luminate one bulb if the other is out.

The image below depicts what I am intending to do using 2 toggle switches. Does anyone see any problems as I have it shown? Or would I be better off to use 4 switches? One for each bulb. (I'm leaning toward the use of 4 switches even though I would like only 2)

The hood is not very well built by my standards. It will have to suffice for a time though. My mother fell on hard times recently and I was pretty much forced to move her in with me and my family. (I dont recommend this to anyone, if it can be helped). So, until she gets back on her feet, I am unable to use my shop to it's full potential due to all the boxes in there. Sucks to be me!


55 gallon Planted - Tank Log
DIY Hood 96w 6500K
Rena Filstar Xp3
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Old 02-13-2007, 01:21 AM   #2
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A four tube electronic ballast will also work for 3 tubes. The fourth tube could then run off its own ballast. Instead of switches, you could use timers to operate the lights.

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Old 02-13-2007, 01:03 PM   #3
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I tried something similar with my 55, no switches though, and now I'm down to 2 overdriven lights instead of the regular 4 4ft bulbs. My plant growth is BETTER, and here's why i think it is so. You have the stuff to do it easily.

The experts say (and I'm currently learning with experience) that 200 watts of light from 4 50 watt lights is WORSE than 200 watts of light from 2 100 watt bulbs for example. The higher 'intensity' is what really jumpstarted my growth, and with fewer watts overall.
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