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Old 11-25-2006, 08:18 PM   #21
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If I can't find the 36" bulbs could I do this:

Use a OD fixture and "stagger" some 24" lights inside each fixture? Kind of like:

x------xxxx
xxxx------x

x = empty space
- = light

That's about my only option right now if I can't find the cheaper bulbs. At $15 for some Zoo-Med bulbs I might as well go with a retro kit.

ODNO 2 bulb fixture- 1 or 2 power cords (had a discussion over this with a buddy)?
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Old 11-25-2006, 10:30 PM   #22
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I don't know what to tell you. This setup will only be cost effective if you use 36" bulbs for your setup. 24" bulbs are not going to give you enough light unless you run atleast 4 of them. Inorder to get the light out of the 24" bulbs you would have to overdrive everyone of them. ie four ballasts.

(I wouldn't spend 15 bucks for a bulb either)
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Old 11-26-2006, 12:31 AM   #23
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I actually found an auction with cheap Zoo-Med lights. Comes to about $5 each after shipping (both 5500k and 6500k bulbs).

Canopy is built. Just waiting on some bulbs (auction ends later next week).

Those bulbs are rated for 25w, 5w less than what I was looking for. This would still give me just around 90w of light OD right? That's even if the bulbs are correctly rated.
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Old 11-26-2006, 01:40 AM   #24
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Per lumen output, ie taking consideration that t-8's put out more light then the t-12's (WPG rule is based on t-12 output), you are at 120 watts. So 3 WPG with two 25 watt bulbs. That is plenty of light, but if you decide someday to increase it, just add one more bulb and you are at 4.5 WPG.

FWIW, I was able to finish my DIY light strip. Here are some pics of how close I put the lights together. If you run them straight, no ODNO, you can fit them in pretty tight and get more light out em as Mr. F was saying. 2 bulbs would save you money of coarse, but 4 bulbs would put more light out. This is totally dependant on your setup of coarse. Just giving you options.

My old setup was two 25 watt CF screw-ins and 15 watts of t-8. In the new setup 2 bulbs say 15 watts and 2 say 18 watts. Total wattage of 66 watts as compared to 65 on my old setup. I can tell you without a doubt that even though the bulbs say 15 or 18 watts on them, this fixture is putting out way more light then my previous setup. I don't know way the bulbs have different ratings on them, but once I put the new fixture on my aquarium, my plants pearled like they never have. ie they are getting more light even though the bulbs only say 1 watt more.
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