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Old 10-05-2006, 12:44 AM   #1
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DIY Canopy / lighting question.

I recently built (most of) a canopy for my 50 gallon. I am using a shoplight from Home Depot with 2 T8 6500K bulbs. The way I built the canopy, the light fixture sits 1.5 inches above the glass top of the aquarium. Is this too far away (ie wasting light)?

Also, the light has a reflector. It is a gray color. I thought covering it with aluminum foil might be a good idea. Then I read that that may not work too well, and that painting it white may be better. So should I leave it stock (semi-gloss grey), add tinfoil, or paint it white?
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Old 10-05-2006, 07:47 PM   #2
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Re: DIY Canopy / lighting question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vmax911
the light fixture sits 1.5 inches above the glass top of the aquarium. Is this too far away (ie wasting light)?
You don't have to worry about it - there's not really enough light lost to be measureable anyway.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vmax911
Also, the light has a reflector. It is a gray color. I thought covering it with aluminum foil might be a good idea. Then I read that that may not work too well, and that painting it white may be better. So should I leave it stock (semi-gloss grey), add tinfoil, or paint it white?
If it were me, unless the "grey" was truly non-reflective, I would leave it as is - otherwise, I would paint it white.

Good luck with your project - I can't wait to see pics!
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Old 10-06-2006, 12:00 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response. I did the aluminum foil thing. I will probably leave that on until I fins some mylar, which I heard is pretty good. I do know that it is definitely brighter than the old 40W single T12 it replaced!

I'll try to get a pic up soon.
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Old 10-16-2006, 12:56 AM   #4
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Update:

I ended up taking the aluminum foil off the reflector. I found some self-adhesive "chrome" at a hobby shop, and used that to back the reflector. I can't tell the difference, but I feel better about it. The canopy is simply a 1"x6" frame with a 1"x2" glued along the inside vertically. The 1x2 is what sits on the tank trim, and the shoplight sits on top of the 1x2 (thus the 1.5" height above the tank). Then I just glued in some standoffs which the top will sit on, when I find a top. I wanted to get some dark tinted plexiglass, which I thought would look neat. But I may just use a sheet of masonite, since that is easy to find. The pic isn't very detailed as far as canopy construction, but it's something.
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Old 10-16-2006, 09:39 AM   #5
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It looks great!
That sticky chrome...
Is it like aluminum foil with a sticky back? That is speedtape, commonly used on aircraft, RC stuff, its great for hobbies too!
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Old 10-16-2006, 08:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicalfish
That sticky chrome...
Is it like aluminum foil with a sticky back? That is speedtape, commonly used on aircraft, RC stuff, its great for hobbies too!
It is shinier than the foil, and thinner as well. But it did have the sticky back. Came in pieces about 5" x 30" or so, and it was in the airplane section. It was better than having to buy an entire roll of mylar!
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