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Old 02-20-2006, 08:04 PM   #1
Yao
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need DIY lighting advice!

I'm purchasing a used 55 gallon tank next month, and need some help deciding on lighting. (I also posted about getting/making a sump for this tank.) The tank will come with a double hood (where there are two smaller segments that can be flipped up individually, correct me if it's called something else.) I had posted questions about DIY lighting a long time ago and ended up purchasing one instead for my 20 long. Someone had suggested buying a kit from AH Supply. There were some really good advice from you guys when I was asking about my 20 long, so I hope you can help me out again!
I am thinking about getting the 2x55 bright kit from AH Supply: http://www.ahsupply.com/36-55w.htm
Am I correct in thinking this would fit in the hood that will come with my 55 gallon, and that I am able to remove the lights from that hood?
Greenmaji had also mentioned something about overdriving, and I have no idea what this means. Maybe someone can help me out?
Is there a way for me to achieve 2wpg (or 3-4wpg if possible!) of lighting without buying that kit and spending $65 (plus S+H)?
Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-20-2006, 11:42 PM   #2
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I believe overdriving is for normal florecent tube lighting. I can't imagine why you'd want to overdrive PC lights. I swear, my 96 watt setup could probably give me a tan lol
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Old 02-21-2006, 10:14 AM   #3
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Standard shop lights would work, though you will spend the same amount getting them if you don't shop for bargins. 4-40 watt tubes over a 55 gallon works well.
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Old 02-21-2006, 01:44 PM   #4
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Overdriving means pumping more watts into the NO flourescent tubes than its rating, thus putting out more light.

The ususal setup is to buy a ballast for a 4 bulb fixture, & wire that to 2 bulbs. You get something like 60% more light out of the tubes, but will burn out the tubes in a couple months.

I don't think that is the way to go, however. The ballast itself is over $40 each. By the time you add in all the parts you need, it's cheaper to buy a PC fixture.

If you can find a T8 fixture for cheap, this may be your next best option. T8's put out more light per watt than T12's (the normal size). I've seen them for around $30 for a double set. YOu'll need 2 of those to get to 2-3 wpg (33x4) ... but that's only a little less than pc's from AH supply.
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Old 02-21-2006, 02:57 PM   #5
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So it seems like the kit from AH supply would work best.
I also found this on Big Al's Online: http://www.bigalsonline.com/catalog/...d1=1843;pcid2=
But I don't think that's even close to enough wpg, unless I'm missing something here.
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Old 02-24-2006, 12:11 AM   #6
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You need 6 of those (Big Al's) to equal a 2x55 pc.

One thing you have to consider is the price of the pc bulbs. These are pricey compared to the T8's. <BTW- best price for T8's is from hardware store. I am also seeing daylight bulbs at hardware store too, at about 1/2 the price of bulbs in fish stores.>
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Old 02-27-2006, 03:31 PM   #7
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Overdriving involves using an electronic ballast that is rated for more bulbs then your going to use then wiring multiple power leads to just one bulb, making the ballast "think" there is more then one bulb present causing it to drive more power to the bulb. the results from doing this are roughly 50, 75 or 100% more light with 2, 3 an 4 power leads. the actuall power consumption is however less then the total power of the leads, in the 4 power lead arangement its rougly twice the power (or roughly the same amount as there is light output).. the lumen (effective light) output on the other hand is ~150% with 4X.
more information is here if you use the search function, Ive posted links in the past on how this is done.

T-5's dont match up for WPG..

I dont know the light output of NO T-5's but T-5 HO's have the same lumen about put roughly as VHO of the same length.

wich is roughly the same as ODNO (overdriving NO T-8's with 4 power leads)

or to compare with PC lighting.. (1) 4" T-5 HO, VHO or ODNO is roughly the same as (2) 55 watt PC lamps in light output.

hope this helps

and its thoredicly possible to overdive any type of floresent lamps, I wouldnt overdrive PC or T-5 HO's with anything but a IceCap ballast (for their programed start feature) to keep the bulbs from dieing. I would really be carefull with this though. some reefers are overdriving T-5 HO's with IceCap 660's but only about a 20% overdirve (not the normal 200% that is done with T-8 NO lamps)
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