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Old 12-25-2002, 04:48 PM   #21
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When I put the LOA on main tank in just a couple days the macro algae took off and some mushrooms and polyps brightened up. After some of you talking about life of the LOA I'm going with 660 on main tank and try LOA on refugium. I think the LOA has potential if it will last.
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Old 12-25-2002, 09:23 PM   #22
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LOA/Icecap

Two things you might think about. One, as I believe Bang Guy mentioned, you might drill some vent holes in the top of the LOA fixture to vent some heat. I think the cooler you can keep it, the longer it will last. Also, your Icecap 660 will run PC bulbs too. You may not be interested in PC's...I don't know. A 96w PC is so bright it hurts to look at it. Actually, the icecap will run any fluorescent bulb.
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Old 02-24-2003, 01:53 PM   #23
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Anybody having any long term luck with the LOA 65W? Has anyone removed the ballast, attached a fan or otherwise come up with a way to keep them cool? If so, does keeping them cool extend the bulb life significantly (longer then the 1 yr Guy experiences)?
I am debating between a 175W 5700K mercury vapor and a 65W LOA on a refugium/coral grow out tank. I think the MV will last longer but I may get more light out of 1 or 2 LOA's. A 175W MV is rated at around 7800 lumens. 65W LOA at 8500?
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Old 02-24-2003, 09:38 PM   #24
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Well I can tell you that the LOA would be a better choice for lighting....I know from experience in other applications, MV are very in-efficient when it comes to light...per wattage, they give out more heat than lumens or K rating... I do know one thing though...they are cheaper than MH and the LOA...I opened up a LOA and I believe the circuit board can be removed and re-attached in a better configuration.. I did not see a ballast in the one I opened up which was the Work Light edition...still 500 watt but for compact than the street light version...I think the bulb is like any other compact flourescent screw in..in that the ballast is in the base... which causes heat...I would think that if removed from the enclosure and wired so that there is a lot of air flow with fans blowing, it could stay cooler... Good question though...I could not do any further research because the work light was a friend of mine's...
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Old 02-25-2003, 08:15 AM   #25
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I used the outdoor security light model for a while...it smoked the bulb in about a month. I attribute that to heat. I have them on the outside of the house and they run fairly cool out there. I agree with Timbo...the ballast, if you want to call it that, could be removed and located elsewhere. You would have to have an enclosure...maybe one of the Radio Shack hobby boxes would work. I think a small fan on top of the bulb enclosure with some vents cut into the sides would keep the bulb alive a lot longer. Even if you only got a year out of each bulb, they are pretty cheap. I have to wonder though if using something like the 13w Bright kits from AH Supply wouldn't do as well and be cheaper. Also, you can use any electronic instant start ballast to light PC bulbs. What about using a 65w smartlight bulb with a 2x32 ballast from HD? Ballast is about $20. I believe you could do this for not much more money and it might be a better setup. Although I haven't tried it, I feel sure this ballast would run a pair of 27w quads also. I'm using one of these ballasts on one of the prop tanks now with a 55w PC and it's doing a great job.
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Old 02-25-2003, 11:12 AM   #26
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Logan, when you tried this light, did you do anything to the light like remove the plastic lense or did you use it as is?
I like this light because it is 6500K and is a relatively cheap unit. To put together a 2X55 from AH Supply (equivilent to 2X65W LOA's) is over $100. I have a 29 with a 15W NO and 2X13W Bright kit and it is decent. Mushrooms will grow as well low to moderate macro algae growth (mostly hair algae) but when I put one of these over the tank as a test the increase in intensity was huge.
I'm not sure what you mean by a 2X32 ballast. What is a 65W smart bulb?
I'm trying to light a 20L 'fuge for the 29 puffer tank to mitigate the hair algae problem.
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Old 02-25-2003, 08:41 PM   #27
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I didn't remove the plastic cover because I liked the idea of a sealed unit that would be resistant to corrosion. IMO, having some holes in the sides and a fan in the top would increase the bulb life and still keep and water that splashed up from ruining the socket.
When I mentioned the Smartlight, I was talking about a 50/50 (10,000k/actinic) PC that Custom Sealife makes. AH and Hellolights sell similar bulbs.
The 2x32 ballast is an electronic ballast that is designed to light two 32w 48" bulbs. It's about $20. You can also get a 4x32 that will light 4 32w bulbs. By doubling the hot wires to each bulb, you can light two 55w PC's. The 2x32 will have 2 red wires and the 4x32 will have 2 red and 2 blue. Each of these wires is good for 32w. I can send you a wiring diagram if you want for either ballast. They are basically the same thing as the Fulham Workhorse series which is what comes with most PC fixtures. I'll post a pic of the one I threw together for my prop tank. I wonder if they would also light the LOA bulbs...have to try that sometime.
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Old 02-25-2003, 09:42 PM   #28
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I had some HD gift cards that I needed to use up so that's the reason I was deciding between a MV and LOA instead of throwing on other options (which are probably better). I really like the idea of using a $20 ballast to light a 55W PC, probably overdriving it slightly for more light - woo hoo.
I went ahead and got 2 65W LOA's. I used a method Guy gave me to vent the ballast area, basically taking it apart and drilling some holes to let it breathe. I went a step further and drilled several holes across the back to let hot air out when placed on top of the tank. I cut a major portion of the lense away to allow air movement. Water splash and salt creep aren't a large concern. Hasn't been an issue on other tanks, probably the dry climate.
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Old 02-26-2003, 12:18 AM   #29
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More on PC's

That should do it. I'll be interested to know how it works out in the long run. I would, just for the sake of experimentation, put a fan on one of them to see if there is an appreciable difference in bulb life...but that's just me . Here are some pics of the DIY PC fixture I stuck together...kind of a last minute, need it right now project. My excuse for the rough looks .
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Old 02-26-2003, 12:19 AM   #30
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More pics

More pics.
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