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Old 09-27-2004, 12:22 PM   #1
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Sylvania ballast and DIY PC lighting

I hate to ask this as it has been discussed before somewhat but here goes.

I have read that Lowes sells a decent electronic ballast (2x32) that can be used for PC lighting. I am setting up a 10 gal and was going to build a canopy and a 2x32 seems like it would work.

Will this ballast plug into the bulbs or will I have to get end caps? I saw a few ballasts at HD that had plugs already. I assume this was a magnetic ballast since it was so cheap. It would do up to 40 watts and was only $15.

hellolights has a nano ballast with everything included except the bulb and reflector for $25 but I would need 2 of them. It would give me more flexibility though since it will power a 55 watt bulb.

Any ideas? I am not looking for killer lighting just something cheap for a softie tank.
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Old 09-27-2004, 01:51 PM   #2
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Well, I have to comment on the nano ballast from hellolights. I have one and indeed it works well, but it will not power a 55 W to it's fullest potential. It is noticably dimmer. The square pin "end cap" is more of an adapter as opposed to a socket. It would not be advisable for use in a closed canopy. I think they are wonderful for use with a new true end cap and for additional supplementation on say a nano cube. Give the Lowes ballast a shot if it doesn't work out you can always exchange it or return it.

R-
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Old 09-27-2004, 02:17 PM   #3
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Well, that just show you how much I know The ballast at HD had the same connector on them as the nano ballast did.

I just got back from Lowes and I found a 2x32 for $19.99 and a 4x32 for $29.99. There was a 120v and a 270?v version. I am guessing I need the 120v. It was just bare wires so I will need to get endcaps. I was thinking of getting the 4x32 just so if I ever need this for something bigger. Could this run 28 watt bulbs too or just 32 and would it be bad to use only 2 bulbs on a 4 channel ballast?

I saw a DIY on making some sockets using parts off an old PC power supply ans using shrink tubing to seal it. I think it was on nano-reef but the pics were gone due to the age of the post(2003). Any one done this or know a cheap place to get them. I will try premiumaquatics since they are close.
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Old 09-27-2004, 02:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
There was a 120v and a 270?v version

The 270 volt (actually 277 volt) is from a 3 phase 440 volt system. One leg of 440 to a neutral. You would want the 120 volt type for sure. Alot of commercial and industrial places use the 440 3 phase voltages.

Mike
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Old 09-27-2004, 03:00 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info. I figured the 120 was what I wanted. It just took me a bit to see the difference since the tags looked the same and the part numbers were very similar.
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Old 09-27-2004, 06:24 PM   #6
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Some ballasts have wiring for both and some have it for 3 different voltages. Just be careful if you get those kind of ballasts that you connect the right ones. You would just tape off the others and not use them.
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Old 09-27-2004, 10:54 PM   #7
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From a tip from a RC member, I got a shop ligt from HD that had a 2x32 electronic ballast in it. It was only $7.50.

I am going to order some bulbs and test it out. Do I have to stick with 32 watt bulbs or can I use 28 watt bulbs? Not sure which be be easier to get.
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Old 10-12-2004, 05:13 PM   #8
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The ballast worked like a charm with 2 32 watt CSL smartlamps.
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Old 10-12-2004, 11:41 PM   #9
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ellisz,

what brand was the ballast or shop light at HD for $7.50?

Nion
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Old 10-13-2004, 08:50 AM   #10
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I meant to check the brand this morning but forgot. It is a 48" shop light and it says it has an electronic ballast in the description on the box. Plus it is the only light that is that price. The $7.50 is not the exact price but it is close. It is $7.xx

You will have to remove the ballast from the metal housing and then get your own end caps if you want to run PC's.

HTH
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