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Old 01-28-2015, 09:12 AM   #1
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Is there an electrition on here?

Practical Fish keeping (feb) an article on new LED tubes that can replace T8 tubes and soon T5, same fittings, my question is, how do we change from electric Ballast to magnetic ballast, I want these tubes as they give a shimmer effect on the water, and are very cheap to run, no colour stuff, just pure replacements with plants in mind..........
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:48 PM   #2
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Practical Fish keeping (feb) an article on new LED tubes that can replace T8 tubes and soon T5, same fittings, my question is, how do we change from electric Ballast to magnetic ballast, I want these tubes as they give a shimmer effect on the water, and are very cheap to run, no colour stuff, just pure replacements with plants in mind..........
Don't you mean it the other way around...magnetic ballast to electronic ballast? The new electronic ballast does not require a starter.

18 watt T8 LED Linear Direct Replacement
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Old 01-28-2015, 11:34 PM   #3
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I do not know about aquariums, but I just today swapped out tubes in a 4' fixture in my garage. The ones I got:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

To put these in you REMOVE the balast entirely and just wire hot to one end (to the tombstones on the end) and neutral to the other. So basically cut the wires going to the balast and wire direct to the feed. Took all of 10 minutes and most of that was getting the ballast out.

The one quoted appears to not expect you to remove the ballast, but just in terms of reliability I really like the idea of getting rid of all that old stuff - less to fail in some strange way later, or melt, or consume extra electricity.

Note again I have no idea if there are aquarium sized versions of this, or ones suitable for plants, but you might shop around a bit if you feel up to removing the ballast (and anyone who can clean an aquarium filter and cycle a tank can certainly remove a ballast).
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Old 01-29-2015, 06:40 AM   #4
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I'm OK. I was trying to help you out. I am glad to see that you have it under control.


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Old 01-29-2015, 07:42 AM   #5
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No but I stayed at a holiday in last night.. what you're going to want to do.. open a window, look first than throw that fixture right out the window. Go on amazon and buy a sweet led

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Old 01-29-2015, 10:31 AM   #6
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I do not know about aquariums, but I just today swapped out tubes in a 4' fixture in my garage. The ones I got:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

To put these in you REMOVE the balast entirely and just wire hot to one end (to the tombstones on the end) and neutral to the other. So basically cut the wires going to the balast and wire direct to the feed. Took all of 10 minutes and most of that was getting the ballast out.

The one quoted appears to not expect you to remove the ballast, but just in terms of reliability I really like the idea of getting rid of all that old stuff - less to fail in some strange way later, or melt, or consume extra electricity.

Note again I have no idea if there are aquarium sized versions of this, or ones suitable for plants, but you might shop around a bit if you feel up to removing the ballast (and anyone who can clean an aquarium filter and cycle a tank can certainly remove a ballast).
Thanks for the advice, you make it seem pretty easy, so is a magnetic ballast built in to the tube when you remove the electric ballast out? I am not good at electrics, that's why I asked........
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Old 01-29-2015, 02:32 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice, you make it seem pretty easy, so is a magnetic ballast built in to the tube when you remove the electric ballast out? I am not good at electrics, that's why I asked........
LED's do not use ballasts.

SOME florescent replacements are made to allow the ballast to still exist and try to run in spite of them, but this makes for extra electronics inside, and also the ballast stays -- which means the tube can still fail if the ballast (which it does not actually need) fails.

LED tubes (generally) just need 110V at one end, and the neutral wire at the other. Basically like any other light. All the work to drive the LED (which is low voltage DC) is inside the tube.

But if you are not electrically handy at all, none of these are great solutions. Unless you have some special need, you are likely better off with a regular LED fixture -- smaller, simpler, etc. And you can buy them specifically for display only, or (a bit more costly) for plants. You CAN buy replacement tubes similarly aimed, but they are much more of a specialty item.

If you do have a real need to use the existing fixture, see if you can find a neighbor (or their kid) with a bit of electrical experience. This is not hard at all, but there is an element of danger whenever you work with 110V, and it needs to be someone who might be comfortable replacing a light socket (for example).
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:56 PM   #8
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there are some good cheap leds on ebay and amazon right now. I just picked a 48'' up for like 70 bucks.

and I'm not a licensed electrician, but I do all my own residental electrical work
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:57 PM   #9
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Ok thanks, am going to buy them, if need be ill get an electrician, I really want that shimmer effect that is natural in the wild........
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Old 01-29-2015, 05:01 PM   #10
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there are some good cheap leds on ebay and amazon right now. I just picked a 48'' up for like 70 bucks
I have some led light's but these new led tubes are the biz, ill put a photo on later.....
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