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Old 01-18-2006, 10:16 PM   #1
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New bulb for 10 gal strip light. Reccomendations

I have a 10 gal with a small yellow severum, some danios, and cory cat. No plants. I use a basic hood with single florescent strip light. I would like to get things a little brighter. Would a different type of bulb provide a little more output? What would be your recommendations? There are a lot to choose. I am using the stock bulb that came with the light.

Also, do they make any kind of reflectors that would fit into the space where the bulb sits? Or should I try lining it with some alum. foil. Thanks in advance for advice.

-wags
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Old 01-18-2006, 10:34 PM   #2
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Be careful with the aluminum foil. I'm not sure exactly how/why, but many florecent fixtures have to have the reflector wired to a ground point.

Do you want to stick with the fixture you have? There are many retrofit kits on the market that will significantly upgrade your lighting.

Florecent bulbs arn't like incandesant, that you can just put a higher wattage bulb in the same socket. You can pick up a bulb that is more efficient, or has a better color. Head down to the hardware store, and look on the boxes for lumen ratings, and color temperature or wavelength graphs. Lumens measures the total amount of light, more is brighter. Color temperature or wavelength graphs can give you an idea of what color the light will be. I personally like "daylight" bulbs, although ordinary "cool" lights are just as good for the inhabitants and fairly efficient.
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Old 01-18-2006, 10:43 PM   #3
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Go to the local hobby shop. I got some paper for mine, that is mirrored on one side. Brightened up my 26G by about 30%-40% by my eyes. And it was relatively cheap for a small sheet. Then I just siliconed it to the white plastic underside of the fixture. Took the light out, then cut out the strips to size for the angled sides, and one for the top. Then with the scraps left over, you can cover the smaller surfaces on the ends of the under side of the fisture, so all the white is covered with the reflective paper.
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Old 01-18-2006, 10:48 PM   #4
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Also, this paper on one side looks like aluminum, but is a bit more reflective. Easy to cut and install as well. No need to worry about aluminum tearing, etc. This stuff is pretty thick and heavy duty. Just cut the right dimensions, silicone on, and your done.
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Old 01-19-2006, 08:05 AM   #5
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Thanks for the advice so far.

I don't want to retro fit. I noticed with the on-line shops, there is a wide range of bulb types. 10,000 50/50, colormax etc. I was curious what would be a good bulb to give me bright output. I don't have plants, so I assume I do not need certain wavelengths.


I will check out the local hobby shops for the reflective materials.

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Old 01-19-2006, 11:35 AM   #6
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Those labels you mention are the color, not the brightness.

To human eyes, 6,500 or so is a daylight color.

See if you can find the lumen ratings on those bulbs to get the brightness.
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