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Thread: Lights

  1. #1
    theqisback84's Avatar
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    Lights

    Where is the best and cheapest place to get bulbs and fixtures for cps?


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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Home Depot?

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    cmm889's Avatar
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    I typically find the cheapest fixtures at wally world (walmart).
    4' dual T-8 fixtures for about $9, they come with T-12's so I go and buy different tubes which is pretty cheap...

    and go from there...

    if you need space efficiency you can use CFL's, but the cost will be quite a bit higher. if your going to use CFL's i have a trick for spending alot less than you would normally.

    alot of people use those big aluminum clamp light housings for their CFL's, a better option is to actually go to Home Depot and pick up some standard lighbulb socket to wall plugin converters and then buy the standard lightbulb socket extensions that look like a Y. so for each plugin spot on the surge protector you'll then have room for 2 CFL's, ( so you can afford to buy smaller ones in bulk, make sure their daylight bulbs ) so on a single surge protector you could have... anywhere from 8CFL's to 12CFL's... they can really pack a punch if you dont have room for 4' fixtures...

    but really though... if you get hooked on CP's you'll wind up with the 4' tubes simply becuase they cover so much space in comparison... but I have a small aquarium that I use for my Lowland Nepenthes which have different night time temp requirements and therefor dont sit with the rest of my collection... and the CFL's work wonderfully... especially since I have about 12 of them over my tiny aquarium... no problem with light intensity there

    hope that was understandable?
    -Chris

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    Californian in DC DrWurm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theqisback84 View Post
    best and cheapest
    Might just point out that those 2 do not correlate. You have to decide which is more important for you.

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    swords's Avatar
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    I'm really liking the power compacts made for reef aquariums. Not the twisty's but the long U shaped bulbs with 4 pin plugs. You can get a 2x 96W lamp set with a pre-wired ballast with 12 ft long cords and heavy duty waterproof end caps off ebay for less than $100. This is a retrofit so you've gotta make your own reflectors but metal flashing at the hardware store is cheap and will work just fine. The 32" long 6500K bulbs are $12-25 each depending on who you order them from. But I'm a DIY nut so I love a project.

    I dunno what size space you're lighting but you can get a 400W metal halide setup (with bulb) for $100 or less off evilbay too, compared to me spending $300 on just the ballast years ago!

    Outside that there's really nothing wrong with the shoplights. Just setup at least two twin tube striplights (4x 40 watt bulbs) to get a nice intensity. Get some metal flashing and make a reflector for the shoplights (which do not usually have them) to get a directed spread of light. Without a reflector you'll loose almost 50% of your light when you don't need to. But reflectors are easy to make with bent metal flashing. Look in the rain gutter and ventilation duct aisles for reflective aluminum Flashing. Different stores have it stashed in different places. "Sheet metal" is usually not reflective and too thick/heavy/expensive to easily cut and bend by hand or woodblocks to make a reflector.

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    Halt's Avatar
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    any smaller cheap ones? 0.o 2'

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    swords's Avatar
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    Yes, they have smaller. I have 55 Watt PC tubes over my Anole's terrarium (which reminds me just now, that I need to get new bulbs!) these 65 watters are 22" long with the end caps attached so would be perfect to put over a 2 ft tank.

    I forget how much the 55W set was maybe $60-70? If your tank is short (bulbs close to plants) you could use one over each tank with a well angled reflector I use both tubes over my Anole's terrarium cos they like it warm and the tank is rather deep (28" high or so).

    Here is the 96W kits that I ordered a year or so ago but am just now getting round to playing with. I guess it was a tad over $100...
    http://cgi.ebay.com/2-x-96-Watt-Powe...742.m153.l1262

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