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Thread: Cooling the light ballasts

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    Outsiders71's Avatar
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    I want to cool down the bulbs so I can place the lights as close as possible to the plants. Currently that isn't possible because they get pretty warm/hot.

    Is it viable to cut out the top side of the light ballast and install a PC vent fan? Or would that degrade anything?

    Right now I just have 2 fans blowing across from each side but I don't think that is too efficient.
    James 1:17

    "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    What kind of lights? On Barry Rice's CP FAQ there's an article about how to remove the ballast from a T12 fluorescent fixture and mount it outside the case for superior heat loss. That might be of some help. Don't electrocute yourself.
    Best luck,
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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    Outsiders71's Avatar
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    Just your plain ol' fluorescent lights in a 4ft shoplight.
    James 1:17

    "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    t12 is a regular shoplight

    a fan blowing across the lights would help too.

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    Outsiders71's Avatar
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    I'm not using t-12's i'm using the more efficent t-8's.
    James 1:17

    "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    your right i need those!

    the method should work the same for both of them however.

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    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    You should be able to unplug it and disassemble the light and cut a hole over the balist and place a fan sucking the hot air out. Should be fine. Just will need another transformer for the 12 volts of the PC fan. Also blow one accross the lights too like Clint said. I don't think it would be any different than cutting a hole inthe side of a PC case to add a fan there. Just teh butt long as nothing gets sucked into the fan and its not hitting anything.
    JB
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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    If you have your lights in a row, I'd suggest trying to rig the ballasts as Barry describes on his site. If they're stacked (such as on a rack) then fans would probably be necessary to get a significant difference. But otherwise, open air should be enough to draw an appreciable amount of heat away from the ballasts. (Even more so with the fans you've described.) And if you're going to be tinkering around inside the casing anyways, you might as well try the free way before you go throw down cash on extra stuff. Definitely keep the modded lights on a surge protector, just in case. And don't electrocute yourself. :)
    ~Joe

    PS - Reading your first post again, I hope that you mean to cut into the fixtures, and not the ballasts themselves. You should never, ever open up the actual ballast unit unless you know exactly what you're doing. Some ballasts contain capacitors that hold enough charge to toast you.
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

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