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Looking for a -COMPLETE- DIY article on light enclosure

3142 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  gpodio
I'm surfed through many forums, many websites, and many articles, but there hasn't been one that has been able to satiate my need in wanting to build my own light enclosure that will be able to fluorescent tubes or power compacts, because the ones you can buy in stores or online are too expensive and maybe they don't fit your needs.

What I'm looking for is an article, with pictures, and step-by-step, and I do mean step-by-step, every single little tidbit, on construction, how to construct, wiring, what to wire, parts, name of the parts or model numbers, where to get the parts, etc. An extensive step-by-step article, every little nook and cranny, so that it is foolproof and you won't be able to mess up. EXACTLY WHAT TO BUY AND EXACTLY HOW TO PUT IT TOGETHER.

NO VAGUE SECTIONS AT ALL. That's been a problem with a lot of the DIY articles that I have read on various things from lights, to tanks, to hoods, to caves, to etc, etc. There's always been a place here or there where I would have questions like, where can I get that now, or how do I put that together. I don't want to be asking questions after I read it, I just want to probably print it out, take it with me on my shopping, buy the stuff I need, come home and put it together.

Does anyone know where I can find any such articles?
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I'm assuming you've done your research and looked at the article at the AH Supply site.
I think its a great article and about as good as you will ever see. If a person isn't halfway decent at working with wood or wiring things up, no amount of explanation is going to fix that. If someone really wants to do a DIY project, they've got to put their fears aside, decide what they want, and just do it. I think most of the DIY lighting project essays I've seen, including mine, are pretty informative, and collectively they offer a wealth of information to the do-it-yourselfer. If you have a question about the details concerning an article most authors would be happy to answer your question if you email them. If you don't feel comfortable with this, you really should consider buying a premade setup. The wood enclosures that AH Supply sells are very reasonable.


Steve Pituch
Sweet, thanks for the links guys!

This page is to demonstrate how *ANYONE* can build a simple and inexpensive exclosure ... using a few tools that most people have around. No wood working skills are required. Basically if *I* can make one, you can too.
Now that's what I'm talking about. :wink:
I would just like to offer up some advice.. If you happen to go to home depot to buy wood, don't let them cut it up okay..... at my home depot, the dude made totally inaccurate cuts and I was forced to pay the bill cuz the wood was not resellable....PSH...

..cut your own wood! Good luck!
I was just at Wal-Mart earlier buying some Shrimp Pellets for some of my bottom-dwellers and I saw a GE magnetic ballast for like $10. Are these old-school and not good to use? I vaguely remember reading about how people use electric ballasts or something? Does anyone know?
You need to know more then it is a magnetic or electronic ballast in order to use it (ballasts work for only certain types of bulbs and arrangements)

Electronic ones are the better ones and are more efficient.
Electronics are also far easier to wire up as they don't need starters. If simplicity is what you want, electronic is the way to go. Not to mention your bulbs will last longer and put out more light.

Here's a retrofit I did to my old magnetic AGA light strip, besides the fact that I overdove the lights, you can still see just how easy an electronic ballast is to wire up compared to a magnetic.

Giancarlo Podio
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