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Ok I promised before to couple of people that i ll make this guide . This morning finally got my hands on a camera and took some pics that will help me explain whats being done.
This is converting ur original hood into more powerfull one :

1.Disconnect power and remove original guts from the hood. ( save the screws)
2.Cut the wires as close to the original balast as possible so that you are left with enough wiring for ur new fixture.It should look like that :

and here is close up on the wires left . U will need couple more 5 inch long wires to connect both screw in type of sockets together.:

4. install reflector . i used aluminum foil which isnt great but works somewhat . if u can get real reflector i am sure it would work much better .
anywyas mine looks like that :

this is after i cut the foil so there can be some air circulation.\:

5.You gonna need two of this :
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I got those in home depot . Make sure they got a screw holder .
another pic of it :

6.Connect the swith wires in series with power wires ( one of the switch wires together with one of the power wires. use wire nut as shown :

7.Connect the two sockets in parrellel and hook up the power to it as shown :
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8. screw in the sockets using saved screws :

and insulate the connections with electrical tape :

9. screw the bulbs in and test it :)


I am using one 27 watts and one 32 wattas bulb and have no issue with heat .

Please if you dont have any technical experiance DO NOT DO it yourself .
 

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That's an interesting guide!

BTW, aluminum is an average or so relector because of all the tiny faces. They scatter light everywhere. you can use the mylar on cofee bags, or the mylar on leftover mylar balloons! It has a much smoother surface :)
 

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What a great tip. I have been trying to figure out how I could rig some (cheap) higher watt lighting for my 55 and this is exactly what I needed. I never thought of rewiring my old lights. I used aluminum duct tape as a reflector. Just covered the whole inside of the box, then slit the vents with a razor blade. It worked really well. I just happened to have some laying around, but it runs about $7 for a large roll at any home store. Thanks for a great post, Kubilak.
 

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Not to be a downer or anything because this is a very nice instruction on how to, but isn't this equivalent to an incandescent strip lite you can get online or at walmart for less than fifteen bucks? Am I missing something? If it's the same, then buying a lite strip without ripping existing light strip is easier and similarly in price?
 

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This works out better/cheaper for me since I have a 55 with two hoods/light strips. They are a brown (oak?) color and match the frame of my tank. If I bought new strips I would also have to replace the hoods, and the new ones probably wouldn't match unless I did a special order ($$). As is, it only cost me $6 per hood to rewire them. All I had to buy was the sockets. The extra wire and connections were cannibalized from the existing lights, and I had the electrical tape and the aluminum duct tape already. For some people it might be cheaper or easier to buy an incandescent strip, but if you already have a full hood or have an odd sized tank this is a good way to go.
 

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Doing exactly this I was able to put 2 13watt CFLs in my 10 gallon for less than $15 and 30 minutes of work/planning. Nice write up! I will have to get some foil. was thinking of spraying the inside white but I like the foil tape idea better.
 

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I did this on my 20L, added two 10w an a 15 w. The only problem I have is the light is kind of uneven. Though it's a big improvement compared to the 20w T8. I used out door sockets, an secured them with zip ties, drilled some holes to thread them through. Cost about $30 for every thing, cheap compared to other options.
 

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Lighting forum, person (forgot) did measurements with different reflectors.
aluminum foil seemed to work best.
Most likely due to spirals aren't focused light to begin with and the more reflective facets the better to scatter the light and stop reflection back to the bulb.
Although I do think the bulbs maybe a little close to the top of the hood.
The reflectors at the end really help too since the stip lights don't go out to 30" only 24"
Yeah i am sure it would work better . Aluminum foil works for me - plants are growing , but anyone is welcome to use different type of reflector :)
 

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(criminalhate) where do you get $12 for 4 -- 6500K light bulbs? Thanks.
I got them from lowes
The brand is Bright Effects Daylight
which is rated at 6500K 26w each
with an output of 1600 Lumens

Here's a link to the same ones but only in singles I got a pack of 4 at my local store
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=296883-371-60051&lpage=none
Ok that's the wrong ones I'll keep looking to see if I can find the Daylight bulbs like I bought.
 

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Nice write up!

Just a few comments though. Incandescent fixtures are not suitable for growing plants since they don't produce a lot of light, despite the wattage. Fluorescent and compact fluorescent bulbs put out far more light per watt than incandescent bulbs do and are thus suitable for growing plants.

Also, I was wondering why you wired the bulbs in series? Wouldn't this make the second bulb dimmer? I'm not a hundred percent sure, bur I think lighting is always done in parallel.
 

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Nice write up!

Just a few comments though. Incandescent fixtures are not suitable for growing plants since they don't produce a lot of light, despite the wattage. Fluorescent and compact fluorescent bulbs put out far more light per watt than incandescent bulbs do and are thus suitable for growing plants.

Also, I was wondering why you wired the bulbs in series? Wouldn't this make the second bulb dimmer? I'm not a hundred percent sure, bur I think lighting is always done in parallel.
I know I am using CF replacement bulbs (screw in type) and I believe the OP is also. Also incandescent are not unsuitable if using the correct bulbs but they are inefficient so you would need twice the amount of incandescent to equal a CF bulb.

I know most wiring for lights should be done in parallel (I did in my hood) but I do not believe they will cause the light to be dimmer but I do know if the one bulb goes out both will go out (look at old fashion/cheap christmas lights).
 

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The OP shows the lights wired in parallel. Do not try to wire this set up in series. It will cut the voltage and most CFLs can not deal with low voltage. Ones that are dimmable can.

I lined mine with foil tape today, WOW, what a difference. I have a lot more light now. Thank you.
 
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