Aquatic Plant Forum banner

low tech cheap lighting - guide

3678 Views 14 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  colinsk
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 :
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 :
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 .
See less See more
1 - 2 of 15 Posts
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.
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.
1 - 2 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.