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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Has anyone ever used these bulb or this type of bulb before? 105W SHO CFL My plan is to use a bell type reflector to light up the spots I am planting in. My whole tank isn't going to be planted just 2-3 big patches. I have way to many gallons to try and use the WPG rule. TIA

Edit:
Suppose I should mention the Tank is 600G 96"Lx48"Wx30"H Its mostly going to be Vallisneria gigantea, maybe a few other US native aquatic plants. Its in the wall so the only thing visible is the front of the tank, you have to go around the other side of the basement to get to the back of it.
 

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I have never even seen one of those super-sized CFL bulbs, let alone using one. The only thoughts I have about it is that restrike will reduce the effective light output quite a bit, and 30 inches from the bulb the intensity will have dropped a lot, dropping with the inverse square of the distance. Why not just use 150 watt MH bulbs in good reflectors?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So maybe switch from the bell shaped reflectors to some from AH Supply to reduce the restrike? And the biggest thing inhibiting me from MH is cost.
 

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I've been trying to investigate the same thing for the past 2 months. I'm currently using a clamp-on table lamp holder with one of these bulbs. My goal is to get a dual incandescent socket (on opposing sides) and use two bulbs with DIY reflector. The other possibility is to buy the incandescent fixture from R-Zilla and use these bulbs.

Share your thoughts if you find any.

Thank you and good luck.

regards,
Ravi
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Gotcha, I understand better now Still seems to me a lot cheaper than buying a fixture and bulbs especially when almost all of them come with actinic sides to them. I'll go with the AH supply reflector as well to deal with some of the lost light on the other side of the bulb but AFAIK The spiral design is meant to reduce the restrike. Here is a link that got me really interested in the SHO CFL bulbs.
http://www.americanaquariumproducts.com/Aquarium_Lighting.html
 

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They are pretty cheap, and with no ballast etc they'd be easy to wire up. While they may not be the absolute most efficient way to go, for the price they're worth giving a try. And, if they don't work out you're not out a ton of money and you can use them to light up your garage or something!
 

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I tried an early version of that a while back. the one I tried was for a yard light, it had good output but needs a good reflector. I found that the ballasts had a design flaw in the inductor, it put 700 Volts across the windings with only varnished wire. needless to say it didn't last very long. Also Heat was an issue with all the tube in such a small space it got very hot.

This one is a different brand so hopefully the ballast is a better design and in a hanging pendant it may work good. but by the time you get a good enough pendant reflector your cost will be a lot higher.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #11
There is no hood over the lights so I dont think heat will be to much of an issue. Here is what the back of the tank looks like. I have a door up now but not finished the wall untill I'm happy with the lid on the tank.


Here is the tank from the front.
 

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If nothing else, that is a very interesting tank installation. I hope you start a thread in the DIY section describing it better.

Back to the lights: Those spiral bulbs do get hot, and even normal 13-20 watt ones will have a very short life if they are enclosed in a poorly ventilated enclosure. I have gone through a lot of them in my house lighting over the years, until I finally got all fixtures changed to well ventilated ones. A 130 watt one will really generate a lot of heat.

For research, do a google search for photographers lighting supplies. There are a lot of reflectors and special CF bulbs made for photo lighting. I considered trying to use some of them a few years ago, but couldn't work out a good way to do so. Your application might work well with those lights. As I recall the parts are not real cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks hoppy I'll look into it. I actually do have a page I made on the build of the tank. Not sure if I want to copy and paste the whole thing here tho. Here is the link not exactly a professional page but maybe someday. 600 G Native Tank
 

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Something to think about, This is all hypothetical, 105 watt spiral, probably 50% loss to re-strike inside the tube. equivalent to 50 Watt tube with reflector.

105WCF $31.00 50 Watt with unknown cost reflector. $31.00 + reflector
Bulb replacement cost $31.00

32W T-8 $6.00 Replacement 4 tube ballast $18.00 4X overdriven t-8 ~50 Watts with fairly cheap reflector $24.00 + Reflector
Bulb replacement cost $6.00


The efficiency of the t-8 setup is better because you are not wasting 50W on re-strike so the cost of operation will be theoretically 1/2. None of these numbers are real they are for example only

This is why I gave up on my fixture with the big lights. I have 4 2X overdriven 32W T-8's and it puts out far more light than the two 100 W CF's I tried.

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Something to think about, This is all hypothetical, 105 watt spiral, probably 50% loss to re-strike inside the tube. equivalent to 50 Watt tube with reflector.

105WCF $31.00 50 Watt with unknown cost reflector. $31.00 + reflector
Bulb replacement cost $31.00

32W T-8 $6.00 Replacement 4 tube ballast $18.00 4X overdriven t-8 ~50 Watts with fairly cheap reflector $24.00 + Reflector
Bulb replacement cost $6.00

The efficiency of the t-8 setup is better because you are not wasting 50W on re-strike so the cost of operation will be theoretically 1/2. None of these numbers are real they are for example only

This is why I gave up on my fixture with the big lights. I have 4 2X overdriven 32W T-8's and it puts out far more light than the two 100 W CF's I tried.

Brian
Thanks for that info. Like I said just researching everything atm but thats the kind of info I'm looking for. The tank is 30" deep
 

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That is an excellent website with the details about your tank project. If you decide to plant it and go for high tech - plenty of light and CO2, that would be an outstanding project to describe.

How do you clean the tank? It looks like there isn't enough top access to do anything but use long tools.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Siphon attached to a pole to reach up front by the glass. I think I mentioned in the web page that I have a valve that I can open and it drains 30% of the water. And if I want to place any new rocks or anything else in the tank I have a 9 year old to climb in, and believe me I dont have to talk him into getting in his swim trunks to climb in! :) I'm also making a new site its a bit cleaner looking and I can add more content to it like videos which I have up of the tank on the Gallery page. New Site lots of cut and paste.
 

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Varnished wire inductors/transformers can handle several hundred volts. I'm running a solid state tesla coil like device with a transformer I ripped out of an electronic neon sign power supply. It runs off 338VDC (rectified and doubled line voltage) at 30kHz. The 338VDC primary is just enameled copper wire ('magnet' wire).

The reason, of course, is because the voltage difference between one wire turn and the next is very small. If you have 100 turns on the coil, you only have 3.38V between one wire turn to the next. So seeing 700V into a coil could be totally OK. Now if they screwed up the winding process it could short out, but the voltage across it alone wouldn't have killed it.

In fact, the backlight inverter for the CCFL bulb in LCD monitors is usually a very small transformer wound with teeny teeny magnet wire, and it outputs about a kilovolt in most cases. Here's a data sheet, the primaries can't handle any voltage really because they are wound such that they might short, whereas the secondaries are wound with much attention paid to winding-to-winding voltage. These little things are hardly bigger than a thumbnail and put out over 1000VRMS.

http://www.cooperbussmann.com/pdf/dc8ad71f-f3ce-4c72-8bfd-5d8373663c5b.pdf

This tangent has been brought to you by a bored engineer. Back to your regularly scheduled program.
 
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