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Old 02-08-2005, 07:01 AM   #1
davidc
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Cheap ballast alternative for 65W Compact fluorescent


I found a torchiere style floor lamp at home depot for $20. It comes with a 3000K '2D' style compact fluorescent bulb, and the ballast outputs 63W. It's dimmable

Pros:
competitive price
dimmable
ballast is small and already has a nice enclosure

Cons:
socket doesn't securely fit normal square pin bulbs
ballast is where the bulb goes, so it could be difficult to mount


I tested this with a 65W actinic bulb just plugged into the top of the lamp. It works fine, and it dims when I turn the little knob on the lamp. I also tested it with the bulb connected to the socket by 4 pieces of undersized wire, with the bulb about 8 ft away. This also worked with no problems, but it should have better wiring.

To make this work as a DIY, *I* would:
mount the bulb using the normal square pin socket and clip
remote mount the ballast
run as short of wires as practical from the ballast to the socket, and use good wires

To make it really good:
replace the 'dimmer knob' with a circuit that will control the light level on a timer. Make a sunrise and sunset.


My conclusion:
if you don't really want dimming, it's just as easy/cheap to get a retro kit from ebay.
If you can easily mount a 4" X 4" X 1-2" box in your canopy or hood, this might work out well for you.
If you can't find a good deal on a retrokit this might work out for you.
If you want a cheap, *powerful* 3000K fuge light, this lamp is for you!

BTW: if anyone wants pictures of the lamp, or of how to orient the bulb in the lamp socket, I will be glad to post some.
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Old 02-08-2005, 10:05 AM   #2
dhoffroad
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cool I'm glad I'm not the only one who look's at all the light's when walkin through those places LOL ....BTW nice find will have to go look for that one just in case !!!
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Old 02-08-2005, 10:31 AM   #3
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See, you guys are going off the deep end here, once this addiction gets ahold you look at everything in terms of how can I use it on my setup, Its a sickness I tell yah

OH and if you weld next to the frag growout tank to supplement the lighting be sure and use adequate ventilation
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Old 02-08-2005, 12:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug1
OH and if you weld next to the frag growout tank to supplement the lighting be sure and use adequate ventilation
see I never even thought of that, I'd bet I could make some SPS happy with that much light
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Old 02-08-2005, 01:04 PM   #5
davidc
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hmmm....Plasma Discharge Lighting! Lightning simulator! YES!
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Old 02-16-2005, 09:19 AM   #6
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I know where all the "DIY-potential" equipment is in HD, Lowe's, Office Depot, the mall, the used car lot, Victoria's Secret, Fred's Scrap Yard, along the side of the road while driving back and forth to work.............................................. ..
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Old 02-16-2005, 09:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yardboy
I know where all the "DIY-potential" equipment is in HD, Lowe's, Office Depot, the mall, the used car lot, Victoria's Secret, Fred's Scrap Yard, along the side of the road while driving back and forth to work.............................................. ..

Victorias Secret????????????? links? I mean keeping an eye on this
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Old 02-18-2005, 07:40 AM   #8
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good find, now you got me thinking about the screw in flourescent bulbs with the built in ballast at the 99 cent store, for nano lighting, maybe just maybe....
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Old 02-18-2005, 05:02 PM   #9
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At the 99 cent store, the bulbs are likely in too low a color (soft white - 3000K, Bright white - 4000K) but at Wal-Mart I found some that are 20 Watts and advertised as "Sunlight" with a 6500K designation. I've got one sitting on my work bench, ready to hang over a pico-tank or refugium.
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Old 02-18-2005, 05:10 PM   #10
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That gives me an idea! I bet the $14 65W flourex screw-in CF bulbs at home depot can be used to power the other 65W flourescents!

I could take apart 4 of these and put the ballasts all in a box and power 4 65W compact flourescents for $56

Quote:
Originally Posted by yardboy
At the 99 cent store, the bulbs are likely in too low a color (soft white - 3000K, Bright white - 4000K) but at Wal-Mart I found some that are 20 Watts and advertised as "Sunlight" with a 6500K designation. I've got one sitting on my work bench, ready to hang over a pico-tank or refugium.
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Old 02-19-2005, 08:13 PM   #11
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Except that I don't think the 65W fluorex bulbs have the ballast on them. They specifically say they can only be used in the 65W fixture. I had a trouble with one of my fixtures and discovered a circuit board when I started taking things apart on it. Just check before you waste coins on the bulbs. I have seen a thread somewhere in which a guy did use the ballasts from those ballast included bulbs though. It can be done. For instance, it might have been under the DIY UV sterilizer. Try a search under that and see what you find.
Or you can go to a lot less trouble and use these: http://www.hellolights.com/aroelpocoba.html
which for $40 will fire 2-55W, 2-65W or 2-96W bulbs.
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Old 02-20-2005, 08:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yardboy
Except that I don't think the 65W fluorex bulbs have the ballast on them. They specifically say they can only be used in the 65W fixture. I had a trouble with one of my fixtures and discovered a circuit board when I started taking things apart on it. Just check before you waste coins on the bulbs. I have seen a thread somewhere in which a guy did use the ballasts from those ballast included bulbs though. It can be done. For instance, it might have been under the DIY UV sterilizer. Try a search under that and see what you find.
Or you can go to a lot less trouble and use these: http://www.hellolights.com/aroelpocoba.html
which for $40 will fire 2-55W, 2-65W or 2-96W bulbs.
You're right, I took another look at them and saw that. They do have a 40-something watt bulb with ballast for cheap though. I know the thread you're talking about - it was Jimbo doing th UV sterilizer.

I know a place locally where I can get a workhorse 7 for $35, so there's another option.
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Old 02-20-2005, 11:03 AM   #13
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David, I know exactly how you feel though. My wife gets a little exasperated because I always seem to relate stuff to the reef tank! I was with her in Victoria's Secret the other day and while she was looking around, I'm standing there looking at a display case made of 1/2" acrylic. The salesclerk came up and asked if she could help me and I told her when they tired of the display case I wanted it! My wife overheard it and sighed "At least he wasn't drooling over the panties inside the case!" (Actually I was, but I think she knew that too)
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