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DIY Compact Fluorescent (CFL) Strip Light Retrofit

Discussion in 'Freshwater Equipment, Products, & DIY' started by BoredAgain, Mar 18, 2008.

  1. BoredAgain

    BoredAgain Cubs in '10

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    I'm sure this has been done many times before, but I'm also sure each one is a bit different. I always suggest this DIY as a means to gain some great lighting while also saving some money.

    My setup is already put together so this will not be an in depth tutorial, but I will tell you everything you need and where to get it, and a brief how to.

    Supplies and costs:
    8 x 14 watt Daylight CFL bulbs (N:Vision) @ Home Depot (Pic) - $16 for 2 4 packs
    4 x Westinghouse Lighting 22259 2 Lamp Socket @ BIC Superstore (Pic) - $16.55 (shipping included) $2.18 each
    8 x Mounting Head Zip Ties @ Home Depot (Pic) - around $2 for a pack of 10
    1 x Pack of Wire Connectors 300V #22 to #14 AWG (Blue) @ Home Depot (Pic) - around $2 for a pack of 25 (I only needed 6, so you may be able to purchase them separately, this was the smallest package.)
    1 x Can of Krylon Fusion Spray Paint (White) (Pic) @ Michaels - $5
    1 x Roll of Painters Tape @ Home Depot - $1
    1 x Sunday Paper (more if in a small town :))

    Total: $45 to $55 (Prices vary by location)

    Now like I said, each setup will be a bit different. I chose these supplies because I was able to reuse the mounts, screws, and wire in my light strip. If you are unable to do so, you may need some lamp wire with plug, screws, and perhaps an alternate way to mount the sockets. I have 2 x 24 inch All Glass single tube light strips on top of a 55 gallon tank...so if you have this, perfect, if not, you may need to modify this a bit.

    Quick run down on how to do it. One fixture at a time. Remove the old fluorescent fixture, leaving the wires if you want, or remove them as well (they will be put back in later). Paint the light strips, using the paint, tape, and paper, let them dry. Take the metal mounts off the sockets (don't need them) and mount the sockets inside the light strip using the zip ties and screws.

    The wiring may look difficult if you don't know what you are doing, but it's simple. My strips have switches, so I used them, even though they are on timers. The sockets come with wire leads, black (hot) and white (neutral). Connect the black wire from each socket (2 per strip) to one wire on the switch with a wire connector. Connect the other wire from the switch to the hot lamp wire with plug with a wire connector Connect the white wire from each socket (2 per strip) to the neutral (ribbed) lamp wire with plug with a wire connector. Hopefully this diagram makes since, if not, there are tons of wiring diagrams on the internet.

    Total of 112 watts, a little over 2 watts per gallon. This can be increased by purchased higher wattage bulbs.

    Here are some pics of the setup. Looks much better in person and a million times better than the stock bulbs.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    With just one strip on (4 bulbs) and the blue cold cathode(moon light) (I have one in each strip). I have these all on timers, so the moon light comes on, then one strip comes on later, then the other strip. Reversed at night when going off.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Pardon the glass, just got done moving things around, hadn't wiped up yet.
    [​IMG]

    If anyone has any questions, please ask. If you need any more pics, or a pic of something specific, I'll put it up.

    For the cold cathode moon light, refer to this thread. My setup is similar...but you may want to mount these with silicone, it does get a bit warm in the strips and the glue on the Velcro doesn't hold up.
     
  2. Mgamer20o0

    Mgamer20o0 BobsTropicalPlants.com
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    the sockets look different then the ones you used. am i wrong?
     
  3. BoredAgain

    BoredAgain Cubs in '10

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    They are the same...with the metal mounts taken off.
     
  4. Bk718

    Bk718 No Monkey Business

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    how about a full tank shot with the cathode on
     
  5. BoredAgain

    BoredAgain Cubs in '10

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    I'll do that in about an hour (timers :)).
     
  6. Mgamer20o0

    Mgamer20o0 BobsTropicalPlants.com
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    very nice. i am doing this my self soon for a 29 gal hood.
     
  7. Reddog80p

    Reddog80p Permanently Dechlor'd

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    Nice setup. What are the taller plants in the back of the tank?
     
  8. BoredAgain

    BoredAgain Cubs in '10

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    Hornwort. Using as filler until I can get some others.
     
  9. BoredAgain

    BoredAgain Cubs in '10

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    Here ya go.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Mgamer20o0

    Mgamer20o0 BobsTropicalPlants.com
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