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DIY Lighting (and other stuff) enclosure hood ideas


huskerduck
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Well I have 29 and 24 gallon Nanos and Metal Halides just weren't cutting it, too hot, too bulky, and quite frankly , the tops of these Nanos look pretty Wal-mart too me. I also need to hide my Wal-mart looking LEDs with advertising stamped on the front of them

 

They both have curved fronts which poses a small problem in most material retaining rigidity or non time consuming processes. I opted for Fiberglass for multiple reasons

 

1. Completely water/salt/chemical proof

2. extremely coverable with just about any product including Car paint

3. NO expansion or contraction problems

4. Expandable in adding and subtracting from with a sander or air file, don't like something just sand it off and change it, want to add some cool molded handles, mold them up and resin them on

5. as lightweight as it comes

6. easy to work with, basically no tools required

7. fairly cheap for end results depending on bracing material

 

First I made my molds, I opted for 1/2 MDF, could have used a variety of cheaper stuff but originally I was going to actually make the hoods from the $28 dollar sheet until I cut the pieces and thought " no way am I going to lug that on and off, or expect the wife to if Im out of town and something happens"

 

Pretty simple built a box, wrapped tightly with wax paper and covered

 

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The front was a little trickier to get the curve but not really, I used a piece of cardboard matting I had laying around

 

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Then cut some aluminum bracing and used 30 second epoxy to hold them in place

 

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The front just slips on and slips off effortlessly and stays put so Im not doing any hinges, The front of the tank trim holds it perfectly and I designed it to slide 5/8" over the entire cover, it basically vacuum seals to the front.

 

At this point they are ready for Bondo smooth coating, the lid goes back on its Mold and I use a 24" sheet rockers Knife to make one pass over the entire surface, you can literally just mix the stuff right on the lid and swipe then sand.

 

The box is a no brainer, same thing. I would have opted for just shooting them with a product they call " Feather fill" which would have been really easy but its now $85 a gallon and I find that ridiculous and in protest I bought a $17 gallon of bondo

 

On the top front Im going to add a heat register for 2 reasons, better air flow and I just grab it, pull it out and this is where Im going to fill my auto top off container that Im molding into the hood above the lights. I want it to auto top for a week so it will probably hold 4-5 gallons and also block the light from coming out the full open back. At least a couple more inches

 

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The reason I used the household air register is because they make 100s of these in different styles and colors/Brass, wood whatever. the louvers will also block an light leak

 

If anyones interested in the completion of this I will keep posting progress, so far the thing probably weighs about 1 pound if that and is strong as heck, it has to be its going in a plant room and will have to support a plant

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Mark' date=' looks awesome. Can't wait to see the end product. How are the LED's coming along?[/quote']They came along pretty well, just got back from going up and drooling at Madmikes tank and borrowing his Par meter and they're reading like 400 an inch down, about 300 in the middle of the tank and 150-200 on the bottom. I don't know what that means but hopefully its good. If you hold the meter directly in the center It stays a little higher all the way down
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They came along pretty well' date=' just got back from going up and drooling at Madmikes tank and borrowing his Par meter and they're reading like 400 an inch down, about 300 in the middle of the tank and 150-200 on the bottom. I don't know what that means but hopefully its good. If you hold the meter directly in the center It stays a little higher all the way down[/quote']

 

Those are great numbers depending on where the fixture is you may be able to icrease them-I am getting about the same numbers maybe 10% higher with 80 degree optics-I just placed an order for 24 more for another build and went with 70 degree optics, not sure why the specs show about 25 percent more par with them.

 

Anyway, you will be able to grow whatever you want with those numbers-My wife thinks she can see my acros growing-LMAO

They for sure are showing new growth on a very consitant basis-

 

Glad you got a light that will produce what you want (clap)

 

Congrats

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That par seems good!
Hey Mike, your little critters seem to like the light!! Everyone seems to have opened back up from the trip and gulping on some royal blues. Another forum member came over and brought a bunch of fancy testing equipment since my test kits are a little out dated and I missed stopping y Upscales long enough to reload on test kits. Im on the fence about test kits if an apex is on the horizon. Thanks again for the tour and the early Christmas presents, my Nanos are hungry for something of quality in them.
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Those are great numbers depending on where the fixture is you may be able to icrease them-I am getting about the same numbers maybe 10% higher with 80 degree optics-I just placed an order for 24 more for another build and went with 70 degree optics, not sure why the specs show about 25 percent more par with them.

 

Anyway, you will be able to grow whatever you want with those numbers-My wife thinks she can see my acros growing-LMAO

They for sure are showing new growth on a very consitant basis-

 

Glad you got a light that will produce what you want (clap)

 

Congrats

Its really weird but if you move just 1" to the right I was getting 400s in the mid, then another 1" and it may be 320. Im using the carlico optics and have them 12"+ off the water as of now. Since I split my light in half and have 24' runs of wire to the lights those first numbers are the far away light. My light right above the Drivers are considerably higher. I was 400 par almost everywhere down to half way in that tank. Maybe if your not busy when I run Mikes Par meter back I could stop by and check out your lights if you aren't doing anything! I don't think your wife is crazy because I got a little $16 milli off Garrett the other day when I took Trents Chiller to him and I swear that lil guy has grown an 1/8"

 

Im going to see how stuff goes but I have 24 open slots per light, I could probably get some scorching Par with another 12 LEDs per light which would be cheap enough

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WOW!!! You got skills! I need to know what settings your camera was in to get the color correct! I would definitely like to see if mine can be setup to do the same.

 

Thanks!

LOL, I gots no skillz. That would be Canon, CS2, and Mac that get all the credit. Your Archilles Tang needs to be trained before we do our real shoot. That lil guy had me a little flustered

 

Total of nine - 15 megapixel picture panorama, want me to email you the results;)

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what camera do you have...canon' date=' but what exactly? I'm assuming it's a D-SLR..still, what model. assuming it's a D-SLR, what lens?[/quote']The camera that shot this is a cheesy ole Canon T1i Rebel believe it or not, Its a tank shooting beast, not as good as my Olympus but my daughter borrowed that about a year ago:)
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The camera that shot this is a cheesy ole Canon T1i Rebel believe it or not' date=' Its a tank shooting beast, not as good as my Olympus but my daughter borrowed that about a year ago:)[/quote']

 

wow...I've never had anything better than an olympus 'megazoom' (SP-800UZ)...I might have to look into a D-SLR, even a 'bottom-end' one...cause that's beautiful.

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