How high up should my CFL be from the tank

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by flyin-lowe, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. f

    flyin-lowe Well Known Member Member

    My 120g came with two single bulb 36 inch fixtures. I bought the conversion kit for AH supply so now each strip has a 96 watt cfl in it. I mounted the ballast on the outside back of the lights to help reduce the heat. The first night I sat the lights directly on top of my glass hoods and within 1/2 hour one piece of glass actually cracked. I didn't know they got that hot. I ended up getting four small pieces of 1 inch block and sat the lights on the blocks so the bulbs are now about 2 inches above the glass. I noticed tonight another piece of the glass is cracked:;fru. How high above the tank is it recommended that cfl bulbs be. Also my ballast get very hot, I am new to these lights, is this normal or do I possibly have a problem? The are not hot enough to burn me but you can't keeps your hands on them more then a few seconds.
  2. Nutter

    Nutter Fishlore VIP Member

    Rather than raise the lights you might like to lood at installing a 12v PC fan to get rid of the excess heat. If you do want to raise the lights, I think most people put them 6-12' above the glass lids.
  3. OP

    flyin-lowe Well Known Member Member

    I added another set of blocks on top of the other blocks. I am going to look into a couple small fans. Do any of the PC fans come with a plug on them or are they all made to be wired into a computer?
  4. sirdarksol

    sirdarksol Fishlore Legend Member

    The temperature that you're describing (not quite hot enough to burn, but hot enough that you don't really want to touch it) is what I've read elsewhere. It's also what my power compact floor lamps are like. So I don't think you're having an electrical problem.
    I think that a combination of fans and space is your best bet.
    The pictures I've seen of the larger compact fluorescent setups look like they raise the light about 3" above the top of the aquarium, and they usually also have fans built in.
  5. OP

    flyin-lowe Well Known Member Member

    I got sick of looking at the blocks of wood this afternoon holding up my lights. I went out and cut 8 pieces of 2 inch PVC and cut some slots in the top of each piece. I then painted them black and put one under each corner of each light. It looks a lot nicer and only took about 10 minutes to do.

    Attached Files:

  6. sirdarksol

    sirdarksol Fishlore Legend Member

  7. Alcmiller

    Alcmiller Valued Member Member

    Hey, I'd put that above my tank any day! Thanks for sharing your solution with us.. I may just end up doing that sometime soon ;)

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