View Full Version : Just set up

06-14-2009, 09:50 AM
Hi, Could I get some feedback on my setup? I don't have much space so I decided to put the screen in my wet/dry sump where my bio-balls were. The lamp is within 4 inches but angled. I ordered a plant growth bulb but the one I received didn't work so for the meantime I put a regular 40 Watt tungsten bulb. The light is however shining through the wall of the sump and I'm not sure if this is a good idea. Maybe algae will start to grow on the sump walls or the skimmer beside it? Thanks for the help.

06-14-2009, 01:21 PM
A 40W tungsten is pointless. A 100W might work but could cause a fire. Just get a warm-white not a cool-white CFL bulb anywhere. A plant bulb is not going to be markedly better anyway and will need to be replaced fairly regularly so don't settle on something you have to order or order a bunch.
You want a CFL bulb with at least 16W preferably much more, 23W etc.

You won't get a ton of growth on the front window if that is water from condensation. If it's splatter it will grow pretty quickly.

06-14-2009, 01:27 PM
Looking again at your picture... That angle is not going to work very well at all. Light hitting that face at that angle is going to skip off the surface and go to the right in your picture. Almost half the light is going to not hit your screen. You need that light hitting the front face straight on somehow. Even if you skip that reflector and just hang the bulb in front you will get MUCH better coverage. Maybe you can make a cylindrical reflector behind a hanging bulb and get it to fit. Otherwise you will need about 120W of CFL shining in from that angle.

06-14-2009, 01:31 PM
OK. Thanks for the tips.

06-16-2009, 01:13 PM
I figured out a way to get the angle better and also got my hands on a CFL 125W. Is there any risk of fire w/ a bulb like this? It kind of makes me nervous because its in a closed cabinet.

06-16-2009, 01:53 PM
Hi gc100;

Fire? It depends on if there is flamable stuff around and how hot it eventually gets. If you can touch everywhere but the bulb itself you should have no problem. The exception is paper. If paper feels hot you can have it burn hours or days later once it has dried and oxidized enough. I doubt you will have paper around the area though.

Sadly most CFLs are designed to burn base down because their electronics are in the housing. Hot air rising from the bulb area draws cool air past the electronics keeping them happy. Hanging the bulb in a base-up position runs all the hot air past the electronics and can cause early/rapid failure. Screwing one into a reflector like the one in your picture is even worse as it restricts all flow from the base.

So ideally you could mount the bulb base down somehow and put a half/cylinder reflector around the back of skip the reflector altogether.

You can still mount the bulb any other way you want, it may work fine.

Your 125W should really make a huge difference! That is much better!

06-16-2009, 02:00 PM
Thanks! Great info.

06-17-2009, 10:35 AM
Hopefully you mean a 125W equivalent bulb (actuall 23W), and not an actual 125W CFL whose equivalent is about 500W.

06-17-2009, 02:11 PM
The brighter the better eh? :D

I have a 45W CFL in my hallway. Its called "Sunrise" by the maker. It's pretty bright! It has also lasted longer than any CFL I've ever owned. It's warm white too.
I think it's a 250W equivalent.