I've built the frame with glass at the bottom, wooden frame siliconed to the glass with metal mirror corner clips to make sure it stays on, and the light fittings for the PL-L style fluorescent bulbs siliconed on to the wooden frame. A mirror is screwed on to the wooden frame so it can be removed to get access to the lights. Then a small hole through the wooden frame with the cables going to the electronic ballasts that are velcroed to the non-mirroed side (top) of the mirror. Lastly, there are a few extra holes in the mirror for hooks to go into the frame so it can be suspended on chains from the underside of the cabinet inside the sump.
Now, the problem...
At the moment, there's 4x36W PL-L bulbs connected to two ballast, the lights, when on for about half an hour make the glass and mirror so hot that it's only just possible to keep your hands on them, and the ballast get a bit hotter than that (they're rated up to 75C).
Cutting holes in the wood is probably not a good idea as splashes from the screen could get in, the only things I can think of are:
[list]1) cut two holes in the mirror and place two fans, one to blow air out, and one to pull air in[list:2nw1ks92]Cons:
a) difficult, and time consuming
b) Requires a power adaptor for the fans
c) More electrical contacts around water
d) More expense
a) Likely to cool it well[/list]2) Use longer screws and have some sort of spacers between the wooden frame and the mirror to let air flow natrually over the lamps[list]Cons:
a) Risks splashing directly on the PL-L bulbs/fittings and water collecting inside the frame
b) won't be as cool as a fan solution
a) not much expense
c) no more cables[/list][/list:u:2nw1ks92]
I'm leaning towards option 2). I could probably rig something up to protect the contacts getting wet and drill a small drain hole in the wooden frame at the lower end (as it's at a 30 degree slope roughly) in case any water does collect.
Any comments or other ideas?
I think 140W will actually do for the moment, it's immensely bright, easily enough to light up our entire living room (and then some) and so bright it's hard to look at it.
I just put it on top of the tank and put the 150W metal halide on, and it's almost exactly as bright, but different colour temp and no halide "shimmer".