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Re: Re:Putting fishroom back together was

On Tue, 10 Sep 2002, Del from Oregon wrote:

> I am interested as to how you "plug" in the lights to the
> ballasts. What type of plug did you use?

We're using T-8 instant start ballasts.  See near the bottom of the page


What I'm doing is running three wires (yellow and the two red, or yellow 
and the two blue) into an 3-pronged outlet I got at home depot.  The right 
prong is rotated 90 degrees so you can't plug a normal ac cord into it.  
Important: because  I am using the yellow wire as the "ground", it is 
vital that the box this stuff is mounted in is PLASTIC, and the two screws 
the hold the front plate to the outlet are either plastic or covered with 
tape.  I don't want to have anything exposed.

OK, so the other half of this is that I gutted a couple of "Lights of 
America" shoplights (not difficult... this particular brand is notorious 
for their horrible electronic ballasts that die after a year or 2).  I 
simply hooked up the "ground" line to all four pins on the far side of the 
fixture, and the other two lines to 2 pins on each tube on the near side.  
Cut off the original plug, and replace it with the "special" plug, and I 
now have a super lightweight removable light fixture.  I think I will 
actually do a few more in this manner, so they're all interchangable.

> Also, do you set your lights on timers?  How long do you
> leave the lights on?

Lights are on X-10, which is in some way better than mechanical timers, 
but sometimes causing much consternation because they don't always turn 
off reliably when the freezer is on.

12-14 hours a day, depending on whether I'm trying to induce plants to 
flower, combat algae, etc...

  - Erik

Erik Olson
erik at thekrib dot com

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