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FAQs about Fluorescent Light and Lighting for Marine Systems, Installation-Wiring

Related FAQs: Fluorescent Light 1, Fluorescent Light 2, Fluorescent Light 3, Normal Output (NO), High Output (HO), Very High Output (VHO), Compact Fluorescents (CFs, PCs)Compact Fluorescents 2T5, TN Fluorescent Lighting, & FAQs on Fluorescent: Fixture Selection, End Caps, Ballasts, Regular and High-Output Lamp Selection, PC Lamp Selection, T-5 Lamp Selection, Lamp Life-Span Issues, Power Consumption IssuesTroubleshooting/Repairing, By Make/Model/Manufacturer: & Metal Halide Lighting, Lighting Marine Invertebrates LR LightingTridacnid LightingSmall System Lighting,

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Maximum wire length between ballast and bulb Howdy, I have a retro kit for Halides & VHO's and the cabling that came with the kit has approx 10' ea between the bulb assy and the ballasts.  I have two separate ballasts, one for the halides & one for the VHO's.  They are just a standard Advance transformer w/cap ballasts.  I wanted to lengthen the distance between the ballast and the bulbs by an additional 10'.  I have the appropriate cable to do this and the wiring is simple enough.  The question really is, is there a maximum distance one should not exceed in length from ballast to bulb for either Halide or VHO?  Overall the length would be about 20' from ballast to bulb when I'm done. p.s. I've already wired it up...I just was wondering if the minimal extra capacitance in the line would cause a problem down the road with startup or voltage loss. Thanks <Yes, this could be a problem, depending on wire size for this length run, voltage, amperage, etc.  The manufacturers of these ballasts provide the maximum length and recommended wire size for these applications, please refer directly to the manufacturer (or vendor) for their requirements.  Craig>

Fluorescent lighting question I tried to read the Fluorescent lighting FAQ section on your web site but it's not coming up. The PC FAQ is, just not the Fluorescent page. I've seen that in a few other areas but I'm remiss in mentioning them to you. The frames and banners all load, but the content does not. There are no error messages. <Some of the article pages are not complete and merely have a link with no content, but all of the FAQ pages should work. I looked at this page has a bad link. The FAQ for fluorescent lighting is here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fluoltgfaqs.htm> At any rate the question I have is a pure DIY question. I'm building a new canopy for my 80 gallon long aquarium. The tank is currently dry but should be full of water in a few weeks. The tank is 6 feet long with one opaque divider in the middle. I intend to put a glass top on under the canopy. Now that you know my parameters I'm looking into just using a 4 bulb 40W electronic ballast from Home Depot to power 4 36" 36W lights. As I recall if the bulbs only need 36W there is no problem with using a 40W ballast. <Yes, most of these ballasts will run 40 or 30 watt lamps.> I intend to use two full spectrum and two actinic bulbs on a FOWLR tank. (Alternately I may add a second two bulb ballast and run the actinics in there for sunrise/sunset simulation on a different circuit.) All of that said do you see any potential problems with the setup? I can buy an Icecap setup for about $120 or I can build my setup for about $25. -David Rencher <Do be sure to use water resistant end caps, plastic junction boxes, and follow all applicable safety codes for electrical work. -Steven Pro>

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