CFLs(Compact Flourescent Lightbulbs) are getting cheaper and better in every way. But meanwhile flourescent lightbulbs for aquariums at my local fish store costed around 12 bucks and seem to be getting more expensive. It diddn't help that my aquarium hood light's circuitry was all rusted and broken and bulbs would burn out on a weekly basis because of it. Finally I was fed up with it all and decided to do something about it.
At first I found the instructables on how to make an led light. I thought I would do that but when I went to Fry's Electronics I found out that it would be like 40 dollars to by all the led's I needed. I couldv'e bought them online but being my impacient self, I diddnt. Plus I diddn't like all the tedious soldering that went into everything.
Finally I came up with this: The Compact Flourescent Aquarium Hood Light
some benefiets are:
-No soldering!( YAY)
-Easy to aquire materials
-Cheaper to replace bulb
-Every time you replace the bulb it also replaces all the circuitry so it'll last a long time
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Step 1: Things You Need
Here are the materials you need:
-Aquarium hood light
-Not needed desk lamp
-wire connectors- rated 120 volts (I found these in the old circuitry of aquarium hood light)
-Sheet metal or Aluminum Foil (I used sheet metal but aluminum foil would probably work just as well)
-Hot glue gun
-Screw driver (for taking out the circuitry of hood light)
Step 2: Take Everything Out of the Hood Light
This is pretty self explanatory, but make sure you save the wire connectors from it. After you're done, you will have the case made. Sorry no pics
Step 3: Take the Light Fixture Out of the Desk Lamp
For this step, take the desk lamp and somehow take the actual fixture out. For mine, I had to unscrew a nut off the back. Now trim the cord with some scissors so it's about 3-4 inches long and strip the rubber back so bare wire is showing. It should look like the pic below except without the sheet metal and other stuff around it.
Step 4: Glue in Sheet Metal/aluminum Foil
Glue the sheet metal or aluminum foil near the middle of the hood light case. If you use sheet metal, then I would recommend that you use a book to crease the metal to fit it exactly.
Step 5: Glue the Light Fixture Into the Hood Light
Here you have to use hot glue to glue the light fixture in. Make sure it's the correct distance away from the sheet metal so that the light reflects off of it. Also, use something to space it up so that when you insert the light , it isn't touching the sheet metal or the aquarium itself. I used a scrap piece of metal for it.
Step 6: Put Connectors on the Wires
Here you just want to connect the wires from the light fixture to the power cord of of the aquarium hood light.
Step 7: Test It
Now you just screw in the cfl bulb and plug 'er in. If you did everything right then it should light up.
Hooray, you have just upgraded your aquarium light.
If you have any questions just comment
ps. sorry for my shortage on pics