car headlight bulbs for reef

Discussion in 'Do It Yourself (DIY)' started by softchxntaco, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. softchxntaco

    softchxntaco

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    i was kicking some ideas around and i was wondering if the halogen bulbs used in cars could be used to light a reef?
     
    softchxntaco, Mar 3, 2012
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  2. softchxntaco

    little_fish Moderator

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    My guess is no, I doubt they have enough power or put out the right wavelength.
     
    little_fish, Mar 3, 2012
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  3. softchxntaco

    kbuser92 Breeder

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    They definitely have enough power, but I wouldn't count on the wavelength. You can buy aftermarket (non OEM) that are Super Bright (white) and then in colours and there IS a blue one. I'm not sure the cost, I'm sure by the time you bought enough bulbs (probably 2-4 of each) and DIY'ed a fixture, it would be similar to what you would pay for a decent 2-4 bulb T5. It sure would look cool and I'd be interested to see if it works. I think it would have similar PAR ratings to a halide.
     
    kbuser92, Mar 4, 2012
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  4. softchxntaco

    softchxntaco

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    hmm i may have to check the auto zone and see what the wavelength of the different type of bulbs/reflectors ect ect i know the plasma types have the blue tint in them, that was the basis of the idea ./ design i was kicking around
     
    softchxntaco, Mar 5, 2012
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  5. softchxntaco

    softchxntaco

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    and I dont think the power consumption would be all that high considering headlamps are a 12 volt system
     
    softchxntaco, Mar 5, 2012
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  6. softchxntaco

    bigford fish only

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    what are you going to power them with?
     
    bigford, Mar 5, 2012
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  7. softchxntaco

    softchxntaco

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    any 12-14 volt transformer would work
     
    softchxntaco, Mar 5, 2012
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  8. softchxntaco

    bjohanson1234 .........

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    I think you would need more than just a transformer. Headlights draw a lot of amps. I would look into getting a 12 volt power supply. Also, I don't think that head light bulbs would supply wave length and spectrum analysis.
     
    bjohanson1234, Mar 5, 2012
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  9. softchxntaco

    softchxntaco

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    yes thats what
    I meant silly me
     
    softchxntaco, Mar 5, 2012
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  10. softchxntaco

    kbuser92 Breeder

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    If you could figure.out a way to hook it up, the only thing i would worry about is power and spectrum, but again (and i work on cars) Im sure with the right bulbs it would work. Just be warned though that Halogen has a similar heat output to HQI and plasma gets REALLY hot.
     
    kbuser92, Mar 5, 2012
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  11. softchxntaco

    softchxntaco

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    would the spectrum be stamped on the bulb/packaging or would i need t dig deeper into researching the spectrums
     
    softchxntaco, Mar 5, 2012
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  12. softchxntaco

    bjohanson1234 .........

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    I did some looking, it seems that headlights are around 55watts each. So each bulb has the same power usage as a 48 inch T5HO which are 54 watts each. Not sure what size tank you are trying to light, but it might not really save on electricity cost. And depending on the headlight, might cost more in bulb replacement.
     
    bjohanson1234, Mar 5, 2012
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  13. softchxntaco

    kbuser92 Breeder

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    You probably wont find it. As long as you get blue halogen (its mixed with another gas in small amounts for tint) and the super bright or a Xenon 8,000K, you should be fine. And I dont think the 8,000 has to do with the Kelvin, but I dont remember for sure. I think you would wanna do around one each for every 4 ft2, just like halides. Maybe supplement with a Hagen Glo that has an actinic.
     
    kbuser92, Mar 5, 2012
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  14. softchxntaco

    softchxntaco

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    the tank is a 55 Gal
     
    softchxntaco, Mar 5, 2012
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  15. softchxntaco

    kbuser92 Breeder

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    The bulbs are only a few dollars each. Cant say for aftermarket ones, probably $10ish.
     
    kbuser92, Mar 5, 2012
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  16. softchxntaco

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    What are you going to use as a reflector? Buy the time you get the right bulbs and gerrymander some sort of setup for this, I don't think you'll really be saving any money. My guess is that if this was a viable alternative to the lighting that is generally accepted we would have heard about it by now

    Is there any information out there on the phase shift of these bulbs as they accumulate run time? While a subtle shift into the red spectrum isn't important for bulbs lighting up the road at night, its definitely important for someone lighting a reef tank. That shift into the red spectrum will lead to increased algae growth
     
    Northstar24, Mar 5, 2012
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  17. softchxntaco

    snyderju

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    +1 I would assume they would get very hot.
     
    snyderju, Mar 13, 2012
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  18. softchxntaco

    kbuser92 Breeder

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    I get burned daily by the SOBs. Badly.
     
    kbuser92, Mar 13, 2012
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  19. softchxntaco

    315hottuna61 " Take a Kid Fishing " VIP Member

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    If for no other reason, they will probably burn out quickly
     
    315hottuna61, Mar 15, 2012
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  20. softchxntaco

    kbuser92 Breeder

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    +1 That's actually a good point. If anything like dust or oils from your skin contacts them, they blow up because it weakens the glass in that spot. The heat causes them to explode. You could rig something, but it would be very expensive.
     
    kbuser92, Mar 15, 2012
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