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Ok, Lets say you want to have a unique lighting system that resembles the sunrise to sunset. What set of lights would you need to have and when would they need to be on and for how long?

I know that the 6500K to 6700K lights would be when the sun is at the highest point but what color lights should represent the morning and eveing times? Also, what would be the recomend lumens for each light? Not sure I am going to do this on my small custom viv I am building but plan to do this on my large custom. I am in the midst of planning the large along with the small but have started the small to see how things work. Then I will start the large but need to get these parts of plan before I get to that stage of constuction.

Would you recommend gradually going up the color chart like starting with 3000K for an hour or so then 3500K, 4000K, 5000K, to 6500K or 6700K then back down to the 3000K having the differnt bulbs run together for a bout 5 mins when changing to differnt color bulbs? Or would you recomend only using a couple of these instead of all of them.

I am at a loss when it comes to light so I need all the help I can get. Is there a progamable dimmer out there that would just let you use the 6500K to 6700K light to have you brighten then dim throughout the day? And if there is would the dimming of the light in turn decrease the colr of the light or would it still be 6500k or 6700k? I do appreciate the help that all you generouse peolpe have given and I try to do the same. I am trying to create the most realistic viv that a can and believe this will help and hopefully the inhabatents will like it also.

Thanks Again
Mike P.
 

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I've been thinking about setting something up like that for a while...another project on the back burner :roll: :!:

Ice cap makes a programmable dimmer for VHO's...And I've seen recently a dimmer for most other flourescents...sorry cant remember where.
As far as the color temps, I think you have the right idea, starting with a lower K color, then increasing to 6500k or so.
What I would try instead of switching bulbs off for the transition, is starting with one bulb of a lower 3000K(ish), maybee an hour later turn on another bulb of a higher K, maybee 4000-5000K, then at say 10 to 2 (midday simulation) add a 10K, or whatever ends up looking appropriate.

One problem with having bulbs of different colors is that if you don't have them real close together, sometimes the light from one bulb will hit one side of an object, and the light from another will hit the other side, and will look sort of weird. The new T-5HO bulbs would be great in this application, the bulb is 5/8"diamater, and a real nice reflector for them is only 2" wide, so you can get the bulbs real close together, and get a better blend that way.

I recently ordered a T-5HO retro, and it's great, $pendy, but if you have the dough they are great. They are super efficeint (approaching 100 lumens per watt!)
Here is a site you might find interesting:
http://www.fullspectrumsolutions.com/fl ... ulbs.shtml
 

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Not bad, I am using one of the 54 watt tubes (about 4 ft.) to light 4 ten gallon tanks, where I used to use a 65 watt compact. The bulb feels cooler to the touch and the tanks are running a little (2-3 degrees) cooler, and the light is more even on the tanks, since the 4 ft covers the length of the row of tanks, whereas the 65 watt (less than 2 ft) blasted the middle tanks with light and heat, and the outside two tanks were getting just enough light.
One thing I really like about these light kits, is that the bub is held up by the endcaps, the reflector clips to the bulb, and you can rotate the reflector around the bulb, allowing you to "aim" the light where you like it! :D
 

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The ballast is a 2x54 watt, but shows instructions how to wire for 1 bulb as well...worst case (I hope) is the lone bulb that I'm using now is overdriven, and will wear out sooner...before too long I'll set up the other bulb on another shelf...but don't have the need just yet.
I found the retrokit on ebay, this link will take you to the right place to find the goodies. The complete (except bulbs)retro cost me $92 after shipping. (I know, I know, I could've bought ten shoplights for that, but thats not what I wanted!)
http://home.listings.ebay.com/Fish_Ligh ... propertyZ2
I got the bulbs from Natural Lighting.com, this is the bulb, note the price difference (if you are familiar) from a similar wattage compact.
http://www.naturallighting.com/show_pro ... uct_id=393
I would've ordered from the other place, but this one takes pay-pal, and I happened to have a balance.
 

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I think the T5's are well worth the cost. It's hard to beat $8 for shop lights but I just retro fitted some with T8s and it's a huge difference, and the T5's from what I've read are even brighter. I wouldn't worry about the bulb in a single configuration, it's only going to draw the amps it's designed for, I'd worry more about possible damage to the ballast being under driven. I'm no electrician so anyone who is or knows more about flourescents please chime in.
 
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