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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think most with thumbnail pairs house them in 10-20 gallon tanks that have a small radius to light, but a depth of 18-24 inches. What do you use to light with and why?

My guess is that many use a standard 14W CFL that is about 500 Lumens @ 5000k to 6500k.


This was recommended to me and I've tended to stick with. My problem is I don't want a light fixture that pops up a few inches above the tank.


My solution to keep a low height above the tank was the use of board mounted LEDs such as multiple concentric ring car lights


While this has proven more successful and reduced my need for a fixture, I'm still looking for an easier solution. One was 225 DIP grow lights:


I heard however DIP lights were not very efficient. So I looked into x225 5050SMD:


I'm told however this produces 1600 lumens. Too much light perhaps for a small tank? Plus 5050 SMD are not as efficient in dissipating heat as 2528 SMD.

Now I'm considering a x138 3528 SMD. These make about 3x less light, rated at 560 lumens.


On a side note I'd live to hear about those LEDs from lightyourreptiles.com. From my own research those are pretty good, but I still don't know if they use 3528 or 5050 SMD.
 

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konton, if you wouldn't mind in another thread, could you take a few pics next time you put some of these together and make a how-to?

Some of us (myself included) have zero wiring experience and a bunch of the LED's you've been using look like they need soldering... I would also not have the first clue what type of power source to use. I (and I'm sure many others) would definitely appreciate it if you have the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Okay. But I'll just give you the basics here.

For the record though I don't solder if I can help it. I keep everything 12v so I don't electrocute myself (I've done that too much with 110v from out of the socket). I have a bunch of 12v adapters sitting in the garage from the millions of junk I've bought in the last 20 years. The major issue is making sure the one I use can handle the amperage. Otherwise it will melt (that's happened).


If I need to extend the cable I just use cheap speaker wire. It can handle 12v no problem. I cut the ends off and add a wire cap you twist on to keep the cables together. Easier than soldering.


At the end I screw on a 5.5mm female jack. Pretty standard for 12v adapters. Screws make it easy to take off and reuse. I buy them off ebay. These are great because I don't need to splice right into the 12v adapter, and if something get's pulled hard, it come off at the jack rather than trying to rip the adapter out of the wall.


Of course you could just cut the end off the adapter and forget about the jacks. Anyway I'll try to make a howto thread in the future.
 
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