DIY Underwater Lights - 2CoolFishing
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:41 PM
Shannon Foye Shannon Foye is offline
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DIY Underwater Lights

Ballast is necessary to run the 175w mercury vapor bulbs that are used for underwater lights. Metal Halide ballast will run mercury vapor bulbs. You can find ballast for $30 to $40 on the internet. I ordered from a company in Texas to make sure that I received them by Memorial Day weekend. Their Venture ballasts (BV-V90D6112K) are $37. The shipping for three ballasts was $10. http://www.1000bulbs.com/175-Watt-Metal-Halide-Ballast/

The Venture ballast is wired for 120, 208, 240 & 277 volts. Cut off and seal the 208, 240, and 277 volt wires. Run the orange 120 volt wire and one of the white COM wires to a GFI outlet. Run the other white COM wire and the wire from the capacitor to the bulb. If you order from somewhere else, make sure that the ballast comes with a capacitor. You do not need an igniter. The Venture ballast came with the capacitor already wired to it.

I soldered the extension cord to the bulb with a cheap butane pen. Solder one wire to the side of the bulb and another wire to the bottom. Cut off the third wire. Lowes carries clear glass bulbs. Home Depot's bulbs are colored white. I sealed the bulbs in the PVC with marine silicone. I originally filled the PVC with silicone, put in the bulb, and let it sit for a day. A week later I was curious if it ever completely cured. I unscrewed the end cap and the silicone was still as wet as it was when I pured it in. I left the two parts open to cure. I'll add a little more silicone and screw them back together.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:07 AM
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Looks like an interesting option to a 4 foot green light.
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:10 AM
Vick Vick is offline
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Pretty awesome! I will buy one from you! LoL
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:14 PM
katmunford katmunford is offline
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Epoxy

Instead of using silicon sealant, you might try 2-part epoxy. Epoxy should cure in the absence of air. This way you woulld not need to pull it apart to see if it is dry. I may try this myself. Thanks!
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Old 05-24-2009, 11:55 AM
Shannon Foye Shannon Foye is offline
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I'll take back my suggestion of using marine silicone. One of my bulbs that I sealed with silicone is loose. Fortunately it hasn't been in the water yet. I'm going to use 2 part epoxy instead.
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:21 PM
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Yup, 2 part epoxy is the only way to go!
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:48 AM
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lamp?

where did you buy the green lamp?
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:05 AM
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The bulb used in these setups are 175 watt mercury vapor bulb with clear glass.
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:37 AM
Mako232 Mako232 is offline
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You need a 2 part epoxy that will not shrink when dry, there are some available, check the net.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:16 PM
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what makes the green color? is it the epoxy, the ballast, or the lamp? thanks.
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