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Juwel Lido 120 Lighting - Upgrading To Standard T5 Tubes

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#1 Colts


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Posted 18 December 2008 - 09:39 AM

After a failure of my Juwel Lido 120 T8 light bar I was left with a couple of options.
a. Purchase a new light bar (juwel or arcadia)
b. Replace the electronic ballast inside the faulty juwel bar.

Inspired by Doresy's post, I decided to repair the faulty light bar. Having removed the faulty ballast and searching the internet for a suitable replacement, it was clear I was not going to be able to obtain a replacement electronic ballast (2 x 15w) for a resaonable price. I looked at the newer T5 Juwel light bar but after seeing the price for replacement tubes (25-30pound) I decided against it. I then wondered why juwel needed to create a bespoke tube for their 2 foot tanks. After a bit of searching, I found the length of the 24w T5 tubes was 549mm (excluding pins). This actualy fits inside the Lido 120 with approx 30mm to spare (enough for some end caps). To cut the story short, I found I could fit standard length T5 tubes to my tank. This would give me a larger choice of tubes and reduce ongoing costs.

So......this is how I did it.

As per Doresy's post, I cut out the faulty ballast. At this stage I was expecting to get a replacement ballast so I labeled up the wires.

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The Arcadia Ultra Seal end caps I used

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The old T8 end caps were no longer required so I removed them. To remove them, grab the end cap and force it either up or down to unclip it. A fair amount of force is required here! The mains cable will also need to be removed or it will fowl the T5 tubes. (I removed the mains cable at a later date so the pics still show it attached)

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A simple way to atach the new light tubes would be to fix T5 terry clips along the length of the light bar. The Arcadia Ultra seal end caps come with their own clips, it seemed a shame not to use them so I decided to make some brackets to fix them to. I created a cardboard template from which I created a bracket from some sheet polystyrene I had. I wouldn't expect many people to have the materials needed for this so the terry clips would be a much better idea.

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After the brackets were done, I glued them in place and drilled the holes necessary to fix the Arcadia clips in place. As the length of the light tube was going to be fairly tight in the tank, these brackets needed to be quite accurate. I used some small stainless nuts and bolts to hold the Arcadia clips in place. I saw my LFS sold the Arcadia plastic nuts and bolts which would have been equaly as good.

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With the light finished, the cables port out of the tank into my cabinet where a new T5 ballast powers them both. There is a 3mm gap at each end of the tube so the light bar still slides freely. If you don't want to buy your own ballast then the Arcadia Ultra seal electronic ballast 2 x 24w with end caps is just the same thing, albeit expensive.

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I found a 2 x 24w electronic ballast on ebay for 12.50 delivered.
The Arcadia ultra seal T5 end caps cost 6.95/pair from my LFS.
24w Osram Skywhite + 24w Sylvania Grolux tubes from lampspecs.co.uk for 21.00 delivered.

I will be installing the new ballast in the light bar and making water tight at a later date, but for now, I'll be keeping the ballast under the tank; my plants have been without light for 7days so they need to recover!

#2 doresy


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Posted 18 December 2008 - 10:19 AM


:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

I would be inclined to keep the ballast where it is providing you have made adequate insulation as I feel that some of the main contributary factors of ballast failure in these units are heat and moisture.

Just love your DIY style and a person after my own heart. As I mentioned before, I am no electrical engineer but I see no problem with your design and would feel honoured if your photographic journal was alongside mine in the pinned section :good:

What do you think Mods? :hey:

#3 Colts


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Posted 18 December 2008 - 03:21 PM

Thanks for the positive comments doresy.

I was expecting to see some signs of corrosion when I stripped down the light bar. I was amazed to see how clean/dry everything was. Including inside the faulty ballast! I think it helped that I'd sealed around the T8 end caps with silicone from new.

The ballast and wires take up a fair amount of room in my cupboard so I'd prefer to finish the job off when I get chance.

It's the first time I've used high output T5 tubes, they realy are bright, it hurts my eyes when I lift the lid! :blink:

#4 three-fingers


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Posted 28 December 2008 - 02:55 PM

Great post, this will be useful for building a hood, worked out this will save me nearly 50 :D.

#5 deeco


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Posted 16 February 2009 - 03:33 PM

Great job

What did you use to cut the plastic out

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