I noticed there is a mini deep or a medium deep dome by Zoom Med. Is the mini version fine? That's what I have on my sons bearded dragon tank and looks like it would be sufficient, but I just wanted to ask. You also mention cutting the top off the bulb to expose the LED's. What did you do to do that? I've read about people baking the bulbs at 250 degrees for 20 minutes and then taking the bulb off. I fear that wouldn't be great for the light itself. Also, it looks like you may have changed from the Bright Stik to something else. What kind is that? 150 watt? Any brand OK? I'm just curious as I had been looking at a Kessil (one of the cheaper versions), but I could do several of these set ups for the cost of one--and that is the cheaper Kessil. Thanks!
Yes the Zoo Med mini deep is the one I use. Here is a link to one of my videos that will show you how the pendent looks and the 5000k LED lights I use @150w each and that is 3 bulbs per pendent.
I placed the bulb in a vise and cut the top off with a hand Jig Saw that you can buy at any hardware store for a few bucks, about ¼” from the base. Then I sanded it down a little to take all sharp edges off the bulb (see video). Now the LED’s will be exposed. The 150w LED bulbs I bought at Menards, though they cost $15.oo for one, but are very bright rated @ 2200 lumens with cap on and with cap off will jump up to 3000 lumens per bulb. I think each bulb has 60- LED’s in them so with three bulbs in the Zoo Med mini that makes 180 LED’s in one pendent. Moreover, the three bulbs in the Zoo Med mini pendent you will see in the video put out about 9000 lumens @5000k. Still a lot cheaper than a Kessil light but may not look as good.
The Bright Stik’s lights bulbs no longer come in 6500k and are now only made in 5000k. That is why I tested out the 5000k bulbs and they work just as well as the 6500k bulbs do. Plus, the 150w LED bulbs I bought are brighter than the 1500 lumens @ 100w that the Bright Stik’s but out.
If people get really intuitive that can get a very nice pendent from a lighting store and still spent less that a Kessil light. I will tell you this: Once you see how really bright this light pendent is with the three LED bulbs in the Zoo Med mini is, you’ll be glad you saved your money, it will knock you socks off. Technology with LED’s has come so far now that companies like Kessil can’t justify their cost if the don’t but bells and whistles on them.
As they say: Build a better mousetrap and people will buy it. This is the exact reason Eli Whitney a Yale graduate, died broke because his cotton gin was so easy to make and copy that people just made it themselves for next to nothing. Hobbyists now can make a dimmable light pendent at a fraction of the cost of a Kessil. It’s a no brainer and only a fool and his money would buy a Kessil light for a fish tank or planted tank.
The only down side is that the 5000k light bulbs will make your fish and plants look like they are in full sun and the colors of the fish will not be exaggerated like some lights do. I personally like viewing my fish as they are in nature but then again some people may not.