Save a few dollars on Teklights

Save a few dollars on Teklights by Sergio Canabal

I accidentally stumbled across a way to save a few bucks in the lighting department, for those interested in setting up a new tank, or upgrading the lighting on their existing setup. Here’s how it went.

I recently received my 4x54W Teklight. Small problem – It only had one plug! Truth is, I ordered it from a hydroponics company assuming it was the same one you get from the aquarium companies. But alas, it was not. I should have known something was different; it was almost $100 less expensive where I ordered it from. It DOES have two separate ballasts and two separate switches to turn the two separate banks of lights on and off independently – but MANUALLY. Now anyone who knows me knows that this just will not do!

Upon inspection, it is obvious that Sunlight Supply uses the same housing for their hydroponics and aquarium versions, as there is a plug over what would have been the second cord grommet:

Second cord grommet

My solution to this problem

Add a second cord of course!

I opened up the fixture to take a look inside and what I found was that on this particular version, they actually spliced the power cord to that it powers BOTH ballasts. It would be easy enough for me to add the second cord, and un-splice so that each ballast received power from it’s own cord.

Adding the second cord

I started by making a hole in the plug:

Making the hole for the cord

I actually had a black appliance extension cord (rated for a load greater than BOTH banks of lights) that I was not using – so OFF WITH ITS HEAD!

Off with the cord's head

I fed the cord through the hole I made, and grounded it first:

Grounding the cord

Then I made all of the connections so that each ballast, and in turn each bank of lights was powered by its own cord:

Making the connections

I put a zip-tie around the new cord INSIDE the fixture, close to the “plug” in the housing that I drilled so the cord could not slip back through the hole, and closed everything up.

Finshed exterior

I tested everything out and it works GREAT.  I actually had the wire connectors and extension cord lying around, so the project cost me NOTHING but about 30 minutes of my time – can’t beat that!

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