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Wrestling with an Arcadia Luminaire with some crazy wiring.


19 Oct 2008
Phew... what an afternoon I've just had.

Have ended up having to completely disassemble a 5foot arcadia luminaire. I'll explain:

I took the offer of the 4 x T5 Arcadia 5 foot luminaire from Jim at TGM since he was off-loading them due to a lighting changeover.

I assumed it would be the same length, as my '5 foot' I-bar.

That was a silly thing to assume wasn't it?! Having just rebuilt a new wooden lid cabinet for my tank, (the week before!) I discover that the luminaire is 2 cm too long to fit in it. (can't run the tank open.. just too damn much evaporation.)

Anyway, after a little cursing, I realise that the thing can be disassembled and the aluminium casing can be cut to shorten the whole thing... Well let's just say that it's far easier to take these things apart than it is to put them back together, and the edge of the metal reflectors are viciously sharp!

But what really annoyed me was how the bulbs were wired up. The inner and outer pairs are wired on the same switch. Now is it just me or is this rather crazy?! Assuming that you run one pair for most of the day, and add the second for a mid-lighting session burst, then with the default wiring, you end up with one gloomy end of the tank for most of the lighting period!

Needless to say, I quickly switched around the wiring so that I now have staggered pairs of bulbs, with one from each end on for the whole session.

Has anyone else found this feature of the luminaires annoying?

Anyway, my luminaire is now 4cm shorter than standard, fits the hood and looks great!

Another annoyance is that the cable come out opposite ends. Surely most people want the 2 cables to go to sockets in the same place?!


New Member
3 Nov 2007
I have the small Arcadia over-tank luminaire with 4x24W bulbs (http://www.charterhouse-aquatics.co.uk/ ... p-623.html )(not the new OT2 as they was over £50 more than).
I to am confused as to why the wires come out at opposite ends and why there it no catch or arm to allow you to leave the lights 'up' to give you access to the water. I find the slightest tap and it slams down on the tank giving the shrimp sh*ts. I like that it doesnt heat the water up too much and the aluminium in-built reflectors are so super shiny.

Your a very brave man to alter the wiring, i wish i had the know-how to try that, but i may fry myself, so i'll just leave it as it is. I have two lights for 10 hours and have the middle two come on for 2 hours at midday for a burst.

Its not bad kit, but its really should have all been made of aluminium for the price it is.


19 Jul 2007
Lincoln UK
For the price of Arcadia Luminaires you would think they would run each tube seperately.

In stock hoods it is really annoying when they wire the 2 tubes on the same circuit because when 1 tube goes then the other won't work until the tube is replaced to complete the circuit again!!!

Found that out when I took my old Fluval hood apart.

Also found out that I didn't have 36W (2 x 18W) because they were running them off a 30W ballast!!!