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Fluval (and similar) light suspension kit - Light Review

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I will start by saying that this kit is applicable to quite a few aquarium lights out there.  I cannot give you any specific comments with regards to "yes it will work" because the basic premise of a lot of lights are based on the fluval light series of products. 

This kit is the "latest and greatest" so to speak because it incorporates the newer mounting system.  This is mostly meant to simplify mounting and make the process a bit easier for someone to accomplish.  I kind of wish I had the older kit, honestly, but I can see the advantages of both styles.  I will discuss the differences in a follow up post in this thread.

In essence, the kit is comprised of 2 identical assemblies and it consists of:
-Attachment bracket
-Steel wire
-Mounting attachment

You are still required to go out and purchase the screws needed to attach this to the ceiling.  The kit directions specify #8 or #10 size wood screws and to attach this directly to ceiling joists. I would've liked to see this included in the kit.  I also would've liked to see it made a bit more clearly whether you need pan head or countersink hardware due to the differences in how those types of hardware interface with the provided mounting attachments. (I did not see any CSK on the inside of the mounting points)

You undo the mounting bracket, insert the screw, make sure you are absolutely certain of where the hardware is to be attached and then install the screw into the ceiling.  No washers, no bulky mounting blocks, it's a very sleek design. 

Let's take a look at what happened in my case....


At the ceiling we have the attachment point which is slightly askew.  I cannot say I'm surprised, but this is something that I would assume is a lot more common than fluval would like to admit.  This is the main reason why I wish I had the older style kit.  It gives you slightly more freedom with mounting on an imperfect surface.

On the attachment point of the light itself there is a threaded pin that attaches from the end of the steel cable into the mounting bracket (black piece).  This attachment is not held together with any sort of loctite / thread locker which means that the twisting of the steel wire to attach it to the ceiling point directly loosens it from the lower mounting plate.  It came quite close when I noticed this issue to the light crashing into the tank.

I put a specimen container on each side of the tank to get an even lift, tightened the wires to the new height, and then proceeded to hope for a setup where the light was no longer constantly in the way.


As you can see.... the slight angle of the ceiling attachment ends with a lot of play in the light after it's mounted.  We're beyond the point of return and the only real way to fix this is to make some custom washers to level out the ceiling attachments.  The light is several inches askew above the tank and visually this is not desired.  This means when working on the tank part of the tank has the light several inches closer and constantly being bumped. 

I know it appears from the steel cables that the mounting is not straight to the tank.  I guarantee you that this is due to both attachments being askew in opposing directions.  The one farthest from view in this photo below points to the left and the one closest points towards the right.


This kit was used on my 48" light that I have had for several years. What I also found out moments after lifting the light to the desired height is that the light itself is severely warped.  The middle of the light is several inches high and each end of the light droops down, making an arc.  This again further skews the cables resulting in a bit of a wonky view when looking at the tank.  I am pretty disappointed in fluval for that one, I don't think the light should've warped over time and I seriously do not think that it should have warped this badly.

 Left to right the light also has a twist in it.  It's very difficult to tell in the photo, but in person the bend is a bit dramatic.



In all, am I happy with the purchase?

-Easy in terms of minimal instruction steps
-Generally cheap and reliable
-Minimal design fits well in a variety of decor situations

-Everything is crooked/warped
-Missing hardware
-No additional install tools included to help ensure the attachment points are aligned. There is a lot of manual effort and it's very easy to screw it up when you're trying to mount this.  (meaning, very easy for things to be crooked)
-Generally, not a lot of tolerance into the orientation of the light. Once it's installed, it better be right.
-Very difficult to find this for purchase
-May need to buy multiple kits for longer lights

I will end by saying, mounting the light does remove it from being an issue when it comes to opening the lid.  However, it does not ensure better access to things like hang-on back filters mounted to the rear of the tank.  It is still in the way when I try to clean them.  An improvement, yes, but due to the light swinging around if it is tapped, it's a constant fear that it will come down into the glass lids.

Edited by nabokovfan87
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For reference, here is the other style of kit. This one comes with loops that you can much more easily mount to some hooks and it would auto level itself out with gravity. You could easily modify the updated kit to match this one, but you would need a crimp tool.  If you want to use a hang on rim attachment (this is shown off in the 3.0 thread) that is an option as well.  Overall the newer kit is an improvement, but it does have some flaws from my experience which may just be due to the house and issues with light warpage.


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