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Dork (Dayton)

Blacklight Setup "How To" Guide

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Last year I wrote a basic primer on how to blacklight queen ants.  It is located here if you haven’t seen it and are interested.  Following that I received many requests for details about the materials and methods I used aside from the general reasoning and approach that was explained.  In other words … everyone wanted to know where to get the stuff and how to do it the way we do it!  So here is a follow up post to explain to those interested exactly how to make what we use.

The entire setup will cost you about $200 and can be bought and made in an afternoon.  Here are the supplies you need …

- T12 blacklight bulbs x 4 - $13 each or about $50 total ( https://www.lowes.com/pd/GE-40-Watt-48-in-Medium-Bi-pin-T12-Black-Fluorescent-Light-Bulb/3400504 )
- Shop Light Fixtures x 2 - $20 each or about $40 total ( https://www.lowes.com/pd/Lithonia-Lighting-1233-Linear-Shop-Light-Common-4-ft-Actual-5-5-in-48-in/1000410165 )
- Full height (like 6’) garden “Shepherd’s Hooks” x 6 - About $13 each or about $80 total ( https://www.lowes.com/pd/Garden-Accents-84-in-Steel-Painted-Metal-Shepherd-s-Hook/3342788 )
- White flat Twin sheets x 4 - $5 each or $20 total ( https://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstays-200-Thread-Count-Twin-Flat-Sheet-ARCTIC-WHITE/55583603 )
- 1” PVC pipe (10’) x 2 - $2-3 each or about $5 total ( https://www.lowes.com/pd/Charlotte-Pipe-1-in-dia-x-10-ft-L-200-PSI-SDR-21-PVC-Pipe/1000080801 )
- 1” PVC coupling x 1 - damned near free ( https://www.lowes.com/pd/LASCO-1-in-x-1-in-x-1-in-dia-Coupling-PVC-Fitting/1067437 )
- Duct Tape
- Extension cord(s)

Step 1 - Duct Tape FTW !!
You need to duct tape the two light fixtures together.  USE A LOT!  Make sure you tape the fronts and back and ESPECIALLY the ends.  The photos below look a little ragged, but this unit has been outdoors all the nice days for a year now.  Yours will look cleaner.




Step 2 - Prep the Fixtures
The fixtures will come with some cheap chain meant to hang them with.  Instead of using it the way they intend, drill 4 small holes in the 4 corners of your new (now duct taped) single fixture.  Divide the chain in two and create two “loops” with it as pictured below.  This way you can slide it back and forth and adjust the angle of the light super easy.



Step 3 - Get Your Sheets Together
Arrange two sheets end to end and two more end to end below them.  We take the time to sew these together now.  But when we first started we used Duct tape and that works fine.  Similarly, we sew a cuff in the top of the sheets to slide the PVC pipe through (like a curtain) for more easy hanging.  But you can also just duct tape the sheets to the PVC if you prefer or if you are sewing impaired.

Step 4 - PVC Easy Mode
Plug each piece of PVC pipe into the coupling creating a 20’ long pipe.  DO NOT glue it or you’ll never be able to easily move it.  Attach your sheets to your PVC pipe with a sewn cuff or duct tape.

Step 5 - Stake Your Claim
Find your blacklight sweet spot and plant 4 of your Shepherd's Hooks in a row about 4’ apart.  Have the hooks facing TOWARDS where your lights will be.

Step 6 - Hang it Up !
Rest your PVC frame over the Shepherd’s Hooks.  About half of your sheets will be laying on the ground.  That is intentional.


Step 6 - Let There Be Light
Plant your last two Shepherd’s Hooks just at the edge of the sheets on the ground about 6’ apart and hang your light (via the two “loops” of chain) between them.  Plug it in and you are GTG.  If you want, you can secure the sheet to the ground with little spikes.


Photos below are the completed set up, the set up at dusk, the set up at night and the set up from 100 yards away.  This thing draws queens from a mile away.





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Hello, my friend, I think the color of LED lamp looks professional and portable. If I have LED with 450nm wavelength, how many lumens can achieve your effect? I think LED is more portable and not fragile

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