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DIY lighting my way
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Glitch
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Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Location: Steamboat Springs,CO

PostPosted: 2005.05.18(Wed)21:54    Post subject: DIY lighting my way Reply with quote

This is being posted due to a question spawned from another post I did that some of you showed interest in.

I built a L.E.D. Tank Light It looks best on my 10g and Plants do Grow under it this is how it Looks


And From the tank




It Looks weak but when it comes to L.E.D.'s you have to throw out all the rules for other lighting because they work Quite Different. For starters they can Not be measured in anything but "mcd" or "nm" millions of candles and nano meters respectivly. They do not need reflectors, the first pict is from the top looking into the tank, the viewing angle is much tighter than most lights. They also use much less energy and hold to spectrum for 20 years instead of 2 like standard bulbs, so they cost you much less over time. Also the setup I'll build next (for my 20g)Can be run off a two 9 volt batteries in parallel and run for 2 weeks at least before the light will decrease enough to start caring. My current one I mixed in blue L.E.D.'s for spectrum, but I don't think they are really needed so I won't on My next one.

They are mounted in 1/8 inch Plexi Glass, But be careful because it Did warp spanning my 10g, So Go thicker or reinforce it A Lot.

It does work and you can Buy pre-built L.E.D. grow lights on-line. Blue spectrum for folage and Red for Blooms is what Most sites say you'll need.
I have Not tried the Red for Blooms in a tank yet, and have not found any record of anyone else trying this at all. but the math and science are there. so go for it. Very Happy

Oh here is a Wiring diagram for the 9 volt set up I have in mind to build next (Warning Substitution of parts or design changes Will affect the Required voltage and if done without regard to Ohms Law could cause a Fire or Worse) For water Proofing I used Spray on 'Plasti-Dip'

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SLACkra
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Perth, Western Australia, Australia

PostPosted: 2005.05.18(Wed)22:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

how did that go? is it hard to make? I have been thinking of ways to add blue light to my nano reef. in year 9 semester 2 last sept-dec I learned electronics and learned all about basic wiring and LEDs. how much light do they emit anyways? also you are able to have 3 all wired up on one circit. I thought I would have to have each LED on there own circit.

andrew
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Glitch
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Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Location: Steamboat Springs,CO

PostPosted: 2005.05.19(Thu)17:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was kind of easy with a couple of "what did I get myself into" Kicker's. As for the L.E.D.'s in a row Each one needs 3 volts so I went with a Series-Parallel circuit, 3 L.E.D.'s in a row to use a total of 9 volts, connected to another row of 3 as shown. I planned it so I could use a 9volt battery If I ever needed or wanted to, Like a power outage or something. It would be a good Idea to add a fuse in a battery setup just incase it falls in the tank. The white L.E.D.'s I used were rated at 18000 mcd's from www.superbrightleds.com I also got the blue ones from there. I went with the largest mcd's I could find. Very Happy

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WilbyZ
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Joined: 31 Jul 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: 2005.06.04(Sat)8:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's pretty cool!

I've been looking in getting more lights into my tank and have been thinking about LEDs. Although, yours is for a 10g tank, I am wondering if it'd be feasible for a 175gal (or 6 ft x 2ft) tank???

I'm guessing about 1,000 LEDs (50 x 20) wired into the hood of my 6ft tank would be a sight to be seen though Smile
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Glitch
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Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Location: Steamboat Springs,CO

PostPosted: 2005.06.04(Sat)8:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never tried it on something that large, but I have checked mine on a 75G at my LFS (just for kicks). The light made it all the way through to the bottem with little loss BUT it was begining to disperse to a wider beam at that point. So if you had the time, money, and tank to try it out you'd likely have to place the LED's togeather as closely as possible. All that said it might be cheaper to just try one of the pre-built systems you can buy from www.solaroasis.com/ and if it doesn't work for you just attach it by you house plants Very Happy

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WilbyZ
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Joined: 31 Jul 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: 2005.06.04(Sat)10:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the link. That looks so much neater.

I've been looking at the below link. It's 12 Luxeon LEDs already hooked up in a row. Measuring 29cm long and 3.5cm wide.

I would need 6 across (~6ft) and maybe 6 wide to cover 2ft with some small gaps between.

http://www.luxeonstar.com/item.php?id=1327&link_str=189::192&partno=LXHL-NWE9

One thing I don't understand is why are they so expensive? At almost US$160ea for 10+ bulk buy! (Oh my god!)

PS. Let us know how it goes for your 20gal LED setup Smile
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Last edited by WilbyZ on 2005.06.04(Sat)10:23; edited 1 time in total
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Glitch
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Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Location: Steamboat Springs,CO

PostPosted: 2005.06.04(Sat)10:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

WilbyZ, The cost is mostly labor It takes a lot to get them into a tight configuration like that. Plus they say they're using LED's with an extra focusing lens to get a tighter beam width(probably so they can be attached further away from the target like a Green house Celing) so the individual LEDs cost more as well.
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WilbyZ
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Joined: 31 Jul 2004
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: 2005.06.05(Sun)1:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got a reply back from SolarOasis. It seems their LED Ruby lights are only for plant growth and not for viewing (no actual white light). See below Q & A.

Q: Will the LED light spectrums be sutiable for Aquarium Tank use? (ie, Will there be enough correct light spectrums to see my fish colours like under a Full Spectrum/Daylight fluro?)

A: SolarOasis is currently working with several aquatic researchers on a reef tank product. The light output from the present terrestrial product is suitable for growing the plants and corals in a tank to a depth of 24". However, the present product is not designed to "light" anything, it produces zero white light. We are working to provide a white light component to our grow bar. Our research efforts today are focused on growing plants and corals underwater. The researchers involved are using a standard fluorescent or small HID type light along side of the Ruby for color and viewing.
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Glitch
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Joined: 20 Mar 2005
Location: Steamboat Springs,CO

PostPosted: 2005.06.05(Sun)10:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry about that Embarassed There is another site that does sell White Screw in's but I'm not sure how well that would work, Plus it would take up a lot of space unless its over a 5G but its at http://www.superbrightleds.com/MR16_specs.htm they're also where I bought the individual LED's for my setup.

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Scolly
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Joined: 19 Jan 2007

PostPosted: 2007.06.24(Sun)2:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh, now thats just plain wrong, its surprising that you havent blown either your power supply led's or both


NEVER worry about voltage with LED's, ONLY current, well mostly

led's do NOT obey ohms law, so whoever said that is just plain wrong

a LED will draw more and more current untill teh voltage across it is the same, for power LED's about ~3v, so if you have a 10v power supply and 3 of these led's they will draw so much power untill the supply can't handle it and drops to 9 v

you are risking as stated earlier blowing led's or your supply or settign fire to the whole setup


IF you wish to use LED's as a light source buy a LED DRIVER and connect that to a properly rated power supply, without one it is like driving a flouro tube without a ballast and connecting it directly to the mains, you might get lucky and it will work for a while untill your house burns down


led's are about as efficient asa flouro tubes, so if oyu want to put 50 watts or so of led lighting over a 20 gallon tank and connect enough drivers to run them ( most drivers are designed to power between 1-5 watts of led's and the latest power LED's are around 1-5 watts average [cree XR-E 3 watters would be your best bet] ) then go ahead, in the long run it would be cheaper ( 20 years) but a flourescent bulb would be your best bet


seriously, do not listen to the person who wrote this post OR his wirign diagram, he and everyone else who has posted here claiming knowledge of such things is either lying or misinformed

do I know better? yes, yes I do.
why? because I have a degree in electrical engineering thats why.
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