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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: 2007.06.24(Sun)15:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scolly:

First: this post is from 2005, as in a Long time ago!

Second: it does work and has worked sence I built it.

Third: if your going to bash a design back it up with a working diagram.

Fourth: I have a degree too! so that doesn't prove you're right and I'm Wrong (Plus I had it double checked by another electronics engineer with way more back ground than me, 20 years more.

In closing Please think before you post especially on a Two Year Old post.
Thank you and have a nice day Very Happy
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andyg314
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Joined: 25 Aug 2006

PostPosted: 2007.06.25(Mon)9:53    Post subject: A few things about LED's Reply with quote

First of all, Great idea, using LED's for fish tank lighting could be a really save money, although the upfront cost is very great (LED's are expensive per unit of light, but they last almost indefinatly and use very little power. There are however a few things to be carful of.

1) Wireing mistake.
It's not a good idea to wire an LED without resistance. I won't get into the technical details (unless people want me to), but it will have a drastic impact on the LED's longevety and could waist a lot of power. I would recomend this as a wirien diagram:
Code:

   ---\/\/\/\/\/-----
  |                 |
-----               |
 ---              -----
-----             \   /
 ---                \/
  |               -----
  |                 |
  -------------------

Each LED should be in parrell with a resistor in series. I would use a 3.5 to 5 volt supply and pick a resistor value that will set the current at whatever the manufacture recommends (~1k - 10k Ohams). The resistors do add initial cost, but in the end they are worth it. This probbly doesn't make a big difference if you power the thing with batteries, as batteries have limited current output.

2) As has been previously pointeed out, LED's emmit allmost all of their light in one direction, so you won't need a reflector.

3) LED's have very pure spectriums, you should make sure that the spectrium needs of your plants are met, consult the manufacture's info for this information. You probbly will nedd at least red and white LED's if you do red, white green and blue in varing amounts you could get a nice lighting effect. (I see at least white and blue in the picture, maybe red too)

4) Not all LED's are created equally, some emit more light than others, consult the manufacturer's information.
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