Hey folks! I've almost got my 6' 125g tank up and running and I'm needing some lighting assistance. I've done several days of going through threads about different peoples DIY LED solutions. Initially I was looking at CREE LED's, but I think I've settled upon wanting to use Bridgelux Vero 18's. Possibly these ones. Bridgelux BXRC-56G4000-F-24
Some posts I've been reading are:
LED Build, 526 Watts (Vero LEDs and Colored LEDs) *Updated 2015-05-25*
DIY Bridgelux Vero 18 LED build
O2surplus's 6' New LED Build
So the one thing in common is they are all using these Vero 18's which seems to be a good starting point LED, as I'm wanting to keep this as low cost as possible at the moment as well as I'm not going high tech on this tank at this time. So no CO2 for now, one day that may change when I get more money and used to running a larger tank with having 1 current kid and one baking in the oven at the moment.
Here's what I was thinking at the moment. I was thinking of 8 Vero 18's as I've got a 6' tank that has a single divider in the center. I'm not sure what the light spread on these LED's are, but figured 2 at each location spread out front to back to give as much light spread as possible, so that will be determined by how wide of a heat sink I need or can get for a decent price. Unless I do two narrow long ones. But I was thinking of one like this one (link)
, bascially a 6" wide one @ about 62" long would be just about $110 USD. I will probably used forced air cooling with some PC fans if something like this heatsink gets hot to the touch.
I was thinking of possibly getting some colored LED's to be able to tune the color of the lights, but as money is tight and this tank setup isn't cheap so far (no plants or fish yet) spreading out the costs would be good. I thought of some clusters of RBG and or also UV, not sure, got more reading to do on that side of things.
However the next thing I need to figure out is what I need to drive those Vero's. I found on RapidLED their LED university and know understand how LED's are driven. With just the Vero's I was looking at using this driver. Mean Well HLG-320H-C1050B
So far parts cost are as follows, no shipping or tax included yet.
LED's - $116.64
Driver - $99.00
Heat sink - $107.88
Total - $323.52
This costs more than I want at the moment, but if it gets me a quality setup that will last for a while, this would be worth it. As the lights are tunable in the aspect of adjusting the current can bring the lumens up or down.
Based on the following site
. Taking the lumen per sq in
So 72" x 18" = 1,296 sq inch
With keeping it a low to medium light tank with no CO2, I would need 12-20 LSI so I would be in a range of 15,552 - 25,920 lumens overall. Or based on 8 of these lights 1296 - 3240 lumens per LED. That would give me 495ma - 865ma for the system to give me these ranges. If you maxed out the driver that would give you 3860 per LED or 30,880 overall lumens for what I'm sure would be a CO2 setup, if that could even tame the algae. LOL
Lighting LSI Plants you can grow
Very low light 7 - 11 you can grow some plants
Low light 12 - 17 you can grow a fair amount of plants
Medium light 20 - 25 you can grow most plants
High light 28 - 32 you can grow all aquarium plants
Very high light 33 + you can grow all aquatic plants with no doubt
So with all this said, anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?