The Ultimate DIY Aquarium LED Build - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 76 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Part one


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Last edited by Sean W.; 12-21-2016 at 04:03 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 76 (permalink) Old 12-20-2016, 11:17 PM
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Sean it looks like a very cool build. I actually have no desire to go LED, but I love DIY builds.

Maybe when I see what you come up with I will change my mind!

How will it be controlled?
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post #3 of 76 (permalink) Old 12-20-2016, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Sean it looks like a very cool build. I actually have no desire to go LED, but I love DIY builds.

Maybe when I see what you come up with I will change my mind!


How will it be controlled?

I'm confidant this will be more capable than any off the shelf LED light for planted tanks on the market.

It also makes off the shelf LED fixtures look affordable, coming in around $1,500 for all the components.

As far as controlling it, I'm not much for bells and whistles. You plug it in, and it turns on. There is a dimmer on the fixture tho that will let me lower the light output.
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post #4 of 76 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 12:23 AM
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I'm confidant this will be more capable than any off the shelf LED light for planted tanks on the market.

It also makes off the shelf LED fixtures look affordable, coming in around $1,500 for all the components.
$1,500 for the components? Are you building this for an aquarium or a tanning bed??

Either way I think your fish are going to need sunglasses!
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post #5 of 76 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 03:42 AM
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$1500 and you're still twisting a pot to dim it?
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post #6 of 76 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 04:04 AM Thread Starter
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$1500 and you're still twisting a pot to dim it?
I guess so?

Is there a more simple and elegant way to dim them?
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post #7 of 76 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 04:20 AM
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$1500 ?

I'm seeing $100 driver, $200 heatsink kit, $300 in LED's.
Still got $900 to go!

$200 heatsink & $300 in LED's consider done.

Could add HurricaneX w/8x board and 8LDD 1000's from Steves for $130
Power Supply Meanwell SE-450-48 Amazon @ $67 shipped.
Upped your cost to about $700 but with complete control over all.

Swimming is not that difficult.

Last edited by Maryland Guppy; 12-21-2016 at 05:05 AM. Reason: edit
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post #8 of 76 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 05:34 AM
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I guess so?

Is there a more simple and elegant way to dim them?
haha o2 will set you up

i'm looking at getting his setup for my build i'm planning.
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post #9 of 76 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 01:13 PM
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$1500 ?

I'm seeing $100 driver, $200 heatsink kit, $300 in LED's.
Still got $900 to go!

$200 heatsink & $300 in LED's consider done.

Could add HurricaneX w/8x board and 8LDD 1000's from Steves for $130
Power Supply Meanwell SE-450-48 Amazon @ $67 shipped.
Upped your cost to about $700 but with complete control over all.
Storm controller and add on 5V PWM to 10V PWM
board is $65.43 + $23
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post #10 of 76 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 03:12 PM
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This build is only using one large driver with one control channel, and it's 0 - 10v analog to boot. This is 2009 tech, not 2016. I'd recommend that you reconsider the use of this type of driver, unless it can be used in constant voltage mode. If it can.....Pair it with enough LDD-H to get the job done & any modern 5v PWM controller to achieve something a little closer to "the ultimate led build".
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post #11 of 76 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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This build is only using one large driver with one control channel, and it's 0 - 10v analog to boot. This is 2009 tech, not 2016. I'd recommend that you reconsider the use of this type of driver, unless it can be used in constant voltage mode. If it can.....Pair it with enough LDD-H to get the job done & any modern 5v PWM controller to achieve something a little closer to "the ultimate led build".
Not sure what any of that means...
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post #12 of 76 (permalink) Old 12-21-2016, 11:26 PM
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As far as controlling it, I'm not much for bells and whistles. You plug it in, and it turns on. There is a dimmer on the fixture tho that will let me lower the light output.
It's interesting you say that. To me the Ultimate LED would be all about the bells an whistles.

Id' like to see a Wifi or Bluetooth connection to software that you could easily use to program every aspect of the lighting. Being able to control the intensity, color, ramp ups, ramp downs, etc. would be very useful to me.

Right now I use a convoluted mix of T5H0, LED's, variable power supplies, and a bunch of timers to provide a similar effect. It's actually kind of ridiculous. If I could replace it all with a system that provided a more elegant solution, to me that would be the "Ultimate".

That being said, still looking forward to following your build, and seeing what the heck you come up with. I also read your other LED thread, but I have to admit I was getting a bit dizzy trying to comprehend it all.
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post #13 of 76 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Greggz View Post
It's interesting you say that. To me the Ultimate LED would be all about the bells an whistles.

Id' like to see a Wifi or Bluetooth connection to software that you could easily use to program every aspect of the lighting. Being able to control the intensity, color, ramp ups, ramp downs, etc. would be very useful to me.
That would be a bluefish or similar controller. Very nice
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post #14 of 76 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 01:49 AM
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unless it can be used in constant voltage mode. If it can.....Pair it with enough LDD-H to get the job done & any modern 5v PWM controller to achieve something a little closer to "the ultimate led build".
The driver has a fixed minimum of 152VDC, too much for LDD1000 drivers. 56 volts max I think.
Don't think could work to supply a network of drivers.

7 LDD1000 drivers would be needed to drive your LED's and an 8 up board to mount them on.

Modern controller could be Storm, StormX, HurricaneX, BlueSomething Mini, etc...
They include PWM(Pulse Width Modulation) 5v dimming.
PWM runs on duty cycle, % of on time vs. analog of just lowering the milliamps.
I would recommend only 12bit dimming(4096 steps) then lighting transitions are not noticeable or seem stepped.
10 bit seems to jump between transitions.
During PWM dimming no loss of spectrum occurs since it runs @ rated amps.

Seems we visited all of this in the beginning?
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Last edited by Maryland Guppy; 12-22-2016 at 01:51 AM. Reason: edit
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post #15 of 76 (permalink) Old 12-22-2016, 02:07 AM
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Not sure what any of that means...
What it means in simple terms is that you are doing resistive dimming. You are turning a POT to increase resistance for dimming. It is very inefficient in today's terms.

The better way to do it is to use a controller that can do Pulse Width Modulation(PWM).
With PWM the light is turned on and off very fast, the longer it stays on per cycle, the brighter the LED.

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