LED guys -- need your help - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: MA
Posts: 17
LED guys -- need your help

I haven't posted here in awhile, but I have seen some of the DIY led fixtures done by members and want to replace my 96watt AH Supply light over my 46 planted bowfront. Thanks in advance for any input and the inspiration. Hoppy--your thread got me going on this.

Because I have very little free time, I will probably order a kit from Rapid LED like this:

My plan is to buy a 23" and 16"heat sink from them and mount the 16" in front to cover the bow front area. I will build a canopy with fan exhaust to house it all. I was thinking of getting 16 cool white and 8 warm white XR-E's. Is this a good mix/ratio?

I am not sure which optics I need if any. the leds will be 19-20"above the substrate.

I was planning on putting the drivers in the canopy --will the heat be an issue?

These are my main questions, but I am curious to hear any input at all as I am very new to this.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 02:38 AM
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Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 19,673
First: the LEDs shown on the illustration are not pre-soldered to star heatsinks. That means soldering leads to them and mounting them on a big heatsink is not a job for someone with no experience with LEDs. Star mounted LEDs http://www.rapidled.com/servlet/the-...Q5-Cool/Detail are infinitely easier to use, and are easy to solder without worrying that the LED will be overheated or damaged. Plus, they are big enough to handle easy. Those shown in that kit illustration are really tiny things, nor normally soldered by hand, and not easy to mount on a heatsink without shorting out the connections.

I'm started making a very similar size light, but with 36 x 3 watt Ebay LEDs. I want low light from mine. What light intensity are you looking for. I think it is easier to use low LED current, with cheap aluminum extrusions for heatsinks, than to use high LED current and big expensive, heavy finned heat exchangers.

I don't have enough information about that particular Cree LED, so I'm not sure about what results you will get with 24 of them.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 03:13 AM
Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Murfreesboro, TN
Posts: 313
Why not use a higher number of regular leds?
3/8 red, 3/8 blue, 2/8 green leds would give you nice color and plenty of light for plants. If you used 500 leds you'd be set(very very set).
The high power leds are still pretty rubbish.
of course either way if you're not good with leds, soldering, circuit calculations, etc its gonna take a long time.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 03:42 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: MA
Posts: 17
Thanks for the replys. I didn't see any leds in the photo and assumed they would come on the star. I wouldn't buy anything without the heat sink. As far as intensity, I want more light than my 96watt PC. Not sure how to quantify it in leds. I dont think I would save much by making my own heat sinks or by soldering a bunch of lower wattage leds together.

Zareth--what? 500 leds?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-05-2011, 08:20 AM
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Location: Adelaide, South Australia
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500 LED's? Eh?

best of luck to who ever decides to solder that array
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 01:27 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Galleria/HOUSTON
Posts: 9
That's jacked you don't need 500 cree's unless you have a 200+ gallon tank
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