DIY LED for 90cm/36 inch 48 gallon tank -FINISHED! Pics/PAR levels on page 2 - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 64 (permalink) Old 02-15-2011, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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LEDs came in today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

Will start putting everything together on Wednesday when I get home. Super excited.

This past weekend my dad and I built a housing for the LEDs out of sheet metal.


Started out by measuring it out, fixture is 36x 10x 3.


Cutting the sheet metal. My dad worked as a sheet metal worker so he has all these crazy tools. I don't even know what that thing he's holding is called.


Making the bends using a sheet metal folder


The housing after all bending is done.


Welding the housing together.

I don't have a pic of the finished product, but just imagine a metal box... haha.

I'll be painting it a flat gray to match the stand.
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post #17 of 64 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 03:55 PM
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when l first saw this l thought of a led sheet metal ada style fixture. l'm so tempted to try to do one someday..

----gauny----
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"What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others" -pericles

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post #18 of 64 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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Started working it today, bought some gigantic 200mm fans. Total cost is now into the 300's, but I only plan to use 24 LEDs now, so, that'll reduce the cost down to about 260 again.

This fan is freaking huge. moves 110 cubic feet of air per minute and only puts out about 19dB of sound


THE FAN FROM HELL!!!!!!! It will eat your children. I may or may not cut the red leds out, but we'll see how it looks


Closeup of the stevesled 7000k 700mAMP led. Doesn't look as well built as the pictures of the CREEs I've seen


They're spaced about 3 inches apart


Soldering will happen this weekend. I just need to track down that par meter now...
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post #19 of 64 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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It's DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YOUTUBE LINK HERE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGdGrBI1suU

it's REALLY bright to the eyes, much brighter looking than my t5's looked. This may present an issue, but I don't have the PAR meter yet so I can't test anything out.

There is that Shimmer but it's very subtle since there's a lot of LEDs and they're evenly spaced. It's noticeable but not that drastic, I like it a lot.

This build was actually a lot easier than I thought it'd be, it's pretty straight forward, everything worked as planned. There was no real trouble shooting involved. It's about as plug and play as you can get right now. The only hard part would be building the housing, but if you were to retrofit it into an old fixture I don't think you'd run into that issue.

Anyways, onto the pictures.

Wiring up the LEDs. I'm not going to explain it too much, I just followed the wiring instructions online


LEDs are all wired up


IT WORKS!!!!!!!!!!!


The finished housing, painted it gray to match the stand.


Mounting the fans and drivers


Mounting the LED arrays


Light it up!




D'OH! LEDs are mounted too low in the housing and blinded us when we sat down to watch TV. Remounted the arrays using spacers


Voila!


View under the hood


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post #20 of 64 (permalink) Old 02-19-2011, 11:20 PM
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Very nice. I forget, are those Satistronics LED? They look identical to the Satistronics 3w that I have. [[[EDIT-- you said they were Steve's LEDs-- gotcha!]]]]]

Tank looks great!! And I love the fan overkill, looks awesome.
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post #21 of 64 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 12:34 AM
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That looks very good! From the outside it looks like a ready-made LED light. From the photos I can't even guess how much light you have - how long before you can get a PAR meter on the job? Which direction do the fans blow, out of the housing or into the housing?

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post #22 of 64 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 12:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Hoppy!

I'll be getting the PAR meter tomorrow night so I should have numbers either by then or monday. I've never used a PAR meter before so I'll have to figure out how to use it first.

The fans are blowing on the heatsinks.

If it turns out I have enough light (which I'm sure I do) I'll have 11 leftover LEDs, a Left over driver and a left over heatsink...

what to do what to do.
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post #23 of 64 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 11:44 AM
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Well, with 11 LEDs left over, you have lots of things.

Most 3w LEDs can be driven from two AA batteries (with no driver). They maintain max brightness for a couple hours and then slowly peter off.

You can buy a two-AA holder at Radio Shack for $1.99, and has + and - wires. Just splice in an on/off switch and you have a perfect emergency flashlight lol
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post #24 of 64 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 02:22 PM
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I think the fans, arranged as they are, will work best blowing up out of the light housing, not down into it. That's because the fans now only blow on a small portion of the heatsinks, but if they are blowing air out, the incoming air will be flowing over most of the heatsink lengths. You can reverse the fans by just reversing the wires to the fans, assuming they are DC fans and not AC.

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post #25 of 64 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 03:38 PM
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IWANNAGOFAST Any chance you can post more pictures of your tank and how it looks with your new light housing? I am very pro DYI and I think you did a great job, I'm just curious as to what your tank looked before hand (if you have any pics) and what it looks like now from different angles (if possible) thanks in advance!
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post #26 of 64 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 04:15 PM
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this came out looking nice..congrats on project well done! can't wait for the PAR readings.


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post #27 of 64 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 06:34 PM
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Just based on your pics alone, I wasn't a believer but after seeing your vid I think you got the perfect light output. Did you get the PAR meter yet?
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post #28 of 64 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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I did some PAR readings today. With the lights 20 inches from the substrate this is what I got (this isn't a pic w/ the LEDs, just an old pic I had w/ t5's on the tank)



Kind of disappointing actually, puts me at low -med light, not what I was aiming for. I will be adding a 3rd array, probably with just 6 LEDs this time to the middle of the fixture and see how it works out.

Or should I leave it as such?
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post #29 of 64 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 11:53 PM
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I just tried my PAR meter for the first time and wow it was pretty disappointing, too!


"The fewer our wants, the nearer we resemble the gods." Socrates

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post #30 of 64 (permalink) Old 02-20-2011, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IWANNAGOFAST View Post
... Kind of disappointing actually, puts me at low -med light, not what I was aiming for. I will be adding a 3rd array, probably with just 6 LEDs this time to the middle of the fixture and see how it works out.

Or should I leave it as such?
So that picture was of the old light fixture with the current readings, am I correct? - Since I'm learning, what are your desired readings for the different positions of the tank? BTW, any chance of new pics with the current light fixture?
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