DIY LED for 120G (Half ordered!) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 06:39 AM Thread Starter
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DIY LED for 120G (Half ordered!)

I am not a DIY guy, I don't make my own dried goods, my own filters or diffusers or anything else like that! But, today is different, I plan on doing my own 40+ LED fixture for my 120 Gallon tank (48x24x24).

This is a thread for advice on my current stock list of equipment, once I feel I have the right list I will order and begin the designing stage of the fixture and separate housing for the Drivers and timers. I currently have an idea for an industrial looking fixture. Maybe an Airplane Hanger style (Half Circle) hanging with a couple of fans. Something to that effect.

I will update this thread as much as possible and I hope all the LED DIYer's lend a hand!



Feel free to ask questions or give advice!

Thanks.

So this is the current list of parts:



3 1-48HS 1.1" x 48" Aluminum Heatsink $44.00 $132.00

1 DDC-01 DDC-01 PWM Controller $59.00 $59.00

3 ELN-60-48P Mean Well ELN-60-48P dimmable driver $34.00 $102.00

42 XM-L Optic Degree: 60 $2.48 $104.16 (is a 60 Degree optic good for a 48x24x24 tank?)

21 CREE XM-L Cool White T5 $6.80 $142.80

21 CREE XM-L Neutral White T5 $6.95 $145.95

50 Thermal Tape Preform 20mm Star $0.69 $34.50


Close to 750. Not including the optional and expensive-because-of-my-taste stuff like the enclosure build, hanging kit, Timers, Digital AMP meters, Misc wires and stuff.

Plus I also want to add a 4th row with about 4 Ebay LED's since I wont have any shimmer with the amount of light coming from 40+ LED's. It'll be a cool white moonlight with no optics, just for the shimmer effect when the main lights are off. But this will be later on and I am in no rush for this feature.

Each of the three rows of Heatsinks will have 14 LED's spaced out 3.5 inches.

One of the few concerns so far:

I want to go with a Cool white and a neutral white. I am thinking that would be on the bluer side to the eyes correct, like a 10,000k T5? Do you think an even split of those two colors would be sufficient? I Don't want too much blue, but I would like the greens and a couple of the reds in the tank to pop!

If I wanted to add an Arduino (spelling?) system later on, would I be able to do it with the three 48P's and the PWM? I don't want to close myself in and not be able to upgrade for future software.

My 120 Gallon Shrimp Tank Rebuild finally started!!

New Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...20-gallon.html

Old Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...en-down-4.html

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Last edited by FDNY911; 06-01-2011 at 07:16 AM.
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post #2 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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I dreamt of LED's last night ... Regretting it now.

My 120 Gallon Shrimp Tank Rebuild finally started!!

New Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...20-gallon.html

Old Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...en-down-4.html

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post #3 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 02:37 PM
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wow this is going to be an epic build. Good luck. Sounds like you got a top of the line system. What are you planning as an enclosure for your fixture?
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post #4 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 04:11 PM
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post #5 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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I have this fixture in my head. Kind of like the ADA fixtures, half circular. I saw some AMP meters on eBay that have blue digital screens, I think they would look nice on one side of the fixture. Some switches for each row of lights and the shimmer lights. It'll have 2-4 80mm fans on the top of it. I would like to get a piece of aluminum and drill holes in it the same size of the LEDs so that I can cover the wiring. Exposed wires can look cool as we've seen on the other members threads but I would like a cleaner look. Or just use plexiglass. It's going to be about a foot or so off the surface of the tank.

My 120 Gallon Shrimp Tank Rebuild finally started!!

New Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...20-gallon.html

Old Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...en-down-4.html

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post #6 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 05:29 PM
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I did something similar to the ADA fixtures
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...style-led.html

and a little bigger one
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...now-video.html

You're going above and beyond w/ the drivers and stuff though, I'm just using constant current ones.

btw, instead of buying those preformed star adhesive thingies, why don't you just buy some thermal adhesive. It's like cheaper than buying all those individual ones
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post #7 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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I agree about the drivers but that's because I don't want three potentiometers with all the extra wiring running around everywhere. I would rather have just the one PWM to adjust each brightness of each driver. So with a constant driver there is no way to adjust the brightness just in case it's too much light?

I forgot I still had the adhesive in the cart. I wanted to see how much they would run me! I am getting pre drilled heatsinks.

My 120 Gallon Shrimp Tank Rebuild finally started!!

New Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...20-gallon.html

Old Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...en-down-4.html

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post #8 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 05:46 PM
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From Rapidled? You don't need predrilled heatsinks, waste of money. The thermal adhesive works just as well. All my LEDs are held on w/ the adhesive. It's actually really hard to pry off.

I wish I had gone w/ the dimmable drivers. It's a gamble going w/ the constant currents since you can't adjust the lighting but luckily I can raise my fixture as needed.

To be honest, I'm not even sure you'll need the optics at 1000ma. I only have the 60 degree optics over the plants that I want to BLAST with light. Without them I still get about 50-60umols at about 30 inches from the substrate.
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post #9 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 06:02 PM
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I would consider raising the light to 2 feet above the tank, and using 40 degree optics. The advantage of this is reducing the spread of PAR from top to bottom of the tank. You should still get high light even at 2 feet height.

If you mount the drivers, dimmer circuits, and ammeters remotely, there is no mess of wires in the light. Just use a cable with enough wires in it to carry all of the various power supplies to the light, and a DIN style connector to connect it to the light. (See my thread for a picture - not a great one, but you can see the connector) You should be able to connect all of the negatives in the light to one wire, and run separate wires only for the positives, which will be at different voltages and currents.

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post #10 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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How sure are you about the optics? Cuz thats about a 100 bucks. Won't 36 inches be too much?? What if I put 60s on the outer perimeter LED's? I don't know if that makes sense?

I really would like to get a PAR meter so I can see where I'll be at 36 inches. But I wont use it so often.

My 120 Gallon Shrimp Tank Rebuild finally started!!

New Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...20-gallon.html

Old Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...en-down-4.html

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post #11 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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The only reason why I wouldn't want it 2 feet over the surface is mostly for light spilling out into the rooms, and when I am sitting in front of the tank. I am pretty sure when I do the outer shell of the fixture I will be able to "drape" the sheet metal a few inches past the heatsinks/leds but will it be enough?

My 120 Gallon Shrimp Tank Rebuild finally started!!

New Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...20-gallon.html

Old Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...en-down-4.html

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post #12 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 06:48 PM
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On my 36 inch light, the front actually drapes over by several inches so that the light doesn't spill out into the living room.
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post #13 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 06:49 PM
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Hoppy, why not lower it and use 60 degree optics? Is the drop in PAR that much? I don't really want to hang my light 2 feet off the tank either, as it is now, it's about 1 foot
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post #14 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 06:56 PM
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Sounds exciting!

By the way, the neutral white/cool white combo will NOT look blue. Cool white is 6500K (give or take a little). The colors will look nicer than a CFL bulb, probably, but definitely nothing "blue".

You can toss in 1 Cree XPE for every 4 XML to get a little more blue color. No optic on the blue.
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post #15 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-12-2011, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Red do you mean add more LED's for every 4 XMLs or switch out every 4th XML for a XPE for the blues? I don't know if I can afford anymore LED's currently lol!

My 120 Gallon Shrimp Tank Rebuild finally started!!

New Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...20-gallon.html

Old Journal:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ta...en-down-4.html

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