20 Long Homemade LED Fixture - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-19-2012, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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20 Long Homemade LED Fixture

This build is somewhat inspired by Samamorgan's light build and reading from his LED Compendium thread (which needs to be a sticky!!!), and to a lesser degree by the new ADA Aquasky (which I think is kind of ugly ) .

I wanted to try my hand at some acrylic work, so I decided to make myself a fixture. I watched some of uarujoey's videos on acrylic work on Youtube, and set out to make myself a light stand for my $1/gallon 20 Long. He has some excellent DIY aquarium videos if you've never watched them.

I have some build pics I'll post later. I was afraid .25 acrylic spanning 30 inches would sag if unsupported. Sadly, I was correct. This arrempt will work until I get round 2 done.






I have several mistakes I want to fix and redo. I'll add 1/2 inch side reinforcement on the front and back to make the 30" span more rigid. I had a number of bubbles in my acrylic welds which I want to work on (perfectionist). I also jacked things up badly when I flame polished it. That part needs lots of practice.

I knew if you flame polished then welded, it'd cause crazing (cracks). What I didn't think about (common sense now, duh) is if you flame polish after welding, air bubbles in the weld will expand and crack too.

Plenty of lessons learned for round two. Cool thing, I'll just unscrew these Ecoxotic Panorama fixtures and mount them back on the new stand when it's ready.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 10:06 AM
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Nice. I like it!

Arewehavinfunyet?
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 10:44 AM
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 12:33 PM
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Lol nice! Why is the middle so bendy though?
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 01:49 PM
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It looks good!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-20-2012, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by xenxes View Post
Lol nice! Why is the middle so bendy though?
Too much weight for .25 acrylic I guess. I'm remaking it with some thicker side supports. Might block a little airflow to cool the leds, but we'll see.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 02:13 PM
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Hey if you are going to make this again with acrylic I highly suggest making a rib on the long piece of acrylic by welding a piece maybe 1/2 inch wide vertically to the center of the long piece so it looks like a really wide upside down T. This will increase the strength of the acrylic greatly. As it is now it will slowly sag more and more. This is just opinion from someone who has made many many prototypes from acrylic. The other way to fix it would be to use thicker acrylic on the top but then you are adding more weight which may cause more sagging.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-21-2012, 09:30 PM
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Just weld on end pieces to change the strip of acrylic to a channel of acrylic. Even 1/8 inch thick acrylic should work fine for that, maybe .5-.75 inch wide strips.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Just weld on end pieces to change the strip of acrylic to a channel of acrylic. Even 1/8 inch thick acrylic should work fine for that, maybe .5-.75 inch wide strips.

That was the thought. I cut them at one inche because I don't trust my fingers on the tablesaw with much smaller cuts. I'd hate to look like my old shop teachers.

Upside down U is I guess the shape I'm going for on the top piece.

Only reason I tried without it was I didn't want to hinder airflow to the LED heatsink.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 09:13 PM
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so do it on top and make a tray for tools? its just a I beam that your going for with out one side trays seem to be vary handy when doing trimming for me at least then id weld another on the side to keep my tools and drill a small hold for any water to drain out to go back into the tank. hell you could even make a tray and have big enough side walls and have a little emmersed set up on top of it just need a very small pump to draw the water up and another hold opposite side to drain out back to the tank. there are plenty of options.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-22-2012, 11:32 PM
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so do it on top and make a tray for tools? its just a I beam that your going for with out one side trays seem to be vary handy when doing trimming for me at least then id weld another on the side to keep my tools and drill a small hold for any water to drain out to go back into the tank. hell you could even make a tray and have big enough side walls and have a little emmersed set up on top of it just need a very small pump to draw the water up and another hold opposite side to drain out back to the tank. there are plenty of options.
Then you would want to make another LED light to light the plants in your LED light, and another to light the plants in that LED light. etc.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 03:26 AM
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hell i wouldnt be supprised if anyone did this and had a hydroponic reflecter to catch what come off the water surface would be interesting to see if that alone would be enough for some plants id bet its very possible.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 11:59 AM
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If you don't want to add a front/back piece for rigidity, you could do a small vertical 'spine' along the center of the top (although might interfere with the LED mount screws) - would be plenty strong, easy to make, and would not hinder air flow.
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