DIY LED lights for ADA 120P need some Suggests - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-18-2013, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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DIY LED lights for ADA 120P need some Suggests

Hi all

I have have finished from building my ADA 120P like tank now it is the time to build its lights for a high tech system

well i am targeting about 75 PAR (micromols) at substrate for HC growth as main plant ( correct me if i dont need all that PAR )

i did my home work and used One Way to Design a Planted Tank LED Light

I will use Cree XM-L2 ( http://www.fasttech.com/products/1277805 )

LED Spacing (inches) 5
PAR (micromols) 75
Number of LED rows 2
LED Height (inches) 28 from the substrate
Cone angle (degrees) 45
Lumens per LED 742

Cree XM-L Cool White LED Current (Amps)2.13

what i need your help with

1- what is the space between the rows is it the same as LED Spacing (inches) ??

2- is using a 45 lenses will not spoil much light out of the tank or should i use 30 degree lenses ?

3- and by using LED Spacing 5 inches that means i will need 10x leds in the row so that is total of 20 leds for the 2 rows ? ( correct me if i am wrong )

4 -about the heatsink i will be using one big heatsink , and i can get what ever size i want ( specially made ) so what is the good size for ADA 120P that is a 48 inch , is it better to be a bit smaller than the tank ? how much then ?

My Greetings from Egypt
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-18-2013, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamezawy View Post
Hi all

I have have finished from building my ADA 120P like tank now it is the time to build its lights for a high tech system

well i am targeting about 75 PAR (micromols) at substrate for HC growth as main plant ( correct me if i dont need all that PAR )

i did my home work and used One Way to Design a Planted Tank LED Light

I will use Cree XM-L2 ( http://www.fasttech.com/products/1277805 )

LED Spacing (inches) 5
PAR (micromols) 75
Number of LED rows 2
LED Height (inches) 28 from the substrate
Cone angle (degrees) 45
Lumens per LED 742

Cree XM-L Cool White LED Current (Amps)2.13

what i need your help with

1- what is the space between the rows is it the same as LED Spacing (inches) ??
That spacing should be about the same as LED spacing, but it doesn't have to be exact. One inch would be much too close, 10 inches would be much too far.
Quote:

2- is using a 45 lenses will not spoil much light out of the tank or should i use 30 degree lenses ?
You should have very little spillover light using 45 degree optics, if the light is about 12 inches above the top of the tank.
Quote:

3- and by using LED Spacing 5 inches that means i will need 10x leds in the row so that is total of 20 leds for the 2 rows ? ( correct me if i am wrong )
Yes, if you want the LEDs to run from about 2 1/2 inches from one end of the tank to about that same distance from the other end of the tank. You could probably do fine with just 9 per row, if the light is suspended about foot or so above the top of the tank.
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4 -about the heatsink i will be using one big heatsink , and i can get what ever size i want ( specially made ) so what is the good size for ADA 120P that is a 48 inch , is it better to be a bit smaller than the tank ? how much then ?
It doesn't matter what the length of the heatsink is as long as it is long enough to fit the LED spacing you want. It will probably look best if it is only slightly shorter than the tank length.
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My Greetings from Egypt
I didn't do the calculations, using that speadsheet, but I assume you used it right. You will have the fewest problems if you limit the maximum current to one amp (1000mAmps) or less, so the heatsink isn't so critical. And, be sure to use a LED driver that lets you dim the light. The spreadsheet isn't good enough to hit the exact PAR you design for, but if you only get 60 PAR you should still have plenty of light for HC.

Hoppy
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-18-2013, 11:53 PM
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A couple things I'd like to suggest for consideration. First, are you sure you want all cold light? Warmer lights still grow plants, just not as efficiently. You might want to go for the most visually pleasing color blend by mixing in some warm or nuetral leds on a seperate dimmer.

I haven't looked much, but most dimable drivers I looked at maxed out at 1amp. Maybe consider using twice as many LEDs that cost half as much.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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thank you hoppy for your fast respond

so you recommend me to use a total of 18 leds running at 1000mAmps ?

and yes i will be using dimmable driver

thanks Rudger for your recommendation but how many cool white to warm white i mean how much is the ratio to give me that nice look ?

Last edited by Gamezawy; 07-19-2013 at 01:29 AM. Reason: missed
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 02:18 AM
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XM-L are so inefficient. What drivers are you using to power them? If you get proper dimming LED spacing is irrelevant as you can fine tune the output to whatever you want. A 6 LED cluster of XT-E or Rebels with 60deg optics can give you high light at 24" from substrate in a 15-18x15-18" area with ease with an LDD-1000H. Your tank is what? 48in long? 3 clusters can cover that easily. Look into getting a controller like a Typhon or make your own Arduino one. A ton more options will open up by adding a controller to your system.

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Last edited by gus6464; 07-19-2013 at 02:33 AM. Reason: ed
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Gamezawy View Post
thank you hoppy for your fast respond

so you recommend me to use a total of 18 leds running at 1000mAmps ?

and yes i will be using dimmable driver

thanks Rudger for your recommendation but how many cool white to warm white i mean how much is the ratio to give me that nice look ?
No, if you limit the current to 1000mAmps, you need more LEDs. It looks like you need about 24 LEDs. Here is the calculation:

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 06:28 AM
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If you need even coverage from front to back of the tank, work out the size of the cone of light with how high your fixture will be above your water surface. Roughly the radius of your hot spot of light = tan(lense angle/2) * height over water surface. Work with that to figure out what lenses you need, how high you want to mount the light, and what size heatsink(s) you need. I figure if you are spending the time and money to build your own, get it exactly how you want it or make it easy to reconfigure. I guess if the back of the tank is sloped up agressivly or has taller plants, the even coverage may not be desired.

As for the cool to warm light ratio, I just built one half and half and it was a lot of warm light by my standards, but I can just dim it down. If I did it again I'd likely try a 2 cool to 1 warm ratio, or maybe half and half cool and neutral white. Some people like adding in blue for moonlights or highlighting irradecent fish, but I don't care for the color. The mix of warm and cool does not give the same awful disco effect you see from adding blue and red LEDs

Last edited by Rudger; 07-19-2013 at 06:45 AM. Reason: more ideas
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 07:14 AM
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You get disco from spacing the colored LEDs like you would your whites. That can easily be solved by clustering which is the most common way DIY LED setups are done nowadays anyway. I find it odd how DIY planted LED setups tend to spread emitters all over the place while reef ones are always done in clusters.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 07:43 AM
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You get disco from spacing the colored LEDs like you would your whites. That can easily be solved by clustering which is the most common way DIY LED setups are done nowadays anyway. I find it odd how DIY planted LED setups tend to spread emitters all over the place while reef ones are always done in clusters.
Would you use wide angle lenses on your clusters of color?
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 08:22 AM
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Would you use wide angle lenses on your clusters of color?
Yeah nothing less than 90deg for the colors and 60deg for the whites. I just put in an order actually for parts on a new light for my 29g. Consists of the the following:

2 tiny cannons on an intel heatsink fan unit and each cannon will have
6x Rebel ES 6500K w/ 60deg optics
1x Rebel ES Red w/ 90deg optics
1x Rebel ES Cool Blue w/ 90deg optics
1x Rebel ES Green w/ 90deg optics

Powered by a Typhon controller with 3x Mean Well LDD-1000H and 1x LDD-700H.

Each color will be fully adjustable as well. LEDs will be right next to each other in this configuration.

CW|CW|CW
G|R|CB
CW|CW|CW

Each cannon will be in an acrylic housing. Size wise it's a 4" cube. Planning to hang about 24" from substrate. I can put up a build thread if people are interested.
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 10:38 AM
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i wounder if there is a person who could confirm good plant growth using white leds? i might be wrong but when i look at white led spectrum diagram and photosynthesis spectrum it just does not add up. not that i question the leds, im just confused and would really like to hear from someone who has real experience in this.
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 05:53 PM
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i wounder if there is a person who could confirm good plant growth using white leds? i might be wrong but when i look at white led spectrum diagram and photosynthesis spectrum it just does not add up. not that i question the leds, im just confused and would really like to hear from someone who has real experience in this.
I sure most LED users can confirm good plant growth, but I would love to see a side by side comparison of different light sources with similar par readings.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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XM-L are so inefficient. What drivers are you using to power them? If you get proper dimming LED spacing is irrelevant as you can fine tune the output to whatever you want. A 6 LED cluster of XT-E or Rebels with 60deg optics can give you high light at 24" from substrate in a 15-18x15-18" area with ease with an LDD-1000H. Your tank is what? 48in long? 3 clusters can cover that easily. Look into getting a controller like a Typhon or make your own Arduino one. A ton more options will open up by adding a controller to your system.

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how come XM-L are inefficient ?!, XM-L2 has about 116 lumen per watt i think that is so efficient and as i learned from our forum that XML is the best to use ( correct me if i am wrong ) because Cree XTE is much cheaper and can save me a lot of cash
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-19-2013, 09:22 PM
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how come XM-L are inefficient ?!, XM-L2 has about 116 lumen per watt i think that is so efficient and as i learned from our forum that XML is the best to use ( correct me if i am wrong ) because Cree XTE is much cheaper and can save me a lot of cash
XM-L is inefficient because you are only planning on running them at 1a. At 1a you are outputting around 350-400lm. Now take a Luxeon ES at also 1a, it can do 350lm. You can can buy almost 3 Luxeon ES for the price of 1 XM-L. Now of course give XM-L more current and output goes up but then you need a more powerful driver.

Now throw Mean Well LDD drivers into the mix. They top out at 1a but are dirt cheap at $5/ea and can do up to 52v plus can dim to 0 which is a big deal if you are using a controller. You can get a 48v 7.4a power supply for $30. That can power 7x LDD-1000H or ~98 LEDs @ 1a. Running an XM-L @1a is a waste of money as a Luxeon can almost match the output at 1/3 of the price.

Once the Luxeon M 6500k comes out the XM-L will just be obsolete. The 5000K Luxeon M can output 1300lm @1a whereas the XM-L needs double the current to match it.

I know Cree's started the whole DIY LED craze and they have a lot of fans but IMO the Luxeons are just better emitters.
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 09:36 PM
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The two reasons for spreading LEDs out over the top of the tank are:
You get the most uniform light over the whole substrate, when you also use optics with the LEDs. This isn't much advantage without optics, but still a small advantage.
You get more uniform PAR from substrate to water surface when they are spread out that way. This isn't an advantage if the light is suspended high above the tank, only if it is sitting right at the top of the tank.

Efficiency is not a major advantage with planted tanks, with the low PAR we use, compared to the much higher PAR for reef tanks.

If you want the lowest cost light, you can use non-name brand LEDs, like those sometimes sold on ebay. There is some risk because you can't be sure that you are getting the light they advertise, and the life you expect. But, conservative design lets you save a lot of money this way.

As Rudger pointed out, until someone does some good side by side testing we can't be sure what the effect of various light spectra will have on plant growth. All we know for sure is that with a broader spectrum of colors from the LEDs, the plants and fish will look more colorful, which is a pretty good reason for trying for the broader spectrum.

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