Attempting a DIY LED fixture - Part 2. New pics 9/27 (56k) - Page 11 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #151 of 175 (permalink) Old 09-28-2009, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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I did not want to hardwire the power cords to the fixture. I have whole bunch of wiring running behind the 2 tanks and for cleaning and maintenance, removing the fixtures was too much of an issue with a pair of 6 feet power cords to untangle. This time I decided to keep the plug points attached to the fixture so that I can simply unplug the cords and remove the fixture when needed.

Yes, I could do a custom plexiglass cover. Infact in nano-reef.com I saw a thread for a very beautiful custom plexiglass fixture. However, it used a flat alu heatsink instead of a regular heatsink. That would mean more surface area that I was trying to cut down. At the same time I did not want to experiment trying a smaller version with a regular heatsink to find out that it is unable to hold the weight. The wall scone has a metal backbone, so it is sturdier and looks nice too.

The rounded end covers were custom cut at tap plastics. I do not have gadgets at home to do those kind of cuts . I just glued the pieces with plastic cement.
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post #152 of 175 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by malaybiswas View Post
Thank you Hoppy. There is no spotlighting effect that I have noticed. Infact clustering them centrally over a small surface area gives a overall spotlighting effect to the center of the tank just like metal halides.

Besides the shimmering effect is better to my liking. I'll post some pictures with the new layout. The light effect is better captured in the new pictures.

As far as prices are concerned, I did not notice any big difference higher or lower. How's your riparium coming along?
The riparium is being assembled, slowly, but surely, and my LED fixture will work perfectly with it (I think). I hadn't noticed that this fixture is much smaller than the tank, so yes, it will be a lot like a MH unit. My riparium is 6 inches longer than my old tank, so my LED fixture is about 10 inches shorter than the tank length, but the light intensity, by eye, looks pretty uniform over the substrate. I always wondered just how important it is to make a LED fixture be close to the size of the top of the tank - apparently not very important.

I keep wondering what LEDs at what prices will be available in another year!

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post #153 of 175 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 02:41 AM
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duplicate

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post #154 of 175 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 05:01 AM Thread Starter
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I feel the concept of LED fixtures being the same size as tank surface evolved from the reef aquarium community where light source uniformly distributed over the tank produces better shimmering effect overall. Coupled with it was the fact that most fixtures were built in the hood so keeping the heatsink area same as the hood area was easier to assemble.

But yes, I know for sure right now, that it is not necessary. With my new fixture running for over a week now, my newly planted hairgrass are thriving and expanding even on the corners of the tank just as good as the taller and centrally located plants are. So the intensity and PAR they are receiving are definitely sufficient it seems.

I have been watching your riparium thread. Someday I'll have to setup one myself but for now I need to make a good looking nature scape first. Trying since the beginning of this year and not yet as happy as I would like to be

EDIT: Living in bay area where most people seem overly fascinated to embrace the newest technologies at the earliest, I have not seen LEDs being embraced as fast (although BART is converting their trains to LED lighting for saving on power). So I don't feel prices will come down much in near future.
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post #155 of 175 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 06:49 AM
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malay,

Just wanted to give you a 'pat on the back' because that's a pretty awesome fixture you created there. Maybe one of these days I can come check out your setups when we have plants to swap or whatever the case.
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post #156 of 175 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks speedie. Sure lets plan and do come over. This is actually a good time since I finished redoing my layout and things are blooming back to life.
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post #157 of 175 (permalink) Old 10-06-2009, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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This picture captures the focused metal halide type effect best among the pictures I took. The edges are darker on the top than the center.

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post #158 of 175 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 05:45 PM
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Nicely done. I was quite surprised you went with the MC-Es, but they seem to be working out pretty well. Any chance of some clearer shots of the fixture itself installed over the tank?
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post #159 of 175 (permalink) Old 10-08-2009, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks evilc66. I kind of gambled initially with MC-E to meet my objectives of a smaller surface area. On paper the dimensions of the heatsink and the power consumption requirements of the MC-E compared to the drivers I had worked out well, so I gave it a shot.

I was not sure about how the light distribution would work, but it is pretty even.

I'll upload a few shots of the fixture over the tank.
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post #160 of 175 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 06:42 PM
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I'd say it was a worthwhile gamble. The shots of the tank looks good.
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post #161 of 175 (permalink) Old 10-16-2009, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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Here you go evil. Not too good shots but gives you the idea



From front


From the side


Birdseye view


Complete setup. Pardon the blurry picture and the uv filter (had some ick issue recently)
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post #162 of 175 (permalink) Old 10-28-2009, 02:25 PM
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That light is awesome how much did it cost you to build something like that because i want one for my 90-P but i am looking for it to grow hc and not having to pay the electricity bill my self with t5ho because in Puerto Rico the electricity cost is high
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post #163 of 175 (permalink) Old 04-04-2010, 01:51 AM
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Nice DIY project!! Awesome light! I suggestion, is there a way to put the wires behind the panel instead of in front?



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post #164 of 175 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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That light is awesome how much did it cost you to build something like that because i want one for my 90-P but i am looking for it to grow hc and not having to pay the electricity bill my self with t5ho because in Puerto Rico the electricity cost is high
At the time I made it it cost me around $300 per piece (without considering cost of tools used) with the bulk of the cost going towards the LEDs.
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post #165 of 175 (permalink) Old 04-07-2010, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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Nice DIY project!! Awesome light! I suggestion, is there a way to put the wires behind the panel instead of in front?
Thank you. Yes, I can tie them along the pipes and run them behind. However all the pictures here are non-existent right now. These pictures were from my home in California. I recently relocated to Chicago area for my job and do not have any of the tanks running yet. Infact I am living in a temp accommodation, waiting to move in to my new home end of this month before I can restart my tanks again.
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