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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-22-2013, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Enthusiast
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NYC, NY
Posts: 774
DIY LED project for fun...

I had some time and decided to try my hands at making my own DIY LED lights. I'm quite happy with the results, and plus..I'm using much less electricity than before!!

I kept my first project small to make sure that I liked it. It consisted of just 3 LEDs, 3 watts each. Color was two 6,500K and one 12K to mix it up a little. 90 degree lens reflector were used. ( but I will change it to 60 )

My original plans was to hang this about 6-7 inches off the surface with steel wires but after purchasing it, it was too hard to suspend it in mid-air, let alone tie a knot with it, so the next best thing which worked out really well was to install it with brackets. You can't tell from the pics because I purposely aimed up a little to show the fixture in place, but if looking straight at it, the frame of the iron stand actually hides everything!

More than enough light for a 10 gallon shrimp tank, very happy with it and very strong lighting!

For the next project, I made a 36" strip light. I tried it over my planted tank, the color is really amazing and natural. The coloration on the fishes like my white cloud minnows is something that I didn't think was possible. But for now, I'm testing the strip light on a much bigger tank.

It's a 220 gallon tank, 6 feet long, 2 feet wide, and 30" high. It has 8 3W LEDs this time, alternating with 6,500K and 12K. 90 degree reflector lenses were used and it worked perfectly. I took the pics in the dark and there's no spillage on the floor. Plus. the LEDs are shining through 1/2" inch acrylic hoods, so its probably even brighter.

One problem is that since the fish is mostly on the top, the LEDs doesn't really spread out until towards the middle/bottom. Hence, when he's swimming at the top, the front and back is not that bright. You can see an example of this where the face is against the front of the tank and there's no light on him.

I've already had the soldering iron, solder, heat I just needed the heat sink, LEDs lights, reflector, a driver, and a plug. It's always fun to see a DIY successful. I plan on building one more for the other side of the 220 gallon. When I build one for my planted tank, I'm going to add some blue and reds in there as well.

ok, decided to edit the pic...

Last edited by eeng168; 01-23-2013 at 06:56 AM. Reason: typo
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