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Thread: DIY Cree XP-G Fluval Edge Light upgrade Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-21-2012 11:12 AM
aqua_diy Hi theblondskeleton,

Here is my DIY led upgrade for your collection:






More detailed step by step description is here: Fluval Edge 2 DIY Lighting System Upgrade with LED light and Timer

Cheers,
Peter
07-20-2012 07:17 AM
theblondskeleton Nice that seems like a ton of light, though! Good thing you have the pot! Adding this to the DIY LED FAQ, if you don't mind. I'd like to include as many different kinds of DIY's as people come up with
07-19-2012 08:22 PM
Vermino i personally hate my light arm when trying to do maintenance. but very nice mod on the arm
07-19-2012 04:21 PM
JFrizzle Chiefston, fantastic mod! I have never done any project like this, and it was very easy to follow and do myself. I did make a "mod" on your mod.

Attachment 51143

For starters, I have the 12 gallon and didn't have any problem with lighting the bottom of the far corners. However, halfway up my tank on the front the lighting ends. But fortunately the front usually has low lying plants anyway.

Also, because I have 12 gallons, I literally just doubled the LED's that you had put on (8 Cool White Cree XP-G's and 4 Royal Blue LED's from the Moonlight Kit).

My tank came with the stock 42 LED's (5 watts... the newer lighting they added). The main difference between my mod and your mod is that I wanted save the entire stock arm to be able to reuse it if necessary. So, instead of cutting the lights out, I made some arms out of some aluminum channel.

Lastly, for anyone making this mod on the 12 gallon, I used the Mean Well LPC-35-700 driver (which kicks out about 35 watts) as my driver. However, normally I would have used the Mean Well LPC-60-1050 which would kick out more like 50 watts which would have worked very well with my LED's, however, I'm running shrimp and Cardinal Tetra's (both of which don't like too much light). As a result, I went with a little lower lighting (but still enough to grow my plants... well, hopefully!). If nothing else, my tank now has "wings" from the great lighting!

Anyway, you can see from the photos that I put in (2) 1" bolts to catch the arms to keep the lights set in position.

Anyway, thanks again! Great modification! Works like a charm in my 12g Edge!

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03-05-2012 11:52 PM
Chiefston Mxx, I hadn't thought of front lighting for the fish, I guess I will see how they look when I stock my tank this week... I will defiantly be paying attention now that you have mentioned it!

aphul, I have the cool white XP-G which is 5000-8300K. I think the lighting really makes the colors look great on the plants. Whether it is as great for the plants as it is for my eyes, only time will tell....

I also keep the moonlights on 24-7. As they are really dimmed (I put a resistor in-line with them to get current down to ~40mA) they don't make that much of a difference. I think it helps just enough with the colors though, that I don't want to put them on a timer as well.
03-05-2012 06:31 PM
apuhl20 what color LEDs did you use? are you happy with that color or would you have changed it?
03-05-2012 05:38 PM
Mxx My own 6G Edge light and filter modifications are somewhere in the official Edge thread. Getting light across the front substrate, into the corners, and onto the front of the fish rather than on their backsides certainly wasn't easy.

I suppose the 12G makes it much easier though. For the height should allow an adequate spread, and you should be able to aim enough of the light at the front pane for it to reflect off the front pane and back onto the front of the fish in order to actually visibly illuminate their colors and iridescence instead of just washing them out.

I'll have to think about whether that is adequate still, for maybe I'd be better off just doing my own custom tank from scratch where I could mount a bar of LED's on the front inside edge of the tank anyway. $100 isn't bad in any case, though perhaps I'd have to include the price of a Dremel as well.
03-05-2012 04:47 PM
Chiefston
Costs

Mxx, I have all the receipts sitting around, I can put together a price lost when I get home. I'd guesstimate it cost around $100? Post pics if you decide to tackle a similar project. I'd love to see this done on a 12g
03-05-2012 10:23 AM
Mxx Most excellent work! I had found myself considering whether I'd want to try an Edge 12G as a marine tank, and was wondering exactly how to go about doing exactly what you've just demonstrated here! With the 12G at least I wouldn't be facing the same limitation on light spread.

Mind us asking the cost? And mind telling us how much you'll sell retrofit kits for?

Now, sorting reef tank filtration properly would be a different sort of PITA however...
03-05-2012 07:11 AM
Chiefston Thanks Jayme. The front corners are still not AS bright as the center of the tank. I guess the real test will be if the HC grows all the way out to the corners or not. At this point, I am hoping that ANY of the HC grows out. It seems people generally have a hard time growing it, and I am a total newb at this whole fish tank/plants thing...
03-05-2012 06:45 AM
Jayme I love that you can keep the stock look with this and eliminate that dark edge/corner problem. I told my husband he is going to do this for my EDGE, lol.

Thanks for sharing!
03-05-2012 06:21 AM
Chiefston
Extra things.

Here is a pic of the moonlighting. Iphone4 camera is NOT good at taking these...

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And a pic of my CO2 mod, routing the CO2 into the back of the filter. Found this little trick browsing around the forum here. It actually works very well, with 1 BPS I get green drop checker.

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And finally, I spray painted the inside of the hood white to help keep photons in and darkons out... =-P

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So, thats my modifications so far. Going into this project I was a little nervous about what I was getting myself into. And after cutting up my light bar there was a hint of dread, like "What have I done!?" But, I am extremely pleased with the outcome. I have been running this setup for 5 days now, and my HC and dwarf grass has not completely died yet, so there's that. Also, my new diatom algae colony started pearling today! So, the construction has completed and the learning has begun.

Hope this helps someone out! If there are any questions, please feel free to ask.
03-05-2012 06:10 AM
Chiefston
Continued...

So, once the mounting portion is complete, it is time to start wiring things up. There are videos on youtube explaining how to use artic silver for the LEDS, and also tips for soldering LEDS. I highly recommend watching these! For those paying attention, I did wire up the two moonlights incorrectly here. I was in a soldering trance and just kept connecting things together! I did remove one of the wires when only one LED came on... In the last two pics, you can see the 2.2K resistor wired in series with the 10K pot. Since I had an extra 12V power supply lying around, I used a simple voltage divider to get my 10V. Unfortunately, my cheapie PS is non regulated and I get 10.5V when the pot is at 10K... This is remedied by turning down the pot a quarter turn from full on.

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Here you can see the wires being routed inside the arm, with the top cover taken off. I also had to cut an opening for the wires to escape out of the arm at the bottom, which you can see in the last pic.

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After hooking up the lights and testing, I decided there was too much shadow in the front corners, and that I had mounted the light too high in the neck of the aquarium. So, off to Lowes, and I found some ErecterSet looking pieces in the hardware isle. Two holes were enough to get the light down into the neck and not above it, so I cut it down with the dremel.

Before... Notice how high up it is? Above the rim.
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After lowering it with the hole-y piece. Notice it's IN the neck now, eliminating most of the shadowy corners.
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03-05-2012 05:40 AM
freediver Wow look great!!!!!!
03-05-2012 05:39 AM
neodoxa Very nice.
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