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-   -   LED moonlight that actually LOOKS like moonlight UPDATED with video (http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=198440)

jbrady33 11-26-2012 04:13 PM

LED moonlight that actually LOOKS like moonlight UPDATED with video
 
Got a better phone (Nokia 1020) so a little better video:

http://youtu.be/RIfAIUemeVI

Completely re-did this setup, using these:
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...JL._SY300_.jpg
led bubble wands
:)

=============================

Love LED lights, but have always thought the blue LED moonlights looked pretty ridiculousness. I know that no aquarium is 'natural' but that nice green natural look just doesn't go well with psychedelic blue lights.

First - the result! Pic below was taken on a 10 second exposure - the bright orange light is the 'on' light from my heater. That gives you an idea how dim this is, with a cell phone the pic is just black. In person you barely notice any light in the tank if there is any other light source in the room - even just a TV. But if all the lights are out in the room the tank glows like full moonlight through a window - very cool effect! The LED 'shimmer' is even more pronounced than when the brights are on during the day :)

If you are up and night a lot or sleep with the tank in the same room, this would be a cool option. This is with just 2 low output LEDs, a purpose made light bar with several more would be a cool idea. (view this pic full size to really get the effect!)

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...=IMG_3321c.jpg


UPDATE! Video - keep in mind this is the best my camera can do. You can really get the idea and see the shimmer, but the whole interior of the tank has a slight 'glow' that you can't see here. Really cool effect, and just bright enough to shimmer the floor under the tank if the room is dark:

http://youtu.be/zYJ4MWjJcAQ

How I got here:

So I started my quest for more natural looking moonlights - cheap if possible! My first attempt worked nicely, but only lasts for a few hours and has it's own issues. I didn' get a pic, but basically I cut all the plastic away from an outdoor solar sidewalk type light and was left with a rechargeable AA battery wired to a little circuit board an an LED. Positioned it so the led ponted down and the solar panel was on the brace in the middle of the tank pointing up - tank light chaged the battery, little dim led came on when the light went out. looked good!

So, proof of concept out of the way, here is the final product. Needed 2 LED nightlight form the dollar store, and I mounted mine to the hollow shell that used to be my florescent hood (with wiring, wire nuts and strain relief left over from the light) In pics:

Crappy dollar store LED nightlight, 2 pack for under $4
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...WP_000425a.jpg

Disassemble, heat solder on prongs and pull out prongs. Reheat solder and solder on the ends of the wire where the prongs used to be
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...WP_000435a.jpg

Also cut case to let the wire 'out', little wire-ties for strain relief.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...WP_000434c.jpg

Double sided sticky tape into old hood shell. (this shell covers my fugeray, plenty of room in hood "window" for both the Fugeray and the nightlights to point into the tank)
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pH...WP_000464c.jpg

wastewater 11-26-2012 04:41 PM

Looks very natural. A creative DIY project!

Lowe 11-26-2012 07:17 PM

Man that sure is nice. I just may have to create something similar! I really do like that effect. You just topped yourself again, Macgyver. lol

jbrady33 11-26-2012 07:31 PM

Thanks! :smile: I wish the picture really showed how it kind of glows rather than 'lights up'

Lowe - how about an add on bar that slides into the rail on one side of a FugeRay/Ray2!

Lowe 11-26-2012 07:45 PM

Already sent your thread to some of the guys here :). We'll see if it's doable. You better hurry up with that patent paperwork!

Neatfish 11-26-2012 08:13 PM

Pretty cool idea. I might try that out but don't think it will light up a 29g.

jbrady33 11-26-2012 08:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Neatfish (Post 2090013)
Pretty cool idea. I might try that out but don't think it will light up a 29g.

That's a 36 gallon in the pics :). More in my sig

Neatfish 11-26-2012 08:59 PM

Hey pretty cool. did the package say what color the bulb is?

urbguy 11-26-2012 08:59 PM

I'm super excited to try this out!

jbrady33 11-26-2012 09:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Neatfish (Post 2090054)
Hey pretty cool. did the package say what color the bulb is?

No, super cheap import dollar store stuff. Looks slightly warm maybe 7k. Would love to see one of the LED guys do it right, maybe in 10k - 'cold' moonlight :)

Neatfish 11-26-2012 09:18 PM

I was going to do this but I might just order this kit better.

http://www.rapidled.com/4-led-solderless-moonlight-kit/

jbrady33 11-26-2012 09:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Neatfish (Post 2090082)
I was going to do this but I might just order this kit better.

http://www.rapidled.com/4-led-solderless-moonlight-kit/

Those are going to he neon blue and fairly bright, I'm going for white and dim.

Neatfish 11-26-2012 11:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbrady33 (Post 2090098)
Those are going to he neon blue and fairly bright, I'm going for white and dim.


hmm I didn't know that.

Neatfish 11-26-2012 11:54 PM

i think this is the video of them. they are kind of bright but it's not like I'm sleeping in that room.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvZfeXSmPko

StraightAddicted 11-27-2012 12:56 AM

Very cool and somewhat easy DIY project. I would like to do this for one of my tanks and see how it comes out. Thanks for nice easy to see/read pics and details.


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