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!)
- 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:
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
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
Also cut case to let the wire 'out', little wire-ties for strain relief.
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)