Any ideas on a DIY timer/dimmer?
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > DIY


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-06-2012, 07:57 PM   #1
jester56
Planted Member
 
jester56's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Covington, LA
Posts: 150
Default Any ideas on a DIY timer/dimmer?

Since I'm running two of the 36" Ray II LED's on my tank, I've noticed when the timer kicks them on in the AM, it's like the Sun blasting the tank all at once. I was thinking about a auto-controlled dimmer that would hook between the timer and lamps to bring the light level up slowly so the fish don't drop fins when it comes on. Any ideas or plans would be appreciated...

I did look at some of the home automation stuff. But the info shown is not very clear about how well it would work for my purposes. Plus the programming looks serious complicated.

Thanks!
__________________
Nikon Pimp #084
"The legal quarter of tight lipped men, push for order, then repeat again." KTP

Last edited by jester56; 12-06-2012 at 07:58 PM.. Reason: Entry error
jester56 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2012, 08:43 PM   #2
ChadRamsey
Wannabe Guru
 
ChadRamsey's Avatar
 
PTrader: (59/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Canton, Ga
Posts: 1,416
Default

i am running a similar light set up and have contemplated the same dimmer option.

I will be watching this thread as well for ideas.

Thx
__________________


There are 2 types of people on this forum. Those that have algae, and those that lie and say they don't.
ChadRamsey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2012, 09:49 PM   #3
O2surplus
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
O2surplus's Avatar
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: "The Land of Fruits & Nuts"
Posts: 624
Default

Sorry guys but a typical dimmer won't work to solve your problem. Led fixtures operate differently than old fashioned incandescent light bulbs. Leds require a certain voltage threshold to be reached before current will begin to flow through them, where as incandescent bulbs will happily glow with the reduced voltage that the dimmer provides. Leds can only be dimmed by varying their current level not voltage.

You'll either have to replace you led lighting fixture with a fixture that already has a built in dimmer function-OR- it may be possible to "hack" the one you have to make dimming possible. Whether or not your fixture can be hacked depends on what type of constant current driver is being employed. It's possible that the electronics needed are already there, and the addition of a few strategically placed wires and a micro-controller will provide the dimming capabilities that you're looking for. I've hacked a few of the earlier led fixtures to do just that, but I'm not familiar with the "guts" in the fixtures that you're using now. You may also want to contact the manufacturer and see if they have any "off the shelf" options for you.
__________________
225 Gal, Glass "Reef Ready" w/ twin Iwaki Pumps & 2 Ocean Clear inline filters. Custom 320 watt LED Lighting system utilizing a 6' Maker's Heat Sink, 12 BridgeLux Vero 18's,3 purpose built 5 channel A6211 Led driver/Controllers, and a 20lb CO2 system w/ Milwaukee Ph Controller.
O2surplus is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2012, 10:27 PM   #4
jester56
Planted Member
 
jester56's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Covington, LA
Posts: 150
Default

Thanks, O2! Appreciate the input. I guess I need to hit up Finnex to see if there's a way to make the Ray II'2 dimmer "friendly"... Thanks again. And if I get any info, Chad, I'll let you know...
__________________
Nikon Pimp #084
"The legal quarter of tight lipped men, push for order, then repeat again." KTP
jester56 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2012, 10:53 PM   #5
Diana
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 7,756
Default

Add another light. You can have it in the room sort of near the tank, does not have to be directly over the tank.
Make that one on the timer/dimmer. Incandescent, of course.
Set it to start coming on 15 minutes before the tank lights, then it can go off once the tank lights are on.
At night, reverse. It comes on while the tank lights are still on, and when the tank lights go off this light slowly dims, replicating sunset.

Other solution:
If you have a fixture that has several levels, that is, not all the lights come on at once, then set it so the smallest number can come on, then a few more, then all the fixture, over a 15 minute period. Reverse at night.
If all the bulbs are wired to come on at once this won't work.

Other solution:
Manually fix it:
Put a piece of cardboard between the tank and the light.
When the light comes on only one row of bulbs are uncovered to shine into the tank.
Over the next 15 minutes take away the cardboard, uncovering one more row... then one more row... until all the bulbs are exposed.

Other solution:
Keep the tank near enough to a window that the rising and setting sun can be seen. Time the fixture to be on only when the sun is up. That way the sun starts rising, slowly increasing the light, then the tank light comes on. In the late afternoon the tank light goes off during the day, then the setting sun 'dims' the tank.
Diana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2012, 12:49 AM   #6
ADJAquariums
Wannabe Guru
 
ADJAquariums's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Albany, New York
Posts: 1,431
Default

the way i sort of do that without shocking the fish is i have the room light go on first and sort of add a dimmer light to the tank then like 30 minutes later have the fish tank light kick on. it seems to work
__________________

Then I saw it. I saw a mom who would die for her son. A man who would kill for his wife. A boy, angry and alone. Laid out in front of him, the bad path. I saw it. And the path was a circle. Round and round. So I changed it.
-Joe (Looper 2012)
ADJAquariums is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 07:35 AM   #7
Optix
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Optix's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: May 2011
Location: derrty south
Posts: 711
Default

or just tell your fish to deal with it...Q.E.D
__________________
ΔΙΡΤ Fraternity, Inc. #33
Optix is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 07:09 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012