DIY Cree XP-G Fluval Edge Light upgrade
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:31 AM   #1
Algae Grower
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Tempe, AZ
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Default DIY Cree XP-G Fluval Edge Light upgrade

Hi all, this is my first "instructable" that I have done, but I thought someone out there may find my experience useful when putting together a LED mod for their Fluval Edge.

First, a little background. I have scoured these forums for the past 2-3 months now, learning everything I could about how to do things "right." I bought a Fluval Edge 6 gal, 1st gen, right before christmas with a pretty good gameplan in my head on how I intended to modify it. It seems that it is common knowledge that the stock lighting on the Edge is downright awful. And I must agree! To combat this, there seems to be two schools of thought. Upgrade the MR12's to MR16's and throw a CFL bulb in there, or add supplemental lighting outside of the stock hood to get good coverage. It was my hope to build a light similar to nanotuners (RIP).

My goals were:
To maintain the stock appearance
Keep the existing mechanism for moving the light out of the way
Have the light be dimmable

This is my result:
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So, here is how it went.... First, the equipment:

1 - 5.886" Wide x 3" Long Heatsink from
2 - Bags of 8-32 machine screws and nuts
1 - 8-32 Tap & Die set (This ended up being unnecessary.)
4 - XP-G R5 LEDS from
2 - Artic silver thermal adhesive from (I should have only ordered one, I was erring on the side of caution. One is more than enough!)
1 - Moonlight kit from
4 - 40degree lenses for XP-G leds from (I did not use these, as I had this "great" idea and scrapped it)
1 ELN-30-12D Meanwell power supply
1 spool of wire
Dremel tool with cutting wheel
*Not shown in this picture is a 10K potentiometer, an extra 12V power supply I had lying around, and a 2.2K and 180ohm resistor bought from RadioShack.

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So, first step is to remove the existing light bar from the back of the edge. This is easy enough, there are 4 tabs that you pop in on the back piece and you are free.

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Next step is to remove the 4 screws holding the arm bars together and the 4 screws in the MR12 sockets. You can see the 2 screws on the arm bar in this picture.

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Once you have the 8 screws removed, you can separate the top and bottom halves of the light assembly like so...

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Gut the insides of all wires...

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Once the halves are separated and gutted, you will need to cut out the existing light section. For this, I used a Dremel tool with a reinforced cutting wheel. I chose to cut along the light bars. The new heatsink was slightly longer than what I cut out, causing the arm bars to bow outwards slightly, but this has not caused any problem whatsoever and is only noticeable by me.

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Once the middle section is removed, place the big back section that the arm bars attach to, and the arm bars themselves, back onto the aquarium. It is time to measure out some holes...

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cree, diy led, fluval edge, led retrofit

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