DIY LED kit for a heavily planted 20L (solderless?)
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:32 PM   #1
Algae Grower
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Default DIY LED kit for a heavily planted 20L (solderless?)

I am in the planning stages of building an LED fixture for a 20 L tank (30x12x12) that is planted very heavily. While I do have a soldering kit, I was quite intrigued by the 12 Solderless LED Retrofit Kit Dimmable offered by RapidLED as it seems a lot easier.

The fixture itself will be hung from a shelf which is 8 inches from the surface of the water. I was thinking of using two aluminum u-channels (2x1) so the fixture can double as a heat sink. To maximize lighting at the substrate, 40 degree optics will be used.

So, onto the questions. This kit comes with 2 LED terminals, each of which is only 4 inches long. In order for my setup to work, I will have two row of LEDs, one in each u-channel. As a result, it seems to make sense to me to have one of the LED terminals near each channel (since it is only 4 inches I was thinking each terminal could go in the space under the cross beam that connects the channel at each end). This would mean that the wire from the terminal to the LEDs would be quite long (closer to 30 inches).

- there are some 3.5 inch extension wires that can link an LED to the terminal. Would it be possible/safe to modify these wires to make them longer (30 inches max)?
- of the driver is at 700 mA and the fixture is at 8 inches above the water level and has 40 degree lenses, will coverage be sufficient with 7 cree xp-gs in the front and 6 in the back? Thank has high co2 and ferts.
- would a fan be necessary at 700 mA?
- what mix of bulbs would you recommend for freshwater? I was thinking 5 warm white and 8 cool white, unless neutrals should be thrown in the mix?
- should lenses be white or black?

Any advice you have for a total LED building beginner would be greatly appreciated. The solderless kits are only $10 more than the soldering ones, which is why I am trying to see if that will work.

If not, I will do two rows of 7 and do the soldering.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by FrenchFry; 05-18-2012 at 01:33 AM..
FrenchFry is offline   Reply With Quote

diy, led, solderless

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