DIY led lighting - have I got it right before purchasing
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 > Lighting


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-03-2013, 06:33 AM   #1
-Az-
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 17
Default

DIY led lighting - have I got it right before purchasing


hi all

great forum. I think i've interpreted everything right so
this post is more for clarification before purchase then anything.

i'm a freshy with planted tanks and native australian fish, I've decided to start updating my fluros to LEDs.
my trial tank is 1200x450x700 (47x17x27) - 378L (108g)

here is what I'm planning;

heatsink- makers 36in - great product, well done
LEDs- Cree 14x 3up(2rb/1nw) 40 deg optics
Cree 8x 3up(3cw) 40 deg optics
exotic 3x hv 60 deg optics
exotic 3x dr 60 deg optics
? 3x cb 120 deg optics
power supply - 12v 6a - I'll source local so I don't need an adaptor
- query - as long as I cover the required current with
1a buffer. I don't need to worry about VAC
drivers- inventronics 1x 25w/700ma
inventronics 1x 40w/450ma
inventronics 5x 40w/700ma
controller - dim4 sunrise/sunset - query- is there a limit to the number of
drivers I can connect per channel
relays - 2x relays & sockets to run fans

now for the led setup

ch1- 2x (40w/700ma---4x 3up(2rb/1nw))
ch2- 40w/450ma---3x hv, 3x dr, 2x 3 up(2rb/1nw)
ch3- 3x (40w/700ma--- 4x 3up(3cw)
ch4- 25w/700ma---2x cb

i've chosen the channels to give me control over whites, blue/whites, colours &
moonlights separately.
from my calculations this should be much more than needed for plant growth, but I'd rather have more and be able to dim ( & leave the opportunity open to become a reefy with the addition of a few LEDs and some salt)

please let me know if I've done anything stupid
I'd appreciate any comments or thoughts
cheers
az
-Az- is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-03-2013, 09:02 AM   #2
ced281
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (22/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 183
Default

You sure you got enough LED lighting to grow plants with that? From what I can tell you got the equivalent of 18 cw/nw Cree LEDs total in your lighting (not sure what the 3x hv and 3x dr are).

Also, have you checked the geometry on your light array? How high are you planning to mount the lighting? 40 degree optics makes for a pretty narrow beam.
ced281 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2013, 10:46 AM   #3
-Az-
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 17
Default

thanks for your input

to clarify
14 x 3up(2rb/1nw) = 28rb & 14nw LEDs
8 x 3up(3cw) = 24cw LEDs
total of 28 royal blue, 14 neutral white & 24 cool white.
I'm hoping this blend will give me a nice full spectrum about 10000-14000Ks (not that kelvins mean anything to plant growth) I shouldn't need any more blue as I don't have coral.

I've added hyper violet (hv) k deep red (dr) to try and mimic PAR wavelength peaks

my tank is 32in high so even if i have the lights directly on the tank top it would be 2.5 feet from the substrate. my light will be suspended about 1 foot from the top of the tank. the 40 deg optics will give good penetration getting usable light to the bottom.
-Az- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 01:11 AM   #4
ced281
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (22/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 183
Default

You might actually have too much blue light in that tank XD. What overall color temp are you looking for? I know color temp doesn't really matter for plant growth, but it does matter for our own aesthetics =]

From personal experience I've seen 5 cw to 1 blue ratios work out very well. The website buildmyled.com also uses this ratio for their showtank lights (though I've never actually purchased their lights before). You might want to buy some extra LEDs and experiment with the color mix when you hvae them on hand.

If you buy LEDs from china via ebay you can get 10/50/100 pack sets of LEDs for real cheap. Not as high quality as CREEs but totally worth the value IMO if you make your fixture flexible. My brother uses them extensively and has no complaints. I've read though that cheaper LEDs have issues with their color temps deterioriating over time whereas the CREEs have a guarantee that their light intensity and color temp will remain at a certain % of specifications after a period of time. The LEDs online are 1/8 of the cost ($0.80 vs $4.00) so I can't really complain (though you have to wait 2 to 4 weeks for them sometimes).
ced281 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 03:04 AM   #5
-Az-
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 17
Default

cheers mate.

I'll do a little digging on the ratios.
I've written down in my notes that 1rb:1cw = 10000-12000k ( I haven't noted where I got that info from).
the addition of the extra cool whites (5000-8300k) should soften the effect. can anyone confirm if I've got this right?

I'll have a look at the cheap LEDs. from my understanding the crees put out more light using less energy ( thus meaning less driving power for each string or more LEDs)
as well as what you mentioned with the accurate wavelength peaks. if the led peaks at the wrong wavelength then it potentially could be useless to plants become purely mood lighting ( eg red (670nm) and far red (730nm which is outside PAR).
-Az- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 03:21 AM   #6
Steve001
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Baltimore Maryland
Posts: 1,325
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by -Az- View Post
cheers mate.

I'll do a little digging on the ratios.
I've written down in my notes that 1rb:1cw = 10000-12000k ( I haven't noted where I got that info from).
the addition of the extra cool whites (5000-8300k) should soften the effect. can anyone confirm if I've got this right?

I'll have a look at the cheap LEDs. from my understanding the crees put out more light using less energy ( thus meaning less driving power for each string or more LEDs)
as well as what you mentioned with the accurate wavelength peaks. if the led peaks at the wrong wavelength then it potentially could be useless to plants become purely mood lighting ( eg red (670nm) and far red (730nm which is outside PAR).
This company http://buildmyled.com/custom-led-strip/ has a diy app that would take a lot of the guess work out in figuring which leds to use. Using this app I've created a light with a K temp of about 5700-6000 and a color rendering index of 98
Steve001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 04:29 AM   #7
-Az-
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 17
Default

the app looks useful. cheers mate.
unfortunately i can't drop the LEDs onto the strip using my I-pad.
this means I'll have to venture upstairs to the civilised part of the house
i'm worried that it doesn't give a kelvin rating after adding blues.
while not being a factor in plant growth directly, kelvins is an important factor to penetration.
6500k at the surface means far less at the substrate.
for mid and cover plants apparently 8000k-10000k is needed.
most data out there is for a 24 in tank. all I can find is that if you have a deeper tank have more kelvins.
reefers need 14000k+ due to the fact that they need to replicate light conditions that are natural at many meters deep for coral growth.
-Az- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 02:03 PM   #8
Steve001
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Baltimore Maryland
Posts: 1,325
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by -Az- View Post
the app looks useful. cheers mate.
unfortunately i can't drop the LEDs onto the strip using my I-pad.
this means I'll have to venture upstairs to the civilised part of the house
i'm worried that it doesn't give a kelvin rating after adding blues.
while not being a factor in plant growth directly, kelvins is an important factor to penetration.
6500k at the surface means far less at the substrate.
for mid and cover plants apparently 8000k-10000k is needed.
most data out there is for a 24 in tank. all I can find is that if you have a deeper tank have more kelvins.
reefers need 14000k+ due to the fact that they need to replicate light conditions that are natural at many meters deep for coral growth.
It certainly does give you a Kelvin rating and more. The K temp would be somewhere between 5500-5900 K
http://buildmyled.com/custom-report-...MCAOODGPPECQQS
Your a bit mistaken on the blue part for planted tanks. Blue light does penetrate the most but planted tanks need full spectrum all the way to the substrate.

Last edited by Steve001; 01-04-2013 at 02:43 PM.. Reason: x
Steve001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2013, 10:02 PM   #9
-Az-
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 17
Default

thanks for doing that steve

there seems to be a lot of yellow and green in the spectrum (wasted energy?)

i'm still concerned with the kelvins ( in regards to penetration)

"It is also noteworthy that many "terrestrial plant lights" as well as many aquarium plant lights (often are lower in kelvin temperature) have more "red nanometer spikes" than higher kelvin 6500k, 10,000k & higher lamps.
The problem with these lights is that while all plants utilizing photosynthesis require the same essential ABCs of PAR (see the PAR section), the facts of light energy penetrating water requires higher kelvin (6500k +) be added to provide maximum PUR (see Useful light energy/PUR section). Aquatic Plants and corals have adapted/evolved to the natural light energy at certain depth of water and the misguided attempt to adapt these terrestrial plant lights is not going to be 100% effective as a light with more water penetrating blue & slightly lower red nm energy."
aquarium lighting by carl strohmeyer

I,m starting to think about adding some reds in strategic locations about the substrate
-Az- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2013, 06:08 AM   #10
ced281
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (22/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 183
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve001 View Post
It certainly does give you a Kelvin rating and more. The K temp would be somewhere between 5500-5900 K
http://buildmyled.com/custom-report-...MCAOODGPPECQQS
Your a bit mistaken on the blue part for planted tanks. Blue light does penetrate the most but planted tanks need full spectrum all the way to the substrate.
That app is pretty sweet! I've looked at that site a couple of times but didn't notice this!
ced281 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2013, 06:30 AM   #11
ced281
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (22/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 183
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by -Az- View Post
cheers mate.

I'll do a little digging on the ratios.
I've written down in my notes that 1rb:1cw = 10000-12000k ( I haven't noted where I got that info from).
the addition of the extra cool whites (5000-8300k) should soften the effect. can anyone confirm if I've got this right?

I'll have a look at the cheap LEDs. from my understanding the crees put out more light using less energy ( thus meaning less driving power for each string or more LEDs)
as well as what you mentioned with the accurate wavelength peaks. if the led peaks at the wrong wavelength then it potentially could be useless to plants become purely mood lighting ( eg red (670nm) and far red (730nm which is outside PAR).
I think you're right about the generic LEDs being less efficient at converting watts to lumens than the crees. But I think you can partially work around that by buying the "high power" LEDs which are supposedly rated at 160+ lumens. Here are 3W LEDs from China which generate 170-190 lumens.

[Ebay Link Removed]

If you look at the specs for the Cree XP-G's their 5W LEDs generate 260 lumens at 700mA.

http://www.cree.com/~/media/Files/Cr...g/XLampXPG.pdf

Anyone know how to calculate the lumens per watts for these? Will a 5W Cree really run at 5W if you're only running at 700mA instead of it's max 1.5A?

From back in my high school days, P=IV so Power = Current * Voltage. I'm assuming that the voltage doesn't change for these guys so if you decrease current the power (wattage) should decrease proportionally.
> So the power consumption of a 5W Cree running at 700mA is closer to 2.3W.
> Which means the lumens per watt is ~113
> Whereas the lumens per watt of these "high-power" Chinese LEDs are ~60 (180lumens/3W)
> Which means the efficiency of the Crees is almost 2x!
Does that make sense???

Quote:
Originally Posted by -Az- View Post
thanks for doing that steve

there seems to be a lot of yellow and green in the spectrum (wasted energy?)

i'm still concerned with the kelvins ( in regards to penetration)

"It is also noteworthy that many "terrestrial plant lights" as well as many aquarium plant lights (often are lower in kelvin temperature) have more "red nanometer spikes" than higher kelvin 6500k, 10,000k & higher lamps.
The problem with these lights is that while all plants utilizing photosynthesis require the same essential ABCs of PAR (see the PAR section), the facts of light energy penetrating water requires higher kelvin (6500k +) be added to provide maximum PUR (see Useful light energy/PUR section). Aquatic Plants and corals have adapted/evolved to the natural light energy at certain depth of water and the misguided attempt to adapt these terrestrial plant lights is not going to be 100% effective as a light with more water penetrating blue & slightly lower red nm energy."
aquarium lighting by carl strohmeyer

I,m starting to think about adding some reds in strategic locations about the substrate
Some of the limitations of light penetration by lower wavelength colors can be somewhat dealt with by using more focused beams (who knows how much it can be avoided though).

Having greens and yellows can be argued to be "wasted" light because they don't aid in photosynthesis, but the more green and yellow light you send into the aquarium, the more those colors will shine off your plants and into your eyes.

I would be careful about having too many red likghts. I read somewhere (I think in the lighting sticky) that algae is better at utilizing red than blue light, so having high levels of red light without proper plant load could be conducive to algae blooms, etc.

More food for thought! Let us know what you're planning.

If I end up having more free time I might start up a thread documenting my DIY lighting for my DoAqua 90P tank. I just got my makersled fixtures and am waiting on my LEDs from China =]
ced281 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2013, 09:22 AM   #12
-Az-
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 17
Default

that's some real food for thought ced
thanks

I was just reading the red spectrum causing algae. also plants (and coral) have adapted to their natural depth which means that too much red can be detrimental.

i understand what you're saying about the visual aspect of the yellows and greens.
it still amazes me that the colour things appear is the colour they're not.

i think i'll stay with my reef capable amount of blues but play with my wiring so that blues, whites, pur colours and aesthetic colours can be controlled and dimmed separately. thus i can have whatever temp/spectrum i need.

what i love about the diy led approach is that if i think i'm short of red or whatever i can just add a couple of LEDs and problem solved.

i haven't ordered yet but i shouldn't be far off. just finalizing some details.

let us know how your build goes. are you using dimmers?
-Az- is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2013, 03:34 PM   #13
Steve001
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Baltimore Maryland
Posts: 1,325
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by -Az- View Post
that's some real food for thought ced
thanks

I was just reading the red spectrum causing algae. also plants (and coral) have adapted to their natural depth which means that too much red can be detrimental.

i understand what you're saying about the visual aspect of the yellows and greens.
it still amazes me that the colour things appear is the colour they're not.

i think i'll stay with my reef capable amount of blues but play with my wiring so that blues, whites, pur colours and aesthetic colours can be controlled and dimmed separately. thus i can have whatever temp/spectrum i need.

what i love about the diy led approach is that if i think i'm short of red or whatever i can just add a couple of LEDs and problem solved.

i haven't ordered yet but i shouldn't be far off. just finalizing some details.

let us know how your build goes. are you using dimmers?
Take a look at this thread's photos using custom leds.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...t=#post2148737
Steve001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2013, 02:10 AM   #14
Build My LED
Sponsor
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 63
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ced281 View Post
I think you're right about the generic LEDs being less efficient at converting watts to lumens than the crees. But I think you can partially work around that by buying the "high power" LEDs which are supposedly rated at 160+ lumens. Here are 3W LEDs from China which generate 170-190 lumens.

[Ebay Link Removed]

If you look at the specs for the Cree XP-G's their 5W LEDs generate 260 lumens at 700mA.

http://www.cree.com/~/media/Files/Cr...g/XLampXPG.pdf

Anyone know how to calculate the lumens per watts for these? Will a 5W Cree really run at 5W if you're only running at 700mA instead of it's max 1.5A?

From back in my high school days, P=IV so Power = Current * Voltage. I'm assuming that the voltage doesn't change for these guys so if you decrease current the power (wattage) should decrease proportionally.
> So the power consumption of a 5W Cree running at 700mA is closer to 2.3W.
> Which means the lumens per watt is ~113
> Whereas the lumens per watt of these "high-power" Chinese LEDs are ~60 (180lumens/3W)
> Which means the efficiency of the Crees is almost 2x!
Does that make sense???



Some of the limitations of light penetration by lower wavelength colors can be somewhat dealt with by using more focused beams (who knows how much it can be avoided though).

Having greens and yellows can be argued to be "wasted" light because they don't aid in photosynthesis, but the more green and yellow light you send into the aquarium, the more those colors will shine off your plants and into your eyes.

I would be careful about having too many red likghts. I read somewhere (I think in the lighting sticky) that algae is better at utilizing red than blue light, so having high levels of red light without proper plant load could be conducive to algae blooms, etc.

More food for thought! Let us know what you're planning.

If I end up having more free time I might start up a thread documenting my DIY lighting for my DoAqua 90P tank. I just got my makersled fixtures and am waiting on my LEDs from China =]
Hey guys/gals. I wanted to chime in here on a few of these topics, as there is so much misinformation concerning LEDs and spectrum related to plant growth on the Internet. Before I started Build My LED, I managed a horticulture lighting division for an LED manufacturing company. We competed against all of the global LED companies (i.e. CREE, Philips, Bridgelux, etc.), so I have some direct experience in this segment. Having said that, I am not a planted tank expert I do know lighting and LEDs, so together, we should be able to help move the ball forward.

Concerning Lumens per watt. First of all, you need to compare apples to apples when comparing LEDs. LED manufacturers don't have a consistent method to publishing these numbers, so you need to dig into the spec sheets. Most companies publish this metric by flashing the LEDs with a 20 millisecond pulse of electricity. The LEDs are ‘cold’, so they are very efficient during the test. If you would test that same LED 10 seconds later, it would produce a lower Lumen number, since LEDs produce less light as they heat up. If you would test that same LED after it has been sitting over an aquarium for three hours, you would have an even lower number. While on this topic, it is important to note there can be significant losses with the optical and electrical systems in any lighting system. By the time you consider all three levels of losses (thermal, optical and electrical), the overall fixture efficiency is nowhere near the values published for the bare LED.


Concerning the green/yellow light, wasted energy issue. In summary, this is the worst myth on the Internet concerning horticulture lighting and photobiology. As long as photons between 400 and 700nm are absorbed, they are useful for photosynthesis. There are no wasted wavelengths in this band of light (electromagnetic radiation). Here is how the myth is usually propogated: “Plants are green, so they are reflecting the green light back to your eye, so the plants are not using it. Hence, green light is wasted energy. “ Scientifically, this is absolutely wrong. Green light is very useful to plants, it just doesn’t get absorbed by the chloroplasts as efficiently as blue and red light. Hence, the plant appears green. However, it is not reflecting all of the green light, and green light even has some advantages over red and blue light. Green light (and far red light) can penetrate deeper into the plant canopy, so spectra with green light usually outperform spectra that only contain red and blue light. In fact, NASA published a paper concerning this issue in 2004, and the green-enhanced light actually grew 45% more biomass than the red and blue spectra.

Finally, Kelvin is basically a useless metric for comparing different light sources, as it does not define a single color. In other words, you can buy a 5700K light from 20 different companies, and they will all look different, even though they are all correctly labeled 5700K. Google the 1931 CIE color chromaticity diagram, and you will see vertical black lines near the center of the chart. These vertical lines define the specific color temperatures (i.e. 5700K), and you will notice how they stretch from the pink region into the green region. That is why you will see so much variation while comparing lights based on the Kelvin scale. Alternatively, I recommend you look at the actual spectrum of light, as this is what is used to calculate the Kelvin temperature. By looking at the spectrum power distribution (SPD) chart, you will be in a much better position to compare various light sources for horticulture applications.

I hope this helps ‘shed some light’ on the subject on LEDs and horticulture lighting. This wasn’t meant to be a comprehensive dissertation on the above topics, but I wanted to chime to add my two cents to the discussion :-)

Nick

Last edited by Build My LED; 01-06-2013 at 02:14 AM.. Reason: spelling
Build My LED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2013, 08:31 AM   #15
-Az-
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Queensland, Australia
Posts: 17
Default

great info Nick
thanks for sharing your expertise
-Az- is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
diy, freshwater, led, ledgroupbuy, lighting

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 04:52 AM.


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