DIY led light idea
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:48 PM   #1
starfire12
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DIY led light idea


So I need some advice from all the good diy led people on the forum. I was trying to find a inexpensive way to switch to led's on my 46 gallon bow front planted tank. After looking through some of the aquascaping and tank journals here I came up with the following idea using the following items to do a diy led light for my tank.

I would start with something like this purchased from our local reclaim store here.Name:  7128cssquare.jpg
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Then remove all the sockets and replace with these
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The bulbs that I was thinking about using are these I would be using eight of them. They are 6500k 72led.
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I would also be adding four of these in blue to use as moonlights
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Does anybody think that this will be too much light or what. I will be glad of any advice that you guys and gals can give me. Of course both sets of lights would be wired separate so I can use timers on them.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:12 AM   #2
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NO input from anybody? I really need some advice on this.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:03 AM   #3
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Sorry my experience with FW planted is limited, but I've spent a lot of time messing with LED lighting for my reef tank.

The idea is a good one. It can provide enough light for photosynthesis, but you need the right bulbs. I would avoid the first ones you link to because those are simply 72 5mm LEDs grouped together. They look bright but won't pack enough punch.

The 5w bulbs you show are many times more powerful - too bright for moonlights. I would do it the other way around and use the 5mm LEDs as moonlighting.

Now here's where my inexperience shows... For a reef tank I would want a lot more bulbs to get good coverage. Those typically have fairly tight optics on them, maybe between 40 and 60 degrees so the light spread won't be very much. Sometimes you can find some eBay sellers who will modify these bulbs for aquarium use and substitute optics.

If I were to do it, I would use at least double the number of bulbs, and I would use 60-90 degree optics with the fixture held 12"+ above the water. You'll want the bulbs to be fairly close together or else it will look like a bunch of small spotlights above the water.

Here's some more bulbs:
[Ebay Link Removed]

Here's a huge thread about using them in a reef setting - I'm sure you can sort out the information most relevant to you.
http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/26743...e-ebay-lights/
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:34 PM   #4
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Default LED lighting Idea

My problem is that the I only have about 10 inches of space above my tank to work with, my tank is in an enclosed stand, meaning the stand is built around the tank and there is a shelf above the tank that holds two ten gallon tanks and it can not be removed as I do not have any place else to put the ten gallon tanks. My current fixture which is a 2x96w compact fluorescent sits about 4 inches above the tank and can be raised or lowered as needed. I checked out the link on the reef tank and according to that thread I would need at least 17 bulbs with most of them being white I would use a few blue for moonlighting, that is a lot of bulbs.
So I could go with these which are 3x1w led 60 degree angle, 6000k, 580lm
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Or with these which are 3x3w led all other ratings are the same as the 3w one.
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Last edited by starfire12; 03-22-2013 at 03:28 PM.. Reason: adding information
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:10 PM   #5
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Those bulbs look good. I know that there are some very light demanding plants out there. That said it seems like you have a medium amount of light over the tank now with the PCs. What are your plans? Do you want to expand the kinds of plants you keep or run co2?

If so, I would try to put in along the lines of the 17 bulbs you mentioned... This will get you more even coverage and plenty of power. I believe these bulbs are dimmable too, so you could even get a dimmer switch (same kind as you would use in your house) and dim them a little if needed. Note that I would check with the bulb maker though to make sure!

Regarding your space constraints, you could try to modify the bulbs to allow them to hang lower. Since the bulbs themselves and the fixture will take up several inches you're not going to be able to hang these very high off the water. I believe it's pretty easy to take out the optics and just run them without optics. If you did that and used the 3x3w bulbs you could probably get away with using fewer and hang them lower as well. Just be careful with the 3x3w ones especially as the bulbs could get pretty hot if confined like that. Is it possible to install some venting in your hood canopy?

Anyways, just some thoughts. Take your time designing this and if you find out that they're dimmable I would definitely get enough to make sure you have good coverage and sufficient light as it may be hard to order these in multiple batches and get the same LEDs.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:26 PM   #6
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Right at this time I think I have mostly low to med light plants but would like to try some different high light ones. I am running pressurized co2. I get good growth with what I have but want something different.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:15 PM   #7
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I modified my eclipse tank, normally t8 lamps i changed them to mr11 led lamps, similar to what your asking, only costs around $25 depending on how many lamps you want.


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Old 03-22-2013, 10:40 PM   #8
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How many led's per bulb do you have. I am not looking to take my current fixture apart would be starting from scratch. Do you have any plants. How is the growth if you do.
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Last edited by starfire12; 03-22-2013 at 10:41 PM.. Reason: asking more
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:30 PM   #9
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Nice lights.

Love the Doraemon curtain.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:23 AM   #10
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The MR11 bulbs won't cut it for your application IMO. They use SMD LEDs.

S.P. - nice retro in the eclipse hood though!
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:23 PM   #11
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So if I decided not do this because of the amount of bulbs I would need and the price, I can only find the kind of bulbs I want for 5.53 apiece. Has anybody used this light to successfully grow plants. Remember I have a 46 gallon tank with a depth of 18-19 inches from the top of the tank to the substrate. Would I need two of them.?
BeamsWork 0.2W Tri 36" HI LUMEN LED Light Fixture
LEDs Count: 129
2900 Lumens
Super energy efficient 0.2 watt high output LEDs
121x 10,000K LED
8x Actinic 460nm LED
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Last edited by starfire12; 03-23-2013 at 03:25 PM.. Reason: added more information
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:45 AM   #12
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After some more research I have decided to drop the led thing and just upgrade my lighting using 25w CFL bulbs maybe eight or ten of them. I am going to try and find some blue ones to use for moonlights.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starfire12 View Post
How many led's per bulb do you have. I am not looking to take my current fixture apart would be starting from scratch. Do you have any plants. How is the growth if you do.
There are 10 leds in each I sprayed each bulb with a couple layers of automotive cleat coat.
Ive had two of these in my fluval edge shrimp tank and my plants are very green especially my java moss.
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Old 03-31-2013, 02:10 AM   #14
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Default DIY Lighting

Here are a few pics of my new DIY light that my husband and I made yesterday. It really helps when your husband works for a general contractor.
This is how it started holes drilled in the board with the sockets installed temporally.
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Then the sides are attached.
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The sliver tape placed inside to act as a reflector.
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On the tank, excuse all the wires that are sticking up at the top have not figured out what to put on the top to cover them. As of this pic I had eight 5000k CFL bulbs running in it four of them were 13W and the other four were 23w. I replaced the four 23w 5000k with 6500k ones, that I purchased from Lowe's at 9.98 for two. Will switch out the other four next weekend.
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I do have one question is the color temp the most important, will wattage have anything to do with it.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:35 AM   #15
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Default DIY led light idea

I'd go 5000k and 6500k broader spectrum
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