DIY moonlight/nightlight (large pictures)
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Old 03-11-2003, 05:33 PM   #1
kor4ever
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I was browsing reef forums and decided to make myself a LED moonlight/nightlight setup.


Just keep in mind when looking at the aquarium pictures, it is a one minute exposure. Its not that bright and you need to get use to the darkness before seeing anything. For me it was more a cool effect than actually being able to see eveything. If you wanted to see more, you would need to add some red LEDs or some other color.

This is actually a pretty easy project. I just soldered the LEDs in series to a 12V power source. LED are light emitting diodes so they only work one way. The longer wire is positive(its attached into the smaler piece inside the bulb)and you attach that side to the positive wire from the power source.

LEDs can fry if you attach them to a power source without a resistor. This becuase there is leftover voltage in the circuit. You need to attach a resistor. So I have 3 LEDs with a 3.7V-4.5V range operating at 20mA. So to figure out the resistor I need, I took the voltage(even thought I had a 12V power source, my meter said it was 16V)

16V-4.5V*3=2.5V
2.5V/0.02mA=resistance=125ohms
always round up resitance to closest resistor.

So I put 3 47ohms resistors in because thats what I had lying around.

Thats about it, if you wanted to connect more, you would have to attach LEDs in parallel, a little more complicated. Check out this forum thread for more information

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...=LED+moonlight

Personally, if I had a larger tank I would just throw in a cold cathode tube into the tank as they can be dimmed much better than LEDs can be. You can find those at any PC mod place such as
http://pcmods.com/list.asp?DepID=6&CtgID=10

Anyways, happy modding, hope this was semi-clear.
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Old 03-11-2003, 09:08 PM   #2
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That's really, really cool! Do your fish remain asleep with the moonlight on? I might try this with a bunch of red and blue LED's I have sitting around. Thanks for the tips on hookup.
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Old 03-11-2003, 11:07 PM   #3
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The only fish I have that are asleep at night are the neons. They stay asleep, they don't even notice. My shrimp are the ones that are very sensitive to my flashlight at night technique, and they don't even notice. I think most fish and invertebrates are less sensitive to red light, so I think if you add red lights it will be fine.

Actually, me and my friend were thinking about adding cold cathod tubes that are sensitive to sound. So when you turn up the music at night, your aquarium beats to the music. Haha, that would be a fun future project.
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Old 08-06-2003, 02:58 AM   #4
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Yes, that is really cool, and I've been planning such a project for a long time.

I have heard that fish don't see red light, and have even seen public aquariums using red lights to simulate night for the fish, but allow viewing. Is there any truth to this? I ask because I've read a few topics here about moonlight in tanks, and no one has mentioned the red light thing.

I also realize that in low levels, color doesn't matter, or else moonlight would be driving our wild fish crazy :lol:
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Old 08-10-2003, 02:44 PM   #5
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Ok...yeah....that is mad cool. I have to do that. I am such a toy junkie, lol. Anyone care to direct me to some good DIY LED references so I can *cough* attempt this without short circuiting anything and torching my office, lol.

I bet GCA in all of his electronics guru-ness would be able to help.......
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Old 08-11-2003, 01:49 AM   #6
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Here you go Jon!!:


http://www.csd.net/%7Ecgadd/aqua/art_nightlight.htm


Mike
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Old 08-11-2003, 05:42 AM   #7
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Thanks Mike. Strangely, I have looked over that exact same page but just spaced out and forgot about it. I had forgotten about Chuck Gadd's page. Always worth a re-read.
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Old 08-16-2005, 02:02 PM   #8
rey
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Hi everybody!
For a few years now I've been using a blue indoor Christmas tree light
(7 watts, I think) in a night light fixture on the back of my canopy.
Looks great to me - nice even glow vs. spotlight effect from LEDs.
It runs 24/7, and each bulb seems to last at least a year.
Regards...
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