DIY LED wiring diagram; it's not as complicated as you think.
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:22 AM   #1
redfishsc
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DIY LED wiring diagram; it's not as complicated as you think.


Here is an LED wiring diagram using a non-dimmable LED driver and 12 LEDs, which is a common size for many arrays.


Note that not all LED drivers use AC inputs, but the ones I prefer always do. I prefer the Meanwell models, and Inventronics/Thomas Research drivers (Nanotuners.com and Nanobox.com carry them).


BE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THAT YOU ARE USING AN AC-INPUT DRIVER BEFORE YOU PLUG THAT THING IN!

Most Buckpucks are NOT AC input unless they are marked specifically as such.


But here it is. You really only need a good soldering iron, some solder, thermal adhesive for the LEDs, a heatsink to stick the LEDs to, and some LEDs.


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Old 04-26-2011, 04:15 AM   #2
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This is awesome. I made it my background since I am thinking about getting into LEDs for my 120!
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:31 PM   #3
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Thanks for your post and all the pointers!

Does the driver get hot too? Are there differences, where some get hotter than others? Can you dim LEDs by controlling the AC voltage of your driver with a $5 hardware store dimmer (I suspect not).
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:42 PM   #4
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It is depend on which one you end up buying.
The constant current driver (if you buy one enclosed one) usually do not get very hot. Maybe warms but no head sink needed.
But the one that not enclosed (PCB expose) probabaly have heat sink on the regulator and may get pretty hot. I would get the MeanWell constanst current dirvers. Most of them are enclosed and water proof. (around +$20-$30)

As far as dimming goes, you are hooking this up in series, adding a regular dimmer from the hardware store will not dim the led. The current will remain constant due to the driver. There are driver that can be dim and that will be your best bet.
I bought my driver from Rapid LED.
http://www.rapidled.com/servlet/the-Drivers/Categories
With a bit of google and youtube, you can find how to hook them up and even calibrate the dim switch.
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Old 04-26-2011, 04:39 PM   #5
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Thanks for this! Should be a lot easier than my sucky explanations
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:02 PM   #6
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Wow, thanks for putting this all together in such a way that's so accessible!
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:04 PM   #7
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Folks, it really is that easy, finally.
That setup is what I build for a 24" tank.
With twelve Satistronics (cheap) 3 watt LEDs, I have to hang it above my 24h as it's too much light sitting on the rim. (insert huge smug grin here)
With current pricing, it's about $50.00. Less if you can scrounge up some aluminum stock.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
Thanks for your post and all the pointers!

Does the driver get hot too? Are there differences, where some get hotter than others? Can you dim LEDs by controlling the AC voltage of your driver with a $5 hardware store dimmer (I suspect not).

Ohbaby714 covered the answers to this pretty well so I'll just agree with him and add a touch.

There have been the occasional report of enclosed drivers (such as Meanwells) that get hot, but I am using 2 that never get anything but mildly warm to the touch. Mine sit on top of a very tall canopy so they are NOT in a crowded space, and I imagine they would get warm if placed inside a box or something, but even then it wouldn't be a big deal if the box had any vent holes.


You can NOT dim an LED driver by adjusting the AC- in voltage. Many drivers can operate just fine on 110 and 220v (mine do) and doesn't require any fiddling, it works automatically.


To dim LEDs you have to buy a dimmable LED driver, and they ALL accomplish this in slightly different ways. Some come with a dimmer knob, some don't (it's usually a simple 10K potentiometer, $3 at Radioshack). Some require a small 9V power adapter to give the dimmer circuit some power (Meanwells), some come with their own built in reference voltage (Thomas Research/Inventronics).


You dim LEDs on a dimmable driver by adjusting that reference voltage with the potentiometer. That reference voltage never actually goes to the LEDs---- instead it works as a communication device for the driver to know how much current you want going through the LEDs. Think of it as a translator; it tells the driver how much to run the LEDs for you, at the twist of a dial.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:43 PM   #9
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http://www.satistronics.com/3w-high-...0lm_p1317.html

do these led's work just as well as the rapid led lights?
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Old 04-26-2011, 10:45 PM   #10
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I did one of diy led project a while back using 12 xpg-re, adding it to a 78w t5ho for my 40 gallon. It end up to be way too much even with my diy paint ball at 3-4 bps.
It now just sit as a back up till my t5ho burn out.
My plant is doing great with just minimal light and 1-2 bps. Substrate play a big role imo.

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Old 04-26-2011, 11:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockhoe14er View Post
http://www.satistronics.com/3w-high-...0lm_p1317.html

do these led's work just as well as the rapid led lights?

Yes and no. They will work for our purposes.

But they are not nearly as efficient. Granted, they are efficient enough for $2 a piece.

But you can buy a better quality LED from somewhere like www.ledgroupbuy.com (they have them for under $5 each frequently, for the white Cree XPG, which is one of the best LEDs you can buy).


Why buy a better quality LED? Several reasons.
1) They are more efficient and put out more light. I tested a Satistronics "pure white" against a Cree XPG cool white and a Cree XML cool white. The Satistronics gave about half the PAR of the Cree XML at the same drive current, and about 70% of the PAR of the XPG. Meaning, the Cree XML was literally twice as bright, as far as the plants are concerned. More info on this coming soon, we are doing some serious LED testing this weekend

2) Longer life most likely. A Cree (or Luxeon Rebel) should last around 30-50,000 hours before losing it's output below 70%. Do the math on how many 8-hour days that is . The Satistronics and other low-cost LEDs are probably not going to last that long, I've seen them rated for around 20,000 hours. Still, very good, but it can be way better.

3) Better color stability. White chinese LEDs have a reputation for looking kinda greenish (which is fine for us, really) and being inconsistent in their color temp. I haven't personally noticed a problem with this, but the Cree, Bridgelux, and Luxeon companies have a very good color binning system that will be much more accurate and consistent.


In the end, the Satistronics (or Ebay versions) are very affordable and the ONLY reason I would say not to mess with them is because there are better LEDs to be had for only a few dollars more. But really, they can work just fine and still be more efficient that fluorescents.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ohbaby714 View Post
I did one of diy led project a while back using 12 xpg-re, adding it to a 78w t5ho for my 40 gallon. It end up to be way too much even with my diy paint ball at 3-4 bps.
It now just sit as a back up till my t5ho burn out.
My plant is doing great with just minimal light and 1-2 bps. Substrate play a big role imo.

Yeah I could definitely see this being too much lol. I bet it looks sweet though!
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:07 AM   #12
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Thats it! It's final. I shall Build my first LED Fixture for my 120 Gallon tank!
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FDNY911 View Post
Thats it! It's final. I shall Build my first LED Fixture for my 120 Gallon tank!
Glad to be an encouragement! All you really need to do is build multiple versions of the array I posted.

On a 120, since you are already spending a decent amount of money--- spend a little more and get some dimmable drivers. Makes life SOOOO much easier to dim your lights if you end up with a bit too much light, or if you run out of CO2 and can't get it refilled anytime soon.


I'm partial to the Thomas Research (aka, Inventronics) drivers from Nanotuners.com and Nanobox.com


You will also want to try some optics, probably 60 degree optics, since a 120 is a fairly deep tank. They are around 24" deep aren't they?
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:15 PM   #14
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Here is some picture of the contraption.




I think it woork too good sitting on the top of the tank with 60 degree optic. The Alge grow like crazy. So i have to stop using it.


I resonly change out the substrate and use only one light, everythings is going great after that.


I think i'll try to build a DIY hanging conduit next for the light and use the 12 LEDs and see if that help.
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:00 PM   #15
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Heres mine



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