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Old 07-11-2015, 02:37 PM   #1
skoram
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DIY COB LED Help


I recently set up a light fixture for a riparium using PAR38 bulbs (see thread here). I chose the PAR38 approach because it was fairly cheap and simple but, after experiencing several problems with bulbs ordered from China on the BAY, I decided to scrap the whole idea and just go with custom DIY LEDs.

After reading some other threads here I decided on Bridgelux Vero 18 5600K COB LEDs. The steel pipe light fixture I built has 3 sockets so I plan to replace the sockets with 3 Aavid Thermalloy 34W Spotlight Heatsinks with one Vero 18 in each of them. I believe that this should be more than plenty of light. The PAR38 bulbs I am using now are advertised at about 2000 lumens each (probably much less) and the plants are all doing great. By contrast the Vero 18s are advertised at about 5000 lumens each. I know lumens is not an accurate measure of light usable by plants, but I don't have any PAR data.

So, as a total newbie to DIY LEDs, this is where things get confusing for me. As I understand, I need an LED driver. Each Vero uses about 30 Watts, so I *assume* a single 100W driver is all I need. Is this correct or do I need a different kind of driver or multiple drivers?

I'm also confused as to whether or not I need a power supply and controller. Some of the descriptions of the drivers that I've read seem to indicate that they themselves provide the power and are also capable of dimming. I'm not looking for anything fancy in terms of manipulating the LEDs - just dimming them is all I need.

Any advice and feedback you guys can offer on this is greatly appreciated.


EDIT: not 20 minutes after posting this I started reading a great guide written by sumer on his website that explained the 2 types of LED setups. For the sake of cost, I will likely have to go with "Type 1" setup which combines the power supply and the driver.

Last edited by skoram; 07-11-2015 at 03:11 PM.. Reason: new information
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Old 07-11-2015, 04:00 PM   #2
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I did a search on evilbay for "LED Driver" and the results were very confusing.

Most of the drivers in the results appeared to be power supplies but I am unsure if they are the type 1 or type 2 power supplies listed in sumer's guide.

They all seem to put out very high current, from 3 to 10 or more amps, so this would seem to indicate that they are the type 2 supplies that require an LDD driver?

Here is a photo of a 120W "Driver" that I was considering:



What's more confusing is that in the photo it lists the output current at 10 amps, but in the product description it says the output is DC 12V and 3.75 amps. Is this even possible? If that were actually the case wouldn't it only supply 45 watts of power?

Finally, is there any importance to the voltage? I read something about forward voltage but I didn't grasp the concept completely. Almost all the power supplies I saw seem to put out either 12 or 24 volts DC. If I'm working with 1500 mA of current, then do I need 60 volts?

Sorry for all the newbie questions
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Old 07-11-2015, 04:52 PM   #3
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That driver's not going to work. It's output is only rated for 12V, so it won't light the Vero 18's. I recommend that you use the newer Meanwell LDD-1000H and a cheap 36V DC power supply to power them instead. You don't need to go any fancier than that, but the Meanwell LDD-H's do accept a 5V PWM dimming signal, so adding a cheap Arduino based dimming controller is an option later on.
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Old 07-11-2015, 05:25 PM   #4
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Thank you so much O2surplus. I will look for both of those recommendations.

Despite what it may seem, I have been trying to study and read up on LEDs all day ... but for every answer I get, it seems like 2 more questions pop up.
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Old 07-12-2015, 12:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skoram View Post
Thank you so much O2surplus. I will look for both of those recommendations.

Despite what it may seem, I have been trying to study and read up on LEDs all day ... but for every answer I get, it seems like 2 more questions pop up.
just rememer 1 LDD per VEro and the ps needs 30W per Vero..(90W plus at least 10% to spare so 100W or 3A is close enough..)
and output at least 33V (as above 36v is a good compromise)

If you plan on adding more scale up the ps of course..
http://www.bridgelux.com/sites/defau...-Datasheet.pdf
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Last edited by jeffkrol; 07-12-2015 at 12:34 AM.. Reason: data
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Old 07-12-2015, 01:32 AM   #6
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Thank you for the additional tips Jeff. I'm curious as to how you guys figured out the LEDs need at least 33V. Is there some calculation or is it listed somewhere in the product description?

So I found a MeanWell RS-100-48 (100W, 48V, 2.3A) for sale on evilBay for a decent price. I assume this will work well for what I need. There's also a 36V version for sale but I thought 48 might be better, just in case.

I also found the LDD (so I need 3 of them?) but do I need to solder these onto some kind of PCB driver board?


EDIT: Jeff: forgive me if this is a stupid question, but would I be able to use just 1 LDD if I connected the Veros in a series?

Last edited by skoram; 07-12-2015 at 01:39 AM.. Reason: new question
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skoram View Post
Thank you for the additional tips Jeff. I'm curious as to how you guys figured out the LEDs need at least 33V. Is there some calculation or is it listed somewhere in the product description?

So I found a MeanWell RS-100-48 (100W, 48V, 2.3A) for sale on evilBay for a decent price. I assume this will work well for what I need. There's also a 36V version for sale but I thought 48 might be better, just in case.

I also found the LDD (so I need 3 of them?) but do I need to solder these onto some kind of PCB driver board?


EDIT: Jeff: forgive me if this is a stupid question, but would I be able to use just 1 LDD if I connected the Veros in a series?
Ldd-HW's have standard wires so no board needed..

as to the rough voltage pg6 lists the V(f) at 85C and 1050mA of current will be drawn.
http://www.bridgelux.com/sites/defau...-Datasheet.pdf

LDD's need about a 3V differential...
soooo 28.8 plus 3 is 31.8 round up ad add some headroom.. 33V

I'd still find a lower voltage ps. w higher amps.

251929195856

400W 36V 11A Single Output Switching power supply AC to DC SMPS


you can power 12 Vero's w/ that...

Yes there are other ways to power them..
IF you want 2 in series remeber voltage adds soooo you'd need a LARGE DC power supply. To be honest in th range of being a bit err.. "dangerous' AND generally expensive.
67 Volts

Now you could, at reduced current due to driver restrictions on the Meanwells put 2 in parallel so the voltage stays the same but you need 2x the current since it will be "split" between the 2

so 2 in parallel on one driver needs 33V and a 1000mA driver will split the current to 500mA per chip..

using the highest ldd-lw at 1500mA you will drive each Vero of the 2 at 750mA..

The plus side is they will run cooler w/ more "lumen/watt" efficiency. The downside is less gross output and if one fails open ALL 1500mA of current will be directed into the remaining "on" chip.
Seee pg7 of spec sheet I posted...
http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/...BIWsj1oA%3d%3d

Last thing.. W/ your setup you would need 4 Veros (2 sets) and 2 drivers.
The "savings" in drivers is only about $7.............but the cost of one extra Vero negates that.
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Last edited by jeffkrol; 07-12-2015 at 06:36 AM.. Reason: edit
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Old 07-12-2015, 01:06 PM   #8
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Thanks again Jeff. I followed your advice and got a MeanWell 350W 36V PSU - about 9 amps to work with. I had already purchased the LDD drivers (1000H) from Coralux along with the 3 driver PCB board by the time I saw your message. The board seems to be a more organized and "clean" approach anyway. I also just purchased the 3 Veros and heatsinks from Digikey. I thought about adding 3 "Synjet" fans that were specially made for the heatsinks I ordered, but the cost of this is already going up much faster than I expected .... I still need to purchase wires, thermal paste/grease, some sort of enclosure for the PSU and driver board, a power plug cord and eventually a controller to dim the LEDs.

So far I have spent:

3 Bridgelux Vero 18 LEDs: $50
3 Aavid Thermalloy 34W Heatsinks: $36
MeanWell NES 350-36 Power Supply: $48
3 MeanWell LDD-1000H + 3 Driver PCB: $29
Shipping Fees: $6 (got free shipping on the top 3 items)

Total cost so far: $169

For a DIY LED setup with "only 3" LEDs lol. Depending on which direction I want to go, I guess a controller will set me back at least another $50 dollars. The little miscellaneous stuff like wires and thermal paste will probably cost about another 20 to 30. I expect the final total to be around $250.

Now I suddenly recall why I decided to use PAR38s in the first place. 3 sockets cost me 15 bucks and each bulb was another 15 for a total of 60 dollars.
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Old 07-12-2015, 05:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skoram View Post
3 Bridgelux Vero 18 LEDs: $50
3 Aavid Thermalloy 34W Heatsinks: $36
MeanWell NES 350-36 Power Supply: $48
3 MeanWell LDD-1000H + 3 Driver PCB: $29
Shipping Fees: $6 (got free shipping on the top 3 items)

Total cost so far: $169

For a DIY LED setup with "only 3" LEDs lol. Depending on which direction I want to go, I guess a controller will set me back at least another $50 dollars. The little miscellaneous stuff like wires and thermal paste will probably cost about another 20 to 30. I expect the final total to be around $250.

Now I suddenly recall why I decided to use PAR38s in the first place. 3 sockets cost me 15 bucks and each bulb was another 15 for a total of 60 dollars.
Yea that happens pretty easily..
On the "bright" side you have 90W of efficient lighting..
Enough for, arguably, a medium light for a 180gal tank... Just ballparking here.
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Old 07-13-2015, 12:26 AM   #10
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Speaking of "bright light," I've known from the beginning that the 3 Veros would be overkill for my 50 gallon riparium which is why I planned to get a dimming controller in the future.

Considering my tank size, light requirements and the fact that I do not have any fans for my heatsinks, do you think I might be better off just going with 700H LDD drivers instead of the 1000H? Coralux hasn't shipped them yet (weekend) so I have some time to change my order.

I definitely want to run these things a bit cool, not just because of the heatsinks but I'm also worried they might burn some of my taller riparium plants.

I forgot, I also wanted to ask - should I also purchase lenses for the Vero 18s?

Last edited by skoram; 07-13-2015 at 01:47 AM.. Reason: new question
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Old 07-13-2015, 02:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skoram View Post
Speaking of "bright light," I've known from the beginning that the 3 Veros would be overkill for my 50 gallon riparium which is why I planned to get a dimming controller in the future.

Considering my tank size, light requirements and the fact that I do not have any fans for my heatsinks, do you think I might be better off just going with 700H LDD drivers instead of the 1000H? Coralux hasn't shipped them yet (weekend) so I have some time to change my order.

I definitely want to run these things a bit cool, not just because of the heatsinks but I'm also worried they might burn some of my taller riparium plants.

I forgot, I also wanted to ask - should I also purchase lenses for the Vero 18s?
considering it is a ripariam, all the answers depend on your height and footprint..
But most likely you should use some lenses..

Using a narrower lens and hanging the light higher is "sort of" like dimming..

Anyways start here:
http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/26152...-for-diy-leds/

guess considering the use I'd not bother w/ changing drivers at this point..

assuming an 18" square "footprint.. to cover that a 40 degree lens at 3ft from floor to light is about 26" diameter coverage..

finding Vero lenses seems to be a pain..


you can mine this thread for more info.. possibly..
http://www.rollitup.org/t/all-things...851330/page-27
http://www.ledsupply.com/carclo-led-reflectors
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Last edited by jeffkrol; 07-13-2015 at 02:41 AM.. Reason: edit
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Old 07-13-2015, 05:11 AM   #12
skoram
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Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
considering it is a ripariam, all the answers depend on your height and footprint..
But most likely you should use some lenses..

Using a narrower lens and hanging the light higher is "sort of" like dimming..

Anyways start here:
http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/26152...-for-diy-leds/

guess considering the use I'd not bother w/ changing drivers at this point..

assuming an 18" square "footprint.. to cover that a 40 degree lens at 3ft from floor to light is about 26" diameter coverage..

finding Vero lenses seems to be a pain..


you can mine this thread for more info.. possibly..
http://www.rollitup.org/t/all-things...851330/page-27
http://www.ledsupply.com/carclo-led-reflectors

Wow thanks for all the detailed information and links. Actually, I don't want to purchase lenses for dimming. For dimming I will just purchase a dimmer/controller like the Coralux Storm.

Mainly I think I might need a lens to narrow the beam (the LED says 120 degrees to I want to narrow it maybe to 90) and to protect it from moisture. I mist the plants frequently so there is a chance moisture can get on the LED board if it is exposed. I will take a look at the threads you recommended and hopefully I can find something there. thanks again
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:09 PM   #13
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Wow thanks for all the detailed information and links. Actually, I don't want to purchase lenses for dimming. For dimming I will just purchase a dimmer/controller like the Coralux Storm.
The dimming by height thing is just an offshoot consideration..

your type of use will require some lens since 120 degrees will spill considerably at height..
At 3 feet the "image circle" @ 120 degrees is 10 FEET...
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Old 07-14-2015, 02:36 PM   #14
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The dimming by height thing is just an offshoot consideration..

your type of use will require some lens since 120 degrees will spill considerably at height..
At 3 feet the "image circle" @ 120 degrees is 10 FEET...
I found a few places selling some nice Ledil reflectors and lenses for Vero but the prices, including shipping to Korea, are really crazy. I'm looking at 60 to 70 dollars just for 3 reflectors!!

I'd rather spend that money first on a controller. I'm debating right now whether to buy one like the Storm or learn to make one myself with Arduino. I think the cost is going to end being similar but it will be a heckuva lot more fun learning to make one myself. Will probably also take 20X longer with as many headaches....

those who have experience with the Vero 18 - do you think I will need fans on the heatsinks? each Vero will be mounted on its own Aavid Thermalloy 38W Spotlight Heatsink. I need to plan my remaining budget accordingly...

Sent from my LG-F240S using Tapatalk
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Old 07-14-2015, 06:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by skoram View Post
those who have experience with the Vero 18 - do you think I will need fans on the heatsinks? each Vero will be mounted on its own Aavid Thermalloy 38W Spotlight Heatsink. I need to plan my remaining budget accordingly...

Sent from my LG-F240S using Tapatalk

I've got 12 Vero 18's on a 6' Makers Heat Sink and cooling fans are a necessity. Don't skimp here. Keep the Vero's as cool as possible.
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