LED build for 6' tank --- Good Enough Par Readings vid page 7
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Old 05-14-2011, 07:47 AM   #1
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LED build for 6' tank --- Good Enough Par Readings vid page 7


I want to build a LED fixture for my new tank, 72"x24"x22"tall and I'm think LED is the way to go. I want to be able to have a full sunrise, sunset and moonlight program as well as enough light to be able to grow whatever I want. These are the parts I'm thinking so far, but I have no sweet clue if it'll work out the way I'm intending. I use a 6500K and 10000K combo on most of my tanks. I like the way it looks in general so that is the look I'm going for with this fixture.

I started out thinking I would use aluminum strut as heatsinking material but then I did some research and decided to go another direction.
LEDs and other supplies are from LEDGroupBuy.com:

Cart Items SKU Qty Item Price Item Total
Arctic Silver Matrix 2.5g
MTX-2.5G 3 $4.83 USD $14.49 USD
CREE XM-L Cool White T5
(This product is available for pre-order only)
XMLAWT-00-0000-0000T5051 28 $6.80 USD $190.40 USD
CREE XP-E Royal Blue
(This product is available for pre-order only)
XPEROY-L1-0000-00B01 12 $3.39 USD $40.68 USD
CREE XP-G Neutral White R3
(This product is available for pre-order only)
XPGWHT-L1-0000-00FE5 12 $4.97 USD $59.64 USD
Heatsink 5.886 inch x 12 inch
(This product is available for pre-order only)
B012 4 $22.00 USD $88.00 USD
OEM Digital Multimeter DT-830B
DT-830B 1 $6.96 USD $6.96 USD
XM-L Optic
(Degree: 40)
(Degree: 40)
(This product is available for pre-order only)
LLC01W-40 28 $2.48 USD $69.44 USD
XP-* Optic
(Degree: 60)
(Degree: 60)
(This product is available for pre-order only)
LL01CR-DF60L-M 24 $1.59 USD $38.16 USD
Subtotal: $507.77 USD
Shipping: $86.05 USD
Insurance for shipping: $17.23 USD
Grand Total: $611.05 USD

Last edited by jcgd; 06-04-2012 at 11:32 PM..
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Old 05-14-2011, 12:32 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justincgdick View Post
I want to build a LED fixture for my new tank, 72"x24"x22"tall and I'm think LED is the way to go. I want to be able to have a full sunrise, sunset and moonlight program as well as enough light to be able to grow whatever I want...........I am thinking I should get 6 royal blues for moonlighting, but I don't know about the rest.
I don't think the RapidLED controller will do moon cycles. You'll need to find a different way to power the LEDs than using the Meanwell and the RapidLED controller.

A Buckpuck (dimmable!) on a timer, dialed WAY WAY WAY down, would work. Or just leave them running 24/7, at such a low drive current, the LEDs will run for eons (a decade at least).


Quote:
These are the parts I'm thinking so far, but I have no sweet clue if it'll work out the way I'm intending. I use a 6500K and 10000K combo on most of my tanks. I like the way it looks in general so that is the look I'm going for with this fixture.
Should work just fine. I haven't used the RapidLED controller but I am very, very familiar with this model driver. I own two P models and two D (analog voltage dimming) models.

Be sure to turn the current down inside the Meanwell using the SRV2 screw before you juice the LEDs, sometimes they come pre-set at 1300mA.


Quote:
I am thinking of using aluminum cantruss for the heatsink to save some cash. I'm thinking 72 3w Crees should do it, 12 per driver. I'm not sure what type of Crees I should get. Maybe 50/50 of cool and neutral white?

Don't use a 50/50 combo. That's way too blue. If you are running them all on the same driver, use more like a 4:1 white:blue combo if you like a higher K temp look.

I'm using 13 Crees over an 11g rimless right now and the array is was once over my reef. It has a 50/50 white/blue combo (6:7) and with both white and blues at 1,000mA, it looks odd.

I run the blues at about 250-350mA and the whites at 1,000mA, looks great to me.




Quote:
Will the controller be all I need to control the lighting or do I need something else as well?

I don't recall if the RapidLEd controller needs a DC voltage wall wart, but if not, this is all you need, other than a cheap power cord (like a spare drop cord) for power to the Meanwell.

And of course, nuts-n-bolts like thermal epoxy, 60/40 solder, heatshrink, etc...
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Old 05-14-2011, 02:51 PM   #3
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I suggest you plan on having the light hanging at least a foot above the tank, to give more uniform PAR from top to bottom of the tank, to give you some shimmer from having fewer LEDs, and to make tank maintenance easier. And, you might as well go with the Cree XM-L LEDs instead of XP-G, for more power capability, in case you need it. I think, but I'm not sure, that you need fewer than 72 LEDs - just a couple of rows, close together, perhaps 40-50 total LEDs. Once I finish building my latest one and get some PAR data I may be a lot more sure of this.
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redfishsc View Post
I don't think the RapidLED controller will do moon cycles. You'll need to find a different way to power the LEDs than using the Meanwell and the RapidLED controller.

A Buckpuck (dimmable!) on a timer, dialed WAY WAY WAY down, would work. Or just leave them running 24/7, at such a low drive current, the LEDs will run for eons (a decade at least).




Should work just fine. I haven't used the RapidLED controller but I am very, very familiar with this model driver. I own two P models and two D (analog voltage dimming) models.

Be sure to turn the current down inside the Meanwell using the SRV2 screw before you juice the LEDs, sometimes they come pre-set at 1300mA.





Don't use a 50/50 combo. That's way too blue. If you are running them all on the same driver, use more like a 4:1 white:blue combo if you like a higher K temp look.

I'm using 13 Crees over an 11g rimless right now and the array is was once over my reef. It has a 50/50 white/blue combo (6:7) and with both white and blues at 1,000mA, it looks odd.

I run the blues at about 250-350mA and the whites at 1,000mA, looks great to me.







I don't recall if the RapidLEd controller needs a DC voltage wall wart, but if not, this is all you need, other than a cheap power cord (like a spare drop cord) for power to the Meanwell.

And of course, nuts-n-bolts like thermal epoxy, 60/40 solder, heatshrink, etc...
Okay. For the moonlights ill use something else and drive it with my aquacontroller Jr to similate moon cycles. It can also do the dimming for me.

I am planning on using 6 drivers that each drive 12 leds of a single color. That way I can fine tune it. Will I be able to adjust the full-on intensity of each string while still having the sunrise/sunset?
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Old 05-14-2011, 03:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
I suggest you plan on having the light hanging at least a foot above the tank, to give more uniform PAR from top to bottom of the tank, to give you some shimmer from having fewer LEDs, and to make tank maintenance easier. And, you might as well go with the Cree XM-L LEDs instead of XP-G, for more power capability, in case you need it. I think, but I'm not sure, that you need fewer than 72 LEDs - just a couple of rows, close together, perhaps 40-50 total LEDs. Once I finish building my latest one and get some PAR data I may be a lot more sure of this.
Okay, so how about 4 drivers of 12 leds each, one of neutral, two of warm white and one driver doing a mix.

I was planning on having the fixture hanging with room to raise it even more to have full adjustment. Would 40 degree lenses be ideal?

How many rows of cantruss should I have? I was thinking four but I don't know how much space I need between each led and the rows.

Thanks for the help guys.
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Old 05-14-2011, 07:28 PM   #6
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At this time I think 48 LEDs will be enough, in two rows of 24, with the rows stopping about 6 inches from each end of the tank. I think the rows could be about 6 inches apart and give you good uniform coverage of the substrate, with no spill over.

With most, if not all optics, the center half of the beam is much brighter than the outer half. At 36 inches, 60 degree optics would give a total beam width of about 36 inches, with the center part being about 18 inches in diameter. I would try to get that 18 inches end just about at the glass, with the rest of the bean being reflected off the glass to the substrate. At the top of the tank, the beams would be about 12 inches in diameter, big enough not to look disturbingly like spotlights. With the LEDs 6 inches apart, the beams would extend to 3 inches from the glass at the water line. That leaves only a small wedge of water at the top of the tank, front and back, with very low light.

40 degree optics would give beam diameters too small to look good, in my opinion.

Those drivers produce 1.3 amps from the factory. You could adjust the internal pot on each of them to reduce that to 1 amp, if you want to limit the maximum current. With the heatsink you are using, that is probably a good idea.
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Old 05-14-2011, 08:02 PM   #7
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So with strips mounted 6" apart the center of the tank will be highest light with the intensity decreasing slightly towara the front and rear glass, and more as you move up the glass towards the rim?

And you mean a 18" circle within the 36" beam footprint will have the greatest intensity, correct? Are the strips so close togethe to limit spill beyond the tank?

Would it be worthwile to mount a few small heatsinks to the cantruss? Contact could be an issue but I could cut out the sides of the channel where the sink could sit flat on the opposite side of the LEDs.

I'm probably going to use spring nuts to make up a simple double rail design with the rails spread 6" apart and a few cross members and then wrap it with a piece of sheet metal. I made actually add two more rails outside the two housing the LEDs to have a flat surface to bolt the sheet metal to. Hopefully I can make it look clean like an ada fixture. I might get a welder to weld on two semi circular end caps which will finish the fixture and be a place to mount a fan to draw the heat up away from the tank, past the LEDs and through the fixture for cooling and keep the heat rising away from the water.
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:08 AM   #8
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If you are running XPGs, at 1,000mA or less, you can actually run 14 of them per Meanwell (48v). Might as well get those two extra in there .
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Old 05-15-2011, 12:51 AM   #9
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Two reasons for having the strips close together. One is to allow for more shimmer, and the other is to get a higher light intensity. The 6 inches lets the circle of maximum intensity just reach the glass, both front and back. I don't think there will be much drop off in PAR front to back, but at each end it will probably drop over the last 6 inches or so, but should still be around half of the maximum. But, as I said, until I get some PAR measurements on my light, which is designed in a similar way, I can't be sure.
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Old 05-15-2011, 05:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redfishsc View Post
If you are running XPGs, at 1,000mA or less, you can actually run 14 of them per Meanwell (48v). Might as well get those two extra in there .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Two reasons for having the strips close together. One is to allow for more shimmer, and the other is to get a higher light intensity. The 6 inches lets the circle of maximum intensity just reach the glass, both front and back. I don't think there will be much drop off in PAR front to back, but at each end it will probably drop over the last 6 inches or so, but should still be around half of the maximum. But, as I said, until I get some PAR measurements on my light, which is designed in a similar way, I can't be sure.
Ahh, makes sense. A nice shimmer would be fantastic. About the extra two XPGs, I'll have to wait for Hoppy's par readings to make a final decision on which LEDs to use. I want to have enough power that I never need to worry about lighting, but also make it cost effective in terms of power, and price.

If I can use less of the XPGs overall, as in 42 on three drivers, that would be even better, but I'm thinking 48 XML is what I'll do on four drivers. The flexibility will be nice, as this tank could become anything over the next 10 years. With the extra two rails I'll have, I could later add two more rows of LEDs for a reef, if I lose my mind and abandon planted tanks. I want to be able to grow a carpet of anything I want, even though the tank will probably be a lot lower light. Tom Barr I believe has mentioned around 30 par at the substrate is good for most crypts, etc. and I don't want to be in this tank every week trimming. I like the overgrown look and up to a month between large trimmings.

My landlord lives upstairs and OKed this tank (I think he's nuts, but an awesome guy) and he's gonna hook me up with a guy who can weld up the fixture case for me. ADA style, nice and clean, probably polished sheet metal.
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Old 05-15-2011, 03:50 PM   #11
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My landlord lives upstairs and OKed this tank (I think he's nuts, but an awesome guy) and he's gonna hook me up with a guy who can weld up the fixture case for me. ADA style, nice and clean, probably polished sheet metal.
You need to buy health insurance and life insurance for that landlord! He is too good to ever lose.
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Old 05-15-2011, 04:54 PM   #12
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As we were carrying it down the stairs, I said "here's your three year lease."
He said, "what happens if this breaks..."
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:22 AM   #13
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Okay, I'm thinking of getting the 48 Ultra Premium LED DIY Kit with Dimmable Drivers from rapid LED to make things simple. It comes with XPGs. Mike at Rapidled said I can mix and match any colours I want. I'm looking for a colour temperature of around 8000K.

I first thought 25:75 cool to neutral but Mike said that would be very yellow.
He recommended 1:1:1 cool:neutral:royal blue

That seems like it would be a lot of blue, but the spec sheets on the Cree website says this:
Cool white is 5000-8300K
Neutral is 3700-5000K
Royal Blue 450-465nm

Anyone have some experience in this department?
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:57 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by justincgdick View Post
Okay, I'm thinking of getting the 48 Ultra Premium LED DIY Kit with Dimmable Drivers from rapid LED to make things simple. It comes with XPGs. Mike at Rapidled said I can mix and match any colours I want. I'm looking for a colour temperature of around 8000K.

I first thought 25:75 cool to neutral but Mike said that would be very yellow.
He recommended 1:1:1 cool:neutral:royal blue

That seems like it would be a lot of blue, but the spec sheets on the Cree website says this:
Cool white is 5000-8300K
Neutral is 3700-5000K
Royal Blue 450-465nm

Anyone have some experience in this department?

1:1:1 sounds about right. You need to remember that the XPG's are a heck of alot brighter than the royal blue XRE's. Just dim down the royal blues to achieve the color temp you want by turning the current adjustment screw on the driver. You'll still be able to dim the lighting for sunrise/sunset with the controller. Easy as pie .
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O2surplus View Post
1:1:1 sounds about right. You need to remember that the XPG's are a heck of alot brighter than the royal blue XRE's. Just dim down the royal blues to achieve the color temp you want by turning the current adjustment screw on the driver. You'll still be able to dim the lighting for sunrise/sunset with the controller. Easy as pie .
Cool. Hopefully this baby has enough power.

I think I'm going to leave out the controller for now, and build an arduino controller once I figure out how, or find someone to make me one. That way I can have the sunrise/sunset and also use the royal blues for moonlights. If I can find someone good enough at code, I can get a program that will dim them like the actual moon, and just have the day cycle override them so I have the colours I want.
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