easy DIY LED lights?
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:53 PM   #1
moonshinetheslacker
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easy DIY LED lights?


So I would like to have the shimmering effect, as well as the power/heat saving effect of LEDs, and I'm going to be making a DIY hood and stand for my new 75G tank. My question is, can I use some of the screw in LEDs listed on amazon.com for the LED lighting?

I was thinking about using some of these: http://www.amazon.com/Feit-Electric-...919074&sr=8-19
They are listed as 5 LED's, and 6.5 Watts. I could use some cheap-o screw in fixtures and slim junction boxes in the hood. The hood isn't going to be adjustable, so the bulb itself will probably sit about 4 inches from the top of the water surface, and therefore about 28 inches from the substrate. The J-boxes and cheap-o fixtures will cost about 5 dollars total a piece, and I figure 4 lights will run me a little over 80 dollars. I've read through the first 15 pages or so of Hoppy's DIY LED thread, and have made myself confounded and confused! I figure the LEDs are about 1 watt a piece, and 1.5 watts to run whatever type of mini driver must be installed in the base? Am I even on the right track to have the correct amount and spectrum of lighting? I want to have a medium amount of light (just enough to not HAVE to use co2)

Questions? Comments? Concerns? B*%&$^s? Gripes? Complaints?
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:08 PM   #2
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I don't think those are going to work well lighting an aquarium. First, they are much less efficient than they should be, using 1.5 watt LEDs instead of 3+ watt LEDs. Second, they appear to have a diffuser dome over the LEDs, which will scatter and waste much of the light, and eliminate the "shimmer" effect you want. Third, there are many much more suitable LED screw-in lights that would work a lot better.
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:31 AM   #3
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I've been looking at PAR38 spotlights that screw in to a standard, Edison socket. They run at 12W and put out about 1000 lumens. They're a little bit pricey, but last 5-6x as long as a T5HO bulb and cost about 2x as much. There are different types. What you want would be the Cree 12x1W LED type. They run about $50 each if you shop around a little.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:36 AM   #4
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Hoppy: Thank you very much for the advice. I thought that 1W LED's would put out enough power to reach through the water, but apparently it's 3 or more? And I'm at a loss regarding the "better" LED screw in lights. If you could clue me in a little more on why they are better, I am more than willing to listen. I take it that what I want in a screw in LED light would be something which utilizes more than 3 watts when total wattage used is divided by total number of LEDs?

Sharkfood: The cree 12x1 par38s just have one watt of power per LED as well. Isn't this too little power to penetrate through the water?
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:06 AM   #5
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I will be doing some PAR measurement for a 15x1W 6,700K(and a 4000K) PAR38 LED with 60 degree lens these couple days-you may determine whether they are good enough for your application base on those results.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WingoAgency View Post
I will be doing some PAR measurement for a 15x1W 6,700K(and a 4000K) PAR38 LED with 60 degree lens these couple days-you may determine whether they are good enough for your application base on those results.
That was the one I was thinking of.
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:46 AM   #7
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Wingo, I am very interested to find out what kind of info you get from your new bulbs, thank you for checking out my thread!

I this light

http://www.amazon.com/Natural-White-...976436&sr=8-24

and it appears to be a single LED, running at 5 watts. It runs on 12V so I suppose I would have to get some kind of halogen track lighting and replace the bulbs with these. The problem is that most halogen track lights will cost a bit, and possibly put my lights too close to the water. Are there any slim under cabinet lights where I can find out if they will have the proper connections to plug these LEDs into them? I'm not asking anyone to do the research for me, just tell me what to search for!
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshinetheslacker View Post
Hoppy: Thank you very much for the advice. I thought that 1W LED's would put out enough power to reach through the water, but apparently it's 3 or more? And I'm at a loss regarding the "better" LED screw in lights. If you could clue me in a little more on why they are better, I am more than willing to listen. I take it that what I want in a screw in LED light would be something which utilizes more than 3 watts when total wattage used is divided by total number of LEDs?

Sharkfood: The cree 12x1 par38s just have one watt of power per LED as well. Isn't this too little power to penetrate through the water?
All light penetrates water equally. That isn't the problem. The diffuser dome over the bulb you mentioned is a problem, and, if you are going to use LED lights, it makes good sense to get efficient ones. I have seen many LED bulbs advertised, some of which use Cree 3 watt LEDs, but I don't keep track of them, so I don't know where to find them now. I also don't have any data or other means of even guessing how much light any of the LED bulbs will give you. It doesn't make any sense to buy one and test it, since that particular bulb, no matter which one it is, is very likely to be superseded by a better one within a few months. That market is very dynamic right now.
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Old 08-11-2011, 03:58 PM   #9
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I think I may have found something that looks like it will work for my application.

http://www.amazon.com/Waterpoof-Outd...077762&sr=8-26

It's a single 10 watt LED floodlight which is at 6000k temperature, and has a 125 degree spread. I am hoping that two of these would work for my 75g aquarium.

Any comments/ideas on what you think of these?

Edit: I wanted to thank you Hoppy, for the advice you've given. You have probably saved me from quite a bit of hastle and wasted money in getting the lights I listed originally.

Last edited by moonshinetheslacker; 08-11-2011 at 03:59 PM.. Reason: Thanks hoppy!
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:11 PM   #10
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you might need to use three of those on a 48 inch tank. I have one not in use yet but the light output is ok. If I was going to use it in a canopy I would add one or two T5 to it but that is me. If you are going to go with low light plants than should be fine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by moonshinetheslacker View Post
I think I may have found something that looks like it will work for my application.

http://www.amazon.com/Waterpoof-Outd...077762&sr=8-26

It's a single 10 watt LED floodlight which is at 6000k temperature, and has a 125 degree spread. I am hoping that two of these would work for my 75g aquarium.

Any comments/ideas on what you think of these?

Edit: I wanted to thank you Hoppy, for the advice you've given. You have probably saved me from quite a bit of hastle and wasted money in getting the lights I listed originally.
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:32 PM   #11
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Hhhmmm... 3 for a four foot, and low light plants, huh? Do you think 4 would give me "moderate" lighting?
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:35 PM   #12
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I assume that the tank being a 75 gallon is about 18 or 20 inch tall right? If so than four might do it one every foot. If you do that you should be able to keep Crypts and similar plants. I dont think you will be able to get HC or dwarf hair grass to grow very well but you never know.

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Hhhmmm... 3 for a four foot, and low light plants, huh? Do you think 4 would give me "moderate" lighting?
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:39 PM   #13
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So I'm probably going to be spending roughly 220 or so on LED lights if I get one 50W floodlight, and possibly two of the 10W floodlights to cover the whole tank. I think I'll try the 50W, and see if it is enough to cover the whole tank. Do you think I'll have massive algae problems if I get this thing? http://www.amazon.com/Waterpoof-Secu...3419058&sr=8-7
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:12 PM   #14
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220 on lights!
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamikazi View Post
220 on lights!
Lighting is not infrequently the most expensive piece of hardware in an aquarium setup. Agreed with the eek of it all, but it's not terribly surprising, unfortunately. Also, if done right and kept for a long enough period, a substantial fraction of the cost will be recouped in lower electric bills/ fewer replacement bulbs.
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