MY DIY LED Build
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > DIY


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-08-2012, 05:47 PM   #1
Schneeball
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Reseda, CA
Posts: 88
Default

MY DIY LED Build


I just put together a DIY project using 15 Cree XM-L Cool white T6 LED's which run around 6500k. The optics are 40 degree. The tank is 100 gallon acrylic, 20" depth. I have a 40 watt dimmable driver on them now which runs at 700mA. The mounting is a bit crude but I do plan on removing the legs and hanging the light rig. I wanted to have it so I can easily adjust from front to back of the tank for now. When put the rig on there and cranked up to full power the angels freaked out a bit and moved to darker ends of the tank as you can see in the pictures, lol.

I have one of those plug in line watt meters which is coming in handy. Full power is 32 watts and it's really bright! At 12 watts it is still quite a bit brighter than the 2 24" T8s I had in there. All the way dimmed it runs at a whopping 3 watts and visually looks about the same as with my previous T8s. The attached pictures are on the same manual camera settings, one running at 12 Watts and one at 32 Watts at full power.

I'm planning on going low to medium light plants and putting the higher light plants directly under the lights where there will be more lumens. Don't know how that will work out really. No C02 for now, just Excel once I get some real plants in there. All of the pictured plants are fake and came used with the tank. Running at 700mA is actually really low for these LED's. They are rated max current at 3000mA! If I want to go higher light is should be fairly easy to do, switching out drivers and changing the LED configuration a bit. Actually, I might have to add some real heatsinks then rather than the cheap aluminum U Channel on there now. They are running VERY cool now even at full so not really sure. They are rated at 700mA at 280 lumens each. At 2 amps, they should be 750 lumens each. I can't imaging how bright it would be with even twice the amperage however.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	32 Watts sm.jpg
Views:	295
Size:	234.3 KB
ID:	39917  

Click image for larger version

Name:	12 Watts sm.jpg
Views:	236
Size:	194.9 KB
ID:	39918  

Schneeball is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 01-08-2012, 09:11 PM   #2
silvawispa
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 87
Default

Good to see another X-ML build
__________________
create random acts of beauty...
silvawispa is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-08-2012, 09:23 PM   #3
Milad LEDGroupBuy.com
Sponsor
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cali
Posts: 63
Default

That looks great. Ive linked it up on our build threads

Starting to see more and more builds for planted tanks using XMLs
Milad LEDGroupBuy.com is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-09-2012, 03:17 AM   #4
Schneeball
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Reseda, CA
Posts: 88
Default

Hi Milad,

Thanks for helping me out with the questions I had, it really helped me in putting this thing together. I am very pleased with the light and can't wait to see how it performs with some plants under it. Being able to upgrade to a more powerful driver and reconfigure if needed is a big plus.
Schneeball is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-09-2012, 05:20 PM   #5
Milad LEDGroupBuy.com
Sponsor
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cali
Posts: 63
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schneeball View Post
Hi Milad,

Thanks for helping me out with the questions I had, it really helped me in putting this thing together. I am very pleased with the light and can't wait to see how it performs with some plants under it. Being able to upgrade to a more powerful driver and reconfigure if needed is a big plus.
You really think you need the extra light? With the more powerful driver its almost 3 times the light of what you are getting now on when maxing that driver.

Reason im asking is we are working on some DIY kits for planted tanks and its going to be using the 700mA driver.
Milad LEDGroupBuy.com is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-09-2012, 06:22 PM   #6
Naekuh
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Naekuh's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 884
Default

cool idea with the alu corner braces to make into a stand !
Naekuh is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-09-2012, 10:15 PM   #7
stephenpence
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (7/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Laramie, WY
Posts: 179
Default

so, i'm afraid to ask, but what did this build cost you? a few years back i wanted to do this, but I'm not near smart enough to be on the cutting edge.. so i'm glad i waited so i can just follow in the footsteps!!
stephenpence is online now   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-09-2012, 10:59 PM   #8
Naekuh
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Naekuh's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 884
Default

he's using 15 cree XM-L's which can run anywhere from 7-15 dollars each...

So just on the LED's he's probably spent over 100 dollars.
Then add the drivers and heat sink and the large amount of time invested to wire / setup.
Naekuh is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-10-2012, 12:19 AM   #9
Milad LEDGroupBuy.com
Sponsor
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cali
Posts: 63
Default

That build is probably about $220 (using the high end XM-L which he used)
Putting it together is probably about a hour or so of work. Straight forward build.

Here is the parts list:
CREE XM-L Cool White T6
Inventronics 40w driver - 700mA
Thermal Tape Preform 20mm Star
XM-L Optic - 6 Pack (40 Degree)
Milad LEDGroupBuy.com is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-10-2012, 03:05 AM   #10
Schneeball
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Reseda, CA
Posts: 88
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milad LEDGroupBuy.com View Post
You really think you need the extra light? With the more powerful driver its almost 3 times the light of what you are getting now on when maxing that driver.

Reason im asking is we are working on some DIY kits for planted tanks and its going to be using the 700mA driver.
Hi Milad,
I have no idea really how much I will need truthfully. Like I said above, I couldn't imaging going to twice the light, so I doubt I would ever turn that powerful driver up to full power! The main reason I would change it out would be to put this driver on another tank and give me some more room to play with in case I want to move to fairly high light and C02. It is a pretty big tank. I would think most people you end up selling kits to would have smaller tanks. The tank is very bright so I will let you know when I get some plants in there! Honestly, I have a Marineland double bright LED on a 30 gallon and my low light plants are doing pretty well. I'm sure this will do a whole lot better judging from what I've read on those lights. There is no comparison to what I'm seeing just looking at how much light there is. I thought the pricing was very reasonable considering what people pay for good fluorescent lighting.
Schneeball is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-10-2012, 02:21 PM   #11
Schneeball
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Reseda, CA
Posts: 88
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naekuh View Post
cool idea with the alu corner braces to make into a stand !
Thanks! I should have posted pictures from the top so you can see it better. There are two U Channels about 3 1/2 inches apart running from one stand to the other. The LEDs are in two staggered rows, 6" apart on each row. Aluminum is just drilled and bolted together with stainless #8 bolts and and nuts with nylon inserts, lock nuts.
Schneeball is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-10-2012, 11:29 PM   #12
Naekuh
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Naekuh's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 884
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schneeball View Post
Thanks! I should have posted pictures from the top so you can see it better. There are two U Channels about 3 1/2 inches apart running from one stand to the other. The LEDs are in two staggered rows, 6" apart on each row. Aluminum is just drilled and bolted together with stainless #8 bolts and and nuts with nylon inserts, lock nuts.
yeah its so simple yet it adds that high tech look, thats the reason why i like it...

if i did it tho, i think i would extend it out a bit, and flip the L's so it wraps the corners of your tank for a more secure fit.
Naekuh is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-11-2012, 11:09 AM   #13
silvawispa
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 87
Default

I'm still running my 10 X-lm's on a passive heat sink at 2A over a 6ftx2ftx2ft.
10 at this brightness give light to see, but I think I'll need 20 more to get enough light to grow.
I paid a lot less for my 2100mA dimmable drivers than those advertised by Milad although they're not as neat.
__________________
create random acts of beauty...
silvawispa is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-11-2012, 08:45 PM   #14
Naekuh
Planted Tank Enthusiast
 
Naekuh's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 884
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by silvawispa View Post
I'm still running my 10 X-lm's on a passive heat sink at 2A over a 6ftx2ftx2ft.
10 at this brightness give light to see, but I think I'll need 20 more to get enough light to grow.
I paid a lot less for my 2100mA dimmable drivers than those advertised by Milad although they're not as neat.
the ones Milad posts are known to be the best drivers u can get on the market.

Meanwells would come next to them, but if u look at the specs on the inventronics, you can see they exceed stats in some areas the meanwells are at.
Naekuh is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-12-2012, 02:12 PM   #15
Schneeball
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Reseda, CA
Posts: 88
Default

One thing I should have mentioned. Even not looking directly on top of the LED's before the optics where there to focus light, I got some stray light in my eyes trying it out. Be careful, lol!
Schneeball is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012