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Old 02-22-2015, 12:53 PM   #1
Quizcat
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Home Made Strip Light...


I'm interested to know if sufficient light is being delivered to my 20 Gallon Tall Tank using an LED Strip Light. I am interested in technical analysis of how well the LEDs are working in comparison to some of the more efficient LED commercial lighting that's out there. I have Ludwigia Repens, Java Fern, Jova Moss, Anubius, and Dwarf Hair Grass in the tank, and my goal is to be able to deliver sufficient light for plants requiring low to medium levels of light. I usually run the light full intensity on COOL WHITE (6500K), and full intensity on RED light, simultaneously.

I got this idea from You Tube, but in the You Tube Video, the inventor used only one strip of SMD5050 strip lighting, designed solely for optics and not applicable for nourishing plants in the aquarium. I wanted to try making one of these strip lights that would be applicable to a planted tank.

The You Tube project used a piece of plastic house guttering with end caps, and the light strip was stuck to the inside of the guttering. Most LED strip lights come in 16.5 foot lengths, and they have double stick tape already afixed to the bottom of the strip. However, while this may have been what was used in the You Tube video, the double stick tape isn't sufficient to reliably permanently afix the strips to the inside of the guttering. I used hot glue to afix the strips to my guttering. I also used metal guttering and end caps because the complete assembly of my strip light fixture generates some heat, all be it quite moderate. In the case of my fixture, the housing can be touched without any discomfort, and is really only luke warm at the most. I suspect that a plastic housing would be perfectly fine, but I wanted to error on the side of caution, and chose to use metal guttering. I wanted to make a light fixture that would work with plants that have low to medium lighting requirements, java fern, java moss, pennywort, ludwigia repens, dwarf hair grass, etc...

I used a series of 8 strips of 10mm SMD5050 RGB/Warm White + Cool White LEDs inside the gutter housing. The entire strip was rated by the supplier at 72 Watts total. There are 300 LEDS total in a 16.5 foot length of strip lighting, and I used all but about 8" of the complete 16.5 foot strip in my fixture, about 12 LEDs less than was in the complete 16.5 foot strip.

Each of the 8 strips in my fixture contains 18 RGB+Warm White LEDs, and 18 Cool White 6500K LEDs, a total of 144 Red/Green/Blue + Warm White 3000K Leds, and 144 Cool White 6500K LEDs. The individual LED output is rated at .24 Watts per LED (72 watts in the complete strip), so theoretically my fixture will produce .24 watts per LED x 288 LEDs = 69.12 Watts. An entire 16.5 foot strip produces around 2000 Lumens. So, with my light strip having (12) LEDs less than what is in a 16.5 foot strip, my light fixture is producing a total of around 1920 Lumens at full intensity, not including any natural losses that occur.

Of course, there are losses, both in wattage and lumens, delivered to the tank. I realize that the proper way to measure acceptable levels of light are to measure PAR/PUR values of light that are actually being delivered to the top of the substrate in the tank. I don't have a meter to measure PAR/PUR, so I had to rely upon the manufacturer's specifications in order to get close to the historically accepted method of measuring the proper amount of lighting in watts per gallon delivered to a planted tank. My fixture is intended to be used in a 20 gallon planted tank. So, theoretically, my strip light is delivering around 3.5 watts per gallon, which is adequate for a planted tank, for plants that require low to medium levels of light.

With regard to the color temperature of light being delivered to my tank, the Cool White LEDs in the strip are rated at 6500K, and there are (144) LEDs, delivering approximately 34.5 watts (minus whatever natural losses occur). There are (144) RGBW lights in the fixture, and at full intensity, the colored LEDs deliver less wattage than the Cool White LEDs. But, when they are on simulataneously, the produce significant amounts of wattage to a 20 gallon tank.

The color temperature of the RGB LEDs is as follows, according to the strip light manufacturer:

Red = 620-630nm
Blue = 460-475nm
Green = 515-530nm

I've been leaving the RED LEDs on at full intensity, along with the Cool White LEDs, to supplement the Cool White (6500K) LEDs in order to deliver the best combination of light to the tank. The Cool White (6500K) LEDs deliver slightly less than what is optimum for the plants with respect to the "RED" range of color temperature. Using the RED LEDs at full intensity should help to supplement what might be lacking with respect to the RED color temperature levels that the plants desire.


Light Fixture on top of the tank...I spray painted the inside of the gutter with white spray paint, to act as a better reflector. I epoxied the ends to the gutter, and also caulked the joints between the gutter ends and the gutter itself. I dremeled a hole in the end of one of the gutter ends so I could bring the wire out from the light strips to the IR receiver, then caulked the hole where the wire comes through the metal housing in order to protect the wire passing through the gutter end cap from abrasion.


Cool White (6500K) LED/RED LEDs On at Full Intensity


Cool White (6500K) LED/Blue LEDs on at Full Intensity


Cool Whhite (6500K) LED/Green LEDs on at Full Intensity


Warm White (3000K)/Cool White (6500K) Cool White LEDs on at Full Intensity

All of my technical conclusions as to the proper amount of light being delivered to the tank by this fixture are theoretical, as I am a novice, and just began to research this issue of plant lighting in the relatively recent past. If anyone can validate, or refute, my conclusions, then I welcome the critique, as I would rather know a more valid way in which to judge the quality of light being delivered to the tank than not, and to understand the technicalities more accurately.

If anyone is interested, I have a rather lengthy tutorial prepared that I would be glad to post, assuming that this light is sufficient for nourishing plants, and in case someone would like a few hints on building one. They are pretty cheap to build, about $45.00, versus the cost of my Current Marine LED commercially produced fixture, which was about $130.00. Admittedly, the commercially produced Current Marine LED fixture is superior with respect to bells and whistles, and probably with respect to efficiency, but this alternative may be a good option if your budget is an issue. And, even if this home build is only sufficient for visual lighting in the tank, it is very economical.

Last edited by Quizcat; 02-22-2015 at 01:04 PM.. Reason: More comments...
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:40 PM   #2
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Without a meter it is hard or impossible to quantify the light.
That said the basic estimations would be the diodes will actually be driven at around .1W/diode..So I wouldn't expect more than about 2000 lumens in reality for the entire array. But that is a good of a guess as anything.

But more than enough light for a 20gal and a good balanced spectrum..

Your main problem is probably engineering. You have lot of heat to dissipate in an enclosed area and a plastic "heat sink" to boot.
Longevity is questionable..

As a side note you could upgrade your timer to something like this:
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Progr...ea=51413220145
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Old 02-22-2015, 06:08 PM   #3
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Yeah, that would be a nice addition. I am especially interested in a timer/dimmer that I can set the timer to simulate dawn and dusk before coming fully on and off. The plants seem to being doing well at a 12 hour interval using a lamp timer, but the on and off cycle is pretty abrupt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
As a side note you could upgrade your timer to something like this: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Progr...ea=51413220145
Actually, mine is an aluminum gutter housing, not the plastic gutter. The guy in the You Tube Video used a plastic gutter. But, I figured I would need something that would be a better heat sink. No, mine, even with eight strips oriented next to each other, generates almost no heat. When I put my hand on the top of the housing, it's barely even warm. It's supposed to produce 50,000 hours of light according to the specs, and there just doesn't seem like there's enough heat to degrade the performance of the LEDs, just luke warm to the touch on top of the housing of the aluminum gutter, and no heat if you touch the LEDs directly on the inside of the housing. I suspect that the aluminum is acting as kind of a heat sink for whatever heat does build-up, and it isn't much. But, I agree, time will tell as to longevity.

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Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Your main problem is probably engineering. You have lot of heat to dissipate in an enclosed area and a plastic "heat sink" to boot.
Longevity is questionable...
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Old 02-22-2015, 06:41 PM   #4
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What about making your own PAR meter? A couple of posters here have designed them, threads are in the DIY forum I think.
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Old 02-23-2015, 01:31 AM   #5
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Thanks for letting me know...I'll do a search in the DIY forum, and see what I come up with.

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What about making your own PAR meter? A couple of posters here have designed them, threads are in the DIY forum I think.
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Old 02-23-2015, 11:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Quizcat View Post
They are pretty cheap to build, about $45.00, versus the cost of my Current Marine LED commercially produced fixture, which was about $130.00.
The entire strip was rated by the supplier at 72 Watts total. So what do you think the wattage is of the LEDs. Where did you buy them from? Have you thought of adding a remote to them? I have seen some for a few dollars on ebay

So the other light on the tank is a Marineland LED?

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Old 02-24-2015, 12:25 AM   #7
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I calculated the wattage produced by each LED to be around .24 watts. I have had others comment that they believe they are only actually delivering about .1 watt per LED when you consider the natural losses that occur. But, there are 288 LEDs in the light fixture. So, somewhere between about 30 watts to as much as about 70 watts for the entire string, theoretically, depending on whom is right about the wattage, and more importantly, the lumens, that are actually being delivered to the tank.

You can get the light strips for less, but they're shorter, or they are only RGB, not waterproof strips, etc..., and/or they do not also include Warm White/Cool White LEDs. My strip included not only LEDs that produce Warm White (3000K), which has four emitters in one LED, Red, Green, Blue, and Warm White, but the strip has separate LEDs, which are independently controllable, that independently produce Cool White (6500K), which is the minimum "color temperature" (6500K) required to nourish plants. I can't seem to get the link to cut and paste for some reason, but if you search within Ebay as follows, you should be able to find it

"5M 300led RGBW Led Flexible Strip DC12V RGB + Warm/Cool White with IR Controller." There are several choices, and prices vary according to the specs you choose. My strip in particular is an SMD5050 Version "IP67," which is an ecapsulated version, making the strip waterproof, with adhesive backing. I looks like the price has gone down to around $26.00, with controller, since I purchased mine.

I wanted to use the 16.5' length of strip in order to deliver more lumens to the tank. My fixture should theoretcially be delivering about 1900 lumens. You can get by with half the strip if you are only going for a visual effect, but if you're striving to nourish the plants, then I think you will probably need the full length 16.5' strip to do it, theoretically.

By the time you purchase the guttering/end caps, and anything else that's needed to complete the fixture housing (light switch, lamp cord, paint for inside of the housing as a reflector, caulk, etc...), and the power supply to properly power the fixture, the total cost is around $45.00 for one fixture. You could produce more than one since you're purchasing a full 8' gutter length, can of paint, etc...But, the cost, amortized down to one fixture, turned out to be about $45.00 complete.

It cost me about $29.95 for a 16.5' "RGBWW" (Cool White (6500K)/Warm White (3000K), with full spectrum controller, via Ebay (China). But, you still have to power it, which requires a 6 Amp 12-24Vdc power supply, and those are about $12.00 on Ebay (China).

The other light fixture I referred that's in my 29 Gallon tank is a commercially produced light fixture made by "Current." It's designed for a Marine Tank (8,000K/12,000K White), with Dual Actinic (445nm/460nm) Blue LEDs. It's a high efficiency light fixture. It delivers more than what would be required for a fresh water planted tank, and it has a lot more bells and whistles on it with respect to multiple timers, dimmers, various weather simulations, etc...than the home made light fixture. The important comparison is in evaluating the quality of the LEDs in the Current Brand Fixture, versus the LED strip light. The Current fixture uses LEDs that are significantly more efficient than LED light strip LEDs. But, there's a big price difference too, $130.00 (Current) versus the homemade fixture ($45.00).

For example, here's the dichotomy...the Current brand fixture only puts out 18 Watts, versus the 70 watts of light (according to the published specs) from the 16.5' I used in the homemade LED strip light fixture. But, it's all about the "efficiency" of the LEDs. That's why I'm not sure about how much useable light is actually being delivered to the tank with respect to nourishing the plants with the homemade fixture (ie: 18 Watts from the Current fixture, which is designed for a much more demanding Marine tank, versus 70 Watts from an 16.5' LED light strip). The Current light fixture, at 18 Watts, blows away the home made fixture with respect to the quality of light being delivered to the tank, and the quantity of lumens. So, there's definitely a difference in LED quality and efficiency, and how the light from certain quality levels of LEDs perform with respect to nourishing plants through water.

I know this desparity exists between various LEDs, but without a PAR meter, I don't have any means by which to test the disparity between the LEDs in a Chinese (Ebay) light strip, versus those that are used in commercially produced high efficiency LED light fixtures, and especially those designed for either planted tanks, or marine environments (ie: coral, live rock, etc...). But, the desparity most definitely exists just based solely on the wattage levels that are being delivered to the tank by the two fixtures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilde View Post
Well did you check EBay? I am getting an RGB light strip with controller and adaptor for $20. Have you thought of adding a control unit to it. On Ebay they are about $3.

So the other light on the tank is a Marineland LED?

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Old 02-24-2015, 12:38 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Quizcat View Post
It's about $29.95 for a 16.5' RGBW (Cool White (6500K)/Warm White (3000K), with full spectrum controller, via Ebay (China). But, you still have to power it, which requires a 6 Amp 12-24Vdc power supply, and those are about $12.00 on Ebay (China) for anything with decent quality specs. The homemade fixture ($45.00).

The other light fixture I referred that's in my 29 Gallon tank is a commercially produced light fixture made by "Current." It's designed for a Marine Tank (8,000K/12,000K White), with Dual Actinic (445nm/460nm) Blue LEDs. Is designed for a much more demanding Marine tank
I wonder if the DIY fixture could grow plants without the Current light strip. Beamworks LED light strip with .5 watt leds 24in is $50 so I think you made a good cheap LED system.
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
The Current fixture uses LEDs that are significantly more efficient than LED light strip LEDs.
This is not necessarily true..The Current, being designed ON an aluminum heat sink can be driven at a higher current, but w/ the same diode efficiency as what is in the strips.

Key here is the current limiting resistor. By making it smaller you apply a larger current, thus increasing gross output (and heating). To call it more efficient is a bit of a misnomer and it actuality may be less "lumen/watt" efficient than the strips BUT more gross power efficient, losing less because of less "power" being dissipated by the resistors.
In other words the watts actually getting to the diodes is more efficient but less watts are getting there due to design (dissipating power in the resistor).
The diodes themselves may come from the same company but yet appear to be of "better quality" due to an engineering quirk..
Bottom line:
I have no idea of where Current sources their LED's nor of strips but a blanket statement as above is not necessary correct without qualifying what you mean.
The advantage of say Current is consistency (even that is a bit theoretical) and possibly higher drive current.
If you want to increase the output of your strips, you have to overcome the resistor by increasing the voltage to them.. Granted you are working outside their design parameters, but a volt or 2 increase is possible. And if heat is managed well, would not shorten their life too much.

Strips are designed for "free air" so are run conservative..

A 5050smd strip using 220Ohm terminator resistor run at 12V (3.04V at each diode and the rest is "dropped" at the resistor) will use .015A which will equal 0.045W/diode
Changing the resistor to 39Ohms and each diode uses 0.19W..
Example 2 is obviously brighter than 1 ( but the diodes are the same..and power supply watt useage will be the same )

holding the resistor "constant" (you have no choice) but increasing the voltage will increase the voltage seen by the diodes and consequently increase their drive current and of course "watts"..
Fun w/ strips:
Quote:
I cut off a three LED strip, and replaced the 220 Ohm surface mount resistor with a 50 Ohm.
Then I ran the strip up to 17.88 V and 100 mA. A lot brighter. At this current each LED burns 430 mW, close to the limit of 450 mW. I don't think you're supposed to look directly at these LEDs at this power level. I ran it at that level for about a minute, and nothing got too hot to touch during that time. I ran the short strip at 14 V and 60 mA for quite a while.
At 12.3 V the LEDs draw 40 mA, three times more than the 13 mA they ran at with the 220 Ohm resistor.
Important part in red.. but the bottom line: You want to push the diodes you have , either change the resistor, or increase the voltage..
side note: terminating is not really correct, the resistor can be anywhere in the triplet.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=743779
http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:56 AM   #10
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The home made LED strip light fixture is on the 20 gallon tank, which has never had the Current light fixture on it. The home made light fixture has only been there about three or four weeks. But, the plants seem to be doing fine. I have anubias, ludwigia-repens, java fern, java moss, and some dwarf hair grass in the 20 gallon tank. One encouraging thing is that the dwarf hair grass was a little brown when I put it in there, and it has started to green-up, even though it's a little slow in spreading. I figure that the most finicky of the plants in this tank are the dwaft hair grass and the ludwigia-repens, in that order. The Ludwigia-Repens looks great, and the DHG is doing fine. Prior to putting the home made light fixture in place on the 20 gallon tank, I was using a different home made light fixture (gutter style), using 3 CFL bulbs (6500K). It seemd to work well too, but the new LED light fixture has more versatility than the CFL fixture has.

The Current brand light strip is on a totally different tank, and has never been on the 20 gallon tank where the home made LED strip light fixture is now. I have always used the Current light fixture on the 29 gallon tank, which only has some anubias, and some java fern in it. I like the Current brand light fixture on this tank, not because of the plants, but because the color range of the LEDs in the Current light fixture illuminates my mulitcolored glow fish so well, and there are more bells and whistles to play with on the Current brand light fixture. I think the Current brand light is a little strong for the two kinds of plants in this tank, the anubias and java fern, which are "low light" users. I consciously move the light off center on the top of the tank so they don't get a lot of direct light from the fixture, just because the light spectrum of the Current fixture is more suited for plants that need a lot of light, rather than low light. But, you can't beat the Current brand light for showing off the glow fish.

I may experiment eventually by switching the light fixtures between the two tanks someday, but I need a little more time to see what the LED strip light will do on the 20 gallon tank with respect to the plant growth.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilde View Post
I wonder if the DIY fixture could grow plants without the Current light strip. Beamworks LED light strip with .5 watt leds 24in is $50 so I think you made a good cheap LED system.
The interesting speculation is whether having LEDs that are less bright individually, but more of them, such as the LED strip light fixture, is better with respect to delivering light to a planted tank, rather than using more powerful LEDs that concentrate their intensity into fewer LEDs. My gut reaction would be that the strip light is probably better, more even, more subtle with respect to it's effects upon the plants, provided there is sufficient PAR value to reach the top of the substrate. But, that's strictly a guess on my part without a PAR meter. If the Current brand fixture is delivering 18 watts of light at full intensity, but the individual LEDs seem brighter than the strip light, visually, because it is more uncomfortable to look at directly than I experience with the strip lighting, I'm not sure how to interpret that with respect to each design's effects upon the the plants. I just had a hunch at the time I was designing the strip light fixture that I needed to put more strip lighting into the fixture (8 full strips x 24") in order to acheive sufficient light in the tank to be at least on par (no pun intended) with the Current brand fixture's level of illumination, visually. But, 18 Watts output (Current brand fixture) versus 30-70 watts output (strip light) is a huge gap in comparison. I don't really know how to quantify it accurately within the context of evaluating each respective fixture's effects upon plant growth, since the human eye (wattage/lumens) isn't really an adequate measure of which of the two designs is better for plants.

With regard to your analysis of the wattage and current delivery system, the strip light will tolerate up to 24 volts input power, but power is delivered to the strip lighting through the simplistic, yet versatile, IR controller. I suspect that the controller limits everything, and that unless I were able to directly power the strips independently, apart from the IR controller I'm now using, a change to 24 Vdc wouldn't change the intensity of the LEDs because the controller closely regulates everything based on the input voltage.

Do you think that the controller you recommended before, the 5-channel in your prior post, would yield a greater level of intensity from the LEDs in the strip light? That would be an interesting experiement. But, if so, the only downside to that would be that the 5-channel controller would not have the same diversity of adjustment that's already supplied in the simple IR controller that came with the strip light. Plus, we don't really know if by increasing the intensity with respect to voltage as it relates to wattage/lumens, that we would gain much with respect to possibly already being "on par" at 12Vdc, or that by being at less intensity yielded by 12 Vdc, that we might be endulging in a wasted effort by increasing to 24Vdc, since we might have already been acheiving sufficient levels of light for plant growth at 12Vdc. We're back to the PAR meter, aren't we...LOL!

There are some limitiations with respect to using the standard IR controller with these LED strip lights, versus embellishing the circuit with replacement diode/resistor values, where you can use a different kind of controller/power supply. But, I do like the low cost of the strip light/IR controller setup, the simplicity with respect to a heat sink not being necessary, and versatility of the effects that can be generated from the strip lighting when used with the standard IR controller, even though it also has it's limitations with respect a potential increase in intensity being possible through an altered circuit design because of the IR controller.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
This is not necessarily true..The Current, being designed ON an aluminum heat sink can be driven at a higher current, but w/ the same diode efficiency as what is in the strips.

Key here is the current limiting resistor. By making it smaller you apply a larger current, thus increasing gross output (and heating). To call it more efficient is a bit of a misnomer and it actuality may be less "lumen/watt" efficient than the strips BUT more gross power efficient, losing less because of less "power" being dissipated by the resistors.
In other words the watts actually getting to the diodes is more efficient but less watts are getting there due to design (dissipating power in the resistor).
The diodes themselves may come from the same company but yet appear to be of "better quality" due to an engineering quirk..
Bottom line:
I have no idea of where Current sources their LED's nor of strips but a blanket statement as above is not necessary correct without qualifying what you mean.
The advantage of say Current is consistency (even that is a bit theoretical) and possibly higher drive current.
If you want to increase the output of your strips, you have to overcome the resistor by increasing the voltage to them.. Granted you are working outside their design parameters, but a volt or 2 increase is possible. And if heat is managed well, would not shorten their life too much.

Strips are designed for "free air" so are run conservative..

A 5050smd strip using 220Ohm terminator resistor run at 12V (3.04V at each diode and the rest is "dropped" at the resistor) will use .015A which will equal 0.045W/diode
Changing the resistor to 39Ohms and each diode uses 0.19W..
Example 2 is obviously brighter than 1 ( but the diodes are the same..and power supply watt useage will be the same )

holding the resistor "constant" (you have no choice) but increasing the voltage will increase the voltage seen by the diodes and consequently increase their drive current and of course "watts"..
Fun w/ strips:


Important part in red.. but the bottom line: You want to push the diodes you have , either change the resistor, or increase the voltage..
side note: terminating is not really correct, the resistor can be anywhere in the triplet.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=743779
http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz

Last edited by Quizcat; 02-24-2015 at 06:25 AM.. Reason: Add comments...
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Old 02-24-2015, 03:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quizcat View Post
You can get the light strips for less, but they're shorter, or they are only RGB, not waterproof strips, etc..., and/or they do not also include Warm White/Cool White LEDs. My strip included not only LEDs that produce Warm White (3000K), which has four emitters in one LED, Red, Green, Blue, and Warm White, choose. My strip in particular is an SMD5050 Version "IP67. " I looks like the price has gone down to around $26.00, with controller, since I purchased mine.

By the time you purchase the guttering/end caps, and anything else that's needed to complete the fixture housing (light switch, lamp cord, paint for inside of the housing as a reflector, caulk, etc...), and the power supply to properly power the fixture, the total cost is around $45.00 for one fixture.
Yeh I got the RGB strip that is not waterproof. My tanks are covered thus I don't need the waterproof 1. Now I see why I can do it cheaper. For I am just going to put the strip in my T5NO light strip. Dealing with constant sinus headaches I want to do something that is quick. I will be putting over a 20G high too.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
The Current, being designed ON an aluminum heat sink can be driven at a higher current, but w/ the same diode efficiency as what is in the strips. Key here is the current limiting resistor.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=743779
http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz
So you could put the strip on a heat sink and add resistors between the strips to increase the output?
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilde View Post
Bump:
So you could put the strip on a heat sink and add resistors between the strips to increase the output?
not practical . The resistor is surface mounted on the strip.. every 3 diodes.. PIA to exchange them.
you would have to lower their value.. Replace not add..

Easier to just up the voltage..

YMMV...
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:22 PM   #13
Hilde
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Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
not practical . The resistor is surface mounted on the strip.. every 3 diodes.. PIA to exchange them.
you would have to lower their value.. Replace not add..

Easier to just up the voltage..

YMMV...
After reading more I think it is probably easier to upgrade the controller. Will this burn the LEDs out though, thus decreasing the life span?
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:59 PM   #14
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After reading more I think it is probably easier to upgrade the controller. Will this burn the LEDs out though, thus decreasing the life span?
heating does kill LED's (and resistors) .. That said you have to find the sweet spot of heat vs volts..
Getting a variable voltage power supply allows you to tweak voltage in small increments..

I don't really consider these strips a long term fixture.. A few years possibly..
running them in their orig config and use probably longer..Tight confinement and high density.. ????

I do know most likely the power supply will fil before the diodes..

In other words .. don't expect to hand them down to your children.

I'd expect 14V to be about max.....
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"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."

Last edited by jeffkrol; 02-24-2015 at 05:07 PM.. Reason: resistor
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
heating does kill LED's (and resistors) .. That said you have to find the sweet spot of heat vs volts..
Getting a variable voltage power supply allows you to tweak voltage in small increments..

I don't really consider these strips a long term fixture.. A few years possibly..
running them in their orig config and use probably longer..Tight confinement and high density.. ????

I do know most likely the power supply will fail before the diodes..

I'd expect 14V to be about max.....
Thanks for the head up. Was thinking of upgrading the control to this. Seems now a waist of cash.
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