DIY Bridgelux Vero 18 LED build
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:44 AM   #1
gus6464
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DIY Bridgelux Vero 18 LED build


So a new day, a new LED fixture build. As some of you might remember, a couple of months ago I did a a full spectrum LED cannon build consisting of 9 LEDs but I was never happy with the way it looked and wanted something cleaner.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=388441

This time around I am setting up my CADlights low-iron rimless tank which has the same dimensions as the ADA 90-P. For this tank I wanted to stay with LEDs but wanted something very simple. 6 months ago this would not have been possible but with the arrival of the Bridgelux Vero series things are a lot different.

The Bridgelux Vero series is a new multichip array which is more efficient than the BXRA ES series and offers way more power with increased CRI. CRI is important because it's the reason we go multi-colored LEDs in the first place. Most common stuff today (Rebel ES, Cree XP-G, XT-E, XM-L etc.), all suffer from low CRI (70's) in the cool white range (5500-6500K CCT). This means that all these white LED's suffer from a lack of red and green in their spectra which is why we augment with colored LEDs. The new Vero series is able to put out a rated minimum of 90 CRI in a cool white (5600K CCT) LED with the Vero 18 and 28. This means that we can get a lot closer to a full spectrum LED with a single chip.

This is the data sheet for the Vero 18 I will be using BXRC-56G4000-F-04.
http://www.bridgelux.com/wp-content/...2014.05.23.pdf

As you can see this particular LED can take up to 2A and deliver a whopping 6000 lumens for a very low price of $15 from digikey. I know some people prefer a bluer light on their tanks so if that's the case this is not the LED for you. Also Bridgelux rates the CRI on their chips as minimum and are known to measure higher in real world use. Also you know these emitters are built to last when Bridgelux warranties all Vero series for 10 years.

Another awesome thing about these chips is that they are solderless ready and just require a Molex Pico-EZMate connector which can be purchased here:
http://www.digikey.com/product-detai...593-ND/3880993

Parts I will be using:

3x Bridgelux Vero 18 5600K 90CRI bin
3x Bridgelux Vero 18 2700K 97CRI bin
6x Molex Pico EZMate connectors
HeatsinkUSA 32"x5" heatsink
4x Rosewill 120mm fans
6x Ledil Brooke-W 50deg reflectors
3x Meanwell LDD-1000H drivers
3x custom made 1600ma LDD type drivers from O2Surplus
Typhon controller with 8-up LDD board made by O2Surplus
48v 7.2A power supply

Last edited by gus6464; 07-01-2014 at 01:12 AM.. Reason: ed
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:34 PM   #2
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Hey Gus!

You're gonna love those Vero 18's. They're stupid bright. I'm currently running 12 of them over my 225 and couldn't be happier with their performance. I'm driving (6) 5600K 90 CRI's at 700ma and (6) 2700K 97CRI's at 300ma. Be ready to dim yours down quite a bit as they're much brighter than you'd expect at 1000ma. I'm Looking forward to seeing your build and the resulting plant growth. Let me know how you like the Ledil reflectors and please provide me with a link to them? I've been trying to decide which ones to purchase but without seeing them in actual use, I'm left a bit confused as to which Ledil part # to choose.
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O2surplus View Post
Hey Gus!

You're gonna love those Vero 18's. They're stupid bright. I'm currently running 12 of them over my 225 and couldn't be happier with their performance. I'm driving (6) 5600K 90 CRI's at 700ma and (6) 2700K 97CRI's at 300ma. Be ready to dim yours down quite a bit as they're much brighter than you'd expect at 1000ma. I'm Looking forward to seeing your build and the resulting plant growth. Let me know how you like the Ledil reflectors and please provide me with a link to them? I've been trying to decide which ones to purchase but without seeing them in actual use, I'm left a bit confused as to which Ledil part # to choose.
Hey I didn't know you had switched to Vero's. You have any pics of your tank with the current lights?

As far as optics the Vero specific ones are virtually nonexistant. I finally gave up the search and just bought Ledil Brooke-W's made for BXRA ES. The Vero 18 LED (SLES) diameter is less than 1mm smaller than the BXRA ES rectangle array so should work. I am just going to grind off the little feet of the Brooke-W and see how that goes until Vero 18 specific Ledil's become more widely available.

I highly doubt I will be running them over 500ma for the PAR I want. I am hanging high because I want to plant a couple riparium plants as well on one side of the tank.
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post

The Bridgelux Vero series is a new multichip array which is more efficient than the BXRA ES series and offers way more power with increased CRI. CRI is important because it's the reason we go multi-colored LEDs in the first place.
That doesn't really change (much) w/ the CRI of the Vero's


The "decor" look interesting though..
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
That doesn't really change (much) w/ the CRI of the Vero's


The "decor" look interesting though..
That graph is for 70CRI 5000K Vero's. I never said my build was the most optimal but it is quite simple. O2's build with 5600K and 2700K Decor is actually the most optimal which I may end up doing later on.
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gus6464 View Post
That graph is for 70CRI 5000K Vero's. I never said my build was the most optimal but it is quite simple. O2's build with 5600K and 2700K Decor is actually the most optimal which I may end up doing later on.
Your missing 2 minor points 1) CRI is measured using 8 "points" most of which are pastels.. so CRI is not a be all end all to all colors looking "normal"
http://cool.conservation-us.org/byor...ring_index.pdf

A high CRI is not a perfect substitute for "colored builds"

2)Plants don't give a rip about CRI...

Not criticizing your build at all just trying to explain that one should understand the concept and know what it really means..

There is an undercurrent that has decided 8 points are not enough, and they have valid reasons for this opinion..


Quote:
Recommendations
A long-term research and development process is underway to develop a revised color
quality metric that would be applicable to all white light sources. In the meantime, CRI
can be considered as one data point in evaluating white LED products and systems. It
should not be used to make product selections in the absence of in-person and on-site
evaluations.
Specifically, we recommend the following:
1. Identify the visual tasks to be performed under the light source. If color fidelity under
different light sources is critically important (for example in a space where color or
fabric comparisons are made under both daylight and electric lighting), CRI values
may be a useful metric for rating LED products.
2. CRI may be compared only for light sources of equal CCT. This applies to all light
sources, not only to LEDs. Also, differences in CRI values of less than five points are
not significant, e.g., light sources with 80 and 84 CRI are essentially the same.
3. If color appearance is more important than color fidelity, do not exclude white light
LEDs solely on the basis of relatively low CRI values. Some LED products with CRIs
as low as 25 still produce visually pleasing white light.
4. Evaluate LED systems in person and, if possible, on-site when color fidelity or color
appearance are important issues.
Quote:
One of the main issues with CRI is that it averages 8 colors (which have a low to medium chromatic saturation) to obtain a ranking. This means that even if a lamp renders a few colors poorly, the CRI can still remain high, as long as those poorly rendered colors are not one of the 8 colors that are averaged.

http://colorqualityscale.com/
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Old 06-16-2014, 07:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Your missing 2 minor points 1) CRI is measured using 8 "points" most of which are pastels.. so CRI is not a be all end all to all colors looking "normal"
http://cool.conservation-us.org/byor...ring_index.pdf

A high CRI is not a perfect substitute for "colored builds"

2)Plants don't give a rip about CRI...

Not criticizing your build at all just trying to explain that one should understand the concept and know what it really means..

There is an undercurrent that has decided 8 points are not enough, and they have valid reasons for this opinion..






http://colorqualityscale.com/
But if you were to use a 90CRI 5600K and 2700K Decor you get a spectrum that would require a quite a bit of colored LEDs to match. And that isn't even taking into consideration the sheer amount required to match the power. Price to power ratio of these emitters cannot be touched by Cree/Luxeon.
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:27 PM   #8
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just be thankful we are not "reefers"...

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Old 06-16-2014, 08:32 PM   #9
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Gus- I made a mistake. My "cool white" Vero 18's are the 5000K 70 CRI models, not the 5600K 90 CRI bad boys. IIRC my idea was to use a "cool white" Vero with the highest lumen value available for shear PAR power and then use the lower power 2700K 97 CRI "Decor" Vero to add back some of the lost CRI. Now that I've had some time to play with my new camera, I'll get you some tank shots that should give you an idea of how these leds look in reality. LOL- I'm gonna warn Jeff now, as my "white balance" may be a little off.
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O2surplus View Post
LOL- I'm gonna warn Jeff now, as my "white balance" may be a little off.
noooooooooooooo not florescent WB!!!!!

Maybe you haven't noticed but I'm a color and upside down photo cop.........

and some think I'm chart crazy.........
http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/34547...led-guide-v10/

Bridgelux links are broken.. at least to direct spec sheet..


Question for you..

WHY do they not show the spectrum for the 90CRI's.. ??? Too close to the "Decor's" ???
http://www.bridgelux.com/wp-content/...2014.05.23.pdf

Last edited by jeffkrol; 06-16-2014 at 09:31 PM.. Reason: decor
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Old 06-17-2014, 12:02 AM   #11
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I emailed Bridgelux on a wavelength chart for the 90CRI Decors so I will see what they write back.

O2, I sent you a PM with the Vero 18 specific reflector info.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:43 PM   #12
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Why not use Vero with a few mixed color LED's thrown in for spectrum?
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:58 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by MeCasa View Post
Why not use Vero with a few mixed color LED's thrown in for spectrum?
Because I have already gone that route before and finding a CCT I was happy with never happened. Also these Vero are going to be mounted high at almost 3ft above the tank. It would take way more than a few mixed 3W to penetrate like a Vero 18 at that height. Also a Vero 18 2700K Decor with the 5600K will give me a spectrum that can easily match a multi-color LED setup.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:21 PM   #14
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I guess the Vero's out for me, my 150 is in my bedroom and if the light was that bright my girlfriend would no doubt replace me for a younger man

Oh well.......
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:49 PM   #15
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I guess the Vero's out for me, my 150 is in my bedroom and if the light was that bright my girlfriend would no doubt replace me for a younger man

Oh well.......
Everything is doable with reflectors. I measured the light angles with a goniometer which is why I am going with a 50deg reflector. There will be very little light spill. I am hanging high because I am doing a couple riparium plants as well.

You can also do no optics and just build your light fixture with a light spill guard. That can be done by placing the emitter higher in relevance to the bottom of the fixture.
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