Spray painting an LED ? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Hello everybody! I am curious to know if anyone has ever spray painted their lifgt fixtures ? I absolutely love my new Fluval 3.0, however black was the only option. I was wondering if it could be painted silver, or white, and if so, what kind of paint ? As you can see in photo, black just isn't the most attractive. Just my opinion &#x1f914;
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Fluval 3.0 34 gallon.
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Last edited by Darkblade48; 01-15-2020 at 05:48 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 03:44 AM
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On the surface.. seems OK.
As long as the paint isn't too thick it shouldn't interfere w/ the heat sinking property of the light..
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 08:07 PM
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My 3.0 gets pretty warm I’d be too concerned about heat. Would also consider if The warranty would dept. would have that need you go down that road in the future
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 09:05 PM
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My 3.0 gets pretty warm I’d be too concerned about heat. Would also consider if The warranty would dept. would have that need you go down that road in the future
Technically the warranty is probably toast..

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 09:30 PM
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Wouldn’t be that hard to build a little light box/shroud that just mounts on light with a couple pieces of dual lock. Would also allow you to tame that spillover onto wall behind tank, which to me is more distracting to aesthetics of tank than black color of light, it draws your eyes away from tank.

Just be sure to leave proper air gap above light and ventilation out of top so heat won’t build up. If your handy could even make it match the stand.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-14-2020, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
Wouldn’t be that hard to build a little light box/shroud that just mounts on light with a couple pieces of dual lock. Would also allow you to tame that spillover onto wall behind tank, which to me is more distracting to aesthetics of tank than black color of light, it draws your eyes away from tank.
I recently hung my fluval 3.0. I sit below the light height so when I look at the tank I get light right in my eyes. I've been planning on fabricating a little box around it to block out the glare.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 05:29 PM
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Just about any paint will work. I have painted valve covers on cars with regular spray paint and they get much hotter than a light will ever get. If you are worried, you can find duplicor engine paint which will stand up to far more heat than a light will ever put out, but I have had trouble with it curing, it can take way longer than it should.

The main problem with spray paint is it will never be as durable as the existing finish (without having one, I am guessing it is powder coated). White spray paint, in particular, may yellow slightly over time. Regular Krylon or what you can get from a hardware store should work fine though, regardless of what you choose. I used an aluminium color on a black metal stand a long time ago and it came out really well. Forget what paint I used.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 05:59 PM
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Rustoleum and Krylon both make a high heat spraypaint for grills and whatnot. I've used the Rustoleum on an old metal firepit, looked great and was pretty inexpensive
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 06:02 PM
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The main problem with spray paint is it will never be as durable as the existing finish (without having one, I am guessing it is powder coated).
Most are probably black anodized or should be (color is a lesser factor)..Increases radiative surface area for passive cooling and increasing emissivity ..
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Depending on the type of surface treatment used, radiation heat transfer is enhanced in two distinct ways: by increasing the emissivity of the surface or by increasing the surface area. The effect of both these parameters is shown in the Stephen-Boltzmann Equation
Thin coat of paint is about as effective..but does have a slight thermal penalty based on thickness I suppose..

https://www.qats.com/cms/2010/11/09/...e-part-1-of-2/

https://www.radianheatsinks.com/heat...ated-heatsink/

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This is the answer I received from our engineering team:
“The natural oxide layer on aluminum is not uniform and is much thinner than the layer which is produced by the anodizing process. In addition, anodizing creates microscopic texturing. These factors combine to result in a dramatic increase in surface emissivity.

Spray painting a surface can also increase the emissivity, but care must be taken. A given paint coating may not reflect visible light, but that does not guarantee the same performance is true in the infrared spectrum where the bulk of heat transfer takes place. Flat black coatings usually have a high emissivity, though, and work well as long as they are not excessively thick. Unless you have a specific finish requirement, anodizing is usually a better choice because the layer is very thin compared to a layer of paint or powder coat.”
It can be complicated..
https://electronics.stackexchange.co...on-a-heat-sink

AFAICT the "visible color" of anodizing nor paint matters much.. (note the slight waffle)
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 06:09 PM
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I wouldn’t worry about using high heat paint, it’s meant to withstand extremely high temps. Your LEDs might get “hot” to the touch, but nowhere close to the need for heat specific paint.

I believe stevewb and Jeffkrol are right, you can kiss your warranty goodbye. What are the odds you’ll need to use it though? You’ll have to decide if it’s worth the risk.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 06:22 PM
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My concern is more of the lights ability to dissipate heat, not the paints ability to hold up to heat. Haven’t really paid attention, but I think the body is anodized Al, not powder coat. Could be wrong on that though. Paint layer would be less conductive
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 06:47 PM
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My concern is more of the lights ability to dissipate heat, not the paints ability to hold up to heat. Haven’t really paid attention, but I think the body is anodized Al, not powder coat. Could be wrong on that though. Paint layer would be less conductive
I love this one.. soo steam punky..

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 06:58 PM
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I love this one.. soo steam punky..<a href="https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/images/smilie/icon_wink.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Wink" >:-)</a>

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Too counter intuitive for me to handle.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old Today, 04:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the great information. The general consensus seems to say it's okay, but the warranty is voided, so hmmmm, perhaps not the best idea


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old Today, 04:31 AM
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I recently hung my fluval 3.0. I sit below the light height so when I look at the tank I get light right in my eyes. I've been planning on fabricating a little box around it to block out the glare.
If your tank is covered a simple trick is to use a piece of a black plastic garbage bag. I had the same problem with my 20L and it works fine. It probably wouldn't work with an open tank though.

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