I want to DIY a LOW light LED for a 5 gall - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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I want to DIY a LOW light LED for a 5 gall

Hey guys, I am hoping someone here can help me out. The topic says what I want to do.. I have a little 5 gallon tank my kid didnt want, that I would like to (ideally) make into a shrimp tank.. so I want low lights.

I want to get something with a good color spectrum.. I dont know if strip lights are the way to go, or low wattage LEDs. I know everyone says to go with PAR.. but I dont have the cash laying around for a PAR meter... So how do I determine what intensity of LED (strip or individual "bulb") to go with?

I am hoping to use this as a stepping stone to learn more about LEDs, for a future project. So I appreciate any guidance!!!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 07:51 AM
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I dont think it would be cost effective to build an LED for a 5 gallon tank. You will spend more building it than if you were to buy something, especially with low light as a goal.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 10:10 AM
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All lights for all my tanks are DIY LEDs. Just buy a 12V 6500K led strip, stick it to a piece of aluminium profile, solder to a 12V power supply and you're done. If you want to get fancy, you can add color strips (Red, Blue or RGB). Low light, high light, never had a problem growing plants or keeping fish alive. Just don't buy those old 5050 strip for the main light. Get something like SMD3014 or SMD2835. For the color strips it doesn't matter, it's just for looks. As for intensity, for low light I suggest something like 600-900 lumen/meter and a cheap manual dimmer to tune it down for your needs.

All this applies for lights above the tank! If you have one of those sets with plastic covers, don't put these led strips inside, it will rust from the high humidity. You can get IP67 led strips, but they usually don't last that long due to heat issues from the insulation.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 02:04 PM
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I'd go with cheap led strips.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016, 09:00 PM
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i'd do a walmart desk lamp with a LED bulb

I did a post on led bulbs I use in my fishroom and a few 10s with the clipon lamps in my facebook fishroom "blog"

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