Took the plunge on LED lighting - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 08:59 AM Thread Starter
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Took the plunge on LED lighting

After days of reading DIY LED threads (Thanks Hoppy and Malaybiswas(sp?) and many others i couldnt name them all) my head was spinning full of new info, with so many ways people have achieved essentially the same result I couldnt decide how I was going to power my lights and how many I am going to use...

So I took the plunge today (and last night) and ordered my electronic hardware from eBay from 2 or 3 different sources and let my wallet do the surfing with a tight budget.

so far i have ordered

15 x 6500k - 7500k white 130 Lumen 3 watt star mounted LED's
5 x Red 1 watt star mounted LED's
10 x Blue 1 watt star mounted LED's

1 x 30w - 54w driver to run 10 - 18 3 Watt LED's
10 x 3w drivers to run the 1 watt LED's

the 30 - 54w driver runs on 240v ac (line voltage here)
and the 3w drivers run on 12v dc

I have a friend that installs solar panels for a living and he is going to get some offcut aluminium channel and angle to build my heatsink.

Cant wait til it all arrives so i can start making some mistakes for you all to learn from


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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oooops... i hit post instead of preview

forgot to mention that this will be going on my ~29 gallon shrimp tank (30"L x 12"W x 20"H) with MTS and i will be aiming for low to medium light

also i am going to be ordering 5 warm white 3 watt LED's and using a combination of these and the blues and reds to get the right colour look i am after

Thanks for reading and sorry for the double post


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 12:05 PM
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Can't wait to see the pictures..... sounds like a fun project.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 12:23 PM
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Nice sounds intertesting. needs pics, are these Cree's? Luxeon? what kinda leds?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 02:10 PM
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I guess that those are noname eBay LEDs.
What was the cost of the LEDs ? Can you cancel those orders? Because you have an excellent seller of Cree LEDs in AU - cutter.com.au

I have a shrimp tank with a similar setup - Cree neutral white, red, blue. The red spots from the LEDs are really disgusting. I would recommend to stay away from red and blue for a freshwater tank.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 02:41 PM
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Would you mind posting prices? I want to get started soon as well.

TIA and GoodLuck!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-06-2011, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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these are cheap no-name ebay LED's by searching around you can find them pretty cheap with mine the 3watt were ~$2.20 and the 1watt ~$0.80 each but you can get them a lot cheaper if you buy in bulk the total cost of all LED's and drivers is ~$65

mosmike: thanks for the link to cutter.com.au i couldnt find cree leds for less than $28 in the local electronics store and i nearly fell over when they told me I am trying to build this light on a tight budget so if i destroy anything its not such a problem the total build cost of this project will be less than $100 total as i can find a lot of materials laying around in my own or my friends yards and sheds so the only real cost is the LED's and drivers and probably a couple of pc fans


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 05:56 PM
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VaultBoy
OK, post pics when you'll build it!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Time for an update...

I built a power supply for testing and developing this light, its nothing fancy just an old pc power supply wired up with terminals on the outside of the housing with 3.3v, 5v and 12v available.



The postman from Hong Kong came the other day with a nice couple of packages for me:

here is 15 whites and 5 reds



5 Warm Whites



This is the driver that will run up to 18 of the 3W LEDs




I have been very busy experimenting and designing this fixture.... My head is spinning... I havent done this much learning in 12-13 years.

I managed to wire up a couple of these LEDs up to the little drivers i got:



And with the power on:



You can really see the difference in intensity 3W white and 1W red.

Now I am only waiting to receive 10 1W blue LEDs and another 10 of the mini drivers, and some aluminium channel. But the project has come to a stop as I have just had to spend a heap of money fixing a car that wasnt worth fixing.

Ill keep you all updated as it happens


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VaultBoy View Post

Cant wait til it all arrives so i can start making some mistakes for you all to learn from
I thought I had that market cornered. I specialize in making mistakes.

Hoppy
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-21-2011, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
I thought I had that market cornered. I specialize in making mistakes.
I have read about almost all of your mistakes regarding LEDs so I hope to make some new ones that we can both learn from

First mistake I made so far was cleaning my cheapie soldering iron in zinc chloride I dipped it in too far and shorted out the heating element... time for a new one


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-22-2011, 09:15 PM
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I just use a file to renew the soldering iron tip. It oxidizes a bit each use, until it becomes mis-shaped, and hard to tin. It is copper, so it files easily and retinning it makes it good as new. Oh, and a tip: the shaft leading to the tip shouldn't be braced against your hand while soldering. It causes a cooked skin smell pretty quickly, plus other things - smoke, a burning sensation, etc.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-23-2011, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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this soldering iron was brand new and still had the chrome coating on the copper but it had started to flake off... hence the cleaning.

Zinc Chloride is great for removing scale and oxidization and for preping solder pads for tinning. Over here it is sold as "Bakers Solder Fluid" and is worth about $5 for 500mL its great stuff that makes soldering much easier, but the shaft you mentioned leading to the tip is where the heating element is so dont dip that part in the fluid or it goes bang and all the lights turn off


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-02-2011, 06:32 AM
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A quick tip for those people soldering. Tin the tip before every use and clean it after every use, and when I say use I mean every time you pick up the iron. My tips last me about 6 months and never get bent or out of shape during that time and I use them A LOT. Another mistake people make is having too high of a temperature. Most soldering jobs don't need too much heat especially LED's. Remember the hotter the iron is the faster it oxidizes.

Good luck and I can't wait to see more pics, I just ordered some LED's and can't wait to start on my build.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 03:46 AM
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how's it coming along?
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