DIY LED light - The Planted Tank Forum
 2Likes
  • 2 Post By ChrisX
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 9
DIY LED light

Hi everyone, first post! I'm going to be building an Iwagumi set up with HC in a 21 gallon long tank. I've been looking into the lighting aspect and was thinking of doing a DIY LED setup. I did a fair bit of reading and there seems to be a lot of talk about the current ratings and voltage drops, etc. I have a decent electronics background so I'm not worried about getting the LEDs working. My main concern is what leds to use in the first place. Bridgelux seems to be popular. A few years ago, I had read that Cree was considered the standard but perhaps things have changed?

The main question would be, what actual LED part are people using? Or which ones in what ratios? I would have thought that there'd be some sort of consensus as to what's largely considered 'best' to get the correct spectrum and PAR but perhaps there isn't?

Should also mention I was looking into getting the Finnex 24/7 and I figured I could do better on my own for $140. Perhaps that isn't true?

Thanks!

Last edited by redearedslider5; 11-18-2018 at 04:24 AM. Reason: *
redearedslider5 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 04:32 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: WI
Posts: 11,070
Fortunately, or unfortunately "the best" in DIY is pretty subjective.

Second LED's themselves are continuing to develop and expand..
Price changes, heat tolerances, CRI, eficiencies are all in flux..

so the best thing is for one to start w/ lists of needs/wants

do you want control? how much?
do you want a warm or cool look to the tank?
do you want high par low par?
how much does one want to spend?
where are you placing it? Hanging? hood?
size of tank, depth of tank, high or med or low light
complex build or simple..


almost all those are independent of the diode brand though some do have an impact.

CREE, Bridgelux,Luxeon, Luminous Devices, "epistar" or cheap eek bay "eggs" all work, all have been used..

CREE is fairly a winner w/ efficiency but generally low on CRI.
I personally, if building a "simple" fixture would choose mostly Luxeon's.

The actual needs here don't really lead to a 'pick the best" diodes really..

no CREES but lots of colors and lots of power....

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."
jeffkrol is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 9
Very fair point, should probably start with a list of known specs

If it could dim on/off that'd be great but I figure that'll come after the fixture is built using an Arduino or something. It's being mounted onto a rimless tank that's 36" x 12" x 12". High CRI would be good and high PAR as I'm growing HC. Not sure about warm and cool as I don't know much about LEDs themselves, is there a good resource for examples of that? Budget would be... Well the Finnex is $130 and I'd rather not pay much more than that, otherwise I'd just get it off the shelf. I'm sure there's benefits to doing something really custom an high end but I'm not sure I'd see the benefits since it's my first tank.

Thanks for the help!
redearedslider5 is offline  
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 10:59 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: WI
Posts: 11,070
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...led-build.html

You could start here and move up..

Actually one of the cheaper, most efficient and powerful DIY diodes are
Bridgelux EB strips..
LDD driver(s)
power supply

How wide is your tank? 20 longs are 30"

The ww/cool white thing serves a few purposes:
1)Assuring a good amount of red
2)Usually increases CRI..
3)allows you to tailor tank look
and last.. will allow a more realistic sunrise/sunset.

SPECTRA

Playing w/ that will give you some ideas of possibilities..

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."
jeffkrol is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 12:05 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: WI
Posts: 11,070
jeffkrol is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 10:07 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Croatia
Posts: 49
Hah, I copied that light from Cutter
When I started with plans I have bought one COB from Cree, 6500K, 80CRI, 6500 lumens, and was very disappointed with colors...so ended with Nichia, and that gives me very nice colors.
You have to look for LEDs 5000-6500K, high CRI - more than 90, and high R9 - more than 50 - that means that red will be red. In Europe Bridgelux seems hard to get, in America Nichia is rare...all depends from where are you. Did Your hear for Seoul Sunlike? Still expensive, but you have small aquarium.
Marko_Sp is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 10:53 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: WI
Posts: 11,070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marko_Sp View Post
Hah, I copied that light from Cutter
When I started with plans I have bought one COB from Cree, 6500K, 80CRI, 6500 lumens, and was very disappointed with colors...so ended with Nichia, and that gives me very nice colors.
You have to look for LEDs 5000-6500K, high CRI - more than 90, and high R9 - more than 50 - that means that red will be red. In Europe Bridgelux seems hard to get, in America Nichia is rare...all depends from where are you. Did Your hear for Seoul Sunlike? Still expensive, but you have small aquarium.

Still prefer either Luminous Devices "studio" or Luxeon Fresh fish for 6500k..

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."
jeffkrol is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 9
alright i have a bit more info as things have moved on. i'll likely be hanging the light from above, roughly a foot above the bottom of the tank. the tank is 36" wide and from the research i've done, it seems people use made well current controllers, which seems simple enough. i have a good size piece of heatsink material at work that will do the job no problem.

basically, i have the electronics and fabrication skill necessary, but what led combinations do i use? people seem to use roughly 3 white to 1 blue and 1 red led. the luxeon es at stevesled look good and easy in terms of building which is a good place to start.

edit: reading a bit more, it seems that whatever white leds i choose are just for aesthetic reasons, with people generally seeming to say 6500k is typical. the plants themselves prefer red and blue, so as long as i specify the red/blue to be enough PAR and the white to look good, then we're all set?

Last edited by redearedslider5; 12-29-2018 at 04:49 AM. Reason: .
redearedslider5 is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 04:48 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: WI
Posts: 11,070
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...confusion.html

Actually a fairly good (and for me, easy) way to see philosophies...

SPECTRA


Whites are RGB..
Added colors are for targeting specific "things".
K temps are for targeting specific looks.. ie. bluish to yellowish "tint"

Any "normal" (one that wouldn't look hideous, odd or monochromatic) light in sufficient quantities achieves good plant growth and aesthetics.

for fun.. a collection of some LED's and 6500k daylight.Little square in the upper left is the dominant "tone"..so to speak...


Good read..If you are going to build a light, you need to know why..
https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/...-spectrum.html

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."

Last edited by jeffkrol; 12-29-2018 at 05:41 AM. Reason: edit
jeffkrol is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-06-2019, 01:19 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 1,705
I'm in a mood this morning.. so you're going to get a dose of truth.

You will be hard pressed to improve upon many of the RGB+W fixtures on the market. Some of the inexpensive Beamsworks, Chihiros, and then more expensive Twinstar lights look great.

Where you can improve upon them is cost/PAR, reliability, form factor. Where you will be hard pressed to improve upon them is programmability and phone integration.

The strategy the *majority* of led lights have moved towards is RGB+W. You will need three adjustable color channels and a high-K white.

Using expensive diodes is not going to improve upon the look of lights you can buy in stores. It will raise the cost of the project and make you wonder if you shouldn't have just bought a light.

A decent quality white plus tunable color channels is the only way you are going to get the "look" that *you* want.

Its not hard to do, but instead of focusing on which diodes to use, instead think about how you are going to design a four channel adjustable RGB+ white light. Which heatsink? What voltages/drivers/power supplies? How will channels be adjusted? How will they be protected from splash and condensation? And more importantly, how can you control the costs so it doesn't become more expensive than high-end commercial fixtures? You're not going to improve upon (say) an AI Prime. You can build something that looks equally good with more PAR for less money. But only if you make the right choices.

The actual diodes used don't matter that much beyond their power requirements and how they fit your design. I wouldn't advocate using poor quality whites, but I'm fairly confident that even impressive lights like the Twinstar use inexpensive 80cri whites. Once you add color diodes, the whole game changes.

Its like an old saying I heard when I tiled my kitchen. Once the tile is on the floor, it doesn't matter how much you spent.
Quesenek and Maryland Guppy like this.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by ChrisX; 01-06-2019 at 01:48 PM. Reason: more
ChrisX is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lighting an Aquarium with PAR instead of Watts Hoppy Lighting 451 02-27-2018 10:02 AM
To switch or not to switch? dbw27 Lighting 8 08-14-2015 05:14 AM
DIY Led light for 110G, input from LED gurus wanted ! Fissure Lighting 56 10-01-2014 02:24 AM
A Complete Idiot's guide to make an LED lighting unit sumer DIY 37 03-11-2014 08:26 PM
LED grow lights? Just40Fun Lighting 7 03-31-2007 04:37 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome