My DIY 36" LED ADA Fixture and Stand for my 48G Rimless - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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My DIY 36" LED ADA Fixture and Stand for my 48G Rimless

I love the ADA look but can't afford the ADA price so I decided to DIY everything I could which includes the LED Light Fixture and the DIY Stand

If you guys want to know more about my light and stand I'm usually on the SCAPE site



-------------------------------------------------------5/14/11 UPDATE---------------------------------------------------

Started planting the tank in April and this is what I have so far. Still a lot of more planting and rock rearrangements needed but overall I'm very happy with the lights, plants are pearling like crazy but I might have to turn down the lights a bit as algae might become a problem. Should santized the Fissiden's more before introducing it to the tank oh well...




I think I need a powerhead. All this pearling is causing the surface to look too fizzy.



Supplies

Basic stuff
$300-----36x Cree XP-G LEDs
$100-----03x Dimmable Meanwell LED Drivers
$100-----01x Heatsink
$20------02x 120mm Fans

Total after Shipping and Tax = about $520

Dimming Circuit

$30----- 10 Turns 10K Pot
$50-----Arduino Mega
$2------Small PCB
$3------LM317 Transistor
$2------2222N2 Transistor
$1------1.5K Resistor
$1------10K Resistor
$4------On/Off Buttons

The rest of the stuff was various project boxes and connectors I had left over from my other projects


The hood is a custom made Aluminum Panel bent 130 degrees and painted the same color as the stand. Before anyone ask where they can get such a panel, I can tell you its not gonna be cheap. I was EXTREMELY lucky to have come across this panel which was left over from a construction site.

Before I found this piece I called around and most places charge $$$ just for the aluminum itself. Just having it cut down costed atleast $75 per straight cut at most metal places in LA. I don't even know where you could find a place that would be able to bend the panel. Anyways best bet it to call metal fab places and get an estimate.


Tools
Drill Press, 20 Gauge Wire, Drill bits, Taps, Thermal Compound, Stand Offs Screws, Soldering Iron, and Drilling Lubricant , Conduit, Elbows


1. Drill and Tap the Heatsink
I made a template out of a giant washer and a center punch to mark where to drill. It made things much easier. Also when tapping the heatsink make sure you use a Bottom Tap and not a Taper Tap

2. Mount the LEDs
I ended up breaking a couple of drill bits and a tap or 2 due to being impatient... Make sure you go real slow use ALOT of lubricant when drilling and especially when tapping... I used left over Artic Silver and Zalman Ceramic Thermal Compound under the LEDs to keep them nice and frosty. Decided to use Hex Screws since they look nicer and don't touch the contacts on the LED star.

3. Wire the LEDs in Series of 12
When I started wiring I realized I should have drilled and tap my LEDs in a + pattern instead of an X pattern to make the wiring nicer...oh well...





Last edited by Im2Nelson4u; 05-15-2011 at 05:42 AM.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 03:18 PM
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wow. just amazing.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 04:23 PM
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Very impressive, very clean well done!
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 04:37 PM
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This is awesome in every sense of the word.

I love your LED array. I imagine you can get anything from no light to very high light with that.

I plan on lighting a 46g cube with a similar number of XPG and XRE.

Nice work!
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 07:36 PM
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Nice slab of aluminum.


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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 10:07 PM
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What an impressive setup! I wish I knew what was going on with the wiring but I don't! I'm still doing the research before I order my supplies. Should be soon though!

~ Jose


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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 11:19 PM
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As a side note, if you added some 60 degree optics to your array, you should have no spotlighting from the height you have it set at (no promises though) but you should be able to get the same PAR numbers at about half the drive current.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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xp-g Optics are pretty hard to come by right now and are still pretty expensive. im going to wait until they go down in price before i put them on
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 12:05 AM
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They aren't too bad. They are about $1.25 each at Rapidled.com, but they're out of stock at the moment.

I have some optics I got from Satistronics.com that are dirt cheap, about 40 cents each, but they only fit XRE. I think they have some that fit XPE/XPG but it's hard to tell from their description.

The XRE optics I bought are actually quite good though. Very crisp, i was surprised at how good they are.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Does that price include Holders? Last time I checked the optics cost $3-4 each including the holder. Also are they clear lens or the honeycomb thing

Originally I had the led layout with 45 degree optic in mind to make sure I had no light spill and focus all the light on the substrate.

Unfortunately I soon found this pattern was really hard to tap and wire so i decided to do an even spread of LEDs to make it easier.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-17-2011, 01:14 AM
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Whole shabang. . Both from rapidled and Satistronics.

Theirs is the "honeycomb" judging by the pic. I use the honeycomb texture over mine and it works fine. I prefer the flat clear type, but I'm not sure it's a huge deal.


You can get the clear XP optics from www.ledgroupbuy.com, but they are slow because they are a true group buy format. You have to wait for the group-buy date, wait for it to ship to his place, repacking, and shipping from Canada to your place.

I placed an order for the Jan 23rd buy and they haven't shipped to my house yet, but the price on their LEDs is worth it.


I will forwarn you. You may have to resolder some of your optics if you get the ones from ledgroupbuy.

The ones at Rapidled.com seem to have a smaller footprint and wouldn't cover as much of the solder pads as the XP optics from ledgroupbuy.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 03:35 AM Thread Starter
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I still have a ton of XR-E holders left over from another LED project so I'm hoping if I can just pop out the optics and put in a compatible XP-G optic.

lol those group buys take forever. I got fed up waiting so I started my own group buy on the SCAPE site while ago. We ended up ordering around 120ish LEDs for about $4.50-$6.00 each. If I knew plantedtank had people interested I would have done it here instead.

You dont really need to resolder if you can get the right holder. The holders I have can simply be glued on or use those spare cuttouts where you screw them in and best of all they dont get in the way of where your suppose to solder.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 03:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Im2Nelson4u View Post
I still have a ton of XR-E holders left over from another LED project so I'm wondering if I can just pop out the optics and put in a compatible XP-G optic.

lol those group buys take forever. I got fed up waiting so I started my own group buy on the SCAPE site while ago. We ended up ordering around 120ish LEDs for about $4.50-$6.00 each If I knew plantedtank had people interested I would have done it here instead.
no group buys allowed here . I take all my group buys over to scape as well. Like the one for the NA Rice fish going on. I really wanted part in that.


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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 04:46 PM
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Group buys end up being a pain in the rear. I ordered my LEDs on Jan 22 or so, and am still waiting. They haven't been shipped to my place yet.

I totally understand it with the site I ordered from since he's at the mercy of the supplier for each group buy.... and his LED prices are very reasonable.


But the long wait can be a pain. Especially if you're the local dude heading the group buy and things don't show up when everyone wants them....
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-18-2011, 05:12 PM
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Finally! I've been waiting for a 36" LED build to pop us so i can get some ideas. Which color and bin are the led's from? Any par measurements?
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