DIY Bridgelux EB lighting system for 72G bowfront - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-23-2019, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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DIY Bridgelux EB lighting system for 72G bowfront

Hi all
i am in the midst of putting together a heavily planted high tech tank. A coworker of my wife decided after having a brand new 72G AGA bowfront for 2 months, it was too much trouble. So he gave it to us. Free aquarium and stand, who is gonna say no? I am a very experienced aquarist. I kept Arowana for years, I had a 200 g with a 40 inch fish. He was donated to the Galveston Rainforest Pyramid where he grew to about 50 inches in their stream. i moved on to reef and had a very successful 125 reef.
Back to the matter at hand. After researching the available info i am planning my own hood. Inspired by Fissure. i am thinking of basing the build on Makerled Slim heatsink and enclosure. Populating it with Bridgelux EB Gen 2 Linear strips. i know the say they don't need a heatsink, but when you look at the specs cooler is better. I am going to put fans on top. Trying to get a 25 deg. C run temperature.
My questions are: my tank is 48" X 13" to the bow which is 18" (122 X 33 to 46 cm). 21" (640 cm) deep minus the substrate. i am awaiting an answer from Makerled on the absolute width of their heatsink. Advertised at 6.2" (15.78 cm). EB strips are 25mm wide. I am contemplating 2 in parallel 48" (122) long to give me plenty of room. Then the drive electronics would go on top. Or could I go with a single? that would limit the amount of PAR at the substrate. I'm a EE not an optical engineer so this is all new me.
Next question is Colors. They come in 3K, 3.5K, 4K, 5K and 5.7K. What mix should I install? i am aiming for a heavily planted tank with CO2.
Thank you so much for your answers! I am going to heavily document this build right here
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 02:27 PM
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At $14/strip I'd suggest 3

5600K seem to have limited availability.
Planning on control?
What look do you want?
Height you are considering putting them?

Last edited by jeffkrol; 04-03-2019 at 02:43 PM. Reason: edit
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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Pre purchase plans

Hi all,
I have done considerable work on this idea. Let me share my plans before I put out the green. This is my first engineering project since I had a major stroke in late 2017.
I have decided to base the light on the MAKERLED slim hood kit, 48" in length. I'll put 2 of the frameless fans on top. A cool diode is a happy diode. Bridgelux says you can run these strips with no heatsink, but a study of the specs reveals major performance problems at elevated temperatures. For mounting the strips I will use thermal double sided tape and bolts with plastic washers. I will use Makerled's adjustable hanging kit to suspend the hood.
For the light selection, I am going to follow Fissure's example. 2 groups of 6 rows. My thought is (3) 560mm 5.7k, (2) 560mm 5k, (1) 280mm 4k, and (1) 280mm 5.7k X2. I will separate the groups in the center over the tank brace. I am open to suggestions. At full drive that is 22,600 lumens.
On to the drive. A Rosewill microATX case with two fans. A Meanwell LRS power supply, 24V @ 350W. 12 Meanwell LDD-1500H drivers mounted on Coralux 5UP boards. A cheap 12V 5A power supply for the fans. Until I can get around to hacking out an Arduino controller, A TC421 controller.
I open to suggestions before I heat up the credit card. Does this sound good? Is this enough light for a high tech tank?
I will document every part of this build if anyone is interested. Thanks for reading!
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 04:40 AM
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Skip the extra wall wart if you got enough power on the main power supply...tap the fans off the output of the buck converter.. Watch current..

Using 24V each board needs a driver..280mm boards max out at 700mA..
If you series 2 280's you need 2x the V(f) of one board.. 40V..

not going to spend a bunch of time on this but something feels wrong..

you should sketch it out roughly..
14.3W per 380 (700mA) x3 = 114W
28.7W for the 560's (1400mA) x 5 = 143.5W
Personally I wouldn't push any of the boards past recommended max current..

@ nominal 350 and 700ma (280,560) they produce 1200 and 2400 lumens each..15,600 lumens

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

Last edited by jeffkrol; 04-06-2019 at 04:59 AM. Reason: edit
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 05:08 AM Thread Starter
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Great tip. I was rummaging through my shelf of stuff and found a brand new Gould 12V supply that I can run the fans off of. PWM temperature controllers are stacked up like cordwood. Sometimes it's good to be a technology hoarder.
After reading some exhausting thorough articles on the specific spectrums of the various strips I may revise my mix of spectrums. Indoor gardeners have done a lot of work with these strips.
Actually I was going to run the strips in parallel for the 280mm. Each 560 strip gets its own buck boost. I was going to underdrive everything. Redundancy and planning for failure mode are my mantras. In the voltage domain maximum Wattage is 24(12X1.5) = 432W. (2) 350W would give me a comfortable 39% overcapacity at 180%. I don't feel like I am ever going to drive them that hard.

Last edited by bigcat39; 04-06-2019 at 05:49 AM. Reason: edit
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