DIY led lighting for deep tank - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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DIY led lighting for deep tank

Hi All,

I have been reading threads on the forum for the last few days about diy led lighting. and I think I have finally got my head around the basics.

I was originally going to get a twinstar 900S or 2 x fluval plant 3.0 436inch but in the uk this would run to about $450 for a 3 foot tank for either option.
To top it all off I have a wide deep tank, 3ft long x 2ft wide x 30 inches deep. I am only looking to grow low light plants at the moment however I'm unsure if either of these fixtures actually has the power to get enough par to the substrate and they both seem crazy expensive for what they actually are. I then looked at AI prime and Kessil which are both getting very costly.

With this in mind I started looking at DIY options.
I have read the plays of rays tutorial however it feels a bit out of date.
When I first started looking it was at led strips and the tc 420 but just like the lights i'm unsure if this solution would have the power to get light to the depth I need.

I'm hoping for a bit of help in a few key areas.

1)Suggestions for getting light to depth without spill, will lenses help? I'm happy to use strip leds or 3watt leds I want to avoid active cooling if possible which I believe likely rules out COBS?
2)Am I better off with more lower powered leds or fewer spots?
3)LED choice and spectrum balance. I was planning on using a high CRI 6500k LED as my base I'd like the option to do sunrise and sunset as well as moonlight so I'm guessing I'll need reds and blues. I prefer the slightly red hue of the twinstar S vs the harsher white of kessil.
4)What control system would people recommend?
5) I can get kits from reefleds.co.uk anyone heard anything about them?

Thanks for any help or advice you can give.
Best Regards
Scott
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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 09:50 PM
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Wats are wats, it does not matter if they come from 30 3W leds or 3 30W COB. Active cooling rules because it is chaeper, and whole system is lighter than one with passive cooling.
I think that your light must be pretty much high over the surface. Lenses will help, but reflectors will bee better with hang on.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 01:13 AM
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Watts is watts sort of.. with 150Lumens per wat vs 50 Lumens per watt means you can use 1/3 the watts for the same output..
Lenses sort of are determined by hanging height..though there is an arguement for narrow lenses hung high for more parallel rays into the tank.


Best high CRI 6500k COB I know if is Lumiled's Fresh fish...
Luminous Devices and others make "dual K COB's so one can tailor spectrum to suit w/ out adding any "colors" though obviously limited in toning..

Your dimensions aren't really a problem..

2 rows of COBS w/ an inner row of "colors" really is easy enough..

As to passive vs active cooling..yea saves money on heatsinks but freshwater really isn't as demanding of power density as say saltwater.


Controller depends on driver/dimming choice..suggest 3.3 or 5V (drivers really have a range, controllers are set) pwm dimmable drivers
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, both for your replies.

Jeff, I'd already considered fresh fish from some of your other recommendations! The spectrum does look really nice and if I can passively cool it that would be the way I would go as it would simplify wiring. (I can also get hold of them in the UK where finding good leds seems a bit harder! I wish rapid led existed over here)
Does anyone have any photos of a fresh fish based light?

By nature of where the tank is the light will probably be on or close to the top of the tank so perhaps I was wrong in thinking lenses would help me get the light down. (I'm trying to avoid an algal mess at the top and under lit plants at the substrate!)

I found these threads very useful, with some useful suggestions for spectrum and layout.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...ank.html?amp=1
and
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...topics/1277439
I think you also posted images of vincel892's tank and the spectrum looks nice there.

I would say the visual appeal, plant colour and fish colour is my primary concern and optimum plant growth is secondary (though closely linked obviously). As such I would want some tunability. I'm wanting to be able to get moonlight and sunrise/set. Would you do colour mixing with 3w or are there other cobs you'd recommend? The duel cobs you mentioned don't look like a great colour temp? So I'm guessing would still need additions to get a pleasing look.

If you were doing two rows would you do two rows of two or 2 rows of three fresh fish? It seems like a lot of light so would absolutely need dimming!! Does the CRI not change as you dim them or did I read that wrong on another thread? Perhaps 4 fresh fish 2 bread and pastries and a few 3 watts (deep red, cyan and perhaps green) for colour mixing? Or would that result in odd colour fluctuations as you looked between cobs in the tanks..

Thanks again for the help, it's much appreciated.
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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 10:03 PM
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Boy, lots of questions..
My current "head combo" would be Fresh fish/ crisp white..w/ added row of 660nm red.
You'd need to throw in a few "moonlights" if you didn't want to do white moonlight..found COB's though low dimming just don't seem to go part. low in comparison to smaller chips.. may just be me though and w/ whites..

fresh fish has blue/cyan additions and crisp white throw in a few violet LED's into there COB array

Quote:
* MIXING LIST
----------------------------------------
myData crispwhite.csv [120°] x1
myData fresh-fish-v2.csv [115°] x2
----------------------------------------

* SIMULATION DATA
----------------------------------------
Luminous flux : 10,442 lm
Radiant flux : 38,776 mW
PPF : 172 umol/s
TCP : 5680 K
CRI : 94
λp : 453 nm
Color : #FFD1C8
----------------------------------------

* PERFORMANCE @ 30cm
----------------------------------------
Irradiance : 52.8 W/mē/s
Illuminance : 14,206 lx
PPFD : 234 umol/mē/s


To be honest this quality of chips isn't exactly necessary but as to efficiency and color fidelity you really can't go wrong w/ it.

Add 660nm reds for punch or "full spectrum" chips which wouldn't affect color temp as much as the 660's
full spectrum will give you that more "magenta" glow that you prefer.
The ff/crisp are pretty neutral by themselves..
moonlight channel to taste..

Semi-perfection takes a bit more work..
Quote:
* MIXING LIST
----------------------------------------
myData fullspectrum.csv [120°] x2
myData crispwhite.csv [120°] x1
myData fresh-fish-v2.csv [115°] x1
LED UV (410nm) [120°] x1
LED Violet (420nm) [120°] x1
LED Blue (460nm) [120°] x2
LED Cyan (490nm) [120°] x3
----------------------------------------

* SIMULATION DATA
----------------------------------------
Luminous flux : 7,327 lm
Radiant flux : 30,148 mW
PPF : 132 umol/s
TCP : 6210 K
CRI : 97
λp : 453 nm
Color : #FFB6C1
Hardest thing is finding the diodes..

Play w/ this for awhile:
SPECTRA

Just remember you want to be slightly below the locus not above.. unless you like a green tint..
Keep in mind the theoretical nature of this all and there is always LOT variation or different BINS..


COB design and placement is trickier than using 3W diodes. Will get to that in a moment..
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Jeff,
I have been having a good play with spectrum. What an interesting tool! I found the .csv data I used in another thread.

Quote:
* MIXING LIST
----------------------------------------
myData fresh-fish-v2.csv [115°] x2
myData luxeon-crispwhite-cob-3000k.csv [120°] x1
LED UV (390nm) [120°] x2
PhilipsLumileds Luxeon-Rebel DeepRed (650-670nm) [120°] x2
----------------------------------------

* SIMULATION DATA
----------------------------------------
Luminous flux : 10,748 lm
Radiant flux : 42,026 mW
PPF : 185 umol/s
TCP : 5650 K
CRI : 93
λp : 659 nm
Color : #FFCAC1
----------------------------------------

* PERFORMANCE @ 70cm
----------------------------------------
Irradiance : 10.4 W/mē/s
Illuminance : 2,675 lx
PPFD : 45.9 umol/mē/s
----------------------------------------

by SPECTRA 1.0β @ 1.023world
SPECTRA
Using this mix I seem to have lost some of my CRI and ended up with slightly warmer colour temperature than I expected. I'm assuming this would be corrected by shifting to full spectrum cobs. Most of the loss is on R12 and I can fill it but get compromise elsewhere.
I think adding reds is worthwhile as it will allow me to push more red, orange and warm white for sunset and sunrises.
Though I have a score of 100 is adding UV worthwhile? It's not going to affect look but may give plants a boost?

Having looked at the spectrum of moonlight it's actually not what I expected and I'd probably be happy just dimming a cool white right down! It looks very similar to fresh fish.

My gut feeling is that I should probably start with fresh fish, cool white and red to keep things simple at the start while leaving a couple of channels available for later improvement if needed. Though I'm worried 5600k may be too warm looking.

What I have found interesting is looking at the spectral graphs of some of the commercial lights. They all seem to have notable spikes in the spectrum and I assume this is to enhance specific colours.
In order
ADA solar RBG
Fluval 3.0
Chihrios Vivid and then wrgb
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Last edited by Regent; 06-26-2019 at 05:46 PM. Reason: added graphs, spelling
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 05:57 AM
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Well first, I wouldn't be too concerned w/ the 100 score.. Since the spectrum plot is "relative" one can hit 100 by dimming some of the spiky colors..
It's sort of an artifact effect..

Quote:
* MIXING LIST
----------------------------------------
LED Violet (420nm) [120°] x1
LED RoyalBlue (450nm) [120°] x1
LED Blue (480nm) [120°] x1
LED Cyan (500nm) [120°] x1
LED Green (530nm) [120°] x1
LED Red (630nm) [120°] x1
LED DeepRed (660nm) [120°] x1
----------------------------------------

* SIMULATION DATA
----------------------------------------
Luminous flux : 279 lm
Radiant flux : 2,066 mW
PPF : 8.9 umol/s
TCP : ‑ K
CRI : ‑
λp : 448 nm
Color : #8063FF
Horrible "visual" spectrum though..
Point is that the lowest wavelength is 420..
Violets and particularly UV in the cheaper diodes don't really have good track record of longevity..
Being DIY somewhat mitigates this but look to early replacement of those part. diodes..

funny about real moonlight ..really around 4500k-ish but due to the weakness of our color vision in low light looks more like 10000k..to us.
At least that is how I understand it..


As to RGB fixtures.. they do pop at the expense of subtlety of some tones..same w/ the cyan gap thing..
Easiest way to sort of sum it up is all shades of green look like one color of green.
Same w/ reds and blues.
To be honest it isn't horribly noticeable unless you have an anal bent to you..

Estimate of a "vivid" from published spectrum..
Quote:
* MIXING LIST
----------------------------------------
myData chihrosvivid.csv [90°] x1
----------------------------------------

* SIMULATION DATA
----------------------------------------
Luminous flux : 6,798 lm
Radiant flux : 25,546 mW
PPF : 113 umol/s
TCP : 10100 K
CRI : 76
λp : 447 nm
Color : #E6B4FF
----------------------------------------

* PERFORMANCE @ 50cm
----------------------------------------
Irradiance : 32.5 W/mē/s
Illuminance : 8,656 lx
PPFD : 145 umol/mē/s
----------------------------------------

by SPECTRA 1.0β @ 1.023world
SPECTRA
you can get a higher CRI out of just RGB w/ a bit of current tweaking per channel
UNSTitan
Quote:
* MIXING LIST
----------------------------------------
myData unstitan.txt [120°] x1
----------------------------------------

* SIMULATION DATA
----------------------------------------
Luminous flux : 20,999 lm
Radiant flux : 73,521 mW
PPF : 326 umol/s
TCP : 10200 K
CRI : 88
λp : 458 nm
Color : #76FDFF
----------------------------------------

* PERFORMANCE @ 50cm
----------------------------------------
Irradiance : 31.2 W/mē/s
Illuminance : 8,912 lx
PPFD : 138 umol/mē/s
----------------------------------------

by SPECTRA 1.0β @ 1.023world
SPECTRA
Yellow is sort of a tricky thing..My tanks have(had) a lot of orangy substrates, leached tannins from plants over time, and plants reflect green/yellow more than red/blue so it's sort of always bit there..especially w/ "natural" light.
Not to mention what you see and what a camera ses is almost always different.. So judging images is a bit difficult.
From a personal experience I 've run SORRA COB's (5000k) and fresh fish side by side and there is little difference in "yellow" content..
The cheaper the diode s the more likely you get a separation between the K look..

Building CW/WW/R(orange to deep)/G(cyan)/B(violet to blue/cyan) diy lights sorts of solves most problems w/ color..
Like my fav (on paper) Radion XR15 gen4 freshwater..
simple design really..

Not going to get into the "benefits" or not of adding UV to torture your plants/fish..
nor the current theories on IR addition..
Or the intricacies of light attenuation by bandwidth by depth either..That's for people even more anal than me..
On that note..An early version of my 40b w/ "plain jane" diodes CW/WW/Cyan/royal blue/deep red.



Fresh fish sort of eliminates the need for cyan because of it's high CRI value and WHERE in the spectrum it comes from
Adding cyan, since it is visually "bright" can be distracting for many..so if added needs a channel of it's own and in moderation..
for fun.. a royal blue/deep red/cyan "chip"
https://www.ledgroupbuy.com/solderle...n-coral-white/
Just for the funny -ness of "small" changes in diodes..


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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 03:07 PM
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I also had problems with buying COBs that I wanted, and at last have bought Nicihia COBs NFDWJ130B-V2 COB-LED, 5000K, CRI 90 (lumitronix.com Germany.) Colors are very nice but I added blue, red and violet small leds to play with color and PAR. Maritex from Poland have some good and cheap lenses for COBs.
I have that light more than year on my 125g and it is very nice.

Have added some video of my aquarium
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...l#post11133449
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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Well first, I wouldn't be too concerned w/ the 100 score.. Since the spectrum plot is "relative" one can hit 100 by dimming some of the spiky colors..
It's sort of an artifact effect..
Thanks, that makes life easier!
I have had more of a play with spectrum (i've been on nights so slow replies!)

Quote:
* MIXING LIST
----------------------------------------
myData fresh-fish-v2.csv [115°] x4
myData luxeon-crispwhite-1203-3000k.csv [120°] x2
myData Semileds C3535M 445nm - Royal Blue.csv [125°] x4
myData Semileds C3535M 660nm - Deep Red.csv [125°] x8
PhilipsLumileds Luxeon-III White (4500K-10000K) [120°] x6
LED Violet (420nm) [120°] x2
----------------------------------------

* SIMULATION DATA
----------------------------------------
Luminous flux : 22,529 lm
Radiant flux : 96,563 mW
PPF : 438 umol/s
TCP : 6410 K
CRI : 97
λp : 662 nm
Color : #FFBAC9
----------------------------------------

* PERFORMANCE @ 70cm
----------------------------------------
Irradiance : 22.9 W/mē/s
Illuminance : 5,543 lx
PPFD : 103 umol/mē/s
----------------------------------------
I think this looks like quite a nice mix, though will obviously need dimming!
The blue and cool while I can use for moonlight effects, deep red and crisp white for sunrise and sunset and with fresh fish, crisp white red blue and violet for day time.

I have added the blues to try and boost R12 though I'm struggling to get the CRI about 80 in that wavelength.
Does this seem a reasonable mix? Looking at it I'm not sure I can't achieve 10000k moonlight with freshfish and a blue channel dimmed right down.
If so I'll start looking at the positioning of cobs, power supplies, heatsinks drivers and dimmers!
To be honest the look I have seen that I like most is a 6500k with a bit of red added. And as you've suggested earlier this may be the simplest start point but with the addition of cool while for moonlight.
Attached Images
  

Last edited by Regent; 07-01-2019 at 04:06 PM. Reason: reconsidered 10000k mix
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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marko_Sp View Post
I also had problems with buying COBs that I wanted, and at last have bought Nicihia COBs NFDWJ130B-V2 COB-LED, 5000K, CRI 90 (lumitronix.com Germany.) Colors are very nice but I added blue, red and violet small leds to play with color and PAR. Maritex from Poland have some good and cheap lenses for COBs.
I have that light more than year on my 125g and it is very nice.

Have added some video of my aquarium
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...l#post11133449
Lovely looking tank, I think I can get most LEDS from mouser or by ordering from the USA.
I'm planning to start with Fresh fish and crisp white for my high CRI base then and red blue and cool white channels for most of the day/night effects.
Unfortunately as jeff pointed out I tend to get a bit carried away hunting for perfection.
What Lenses have you found work best for you with COBS?
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post #11 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 05:01 PM
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you boost r12 2w/ 420 Violets...yhough there is interplay w/ other colors.
* MIXING LIST
----------------------------------------
myData crispwhite.csv [120°] x1
myData fresh-fish-v2.csv [115°] x1
LED Violet (420nm) [120°] x14
----------------------------------------

* SIMULATION DATA
----------------------------------------
Luminous flux : 6,773 lm
Radiant flux : 30,553 mW
PPF : 130 umol/s
TCP : 7690 K
CRI : 90
λp : 418 nm
Color : #FFB3DE[/QUOTE]

r12 is 99 w/ the above

Quote:
* MIXING LIST
----------------------------------------
myData crispwhite.csv [120°] x1
myData fresh-fish-v2.csv [115°] x1
LED Violet (420nm) [120°] x14
LED Cyan (490nm) [120°] x1
LED Cyan (500nm) [120°] x1
LED Cyan (510nm) [120°] x13
LED Green (540nm) [120°] x1
LED Amber (580nm) [120°] x1
LED Amber (600nm) [120°] x1
LED Red (610nm) [120°] x1
----------------------------------------
Every swatch is 96 or greater (green 96, r4,r12 97 rest 98 or 99)
but that's just crazy talk..

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post #12 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
you boost r12 2w/ 420 Violets...yhough there is interplay w/ other colors.
* MIXING LIST
----------------------------------------
myData crispwhite.csv [120°] x1
myData fresh-fish-v2.csv [115°] x1
LED Violet (420nm) [120°] x14
----------------------------------------

* SIMULATION DATA
----------------------------------------
Luminous flux : 6,773 lm
Radiant flux : 30,553 mW
PPF : 130 umol/s
TCP : 7690 K
CRI : 90
λp : 418 nm
Color : #FFB3DE
r12 is 99 w/ the above



Every swatch is 96 or greater (green 96, r4,r12 97 rest 98 or 99)
but that's just crazy talk.. [/QUOTE]

I did add a couple of violets, but adding 14 I suspect may be visually distracting! It's hard to know what will work without being able to to actually see the lights here..
Yes I think at the moment the second mix is probably overkill, knowing me i'll do a base build and then continuously tweak! From a CRI perspective, you're spot on with fresh fish and crisp white.

Unfortunately, I can't get fresh fish in the same package as crisp white as mouser will only let me order 1208 crisp white in lots of 100!

I think to start with i'm going to go with 4 fresh fish and 2 crisp white in 2 clusters, This will give me a cri of 99 for my main daytime light with a red 660nm channel, a royal blue and violet channel. I'm guessing i'll need to add cool white to get dim enough for moonlight. The other option is the full spectrum led you mentioned earlier but I can't find anything suitable in the uk.

I think this should cover the tank at about 5 inches off the surface. Any advice for mixing the 3 watt and the cobs?
How have people powered the combination of COB and 3w leds?
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post #13 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Regent View Post

Unfortunately, I can't get fresh fish in the same package as crisp white as mouser will only let me order 1208 crisp white in lots of 100!
Yea, annoying. I managed to snag ONE when they were available..OPP's meant smaller fresh fish COB's..had the same issue at the time..




Quote:
Originally Posted by Regent View Post
I think to start with i'm going to go with 4 fresh fish and 2 crisp white in 2 clusters, This will give me a cri of 99 for my main daytime light with a red 660nm channel, a royal blue and violet channel. I'm guessing i'll need to add cool white to get dim enough for moonlight. The other option is the full spectrum led you mentioned earlier but I can't find anything suitable in the uk.
Sounds good and as to lenses.. really complicates cob/single chip builds..
COB lenses (reflectors) are fairly large..
Stick w/ working w/ the 120 degree "built in" lens..



Quote:
Originally Posted by Regent View Post
I think this should cover the tank at about 5 inches off the surface. Any advice for mixing the 3 watt and the cobs?
How have people powered the combination of COB and 3w leds?

Hmm think some people have...I believe but ??? Since drivers are constant current it will compensate for the voltage differential but to be honest.. ??? w/ such a large difference..
Running reds and violets on one channel has the possible voltage mis-match of 2-3 volts not 30-ish..

Beyond my pay grade..

for fun, this is a power calc..

14776 Lumens fresh fish/3055 Lumens crisp white/ 120mW 420 violet
Quote:
* MIXING LIST
----------------------------------------
myData crispwhite.csv [120°] x1
myData fresh-fish-v2.csv [115°] x4
LED Violet (420nm) [120°] x3
----------------------------------------

* SIMULATION DATA
----------------------------------------
Luminous flux : 17,836 lm
Radiant flux : 67,621 mW
PPF : 298 umol/s
TCP : 6370 K
CRI : 99
λp : 453 nm
Color : #FFDDE7
----------------------------------------
98-100 for all swatches but skin tone r15 (97) and of course saturated blue is low-ish @ 84

now CRI isn't perfect anyways..
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Last edited by jeffkrol; 07-01-2019 at 09:22 PM. Reason: edit
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post #14 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Sticking to 120deg lenses then!

I think my plan is
Channel 1 for fresh fish
Channel 2 for crisp white
Channel 3 for royal blue and violet
Channel 4 for reds
?Channel 5 for 10,000k White

I'm tempted to mount the COBS on individual heatsinks so I can play with their location and the 3w on a Bar.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post

for fun, this is a power calc..

14776 Lumens fresh fish/3055 Lumens crisp white/ 120mW 420 violet


98-100 for all swatches but skin tone r15 (97) and of course saturated blue is low-ish @ 84

now CRI isn't perfect anyways..
That would be nice be nice for day time with just a bit of red added. In fact, that's going to be my start point! I feel I have reached the point for now where some of it is going to be trial and error!

Last edited by Regent; 07-01-2019 at 09:37 PM. Reason: grammar
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post #15 of 28 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone have any controller suggestions for the above setup? I'd like to run in constant current using PWM Meanwell drivers.
I'm guessing the tc420 works even with high powered COBS?

Last edited by Regent; 07-02-2019 at 05:00 PM. Reason: .
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