DIY LED fixture with 4 channel dimming - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-26-2019, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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DIY LED fixture with 4 channel dimming

Back in 2012 i had to drain my last tank, as we were going to move to our new house.
This was a 325L saltwater tank, with a dimmable DIY light fixture. I had great success with this fixture, and did not miss the T5/HQi mix i had.
The fixture consisted of 48x3W leds, and had the same LUX output as 4x54W T5 and 2x250W HQi(!).
With four dimmable channels it was possible to balance the perceived light to my likings. I also loved the smooth transition from darkness to full light without scaring the fish.
As this worked so well back then, I will try this route once more, so here we go:

Diodes:
16xCREE XP-G3 coolwhite 6500K
16xCREE XP-G3 neutralwhite 5000K
16xCREE XP-G3 warmwhite 3000K
9x CREE XP-E photored (660nm) and 9x CREE XP-E2 red (620nm)
No lenses at the moment.

Drivers:
MeanWell LDD-H-4S driver board from RapidLED with LDD-1500H for whites and LDD-1000H for reds.


Powersupply:
MeanWell SE-350-48

Heatsink:
MakersLED 48" aluminium heat sink with T-slots.

Controller:
Typhon reef, 4 channel, 5 and 10V PWM-dimming, DIY Arduino controller.

The build was very straight forward because of the T-slots in the heatsink. No drilling and tapping needed.
The BIG pain was cleaning up the code on the controller. This was written in Arduino 0022 back in 2010, and I could not find the correct libraries any more. This meant I had to rewrite large parts of the code, which for me was a HUGE challenge, as I am quite a noob on coding.
After tens of hours with Arduino, it is finally working!!!

I am very eager to see how the light will look like, and if I can grow plants with this LED combination.
Now I just have to wait for the replacement for the tank to arrive, as the first one arrived with a chipped corner.
Maybe I should use the time wisely and build an enclosure for the electronics?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 06:01 PM
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Did you get the new tank yet? I've been looking at building my own LED light, but considering I'm not into programming I think I'm gonna buy a commercial fixture instead. Still very interesting to read about people who do put the effort in.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-27-2020, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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No, the new tank has not arrived yet. There is a new model coming, and the old model is out of stock. New model is coming with three layer laminated optiwhite glass. Never heard of laminated glass on an aquarium.

I like the flexibility when DIYing fixtures. Not always cheaper, but you are able to do changes at any time
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-29-2020, 06:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hujeta View Post
Did you get the new tank yet? I've been looking at building my own LED light, but considering I'm not into programming I think I'm gonna buy a commercial fixture instead. Still very interesting to read about people who do put the effort in.
Programming can be bought fairly cheaply.. From around $25 (TC-420) to a couple of $100 (bluefish full version).
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"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-12-2020, 03:36 AM
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Wow very nice build and very well layed out! The makers heat sinks are great. I don't see any blue or royal blue leds. Does having the 6500K give enough crispness to the color? Have you used a Bluefish controller? Im planning on that for my build.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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The controller is a DIY project created back in 2010. It costs around $50 in parts and is quite easy to assemble. The big issue was to update the code to work with current versions of Arduino. I guess I will share the code here as soon as I know it works as it is supposed to.
The original thread about the controller can be found here:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=1847680

There is no blues at the moment. I might change some of the white chips with blue LEDs if the colour becomes too warm.

The tank has arrived and I am looking at ways to suspend the fixture at the moment.
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