DIY LED Pennant? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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DIY LED Pennant?

I have been contimplating attempting a pennant light to mount over my Flora for a few weeks, at first I was thinking CFL like what I have now, but then my brother in law in a conversation asked if I wanted a handful of the 6500k LED's that his company uses for signs. I said sure lol. Now I am thinking of using them to build the pennant. My question would be. Without knowing the specs on the LED's yet (he said something about 12volt 6500k's) how many roughly would I need for this? I was afraid I would overdo it and cause my plants to burst into flames under water lol.

I was talking with Rockhoe14er and he said that this controller might work. http://www.rapidled.com/servlet/the-...50mA%29/Detail
since I might only need a few LED's. I would also like to be able to dim the fixture so that I would not have to mount it 30+ inches above the flora as it is right next to my computer.

Thanks in advance for the help, I will post some specs on the LED's when I am able to get ahold of them.


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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 03:29 PM
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You need to know the details on the LEDs. LEDs that are used for signage applications are typically lower output than we typically use, and very tight angle. Not very useful.

If you want to be able to dim the LEDs, then that driver you linked to will not work. It's a fixed output driver.

The parts that you are going to need (number of LEDs, drivers, heatsink size, lenses, etc...) is going to be dependant on your setup. We need to know tank size, how high you would like to mount the array, and what your desired lighting level is. With dimmable drivers, it's easy to make a setup that is overpowered, and just dial it down to what is required.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by evilc66 View Post
You need to know the details on the LEDs. LEDs that are used for signage applications are typically lower output than we typically use, and very tight angle. Not very useful.

If you want to be able to dim the LEDs, then that driver you linked to will not work. It's a fixed output driver.

The parts that you are going to need (number of LEDs, drivers, heatsink size, lenses, etc...) is going to be dependant on your setup. We need to know tank size, how high you would like to mount the array, and what your desired lighting level is. With dimmable drivers, it's easy to make a setup that is overpowered, and just dial it down to what is required.
Thanks for the reply. The the company he works for does large exterior signs. I will try to get the spec's here soon. The tight angle I do not think will be a problem, the tank is a fluvial flora, the footprint of the tank is 12"x12"x14" I figured it would not need many led's. It is set up now as a high light tank. I wish to hang it 4-6" off the top of the tank, more if needed to get the spread to cover the whole footprint. I would like to have the future dimmable

Thanks for the help so far, I know I do not have all of the info yet, but wanted to get a start on figuring some things out


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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 04:21 PM
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You'll have better luck with a "pendant" light than a "pennant" light.




Unless you intended to design some sort of flag-shaped light.


Without the exact specs of the light, anything is guessing. There are bajillion kinds of leds out there.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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You'll have better luck with a "pendant" light than a "pennant" light.




Unless you intended to design some sort of flag-shaped light.


Without the exact specs of the light, anything is guessing. There are bajillion kinds of leds out there.
Lol I need to stop spending so much time posting on my iPhone and use my computer, at least that was the least embarrassing word replacement the phone has made


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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
Thanks for the reply. The the company he works for does large exterior signs. I will try to get the spec's here soon. The tight angle I do not think will be a problem, the tank is a fluvial flora, the footprint of the tank is 12"x12"x14" I figured it would not need many led's. It is set up now as a high light tank. I wish to hang it 4-6" off the top of the tank, more if needed to get the spread to cover the whole footprint. I would like to have the future dimmable

Thanks for the help so far, I know I do not have all of the info yet, but wanted to get a start on figuring some things out
You are right in that a tank like that won't need many LEDs, but that's with what we consider typical high power LEDs. Signage companies can't use these LEDs often just because of the cost involved.

Now, what you consider tight angle, and what they consider tight angle are two different things. If the LEDs were in the 40-60 degree range (40 is what we consider fairly tight), they could be usefull, if the output was where it needs to be. If we are talking about moving signs (LED billboards), they typically use LEDs with angles as small as 4 degrees. Remember, they only need to point the light at you, not everywhere else.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Well, he gave me all of the info he has on the lights. I am still not sure if they would work lol.

This is what the PDF has written about them.

I can try to get a pic of the pdf up when I get home, but for now this is what I have. They are listed as Liberty Series LED, by Direct LED (assumed)

When I do a google search, I get emergency light bars for law enforcement lol

Key Features
Up to 40% brighter than major brands
White and Red available in both standard and mini modules.
2 LED modules per foot (standard)
100% waterproof with soft epoxy molding (IP-66 Rating)
Simple splicing with individually insulated connecting wires
120 degree viewing angle - decreases letter face “hot spots”
Peel and stick fastening
Simple color ID - positive wire is color coded to match LED color
Low power consumption - 0.36 watt per module
Can run up to 83 feet on one class 2 power supply
Excellent light output per foot
True white color temperature (8500K CCT)
No power supply polarity issues - wires can be criss-crossed
4 year Warranty
UL Listed


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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 10:24 PM
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I'm 99% sure I know exactly what LED modules this is refering to. Whatever company is selling them, they don't make them. They are made in massive quantities in China. Regardless of that, they are only 0.36W per module. That's going to be fairly limiting.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-24-2011, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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I'm 99% sure I know exactly what LED modules this is refering to. Whatever company is selling them, they don't make them. They are made in massive quantities in China. Regardless of that, they are only 0.36W per module. That's going to be fairly limiting.
Looks like I will go a different path then for the led's
I will throw something together tonight and see what everyone thinks before I do any ordering lol


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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 06:25 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, I was thinking: (I am very noobish with led's so far, so correct me if it will not work for what I am wanting to do)

The fixture itself must be pleasing in our living room per my wife. So I was going to rig up the light, and install it within a pendant glass enclosure like so

http://www.lowes.com/pd_266576-1811-...ant&facetInfo=

or

http://www.lowes.com/pd_31254-1811-I...ant&facetInfo=

I will use Aircraft cable to string the light for mounting from the ceiling. (and plugging into an outlet) hopefully the fixture including the heatsink can be concealed within the glass enclosure. Do you think its possible?

For the fixture I was thinking these items, although there are still many questions as
how many LED's I would need to get into a high light catagory?
is there an affordable dimmer driver that would work well for this application?
Can I get a circular heat sink that would fit within the glass bulb that would work?
and can it be glued or epoxied into the glass?


White Cree MC-E Star
http://www.ledsupply.com/creemce-w430.php

as for which optics to use, I am at a loss lol.
I am having a hard time finding a driver that is dimmable

I have no idea on how many LED's I would need for the fixture. I would like to mount it 4-12" off the top of the tank, have it dimmable. I do have help to wire the fixture correctly. The other requirement is that it must be as affordable as possible or I risk ticking off the one who pulls the money strings lol.


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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 06:45 AM
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How would these LEDs work in your Lowes pendant shades?

Steve


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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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How would these LEDs work in your Lowes pendant shades?
Wow way to pricey, I was Hoping to do the DIY pendant for about that price total. I do not have any of the materials purchased yet. The fixture itself would be a glass shade with epoxied aircraft wire, no screw in pre wired parts at all. If that makes sense lol


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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 07:22 AM
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Well you wouldn't need any special circuitry as these are 120v and can be dimmed with a standard dimmer switch. You can get these on fleabay for a lot cheaper if you don't mind the drop shipping delays from China.

Steve


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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 05:38 PM
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How would these LEDs work in your Lowes pendant shades?
That lamp probably wouldn't be my first choice, as it has a 3000K color temperature. PARXX type lamps wouldn't be a bad way to go. Finding wide angle lenses (60 degrees or greater) on some of the ebay lamps can be tough, but not impossible. We have had good success with them in the reef world, but I'm sure you don't want to pay the prices that we usually charge for custom LED setups, and top end LEDs. Something in a 7-12W range with 60 degree lenses and a 6500K color temperature should do the trick. You can use tighter lenses (40 degrees is common), but you would have to mount the lamp higher to get the appropriate coverage.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 05-25-2011, 05:57 PM
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There were some 6500 K & 5000 K bulbs in there too. You could also do a track lighting setup with multiple adjustable bulbs for good focused coverage with narrow angle spot lights.

Steve


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