DIY LED Build *Pic heavy*
Please be easy on me as this is my first DIY build and writeup after researching the forums.
I should have posted this while it was fresh in my memory a while back but wanted to see results of this build before I posted. I took a electronics class to figure this stuff because electronics is all new to me. Since then I have gained some knowledge that I would like to share with people who are interested in doing a DIY like this. Without further a-do here are some pictures of the process.
1 x Corsair CX-430 Power supply ~$25
6 x Cree XR-E Q5 Emitter on Premium Star (228LM at 1A) (Dealextreme) ~$15
6 x 60 Degree CREE XR-E Lens/Optics (black) (RapidLED) ~$6
2 x 1-1/2 in. x 48 in. Flat Bar 1/8 in. Thick Aluminum (Home Depot) ~$25
1 x Arctic Silver Alumina AATA-5G Thermal Adhesive (Newegg) ~$8
The attached pictures show the process in steps.
Schmatics is the last image called parallelled.
The plan was to use a $25 computer power supply CX-430 I picked up off of newegg while it was on sale for the power source instead of using a pre bought LED power driver like a meanwell. What I wanted to do with this light was to run them in parallel instead of series since computer power supply run usually at higher amps and lower voltage as opposed to a LED driver you purchase which is usually higher voltage and constant amps. My thinking at the time was that parallel is better because if one bulb blew out, I would still have lights that would still run.
After that I thermal glued the leds onto aluminum bars, purchased from home depot, for heatsink purposes. Yes I know home depot is not the best choice as it was pretty expensive but I looked around and was not able to find a good source for aluminum locally.
After some soldering and wiring it worked!
After running this setup for over 6 months it is still going strong and shows no sign of any problems. This would be a cool setup for a very low light setup like a shrimp tank with moss.
Some lessons learned from this DIY:
-Was running the leds in parallel over series a good idea? No, I do not think so because if a bulb had blew out, it would throw the voltages out of whack and would still cause troubles.
-I thought running 6 x Cree XR-E Q5 Emitter (228LM at 1A) would be sufficient lighting to grow lights since it is super bright to the human eye and supposedly gives you around 1000 lumens of light. However this was not the case.
-I did not think it would be a problem running a potentiometer to dim the leds to different brightness. However finding a potentiometer at a high wattage rating was close to impossible. After hooking it up it got way too hot real quick so had to remove potentiometer. Using a PWM setup is the way to go to dim the lights.
I may have missed way too much detail as I'm writing this in a haste. So if you have any questions feel free to ask in this thread. Thanks for checking this out and I appreciate any comments and feedback.