LED build 240 gallon - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2013, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 43
LED build 240 gallon

I've been reading up on all the great LED builds on this forum and want to give it a shot. My experience with electronics, other than tinkering with computer hardware, is minimal. Here we go:

Aquarium 72Lx30Wx25H

Fixture (3) 18 inch Makers Led Kits
Top view

Bottom view

Cluster composition (2 per fixture, 6 total):
3 cree xml cool white
3 cree xml warm white
2 exotic ocean coral white
1 blue led for moonlight in the middle of each fixture

Project Goals:
1. Ability to produce right to left sunrise/sunset.
2. Ability to produce right to left moonrise/moonset.
3. Ability to dim cool white, warm white, and blue moonlight on each heatsink independently. (Ocean coral whites can be wired to the same driver as independent fixture dimming is not as crucial.)
4. Power supplies, drivers, and controllers must be placed inside of aquarium stand to reduce the hanging weight of the fixture.
5. Produce enough light to grow most aquatic plant species.
6. Produce an attractive color and “shimmer effect”.


1. Will this configuration produce enough PAR to grow plants and provide an even spread of light?
2. What height above the substrate should the fixture be placed?
3. What optics to use, 40 or 60 degrees?
4. What driver(s) to use?

Your comments, advice, and suggestions are appreciated.
prp427 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2013, 10:44 PM
Planted Tank Guru
PTrader: (84/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,015
It is very unlikely that this will give you uniform lighting over the whole length of the tank. It would be more likely to work well if the heatsinks were parallel to the length of the tank. Here is one method for estimating how many of what LEDs it takes to achieve the PAR that you want, at the distance from the substrate you want the light to be: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...999&highlight=

Hoppy is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2013, 12:28 AM
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: River Falls, WI
Posts: 34
I'm planning a LED build for my 200.

Similar size to your tank. I'll be watching!

I've got a spreadsheet I've been using to model intensity and spectra for design. My calculations show that the your lighting should be good (maximum PAR approx 80 with Hoppy's spreadsheet if I've done it correctly - you might want to be able to dim your lights), but I agree with Hoppy - it won't cover the tank evenly. I'd put it in three - six clusters along the length of the tank rather than six along the edges.

Optics depend upon how high above the tank you want to be. I'll be using 60 degree optics with the lights about 15 inches above (about as far us as I can get). If I could I'd go further up and tighten up the optics, that way you get less of a difference in light intensity from the top of the tank to the bottom.

So now the experts can chime in and let me know if my advice is correct!
cheesehead is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2013, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 43
Thanks Hoppy, it makes sense to place it parallel. The majority of plants will be toward the center of the aquarium. No need to shine intense light on a sand border. Here is a revised rough sketch:

The heatsinks will be 6 inches from the the aquarium edge and 3 inches apart.
prp427 is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-10-2013, 02:12 AM
Planted Tank Guru
PTrader: (84/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,015
My spreadsheet doesn't work with clusters like that, only uniformly spaced rows. So, I have no idea how much PAR you would get with this.

Hoppy is offline  


Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome