GU10 Led Light Alternative Project - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
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GU10 Led Light Alternative Project

I have really wanted to get into an LED setup for my new 125 that I am setting up right now, but didn't want to put in that kind of money or time. I started searching for some alternatives and found this thread on nano-reef.com. http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/26743...e-ebay-lights/ It seems that you can reach very good par levels even with the 3x1w models.

Today I purchased 10 cool white (6000k) GU10 9w (3x3) bulbs from a local seller on the famous auction site. With sockets it was only $75. These bulbs are dimmable which I will count on to make sure I don't completely overload my tank. My canopy is huge and therefore have lots of vertical space to work with. The guys on the reef site were getting PAR levels of 800-100 7" from the surface of the tank and water level with 3x1 bulbs. I am planning on hanging these bulbs about 12"-15" from the surface. I should be getting my stuff by the first.

10 bulbs every 6" in a straight line across the tank is the plan. I think i will add some red and blue 3w versions later to accent some of the colors.

I haven't seen many resources on this for planted tanks so I thought I would document and share. Please let me know if you have had any experience with this type of a setup.


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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 05:45 AM
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i had this setup over my reef (except i just used the standard e27 bulb same thing just a stand bulb base) and the optics on those stink and cause bad spot lighting if not high above tank hard to reach a happy medium between too much light and no spotlighting and they dont take well to dimming they use cheap chinese dimmers. i know it says they are capable but the bulbs i had that i dimmed started flickering and went out after a little over a year one i didnt dim still work as far as i know havent used them in awhile
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 05:54 AM
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also if you go with red and blue too i would desolder one from each bulb so each bulb has one of each color it will make it more even. in the reef we used mainly blue and white and if you ran the them seperate you get bad streaks of white blue white spotlights it is fairly easy to take apart and unsolder them and solder back i think we did two white and one blue per bulb on our tank
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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GU10 Led Light Alternative Project

I am not sure where they are made, but I got them from a company in California that has a warranty on them (not to say that they didn't just import them). I did find them with 60d optics, and with a canopy almost 2 feet high, I have 3.5 feet from top to substrate, so hopefully I won't have to do much dimming.

Which format of bulbs were you using over your reef? And did you get them from a Chinese seller?


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 12:59 PM
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I got my bulbs from luck from that thread.

Last I checked a few months ago he wasn't selling them anymore he may be again.

Anyway, I use the actinics they sold on my reef for moon lighting.

One thing I like to note is that if the 3x3W are the same as the 3x1W then that heatsink is way inadequate for them and may burn out depending on how long you use them. Even the 3x1W bulb heatsink gets very hot.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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GU10 Led Light Alternative Project

I did read about the 3x3 perhaps burning out faster, but there also was someone stating that they felt the heat sink was better on the 3x3... I wish I had ordered a couple 3x1's just to use as reference point. I might end up having to replace all these with 3w versions later if it is too much and dimming doesn't do well..


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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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GU10 Led Light Alternative Project

Got everything yesterday and wired. Looks really nice. I was able to get ahold of a PAR meter and will take some readings tonight. The bulbs.are definitely warm after several hours on, but seem to running cool enough, one will tell. I need to order a couple more bulbs for the edges as I am 1-2 short as the wires were shorter than I anticipated.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-01-2013, 11:33 PM
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I made a fixture for a 20" wide (24" deep) tank with those sockets attached to a rail of aluminum strap from the hardware store. The 3x3w bulbs I have used, despite the bigger heat sink, still get CRAZY hot and lately have started to buzz and hum. I am going back to 3x1w lamps for that fixture. YMMV, your bulbs might have better electronics.

Also, heat plus wires plus electrical tape always equals fires in the long run. It looks like you did a pretty good job of cutting that all to length but it would be more safe to pull all that tape off and replace it with those plastic wire nuts. Seriously. They're designed for that kind of thing, and it's not like you have to look at it. Electrical tape is not for insulating AC loads. It's not making it more waterproof, it's just slowly leaching chemicals under heat. If you want a more streamlined wiring look with some amount of real weather proofing, butt connectors and heat shrink are very easy to learn how to use (keyword:youtube on the googlebings). But if you looked at the back of those sockets you know it's just a piece of shiny cardboard so there's no such thing as waterproofing it, so you may as well just use the nuts. At least if the wire nuts catch on fire there's a company your insurance can sue.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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GU10 Led Light Alternative Project

Thanks for tips. Would silicone work also? That would be easier for me...


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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 03:38 AM
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Thanks for the info! Looks like I found my lighting solution for my 200.

If they're dimmable, can you use more bulbs at less power so you don't have a heat problem?


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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 03:44 AM Thread Starter
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GU10 Led Light Alternative Project

There are some that that will dim, I have heard that reduces the life for whatever reason, but theoretically that would seem the case. I just took a couple of par readings and at 16 inches I am getting around 80 or so...I need to take a more detailed approach, but at first glance I think I will be adding another row, or perhaps throwing a strip of PC's to supplement.


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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 03:44 AM
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How much lumen output on your LED? On T5 HO the lumen output is from 83 to 94 per watt.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 03:47 AM Thread Starter
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GU10 Led Light Alternative Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by thejoe View Post
How much lumen output on your LED? On T5 HO the lumen output is from 83 to 94 per watt.
I think I have the specs somewhere around here on what they are...Chinese made bulbs...each bulb is 3 3w emitters. Total of 90 watts.


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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-02-2013, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
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GU10 Led Light Alternative Project

Listing says 580 per lamp, which comes to 64 lumens/watt


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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 06:37 AM
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What gauge wire did you use to connect everything?
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