DIY LED Build (Lots of Pics) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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DIY LED Build (Lots of Pics)

Hey Guys,

Just wanted to share my LED build.

I used black 20mm anodized aluminum for my heat sink, and purchased the LEDs and associated accessories from ledgroupbuy.

7 8 x CW XML2 (@ 1000ma)
7 8 x WW XML2 (@ 1000ma)
4 x OCW (RGB) (@ 500ma)

I chose the XML2 as they are really efficient, and I could get away running them without cooling or fan noise. I'm running them only at 1amp (3 watts). I can always upgrade the driver and power supply and go as high as 10 watts if ever necessary. (And of course add cooling)

My tank is a 46g bowfront which has a glass lid that I intend on using, so I did not need to add a shield to protect the wiring or LEDs. However, because of the hinge on the lid, I was limited to keeping the fixture narrow and went with a single row of LEDs spaced approx 2" apart.

I left a gap in the middle of the fixture to account for the tank bracing. Due to the bow, I used 60 degree optics on the 2 LEDs closest to the edge, and 80 degree optics on the other LEDS. The OCW have built-in 90 degree optics. This helped fill out the bow in front without wasting as much light on the sides of the tank where its narrower.

The image below shows only 50% of the optic angle as most of the LED light is within that zone.






Here is the unit after wiring it up.


I tapped the ends of the extrusion and cut out black acrylic for the end caps. I might cut some out that are slightly larger as some of the aluminum peaks through these.



I tapped the extrusions to accept 4-40 screws so that the LEDs could be changed out if necessary. Thermal compound was used between the LED and the extrusion. Lenses were attached using a hot-glue gun.



Here is how the unit sits on the tank - and you can see the hinge on the glass lid I mentioned earlier.



Here are the drivers and power supply (48v). I went with 5 channels total, one for the CW and WW, and one each for the RGB on the OCW board as I wired them individually for better colour control.



The box was laser cut and then stained. Connectors were added to go to the LEDs, and another for the PWM control which are temporarily wired to an Arduino UNO until I sort out how I'm going to control everything more permanently.






And finally, a shot of them in action!




According to hoppy's awesome calculator (https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=168999), using an average of 371 lumens (412 cw, 330ww) - I get ~54 PAR where the 80 degree lenses are at the substrate, higher at the edges.

Cheers,

Last edited by renesis; 01-13-2015 at 06:28 PM. Reason: Wrong LED qty
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 05:22 PM
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Nice write up.

What was your final cost on the build?

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 05:32 PM
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Wow, great job! I am thinking about doing something similar for my 55 gallon, so I hope you don't mind if I ask a few questions. I noticed that you were using the MeanWell LDD-H drivers, and I was planning on using those as well, but I am still looking for a power supply so I was wondering if you could provide a link for it. I was planning on using 2 rows of LEDs with 60 degree optics, but I was wondering how you decided which angle of optics you used.

I hope my light turns out as good as yours! You did a really great job!
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GraphicGr8s View Post
Nice write up.

What was your final cost on the build?
Thanks!

I haven't added everything up... but roughly:

LEDs, Drivers, Power Supply, Optics $200US including shipping & insurance to Canada (ledgroupbuy had a 25% off black friday sale) - Could definitely have done it cheaper had i put the OCW on a single driver, but I wanted the control.

Aluminum and bits were scraps from another project ordered from Misumi, but purchased would probably be $75-100ish CDN. I'm sure there are cheaper sources for aluminum extrusion as well.

Wooden box was from the dollar store

Quote:
Originally Posted by ac0xr
Wow, great job! I am thinking about doing something similar for my 55 gallon, so I hope you don't mind if I ask a few questions. I noticed that you were using the MeanWell LDD-H drivers, and I was planning on using those as well, but I am still looking for a power supply so I was wondering if you could provide a link for it. I was planning on using 2 rows of LEDs with 60 degree optics, but I was wondering how you decided which angle of optics you used.

I hope my light turns out as good as yours! You did a really great job!
Thanks! I don't mind at all.

I used this power supply power supply

I did find cheaper ones on eBay and such, but liked that this one didn't have a fan and was silent. Make sure you calculate your power requirements before selecting one.

3.75amps was enough for mine as I have 2 strings at 1000ma, and 3 at 500ma (total 3500ma if all are running at max). If I ever upgrade or add LEDs, I will need up up my supply as well.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 06:09 PM
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I count 16 whites..........

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 06:12 PM
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Nice job. How did you laser cut the box, did you do it or a shop? How much did it cost?

I never knew how the RGB's got hooked up, I wondered how they would be controlled and thought they needed a specific driver or controller.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
I count 16 whites..........
Good catch, 8 of each then!

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by robsworld78 View Post
Nice job. How did you laser cut the box, did you do it or a shop? How much did it cost?

I never knew how the RGB's got hooked up, I wondered how they would be controlled and thought they needed a specific driver or controller.
I am lucky enough that my wife has one

Its not anything too powerful or large as she uses it for laser cut invitations (her business), so cutting wood even at 1/8" thickness takes a few passes.

The OCW leds come wired in series - so they can be run off 1 driver. I cut the traces between the LEDs so that I could wire them up separately- not sure if it was necessary to cut the traces or not, but when testing them with the traces intact - I'd get a random other colour lighting up.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 06:29 PM
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Do you have a link for that laser cutter, how much is it worth? I might want something like that.

Ah, your mod to the LED's make sense to me. If the 3 colors shared the same driver I can't see how you can change each color and is why I figured a special controller/driver was required. What you did makes perfect sense to me and I think I will be doing the same. I want to add color to mine but don't like the idea of having lots and lots of LED's.

Would you be able to post a picture of just the red, the green and then blue, keeping the whites off?
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by robsworld78 View Post
Do you have a link for that laser cutter, how much is it worth? I might want something like that.

Ah, your mod to the LED's make sense to me. If the 3 colors shared the same driver I can't see how you can change each color and is why I figured a special controller/driver was required. What you did makes perfect sense to me and I think I will be doing the same. I want to add color to mine but don't like the idea of having lots and lots of LED's.

Would you be able to post a picture of just the red, the green and then blue, keeping the whites off?
The laser was from these guys, http://fslaser.com/

They don't have the same model as we have the older 4th gen which was quite different. Their support can be a nightmare post-sale though. Other than that, its a decent laser.

The extrusion from this build is actually what I'm using to build a larger format laser for her, as she's outgrown it quite quickly.

I can post those pics up for you when I get home tonight.


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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 06:45 PM
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Looks good but out of my budget. You're lucky your wife lets you use it.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renesis View Post
Good catch, 8 of each then!

The OCW leds come wired in series - so they can be run off 1 driver. I cut the traces between the LEDs so that I could wire them up separately- not sure if it was necessary to cut the traces or not, but when testing them with the traces intact - I'd get a random other colour lighting up.

I thought you could get them either way or easier than cutting traces ...
Quote:
The LEDs on the board are wired in series which needs 8.6v @ 500mA (40w 700mA driver and a POT will achieve this easily). If need be, each LED can also be separately wired to different drivers.
At the current pricing they are a pretty good deal..

anyways.. more expensive but Steves has custom 3 up boards and you can pick your colors.. series or single..
OCW color choice is just fine :
Quote:
OCW = 470nm 495nm 660nm (Ocean Coral White)
Excellent job btw..


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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-13-2015, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by robsworld78 View Post
Looks good but out of my budget. You're lucky your wife lets you use it.
She gets free maintenance and tech support out of the deal

Here are the pics!


Red 255


Green 255


Blue 255


Warm White 255


Cool White 255

Here are a couple of bonus pics blending the RGB


R,G,B - 255


R - 255, B - 50



Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
I thought you could get them either way or easier than cutting traces ...
Thanks Jeff,

Awesome diagram too! Added those mostly for colour adjustment, glad it will give the plants a bit of a boost too.

They sell them the same way, there's a wiring diagram in one of the pics showing how to wire it on separate drivers- and it may have worked when all 3 drivers are hooked up... but when I was testing each string on one driver, it would light up 1 or 2 of the wrong colour. I decided it would be easier to just cut the traces than investigate.



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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 01:15 AM
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Nice pics, I think I'm going to order some of these, they seem to do a good job.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ac0xr View Post
I was planning on using 2 rows of LEDs with 60 degree optics, but I was wondering how you decided which angle of optics you used.
Missed answering this!

I did a lot of reading before ordering, but it really depends on how high your lights are going to be from the tank, the higher they are - the lower angle you want to keep the light within the tank.

I kept mine on the lid, so I went with a higher angle to spread the light more.

I drew up my tank dimensions in Sketchup (first pic in the thread), and then created light cones at 50% of the lens. (I.e - 60º lens = 30º cone)
Reason for this is that majority of the light will be concentrated in that 50% area. I then made sure that where 50% of the cone hits the substrate, that most of the tank was covered.

2 rows would be better than 1 for spread, and it would provide more even lighting closer to the surface of the water than 1 row.

What are the dimensions of your tank? Planned fixture size? Desired PAR? I can definitely help you plan it if you'd like.


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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-14-2015, 02:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renesis View Post
Missed answering this!

I did a lot of reading before ordering, but it really depends on how high your lights are going to be from the tank, the higher they are - the lower angle you want to keep the light within the tank.

I kept mine on the lid, so I went with a higher angle to spread the light more.

I drew up my tank dimensions in Sketchup (first pic in the thread), and then created light cones at 50% of the lens. (I.e - 60º lens = 30º cone)
Reason for this is that majority of the light will be concentrated in that 50% area. I then made sure that where 50% of the cone hits the substrate, that most of the tank was covered.

2 rows would be better than 1 for spread, and it would provide more even lighting closer to the surface of the water than 1 row.

What are the dimensions of your tank? Planned fixture size? Desired PAR? I can definitely help you plan it if you'd like.
My tank is a standard 55 gallon, so it is 48in wide, 12in deep, and 20in high. I was thinking about making the fixture 40 inches long, with 2 rows of LEDs with a spacing of 4 inches between the rows, and a spacing of 2 inches between the LEDs. There would be 20 LEDs in each row. I hope that makes sense! That was a good idea to use Sketchup to visualize how the LEDs would illuminate the tank. I'll have to try that.

I'm looking for medium/high light, so something with at least 60 PAR or so. The LEDs I'm planning on using are 200lm @ 700ma. With Hoppy's excellent spreadsheet, it looks like my light would have 80 PAR at the substrate using 200lm LEDs, 60 degree optics, and with the light 24 inches above the substrate.

Thanks for answering my power supply question. I think that would work fine for me as well. I'm planning on running 3 MeanWell LDD-700-H drivers, but I think that power supply should be able to handle up to 5 of those drivers if I ever wanted to add more.

Thanks for all the help!
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