Mega LED DIY light
Well, lets start with the thoughts...I am major DIY so I like tinkering,,,,I'm still in search of the Holy Grail of easy DIY aquarium light LED's..let me say...this is not it! LOL..
they are 12V 2835 LED's I tried overdriving them to 18V and the got brighter but they got hot. I cranked a few to 24V and let out the magic pixie dust.
This build would be OK for a low light tank, but I have a heavily planted CO2 High tech tank. Don't think this will cut it. Lastly, you always have to deal with putting it on the tank! There is Lots to dislike about doing it like this when you finally put it on the tank.'
Lastly, it was mostly a proof of concept. I Spent $15 for 5m of the LED's ...they came on a VERY slow boat from China. The acrylic sheet was $23 and I still have a chunk of it to use for something else.
With that said, here we go.. this took about 4 hours from start to finish, and nearly all the time was spent stripping wires, tinning and soldering...
Here are the steps and hopefully the picts in the same order.
1. cut the acrylic to outside dimensions of the rim, in the is case a 20l. I used the table saw for this. Acrylic is chippy! Leave the protective film on and wear eye protection.
2. Applying the strips is SUPER easy, they have the 3m tape on them. Lay them out, peel and stick.
3. I did not want to chain them together in series, so I attached pigtails using 3wire Servo wire. Then I twisted the three +_'s together and the 3 -'s together.
I checked each strip as I went.
4. I drilled holes along the edge and ran the wires to the top side of the acrylic. From there I just joined all the +'s from all the pigtails together and all the -'s from all the pigtails together. Those all got attached to a barrel connector.
5. Some electricians tape to hold things down and provide a little stress relief and cable management.
plugged it in and fired it up.
Bump: Closing thoughts. I left enough space between each strip to actually add MORE LED's I have 5m of RGB strips I am going to add. My thinking was, a poor man's 2 channel LED light with adjustable color.
You could put each channel on a timer and have the RGB strips run longer into the night and switch them to blue or something for evening/moon effect.