Mega LED DIY light - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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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.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 10:01 AM
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so,
1. That acrlyic is working as a heatsink? In long run I think it would sag in and drop into water.

2. The 3M adhesive will not be a long term adhesive, you will need to try something else, may be epoxy. Or try to bolt it onto the material.

3. Looks neat!!

...and using aluminum heatsink in place of the acrlyic will give it much longer life!


How hot is it when you touch it?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saiko View Post
so,
1. That acrlyic is working as a heatsink? In long run I think it would sag in and drop into water.

2. The 3M adhesive will not be a long term adhesive, you will need to try something else, may be epoxy. Or try to bolt it onto the material.

3. Looks neat!!

...and using aluminum heatsink in place of the acrlyic will give it much longer life!


How hot is it when you touch it?
1. The acrylic is enough of a heatsink, these are being driven at 12V and they don't even get warm.

2. They were very difficult to peel off, but with exposure to moisture they may give!

Yes the sheet sages, I didn't really consider the full sheet just set on top as the final solution, it needs reinforcing, built into a box or something. Like I mentioned, just a concept, and the hardest part is always getting it to work on top of the tank.

I also do't like that it covers the entire top and seals it up. Stops evaporation but exposes the electronics to a lot of moisture. AND no way to easily drop in food etc.

I think I may cut down the length a little.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 05:19 PM
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Add one of these for 4ch programming.. Keep to the 4A /channel spec..

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Add one of these for 4ch programming.. Keep to the 4A /channel spec..
Tell me more about that....like where do you get one?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 07:07 PM
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Tell me more about that....like where do you get one?
mostly China and fleabay..



Search TC420 led

$30-$40........

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting, but it will double the price of the project! LOL..
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 07:52 PM
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Interesting, but it will double the price of the project! LOL..
They used to be cheaper..
w/ some digging you might still find some for 20-30

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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You suppose there is a cheap Arduino knock off in there? That power jack and USB end look suspicious??
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 11:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ichy View Post
You suppose there is a cheap Arduino knock off in there? That power jack and USB end look suspicious??
Probably..........

Starting w/ the "basic" high output circuit "
Quote:
From what you would gather from Hackaday’s immense library of builds and projects over several years, the only way to do PWM is with a microcontroller, some code, a full-blown IDE, or even a real-time operating system. To some readers, we’re sure, this comes naturally and with an awesome toolchain it can be as easy as screwing in a light bulb. There is, of course, an easier way.


http://hackaday.com/2013/09/15/the-e...-a-pwm-dimmer/

and figuring in a control circuit substitute using the native 0-5PWM of the aduino..ect..



See simple...
https://learn.adafruit.com/rgb-led-strips/usage



optically isolated FET..
https://arduino-info.wikispaces.com/...PowerFetSwitch


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Last edited by jeffkrol; 05-12-2015 at 12:07 AM. Reason: stuff
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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lmao..that 555 is pretty old school man! LOL..
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-12-2015, 03:24 AM
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Quote:
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lmao..that 555 is pretty old school man! LOL..
Quote:
Introduced in 1971 by American company Signetics, the 555 is still in widespread use due to its ease of use, low price, and stability. It is now made by many companies in the original bipolar and also in low-power CMOS types. As of 2003, it was estimated that 1 billion units are manufactured every year
SNAS548D–FEBRUARY 2000

REVISED JANUARY 2015
http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/lm555.pdf

Not extinct yet...

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