I've looked at different pre-packaged moonlight systems and other semi-DIY systems (christmas lights, etc) and haven't found anything that i really liked. Due to my knowledge of electronics and my slight ability to create hardware for this, i'm going to build my own DIY LED Moonlight. Here's the start:
-White and Blue LED's. I never liked a pure blue moonlight, and i thought white was a bit too pale for my taste, so i'm mixing it appx 2:1 blue to white led's
-fair distribution across the tank. I don't like the idea of having one or two led's creating point source lights on opposite corners of the tank, so i would rather go with more dim LED's creating a fairly consistent glow pattern.
-CHEAP! I don't want to spend more than $15 on this.
-Finished look. It can't look like a bunch of lumber thrown on top of my tank... i have to stare at it multiple times a day.
-adapted to my tank. I have 2 pc lights above my tank, with no room to put the moonlights below them, so the fixture will be mounted on top of the pc fixtures, with the led's hanging down between them.
-H bracket across the pc fixtures, so that the led's are mounted on the cross beam and hanging between the fixtures (schematics to come in the future).
-Hollow cross beam to hide the wires from plain view.
-coaxial cable to carry the power and ground rails to the lights. I'm thinking a retooled RCA cable might work.
-Modular design. I want to be able to change the lights out with ease, switching white with blue or even other colors if i want.
-Transformer harvested from my "lost electronics box", will provide DC power to the bulbs.
-I want the structural pieces to match my coralife pc fixtures, so i'll look for a brass or copper beam to use (or maybe painted wood?)
-1" dispersion of the led's. These led's aren't that powerful, so a 1" dispersion will light the tank up, but not make it so light that it's a day light.
-27 Total LED's, 10 White, 17 Blue.
I wanted to test out the brightness of the bulbs, especially with regards to the tank, so i wired up some on a breadboard, and plugged in the transformer. Here are the results:
Any advice, questions, comments, etc.?