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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm considering taking the loud,hot lighting system out of my 29 gallon Biocube and converting it diy to LEDS.
I have almost zero understanding of any of it but would like to learn. I also would like to know enough to rebuild and repair outdoor solar lights.
I have done wiring in my home and have a basic understanding.

What I hope someone can recommend is a book that I can use as reference (bad memory) and would explain techniques and principles??

Thanks in advance for your assistance.
 

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I'm considering taking the loud,hot lighting system out of my 29 gallon Biocube and converting it diy to LEDS.
I have almost zero understanding of any of it but would like to learn. I also would like to know enough to rebuild and repair outdoor solar lights.
I have done wiring in my home and have a basic understanding.

What I hope someone can recommend is a book that I can use as reference (bad memory) and would explain techniques and principles??

Thanks in advance for your assistance.
Remind me to send or post some info for you by PM.

I am too tired to dig them up now.

Too bad you are so far away-I run DIY LED party in my place every once a while so that peers can share the info and experience. The more advanced friends can spot the less experienced in New York City.

You, may, or well, may not be in luck.
I would have done the Bio Cube 29 this coming week if not because I feel like to use it as my discus breeding tank. If I decide to use it as a display tank or SW tank, I can writeup a complete LED retro and you can simply follow.



BTW, why loud?
 

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I thought I saw a lighting kit retrofit for a biocube somewhere, not sure if it was for a planted tank or salt setup though. Will look for it and post back if I find it.

Edit: That was at RapidLed, $225... yikes. Also the kit looks more geared towards salt, I wonder if they will substitute LED colors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Remind me to send or post some info for you by PM.

I am too tired to dig them up now.

Too bad you are so far away-I run DIY LED party in my place every once a while so that peers can share the info and experience. The more advanced friends can spot the less experienced in New York City.

You, may, or well, may not be in luck.
I would have done the Bio Cube 29 this coming week if not because I feel like to use it as my discus breeding tank. If I decide to use it as a display tank or SW tank, I can writeup a complete LED retro and you can simply follow.



BTW, why loud?
The fans make a loud humming noise when the light is on. It's normal but I don't like it.
I actually ran air line into the garage(no cars and I can shut it off and it's in a large box filter system) to keep the noise out. The tank is in my living room.
We can set in the living room and hear the birds and chirping of my hermit crabs with the crickets.
I guess it's what your willing to put up with as far as noise. I also like the trickling water sound from the biocube, kinda like having a fountain in the room.
As far as lighting I also have a bunch of really nice solar lights that stopped working that someone was going to throwout for the yard. I am so tired of (made in china) products that fail after a month or so. They are copper and really nice just need to learn to how to DIY.
 

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There are several good LED threads here. Hoppy did a detailed description with pictures of a couple of builds. After following those, I ordered a couple dozen emitters and drivers from Chinese suppliers and built two fixtures. Are they the best I could do now? Nope, but I'm still enjoy the fact that I can now follow the discussions and build LED fixtures.

My first build or experiment, was one emitter on a large computer heat sink using a small 3 watt constant current driver. The hardest part was figuring out the color coding on the $2.00 driver. Add $3.00 for an 3 watt emitter and my qualms about getting started, were over.
 

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I started by reading a post or a download from Evil, as I recall, which was a great intoduction to LEDs. I believe it was in this forum, and was a question about why so few of us ever considered using LEDs for planted tanks. I searched for it but didn't find it.
 

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I assumed you are running planted tank, so the solar garden lights you are talking about will not provide you enough light output for the plants. However, if for fish only tank, you don't need too much LED power, they are very bright for very little power consumption. The parts for a functional LED lighting system are cheap enough to not waste time in wiring the solar light.

For planted, tank you need power leds-1w to 3W are fine. These LEDs generate heat on the back side of the LED diode, so if you were to put them inside the hood of the Bio Cube 29, you STILL NEED the fans. May be you can change to smaller and less noisy one. Most fans sold online also list their db levels. If I remember correctly the fans in the Bio Cube 29 is 12V DC fans, similar to PC fans.

To DIY power LEDs, the first step is to determine the total power of LED you need.
I can provide you with a lot of PAR data, and you can map them with the PAR requirement that I think Hoppy has defined in a sticky.

Making a DIY LED long life, you need
1)good heat sink ability
2)a constant current driver
3)in saltwater environment, a good seal from saltwater mist.

When you have determined how much light you need, I can writeup a list what of parts you will need. Then, I can discuss the next step about mounting and wiring.

Example:
A BridgeLux or Epi 3W diode cost like $2-$3, Cree $4-$4.5 each. I run my 20G with 18W-25W, so assume 36W for you Bio 29. You will need some lens to increase the intensity and save of power required, so assume 4-8 pcs of 60 degree at 75 cents to 1 dollar each. 1 driver for about 40 bucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry the solar lights are a side project for the yard.

Yes it is a planted tank, I would like two levels of lighting one for daylight and for simulated moon light. I would like to get the light ray effect in both. I wonder if the heat generated could be released if I cut vents into the hood above the lighting array.

You indicated you have a bio-cube, so how different is the heat output compared to the existing setup in the hood. Could the heat be released by setting up a passive convection flow in thought the fan grates and out thorough vents cut above the lights.
If the heat level is quite a bit less then a small low speed fan could be substituted?

I just got news dad has prostrate cancer and going to have to set this aside for a bit. If you and mwuf15 can keep it going I will follow as I can.
 

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I just got news dad has prostrate cancer and going to have to set this aside for a bit.
I had that cancer 5 years ago, and while the radiation treatments were not a picnic, it wasn't that bad either. I fully recovered. My daughter's father-in-law had it the same time I did, and opted for surgery - he is fully recovered, too. Today that is one of the very treatable ones.
 
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