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dipping my toes into LED (inquiry)

686 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  redfishsc
Hello, I have been reading the research and toil that has been going on with the LED revolution. I want to approach the LED illumination from two different angles.

1. For my tanks 10gal 20long, and 46 Bow front. I would like to start out by simply illuminating them with LED. Not growing anything(well maybe moss and Java fern:) ) I am thinking that the bulk dime a dozen LED's with resistors will do the trick.

2. To get comfortable with wiring and soldering etc to put together a high output system for my tanks. Primarily for the 46 bow fronts but anyhooo the HO seems aways away.

Any suggestions on the first scenario? Can I just use LED Christmas Lights for a quick fix?

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Take a look on Ebay for 1 watt LEDs mounted on "star" heatsinks. You can light the smaller tanks with those, mounting them about 3 inches apart, both directions. You then buy a Meanwell constant current power supply that will match the number of LEDs you have, and you can make a very nice aquarium light.
thanks very much for the simplified response, and thanks for your extensive research. I am at a standstill in the hobby at the moment. My current lighting fixtures between the t5's PC's and cfl's are all getting old, and the bulbs are losing their punch. I am in a good place to experiment as I am down to one ten gallon tank with moss and Java fern and have plenty of time to mess around with LED's not to mention they seem to have the right amount of geeky appeal, mixing heat sinks, fans, and bright lights.

thanks again
If you want simple and effective LED lighting for viewing only, just look at the millions of screw-in Edison base LED bulbs.

Anything that tosses out around 150-200 lumens with a wide angle lens will probably light a 20g (high) easily... for viewing. sells a lot of them.

If you want some good bang-for-the-buck LEDs, check out

You can get a single, 10 watt LED, 10w driver, and surprisingly beefy heatsink for around $25. This will light up half a 55g easily for the eyes only... and maybe grow some low light plants.

Do not get their "warm white" LEDs though--- very yellow and ugly. Stick with "pure white" or "cool white".

They have 3w LEDs for $2 each.

None are going to be as efficient as a Cree or Luxeon, but that's not a big deal at all if you're not running a bunch and trying to save tons on wattage.
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