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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

So my Marineland Double Bright LED fixture (36in) is seeming to reach the end of its life span. I've had it for about 4 years or so over a 24in high 45gal but it has become significantly dimmer on one one side and it flickers for around 30 minutes when the appliance timer fist kicks it on in the morning.

I'm a recent college graduate so I don't have the money to drop $200 on a replacement just yet. I was hoping to do a simple light fixture with these LEDs. By wrapping them around PVC pipes contained in a section of housing gutter lined with reflective tape or aluminum foil, kind of like a hood with long florescent tubes. I heard these would be better and more light than 5050 LEDs and I'm hoping to continue to grow low to medium-low light plants like my anubias and java ferns, as well as some water wisteria, swords (which seemed to survive under the current fixture), and some dwarf sag.

Let me know what you guys think, this is my first foray into DIY lighting and I'm not a lighting buff to begin with.. :help:
 

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Really no need to "wrap them" around anything.
Just complicates light delivery..
Just attach to any aluminum flat bar in as many rows as you want/need..
Really just stick them to the bottom of the gutter. just get some that is white inside.
noo need to foil it either. White is just as good as aluminum ..

The "native" 110-130 beam angle is good enough for most things as long as you are not too far off the surface..
want to get a bit fancier:
https://www.amazon.com/LEDdrop-Alum...dp/B013U9SXOW?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Here is a nice vid of "your way" but again 5630's in parallel and all the complications of wrapping are not needed..
https://youtu.be/_EYC3obFY4w

Alternate:
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/10-lighting/822521-home-made-strip-light-2.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the help everyone!

I'll probably scrap the wrapping idea then. My thinking was that I wanted to use as many of the LEDs as possible, and I wasn't sure how to cut and reconnect multiple strips parallel to each other but this alternative build helped a lot with visualizing how I'd do that. A friend of mine has some experience soldering so I'll likely try to emulate that alternative build.

Another question: after reading Hoppy's link I'm wondering if I need a dedicated heat sink for these? Or would an aluminum gutter be sufficient?
 

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Thanks for the help everyone!

I'll probably scrap the wrapping idea then. My thinking was that I wanted to use as many of the LEDs as possible, and I wasn't sure how to cut and reconnect multiple strips parallel to each other but this alternative build helped a lot with visualizing how I'd do that. A friend of mine has some experience soldering so I'll likely try to emulate that alternative build.
there are crimp on connectors..
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/8mm-...SMD-5630-LED-Strip-100pcs-lot/2046825621.html
Just need to dig a bit..

Another question: after reading Hoppy's link I'm wondering if I need a dedicated heat sink for these? Or would an aluminum gutter be sufficient?
well the more mass (w/ good heat conducting properties) the better.. ;)
and if you add aluminum you can boost the output w/ a larger power supply.. not to exceed about 14V.. Probably more info than you may need.....;)

test - Large difference between specced values and real values for LED strips? - Electrical Engineering Stack Exchange
 

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One thing I learned was that the adhesive on the LED strips I purchased (cheap Ebay products) was not good at all. It was very difficult to get the strips to stay attached to the aluminum, even after I primed the aluminum surface. And, by the time the light fixture quit on me, several of the strips were no longer well attached to the aluminum. It is possible that better quality strips have much better adhesive.
 
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