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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I've now had my DIY LED tank up and running for a month. Here's what I'm using:

String 1: 10 Cool White XPGs, 4 Neutral White XPGs
String 2: 8 Warm White XPGs, 5 Neutral White XPGs.

All have 60 degree optics.

The good news is that the light intensity is fine. I haven't managed to get my glosso to grow in a carpet, but I suspect that is more about pruning than anything else since I can get it to pearl no problem. I also have no spotlighting problems.

The bad news is that the whole setup looks too yellow to me (see picture below). Not horrible by any means, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and I want it all to look more crisp. Even when I run only the string with neutral and cool whites, the light doesn't have the clear sunlight look that I want.

RedfishSC and others have suggested a LED mix that includes royal blues and avoids warm whites. Without totally rewiring my setup, I could easily swap out all my warm whites for royal blues. Is that too aggressive?
 

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It seems to me that the warm whites are super yellow. I think if you swap them out with neutral or cool whites you should be good!
 

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RedfishSC and others have suggested a LED mix that includes royal blues and avoids warm whites. Without totally rewiring my setup, I could easily swap out all my warm whites for royal blues. Is that too aggressive?

Avoiding the warm whites only applies in situations where there is no royal blue to balance out the strong red/orange/amber, but I am really only talking in terms of eye appeal, and more specifically, MY eye lol :D.


My 11g shrimp tank had a mix of royal blue, warm white, and neutral white, and it looked quite nice.


In your case, I would remove the 4 NEUTRAL white XPG's and put the 10 cool white and 4 royal blues on the same string so that you have more dimming control over the "cool side" and the neutrals/warms on the "warm side".


I think this would be a pretty good setup.


By the way your whole setup looks quite lovely, nice work. Way more elegant than mine :D


It seems to me that the warm whites are super yellow. I think if you swap them out with neutral or cool whites you should be good!

Actually, when you balance them out with some royal blue, they look quite beautiful. But when used apart from royal blues, I think they are ugly.




FWIW I just converted my 11g into a reef, it's cycling right now. I added 5 more LEDs to the mix to increase the intensity a bit.

Here is what I'm using now. Notice the warm whites :D This is a very sweet looking combo. It looks a LOT like T5 setups with that Fiji Purple bulb in it.

3 warm white
5 neutral white
10 Royal blue
 

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can someone link me to some onfo on how to set up leds for my 10 gallon tank? don't mean to threadjack.

from my experience, dd more blues or take out/replace some of the warm whites...
 

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My 7 cool white and 7 neutral almost looks the same as the first picture. I would prefer a little bit more 'whiteness' from a 10K maybe.

rountreesj, do you have a hood or something to mount that led fixture that you want to build or are you going for that industrial look? There are some kits available from rapidled, ledgroupbuy or that new aquastyle website, it might be something worth looking at. I wish it was easier to try a combination of LEDs to see what looks good.
 

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I think that the colour you are aiming for would be a mix between only cool white and neutral white. I think you have too many WW. I would add blue to the mix in almost equal amounts to the WW to balance (or have the ability) or swap some of the WW and NW for CW.
 

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The bad news is that the whole setup looks too yellow to me (see picture below). Not horrible by any means, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and I want it all to look more crisp. Even when I run only the string with neutral and cool whites, the light doesn't have the clear sunlight look that I want.

RedfishSC and others have suggested a LED mix that includes royal blues and avoids warm whites. Without totally rewiring my setup, I could easily swap out all my warm whites for royal blues. Is that too aggressive?
Your tank looks great as it is.

The yellowish light (minor as it is) compliments the surroundings of the tank. In my opinion you should leave it as is. BUT, its not my tank lol :p
 

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going for a stight industrial look. want it really flat.

i looked on groupbuyled, but am unsire how many i'd need for a 10 gallon tank...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I did a major trim over the weekend, and suddenly the tank looked crisp and clear again. I think that the yellowness of my ludwigia arcuata may be the problem. But I also think I will put some blue in this thing to see what happens.

The trouble is that adding XP-Es to my strings means I have to ratchet down the light intensity--they only take 700mA, right?
 

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I use warm whites in conjunction with cool whites and royal blues. the overall spectrum is rather warm and comes off around 9000k. I have yet to find a plant that refuses to grow in this setup. failing that i use cool and neutral whites together over my shrimp tanks and the light is decent.
 

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i looked on groupbuyled, but am unsire how many i'd need for a 10 gallon tank...
Oh hai threadjack!

Some observations from somebody who has done this:

I'd recommend 6 x 3W LEDs over a 10G. That will be enough light and is a very convenient number for various electronics related reasons.

The lead time for ledgroupbuy can be really long. Unless you have monklike patience have a look at rapidled -- prices are comparable for most of the emitters.
 

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The trouble is that adding XP-Es to my strings means I have to ratchet down the light intensity--they only take 700mA, right?


No, they can take 1,000mA. Read the datasheets :D. Only reds/ambers are limited to 700mA. Not white or blue.

http://www.cree.com/products/pdf/xlampxp-e.pdf

Some LED suppliers mislabel them as "700mA max current" and I have no idea why.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No, they can take 1,000mA. Read the datasheets :D.
Dude, those datasheets give me a headache. That despite the fact that I'm an engineer AND a lawyer. But this is happy news. I will swap out some LEDs and see what it looks like. All that time I spent drilling and tapping (as opposed to gluing) will finally pay off...
 

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Dude, those datasheets give me a headache. That despite the fact that I'm an engineer AND a lawyer. But this is happy news. I will swap out some LEDs and see what it looks like. All that time I spent drilling and tapping (as opposed to gluing) will finally pay off...
Rofl.... I know just what you mean, but when you learn what they are really talking about, they are kinda interesting.


Fortunately Cree is pretty consistent in their formatting, so every time they release a new LED style, the datasheet follows the same format.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
In your case, I would remove the 4 NEUTRAL white XPG's and put the 10 cool white and 4 royal blues on the same string so that you have more dimming control over the "cool side" and the neutrals/warms on the "warm side".
I did exactly this and it made a significant difference. The light now looks much cooler. I ratcheted back the Meanwell 48D that drives the "cool" string so it maxes out at 950mA. I'm running that at about 60% with the warm string on at about 90% of its full 1300mA and it all looks about right.

The one thing I *don't* like is that even just 4 royal blues make for some weird overspill effects. I put 60 degree optics on them, but even then the wall behind the tank is lit up weirdly blue. I was planning to put a whole bunch more blue LEDs onto this array, all dimmed on a separate driver, but now I'm rethinking that.
 

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My understanding of LED lighting, and Cree is pretty good about these things, is to look at the CRI (Color Rendering Index) of the particular LED you want to evaluate.

What I gather is that the higher the CRI, the "Truer" to "real life" is the rendering of the object or thing being lit. For the most part, the higher CRIs are found in the Neutral - Warmer whites, generally the 2700K and the 3200Ks.

Now, it might look "yellow" in a way, but supposedly these values are the ones that truly render an object as it should look.

However, if you read the CRI entry in Wikipedia, it will give you a headache. I was not sure whether I fully grasped the tests performed to come up with CRI.

Just my 2 cents.
 
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