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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've looked around and tried to find some good LED threads, but haven't had a ton of luck. It would be great to have a LED thread that showed some example of what worked and what's overkill and what didn't.

For my tank, I've got a 75 gallon w/ a hood. It's one of the AGA modern series from 10 years ago. Currently I have 4 x 55 CFLs from AH Supply. I've also likely got a lamp purchase coming up - one of the 4 tends to die around 12-14 months and I replace them all.

I've got marsilea, anubias nana, crypt retrospiralis, wendolev java ferns and some swords.

EI dosed w/ peristaltic pump, CO2 w/ monitor.

So, I'd like some input on a general range of set-ups for a DIY LED system.

How many? What types? I can figure the color (6500 or so is nice, a range is fine).

I would probably run them on the hotter end - no point in buying a sports car and keeping it in 1st gear. :)

A couple of places I found (though research) are below. Thoughts?

http://www.aquastyleonline.com/
http://www.rapidled.com
 

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There are several threads on this forum. Using the Search option will turn up more than you want to read, but do read through them. After that, you may still have some questions, but they'll be specific and not general.
 

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Well with that 18 inch footprint I don't think you will have a lot of luck with led. In my 75 I have a 48" t12 and 4x32 watt cfls. And that is medium to med high light. If spread out well it will be plenty o light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I spent 20 minutes trying to use search with little luck. Hence the post. I'm sure there is a ton of useful info, but i couldn't find it. Simple searches for "led", "75" and other things proved useless.

Most of the posts I read were filled with lots of detailed info on this par vs that lens. I was hoping for something a little closer to a solution.
 

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Ok well this might help. A standard led will provide around 1 watt per 6-9 diodes. They make diodes that are up to 2.5 per linear foot. But the problem is finding the right color temp. You want to be in the range of 5500-7000k. If you are wanting to sustain plant life in your 75 I would suggest keeping your cfls because they are gonna work better than LEDs. But if you just want them for general lighting I would suggest you get some high density strip lighting. Check out elementalled.com. They have some waterproof strip lighting the will more than suffice. It might work with plant if you got about 4-6 rows all the way across. Maybe more.
 

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Lol. I seem to be a DIY kinda guy. I'm always coming up with lil ideas for my tank. Only to find someone has long since been doing the same thing.
 

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I have little experience with DIYing an LED fixture but one thing that I know you will have to take into consideration is your hood. It will limit the height that your LEDs can be mounted. You might have to decide if you will need optics to focus light into the aquarium. Without optics, I believe the most common spread is 120 degrees. Verify with the LED spec you will be getting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Is it the same as this?

http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor...nsity_R_C_LED_Flexible_Strip_White_1mtr_.html

or this (waterproof version)

http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/stor...aterproof_LED_Flexible_Strip_White_1mtr_.html

They come in red, green blue, yellow and white.

I have a set of these for some RC hobbies.

Ok well this might help. A standard led will provide around 1 watt per 6-9 diodes. They make diodes that are up to 2.5 per linear foot. But the problem is finding the right color temp. You want to be in the range of 5500-7000k. If you are wanting to sustain plant life in your 75 I would suggest keeping your cfls because they are gonna work better than LEDs. But if you just want them for general lighting I would suggest you get some high density strip lighting. Check out elementalled.com. They have some waterproof strip lighting the will more than suffice. It might work with plant if you got about 4-6 rows all the way across. Maybe more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My background is electrical engineering, so my "DIY" means it looks and works better than expensive solutions for probably half or a quarter of the price.

DIY LED can mean a wood box with some sockets in it and screw-in multi-LED "bulbs". Or it can mean a heatsink, with individual LEDs cemented to it, with them wired in series with a Meanwell LED driver powering them. Which are you interested in?

For the latter, look at http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/diy/136733-led-light-36-high-tank-18.html#post1443426 for some information which might help you.
 

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Here is one thread that offers advice on wider tanks.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/diy/137085-led-build-6-tank.html

Do Optics help?
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/lighting/149456-do-led-optics-really-do-anything.html

Great info here.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/diy/120879-my-awesome-me-diy-led-setup.html

Hoppy's 65 gallon riparium. After following that thread I built my first LED strip.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/tank-journals-photo-album/93076-hoppys-65-gal-riparium.html

Specifically for a 75g tank.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/diy/141705-diy-led-questions.html

These were from a search of LED DIY. Making your search too specific usually seems like a good idea, but I find narrowing a broad search is easier than trying to figure out why I'm not getting results.
 

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My background is electrical engineering, so my "DIY" means it looks and works better than expensive solutions for probably half or a quarter of the price.
So what are your goals? We need to know what you want the fixture do do, how much you want to spend, how you will mount it/ the leds and all that good stuff before we can help you.

LEDs will work fine for any setup, but there are certain minimums and guidelines that are wise to follow.
 

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We used to have few choices for LEDs that would work for a planted tank. Now we have so many choices, and such a variety of pre-built "bulbs" that making a decision about what is best is far harder. My personal preference, because I've done it 3 times now, is using star mounted roughly 3 watt Cree LEDs, mounted on an aluminum heatsink. That reduces the number of decisions left to make, but there are still a lot of variations in how you can DIY with them. I'm not at all sure anyone knows yet what the "best" way is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I would probably prefer to keep my hood as is. That means I've got about 7" inches to work with.

I would like to have some night / moon lighting if possible, as I currently have a "dioder"'kit from ikea as a constant moon light.

In the future I may go to a 90 gallon tank, maybe rimless, so at least would like the parts and pieces here to be expandable for that. Im not thinking a kit now to do that, just a setup that would be reworked (add another set of LEDs or two) to push up the light. Obviously re-mounted in a hanging hood at that point. Optics could be added later, etc.

Would prefer a good kit now, but not overkill. Price is tbd, but a new set of bulbs is $85 or so, so that's the start point. I know it will be more, but ill also sell off the old 55 watt kits too.
 

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There is more information coming up all the time.

Here's some thoughts that may or may not be useful.

On my 165 gallon I've decided to replace a 4x35W T5 luminaire with a watercooled 10x10W Cree X-ML LED rig (which is a slightly different philosophy to Hoppy, whose threads and builds I've followed with great interest, and probably contain as much of the info you are after as exists at the minute,) in that I'm going for low numbers at high power with maximum cooling.

For a while at least I'll be running my other HO T5's side by side with HO LED's to see if this generation of chips is up to the job.

You'll have to wait a few weeks before it's all together though and a couple of months before I'll commit myself to saying whether it works or not.

In short the infomation you want isn't really readily available yet. I've been looking too and have read enough to see that there is no real consensus yet. This coupled with the rapid development of HO LEDS means that I see people who may have formed opinions on 2-3 year old gear which wasn't up to standard (I have some), and are still slating any use of LEDs...

I believe Hoppy is at the point where he can design an LED rig to produce given PAR values, but I haven't seen the evidence for linking PAR values to LED power to good plant growth yet. Also I haven't seen any for 'LED colour' relating to plant growth, yet either. (This could also be fairly plant specific as well, it's unmapped territory. At least no one has shown me the map or explained how to read it, if they did!) This could be my personal failing in not finding or recognising the information. I'm sure someone will come along with reams of studies any second now!

The great thing is LED's get more efficient when under driven so you can overbuild massively and then turn them down and enjoy the power savings for the next 10-15 years. (A silly argument as, in a couple of generations of LED's down the road, new versions are going to make the current crop of lights look like energy eating locusts!)EDIT: or just turn them up when you fit them higher over the 90Gallon rimless you just posted about :)

Another joyous thing for us DIYers is the ease with which we can switch out the colours and vary the outputs to fine tune for the best results in any given tank.

Hope this helps.

P
 

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Here is what I'd suggest for you since you're experienced at electrical stuff. The main thing to keep in mind is the need for a constant current (and not constant voltage) driver for high power LEDs, they are nothing like the cheap 5mm LEDs that you can run on a 12v wall wart with a resistor.


Your 75g tank is basically a double-size version of my tank (see my signature for a totally overbuilt and unnecessarily eccentric LED build). But I can say for certainty what will work over your tank.


I suggest you use either Cree XPG or Cree XML LED's. The XPG are the best bang-for-the-buck, the XML's are slightly more efficient and can be run at much higher currents (ie, way brighter per individual LED).

XML's are hard to run at full current (3.0A) for lack of reasonably dimmable drivers. So I'll give you suggestions for running the XPG's on a dimmable driver.


You need, roughly, 35 Cree XPG LEDs. I suggest 60 degree optics, suspending the array about 8-10" from the water surface. Stick with all whites, maybe a 1:1 mix of cool white and warm white, for nice color effect.


I suggest this driver:
http://www.ledgroupbuy.com/inventronics-50w-driver-1100ma/

^^ Dimmable, very simple, and can run the LEDs at 1100mA (the XPG maxes out at 1500 and that extra 400mA of current results only in negligible light increase).


As for the heatsink, see this thread.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/diy/143617-led-heatsink-thread-where-find-them-4.html


Or buy your heatsink (which you will need a good one) at www.heatsinkusa.com, I'd suggest getting a 5"X48" heatsink, ripping it into two 2.5X48" rails, to mount the LEDs to.


Everything from there on out is basically just soldering, splicing a few wires, and plugging it in.
 

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Well with that 18 inch footprint I don't think you will have a lot of luck with led. In my 75 I have a 48" t12 and 4x32 watt cfls. And that is medium to med high light. If spread out well it will be plenty o light.

I have to disgree with that. Actually there are some 48" LED BAR made especially for the AGA 55G and and 75G. dimension.

48", 60W LEDs, 2 Colors 6,700K and 10,000K ADJUSTABLE, 80 degree lens for better coverage but less PAR vertically.
Pic below is a reef version.

[/url] Flickr 上 WingoAgencyGrand Slam A[/IMG]


The chart depicts a 3 LED bars for reef application. The planted tank version is slightly lower in PAR numbers. I haven't have the time to tabular it yet Note: you can reduce or add more columns(corresponding to number of fixtures) to achieve the PAR you want. For example, if you use only one bar, the PAR value is 77 at the dead center and slightly higher than 44 at the edge of the front glass.
 

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