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My nightmare with 30W LED Floodlight from China

7285 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  PlantedRich
Inspired by this YouTube video and my love for HC, this is my attempt to mod my 24G Nano Cube 36W light to the 30W LED light:

This is my tank with the original dual 36W halogen lights:

I saw the same type of light in the video on eBay so I order (3) 30W LED 6500K chip light and (3) 30W drivers for only $21.72 for all 3 pairs.

And so, the nightmare begins:

Being an engineer, I tested the pair (led + driver) before attempted to install it.

Test Result = Passed!

I begin to take out the original light assembly and install the light and driver:

Once I'm finished, this is what the light looks like:

This is what my tank looks like:

Issue #1: About 5 mins after the light was on, it starts blinking. It seems there are 3 rows in the 1 LED and they dislike each other. The frequency of the blinks are also asynchronous.

My coworker said I might need a heat sink in combination with the 2 original fans to cool it.

So this is the Solution #1:

Installed it onto the light assembly.

Result = Failed (LED does not stay ON; it blinks)

Issue #2: With all (3) pairs and trying different combinations of LED and driver. Although some pair stay ON longer than other, but they're all blinking!

Result #2 = Failed

Issue #3: Since there is no good LED to use as a base, I cannot tell whether the drivers are bad or the LEDs are bad.

I order another "high quality" 30W LED from China for $7.57 this one said it's Full Spectrum!

The Good News: It does NOT blink! So the drivers are good.

The Bad News: It made my tank looks like it's from Mars.

It's probably cool if you're Sci Fi geek, I'm not one of them! The color even piss off the wife!

Result #3 = Failed (crappy color)

Finally, after about $30 bucks in and no light for my HC. Oh, did I mention each order from China take 3 weeks to 1 month to arrived? I had enough of all the Chinese crappy stuffs.

I decided to spend the money and buy the real stuffs from Amazon for $34.99.

Once it arrived, I removed the flood light assembly, exposed the LED. Luckily, the LED itself was the same size as the China ones so it was a perfect fit for my light assembly.

This is the back LED bulb of the good Biltek 30W LED 6500K in the YouTube video. I was unable to find where to order more of the LED bulb, if you guys find out, please let me know where to order it.

This is what my tank looks now, the above LED works very well with the China 30W driver. It was just the LEDs after all.

Result #4 = Passed

Tip #1: Don't buy 30W LED from China.

Tip #2: Don't buy 30W LED Full Spectrum from China.

Tip #3: During test, leave the LED plug in for hours to make sure it doesn't start blinking.

Best Regards,


24G Nano Cube Deluxe
30W LED 6500K floodlight mod to fit
5 lb CO2, solenoid w/ light, 2 diffusers
Dirt with Eco-Complete substrate, DIY root tabs, Leaf Zone Plant dose
Air pump at night
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Blinking is typically a driver going into limp mode for a number of reasons...
From the photos your driver states 28-36V...
If the chips reach 900mA b4 the driver boosts to 28V it can go into limp mode..and flash.
Don't count on the V(f) published either..

chips could be bad...or not.
For fun you could see if the chip lights w/ a 24V wall wart.. briefly if bright..
Could be a smaller chip.. Would need row/column count for a better guess..

Point is there are other reasons inc. accidental shorts to sink (not likely in your case)..

As to "full spectrum" hate their use of it for those magenta chips..
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darn Chinese factories... Tank looks good in that follow up :)
The problem with China leds was mostly letting them run even for a short time without real heatsink! They need really strong cooling with such a power. Well, now it's too late for them.
To me, the major issue is that there is a total mismatch between the equipment and the use. There are certainly faults, at times, with the equipment we buy. We see it all the time but there is also often a mismatch between what the equipment is designed to do and the way we use it.
I see this as an example of trying to use LED lighting without a full understanding of what we have bought.
Nothing alarming nor critical here as long as we learn from it. LED are still somewhat new and there is often a lack of understanding. In this case, that may show in some of the experience. Using LED without knowing about heat sinks is like thinking we can drive because we can start the engine. Nobody got killed, it just cost $30 for a lesson but we need to know what that lesson should be.
Lack of knowledge costs money and we should learn first and buy second? Sorry but I don't see the Chinese product as the weak point.
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