My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Making the move to LED lighting? Have a great DIY solution? Share your questions and get feedback here!

Re: My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Postby gminor » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:26 pm

Thanks for the link. It hadn't occurred to me Amazon would have that type of electronics but I guess since they partner with so many companies you can probably get just about anything thru them.

I also found a few more similar to the one you did with a little more amperage on the same site. Definitely a possible upgrade to the light fixture down the road. Thanks!
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Re: My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Postby Chief_USN » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:51 pm

Oh man... I love Amazon. Anytime I'm searching for something I always check the site to see what deal I can get. I get anything from car parts to umm...whatever. Pet supplies, electronics, R/C helicopter parts (my other hobby), tools, etc. Doesn't matter what it is...I check...lol. Sometimes it's cheaper, sometimes it's not.

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Re: My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Postby gminor » Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:59 pm

The 4 10000k LED's, 3 royal blue LED's and thermal paste arrived today so all other er.. priorities have been dropped. I'm guessing a couple of hours of mounting, wiring and installing the heatsink assembly in the hood and the moment of hitting the switch for the first time will be here. Cross our fingers.

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Re: My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Postby gminor » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:34 pm

A steel rod was installed on each end of the heatsink for mounting in the hood. A drill press was used to make the holes. As soon as I positioned the heatsink in the hood I realized the mounting rods needed to be moved due to the position of the fan and vent in the hood. Each rod was ultimately positioned about 8 inches from each end of the heatsink which you may notice in photos to be posted later.

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Marking screw locations
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Two sets of mounting holes for LED's. A 7/64" drill bit was used (I think).
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Seven LED's mounted with thermal paste and old computer screws
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2 ohm resistors installed on the + side. Notice in this photo you can see each "LED" is actually a total of 9 individual LED circuits on the same board.
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Wired and ready for first run! Am I nervous? yes. Possible outcomes: something good will happen, something bad will happen, nothing will happen..
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Outstandingly bright. Quite impressive. Too bright to look at for more than a moment. This was one of the few photos that wasn't washed out due to the strong contrast the lights made against a dark background.
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More to come!
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Re: My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Postby gminor » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:12 am

Heatsink with LED's mounted in the hood. The steel bars that hold the heat sync in place were installed by drilling a hole in the back of the hood, then pushing the bars thru. A screw with washer on the back of the hood holds each steel bar in place. The front of each steel bar is a bit sharp and digs into the inside front of the hood so is reasonably secure.

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Second lighting test, this time with 80mm cooling fan attached to the same +12v source.
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The new DIY LED hood has been installed over the 40 gallon saltwater tank below and seems to be running well. The tank itself has been up for a few months, but has been running without a good lighting solution so I'm looking forward to seeing how the new LED light helps improve the overall health and appearance of the tank. I took several photos and none of them did justice to how good the new light looks. There's a crisp white and blue shimmer throughout the tank. As the new LED light fixture survives the test of time, (fingers still crossed) and the tank improves cosmetically, I'll share more photos.

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:geek:
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Re: My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Postby Chief_USN » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:33 pm

Since I don't have a planted tank and not looking for marine color temp, do you think these would work for a natural sunlit day? How many do you think I would need for my 75G which is 48" long?

http://dx.com/p/10w-6500k-750-lumen-white-led-emitter-metal-plate-9-11v-81841

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Re: My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Postby gminor » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:13 pm

I would probably start with at least 6 LED's and see how they look. The lumen rating of the one you found is even higher than the 10000k LED's I used on my 40, but then again, your 75 gallon is deeper. They're probably going to look awesome just from the added shimmer effect alone though. You just have to have a filter return or air stone disturbing the water surface a bit to get the shimmer.

It may not be a bad idea for anyone doing a DIY LED experiment to build the hood large enough to add more LED's later just in case you decide the first round aren't quite enough.

My new fixture has been running for 5 days now with no issues. The benchmark I'm hoping to reach though is 6 months with no noticeable loss of light output. I chose that amount of time since that's the average recommended life span of a high performance compact fluorescent bulb. Best case scenario, these LED's will keep their brilliance for at least a few years.
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Re: My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Postby lordadamar » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:03 pm

Glenn,

What was your spacing between LEDS ?

You have 7 LED's on yours How long is your fixure?

I was debating on having one very 6 inches, on a 48" fixture... Do you think thats to much.. What is your spacing from the side and edge of the fixture... and using a Power supply like what Chief_USN posted..

I want to do 10K's and the 6500k or ( 600nm+ )area for plants and I want red spectrum light.

Got a picture of how fans were connected?
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Re: My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Postby gminor » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:50 pm

The LED's are about 4 1/4 inches apart on the 34 inch long heatsink. The hood is 36 inches long. From a cooling standpoint, the spacing seems to work well. No fancy math, just an conservative guess on my part.

As far as how many LED's for a planted aquarium, that would depend on how deep your aquarium is and what kind of plants you want to keep. I'm just getting into the LED technology myself so just have the experience of the one fixture so far. The 90 gallon "rock ledges" tank in the photo gallery will be getting an LED fixture probably in the next 2 -3 months as long as the 40 gallon fixture is still doing fine.

If I were building a fixture for a 75 gallon for example, I would probably start with a minimum of 6 LED's spaced at least 4 1/4 inches apart. The LED's linked in this thread have more than twice the light output of other well known LED's due to the fact that they're actually 9 LED clusters on a single plate. That could also mean they run a bit hotter.

As far as the hood size and capacity, the hood I built for the 40 gallon was actually based on what would fit on top of the tank. From the photos below, you can see there's room for the glass top to stay open by resting on the hood and room for the DIY protein skimmer behind. The hood dimensions are 36 inches long, 6 inches deep and 4 1/2 inches tall.

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The Ocellaris clowns may be the typical saltwater fish, but they're still my favorite.
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Re: My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Postby lordadamar » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:43 pm

I have 55 Gallon will need to have maximum light penetration of about 18-20 inches deep... I have alot of plants for low / medium light conditions but want to grow some thing the need high amounts of light...

I want to aim for a 5500k to 6000k red spectrum around 700 LM and 10k white/blue around 700lm...

Any ideas on layout? number of LED's...

I was thinking maybe 11 ( 9 grid ) LED's but then I think that may be too much... but you have 7 so im not sure...

6 10k LED"S
5 5500k-6000k LED's

110 watts 11 amps is a lower consumption this my current T5HO fixture...

What is your thought...
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