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 Apr 04, 2013 3:24 pm

Both heat sinks have been mounted in the hood. It was a snug fit, but there should be enough clearance
for good air flow. I moved the fan outside the hood to make room.
Image

Two old PC power supplies with new purpose.
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80mm cooling fan from an old PC also with a new job.
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All 16 LED's burning bright.
Image

Two timers are currently setup on the new light fixture. One timer controls the four LED's for morning and evening reduced light levels plus the fan. These four LED's are actually on all day, they just turn on before the rest of the LED's do and turn off after the rest of the LED's are off.

I have one concern about cooling I didn't anticipate. If the first timer that controls the fan fails for any reason, the rest of the LED's on the other timer may run with no air flow in the hood. That actually happened last night briefly since I didn't have the timers set correctly. One of the heat sinks was too hot to touch (twice). As long as the fan is running, the hood temperature is fine.

Installing a second fan would cause air flow problems anytime both are not running. I haven't looked into dual timers yet, but maybe something like that will at least add some assurance that either both timers are working or both are off. I appreciate any suggestions.
Glenn
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Re: My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Postby Bigfish$$ » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:00 am

Nice work gminor...thanks for sharing! How about some info on what kind of growth you have been getting with 160 watts of led over a 40 breeder... I know you said all you have right now is rock and a couple of clowns .....still, is the coraline algea doing well ? PM me (I am in Lawrence too)and I will hook you up with some softies to try. My biggest concern using 10Watt leds would be heat... I would go with 3-4 fans on the top side of the fixture controlled with thermisters ..vents on the ends. This would give you better flow over the finned top surface of your heatsink and if one fan failed you still have at least two still humming.
Can this set up be dimmed? Most folks run the 120 watt 55 led chinese version at about 50% so 160watts full on may be too much.
p.s. Looks like they shut you down over at salt-city LOL!...I started my reply there but when I went to post it the thread was invalid! I decided not to let that stop me and signed up here 8-)
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Re: My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Postby gminor » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:26 pm

Bigfish$$,
Thanks for your suggestions. My saltwater tank is still recovering from me using tap water to start it months ago. I've since done all my water changes with RO/DI and have recently installed a Poly-Filter pad
which has turned dark blue indicating it's found and removed copper. I wasn't able to keep snails before using the Poly-Filter pad, but will try again soon. I've read alot of good feedback regarding the product for fixing water problems. We'll see..

The Clowns are doing fine, but I think they're bored since there's no-one else in the tank. I also just added some live rock pieces to seed the coraline algae, but it will take some time. The tank had inadequate lighting for a few months prior to the LED fixture, so the coraline algae that was there, dissappeared.

I like your multiple fan idea. I could hook up fans to each power supply to insure there are fans running even if the timers get out of sync.

The LED's are not dimmable, but I have them wired so only four turn on in the mornings, then all 16 LED's during the day, then only four again in the evening.

If it turns out to be too much wattage, I suppose I can reduce the quantity and reposition them on the heat sinks.


Poly-Filter
http://www.poly-bio-marine.com/products.htm
Glenn
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Re: My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Postby gminor » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:23 pm

Your suggestion about less LED wattage for my 40b prompted me to do some more research and as a result, I've removed one of the LED strips. This reduces the output to 80w and also reduces the hood operating temperature. Thanks for the insight!
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Re: My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Postby Bigfish$$ » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:04 am

Hmm... I ran my 29 gallon reef tank with city water from the KAW for years without any problems. I filtered the tap water with carbon and polyfilters and then used dechlorinator. The polyfilters never took on any hint of blue so you may want to look for other possible sources for your copper contamination. I think polyfilters are great for smaller systems, I swear by them, but they get too expensive with larger systems.


gminor wrote:Bigfish$$,
Thanks for your suggestions. My saltwater tank is still recovering from me using tap water to start it months ago. I've since done all my water changes with RO/DI and have recently installed a Poly-Filter pad
which has turned dark blue indicating it's found and removed copper. I wasn't able to keep snails before using the Poly-Filter pad, but will try again soon. I've read alot of good feedback regarding the product for fixing water problems. We'll see..
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Re: My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Postby gminor » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:50 pm

Folks,
I'm happy to say only one LED stopped working after almost 1 year of operation. I'm more than happy with that. After years of running more expensive commercially manufactured lighting solutions, $7.00 to replace a flickering LED is an easy price to pay. I'm guessing other LED's may go soon if 1 year is the typical life expectancy of these particular LED's, so a few spares have been ordered. The aquarium is doing very well, however it's been a long year. No fault of the lighting though.

The first landscaping effort was a collection of reef rock and substrate from multiple sources and something had apparently been treated with copper by a previous owner. Any efforts to put invertebrates in the tank were unsuccessful.

After much trial and tribulation to remove the copper, it was clear the only solution was to start over so the tank was stripped down to the glass, resealed and restocked. I'm happy to say that effort was successful and lesson learned. Any additions to the tank going forward will come from a functional aquarium system.

Image

I still haven't figured out the best settings for my camera to avoid the saturated colors (aquatic pun?) but the above photo shows the young tank with a small variety of coral frags and fish. There are spots of coraline algae here and there, but it may be a while before it really takes off.

More to come as the tank continues to mature.
Glenn
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Re: My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Postby Chief_USN » Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:51 pm

Looks great. Sometimes if you have a video camera, take a short video and then grab screens captures from it. Sometimes video cameras will adjust better automatically than still cameras.

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Re: My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Postby AaronJ1984 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:23 pm

Tank looks great. Glad its working out better for you now.
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Re: My first DIY LED Lighting Project

Postby gminor » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:53 pm

The video screen capture idea is a good one. Thanks for the suggestion!

To summarize the various DIY efforts this 40 gallon saltwater tank represents:
- DIY LED light fixture running a total of 8 10w LED's including 4 10000k and 4 Royal Blue. See the beginning of this thread for URL's with more detail.

Also:
- DIY reef rock made from Lace Rock coated with Quikrete Glass Block Mortar and Quikrete Acrylic Fortifier, cured for a minimum of 30 days in tap water.

- DIY 20 gallon saltwater sump. I make my own filter socks from quilt batting from the hobby store. My wife showed me how to use the sewing machine so once a month I sit down and make several.

- DIY protein skimmer made from a combination of a water bottle, hardware store supplies. and a power head.

Image

more to come..
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