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NLaferriere

Diy Led Aquarium Lighting (Inexpensive And Easy Way)

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Well I built the light hood with the LEDs. They're not super bright so I wouldn't suggest them for growing plants or anything. Kind of cool to be able to change the colour though with the remote. Would be great to combine the LED with a T5 tube and get the best of both worlds. You could switch up the LED colour to add more of a colour enhancing element to supplement the T5. I might add a T5 fixture eventually into the hood but for now it's good enough. I'll try to snap some pics as some point.

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I just did this to my 75 gallon with similar lights from Rona. The ones I got were $27 on sale (regular $42). They come as 4x2 foot strips with flexible connectors. You can also buy individual strips or puck style lights to add onto it for around $18 each (up to 8 strips/pucks per controller I believe).

I just bought the starter kit and it was enough to run the length of my 4ft tank twice. They also come with handy clips to hang them as well as the adhesive backing. I just stuck mine straight onto the underside of my homemade canopy and they look awesome. I might get a reflector eventually. Couldn't be happier with this product.

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DIY King Joey did a recent update to his LED project - the updates look good and the price does too

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I did it similar to how the video showed but with only one strip. It's only a 36" tank and I think with more output it would be better. However, I don't think adding a second strip would get the same amount of light as one T5 bulb. It's good enough for now but you definitely couldn't grow plants.

Our local Home Hardware just switched over to Rona, and apparently they're now carrying the LED lighting you mentioned. I'll have to check it out.

Nick

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I'm putting together a 48" LED strip with 4 - 10watt lights. I'll post pictures when its complete. The chips are around $0.50 each including shipping.

Edited by pegasus81

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I'm growing all my plants under LED light but don't use CO2 supplementation. Until recently all my LEDs were commercial systems. Just this weekend I put a 4ft DIY LED together for ~$50. It sits on a 48x24x16" tank where the one Aqueon optibright plus LED light doesn't cover the full 24" depth of this tank. At about $170 I didn't look forward to buying a second Optibright so I used a 8x1ft LED strip set sold at Home Depot for just under $50. It comes with power supply, 2 connecting cables, and 8 1ft LED strips, each with 2-sided tape backing for attachment. I used a $4 10ft U-shaped steel track (used to fix 2x4 wall studs I believe) as the luminaire. Painted the outside black and used 6" wide clear tape to protect the LEDs from getting wet. At first glance it gives about the same amount of light as the Aqueon optibright plus but lacks the build-in timer, sunset/sunrise, remote and colour tuning options. That said it is less than a third of the cost and since it switches on/off while the optibright is already on full power there is no sudden light shock.

I'll get some pictures and see if I can run some comparison tests tonight to update this post. It draws about 17 watt at the wall and 12 watt of that should be consumed by the LEDs. I haven't found specs for the optibright plus but I can determine its power draw tonight.

The light is not bright enough for tall tanks, 16" is probably as tall as I'd go, or hi-tech planted setups. To get something much brighter I ordered three types of 2 ft long Fortimo LED modules (Philips) last Saturday. Two 2200 lumen modules and one each of 4000 and 6100 lumens, with about 150 lumen/watt efficiency and all at 5000K colour temperature. My brightest commercial LED so far is a USA Current Satellite plus pro which is just about enough to light my 24" tall 90 gallon tank. That one costs $407 and produces 3000 lumens over 4 foot with about 50 lumens/watt. So these new modules give up to twice the output at half the length and should be VERY bright. My main concern will be dissipation of heat so I can run them at full power. My thin steel luminaire may not be able to do the job and I've been looking for aluminum alternatives. The modules cost $12/$21/$30 for the 2200/4000/6100 lumen models and $31 for the power supply. Total should be about $60-80, depending on what I end up using for the luminaire. Assuming I can run them at full power that works out to 1.5-2 cents per lumen compared to 13.5 cents for the commercial unit and at 3 times the energy efficiency. Once I get the parts in and assembled I will let you know if it actually works as advertised.

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This looks awesome. Just watched the diy video. Seems super easy effecient and totally within my budget (plans for my tank are at least 3 months out to start building.) My tank is only 10 gallons (long? Rectangular?) 

Do you guys think using the enhanced method of diy kings video would produce enough light per gallon to actually grow plants? 

@ckmullin do you think this would work in leu of that awesome bar you showed me?

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On ‎2‎/‎28‎/‎2016 at 11:17 AM, Bruno said:

DIY King Joey did a recent update to his LED project - the updates look good and the price does too

 

Made one of these, works awesome

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Philips released the 4th generation of their LED modules. Cost less and 10% less energy used. They now also have 4 foot modules. For more info and spectra check out http://biodives.com/blog/?p=127 

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Hey everyone, finally getting around to catching up in the forum.

Just a couple of things I wanted to share from my experience using the flexible IP65 "waterproof" led strips you find everywhere now.  First of, I have run both the color changing strips and 6500k white strips on my system and I won't lie, they were both awesome. but after time a couple of things surfaced that I wanted to caution you about.  

Caution #1 they are not waterproof, splash proof might be a better description,  I had a short length of glue fail on my color changing strip and when I discovered it the strip was hanging into my tank.  It couldn't have been there for more than a day or two and there was signs of  corrosion with the  copper turning green.  I don't know if the green oxidation is toxic to fish but I dio know that copper itself is and if nothing else  the Leds downstream of  wet spot  quit working shortly after.

Caution #2 Mine turned yellow over time which blocked most of the light output.  I initially thought I was pushing to high of a voltage causing more heat but later read that it is likely due to the UV reaction with the PVC waterproofing. Has anyone else has had this issue.  

I had originally installed them to help cut the cost of running t5 fixtures but more for the longevity of the the light quality, hoping to not have to replace them twice a year to avoid the  brown algae and such.  Since I am a hard core DIYer and have a very hard time paying retail for anything I am going to try again to build my own lights but this time I will be using the IP22 non waterproof 6500k strips (no pvc layer to yellow)  and the DIY King's pvc pipe trick to avoid having them fall into the tank again.

I am also looking into t5 Led replacement tubes.  The price I am finding at the wholesale is about a third the cost of the high calvin fluorescents and hoping they will last a long time but the T5s are only offered up to 5000k.  I may pull the old T8s out of the shed and set them up with Led tubes rated for 6500k at just under $20 a tube.  I do believe the light output is in the 2200 lumens per tube range. Has anyone tried these tubes out in there existing fixtures yet?

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I used the T8 LEDs on an Aquaponics setup and they grew everything I wanted - even had peppers!  I have them over a 75gal right now, but would count it as low light - I don't think they have the strength to penetrate the full depth of the tank.

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