biodives

DIY LED powerful enough for high-tech tank

16 posts in this topic

Hi all. I just uploaded my latest blog. This one is on how to make a DIY LED light powerful enough for high-tech tanks at 1/10th the cost of commercial and with up to 3 times higher energy efficiency. You can build it in under an hour with a pair of scissors as the most advanced piece of equipment. Parts, pricing, suppliers, pictures, and step-by-step guide can be found at biodives.com/blog.
Enjoy!

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Very interesting.... wondering how the "label tape" is holding up? With prolonged exposure to the lights and the heat they give off there may be a breakdown over time.  Also, how did you pick the power supply specs? This is beyond my understanding.

Thanks

John

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The oldest light is about 5 months old now and the tape is still in good shape. The specs state that the tape doesn't yellow which some plastics do with UV radiation. Given enough time the tape may get brittle but so far so good and the roll of tape will last a lifetime.

For the power supply you just need to make sure it is a constant current model, has a drive current at or below the specification for the module, and can reach the 32-36 volt required by these modules. For instance the 2200 lumen module is rated for 400 mA current and for a next LED light I might get a 350 mA power supply as they are more common and I'm getting too much light already for my shallow tanks. You can actually use a higher-than-rated current if you have adequate cooling. I did run the 2200 lumen module at 500 mA without problem and get a bonus 25% more light output but for actual long-term use I'd rather stick with the rated value. If you daisy-chain two modules the voltage stays the same but the current doubles. So 800 mA for two 2200 lumen modules (I'm using a 700 mA one, again because more readily available and cheaper).

I am going to bring a light to the Edmonton aquarium club meeting next Tuesday (March 7). In case you are not a member, the web site says you don't need to be a member to attend. However, there is a catch. You will have to sit through a presentation on Scuba diving and reef fish from the Red Sea by yours truly :)

From the website:

For those who are new to our community: membership is not required to attend meetings.
Please join us!

Meetings are held at 7:30pm on the first Tuesday of every month, September to June (dates are subject to change) at:Allendale Community League
6330-105A Street

 

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That's great I am usually there.....you must be Bart?

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Yep, new guy on the block. Looking forward to meet you.

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I have also been looking into adding LED strips to my 48" aqueon modular led bar. I found these http://www.ledjump.com/products/ledjump-ul-listed-super-bright-led-module-led-channel-letter-ul-listed-lighting-box-cree?variant=1634039875

looks like shipping is $25 no matter how many you order. Anyone want to split shipping on these universal waterproof LED strips?

Dam cheap and from what ive read don't fade over time and are quite quality.

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I haven't seen these "in the flesh" but often their power is disappointing. In this case the specs state 200 lumens per foot which is more than 5 times less than T5HO tubes or the least powerful LED modules I work with. The attraction is that they are already waterproof but my prediction is that you will need at least 3 rows of them to get reasonable intensity for a planted tank.

(200 lumens/foot with 3 modules per foot means about 70 lumens per 3-led module. With 20 modules per package that is about 1400 lumens total. That would give a good 1 foot light, weak 2 foot light and not enough for plants beyond that).

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It says 200LM per ft but that's when they are stretched out so 3 modules per ft 3led per module that's 200lm for 9 5mmX5mm leds.

They are only .7"wide meaning I could put 2-3 rows in my 48" light bar. 48modules per row @ 3leds per module 144led per row. I could possibly fit 3 rows so 432 leds.

432(led) / 9(=200lm per 9 leds) = 48 x 200lm for a total of 9600lm. At this point the leds would cost around $100+. @ckmullin was telling me about the 48" sunblaster which may be a better choice at this point https://www.sunblasterlighting.com/grow-lighting/led-strip-lights/led-strip-lights-48-inch/ And I can then sell my 48" Aqueon bar.

My idea came from http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/lighting/90930-aqueon-modular-led-mod-9-99-a.html I liked that I could add in some red & blue leds also.

Thanks for the replys all.

 

48 Aqueon resize.jpg

Edited by Tigweldpro
added pic of my 2/3 empty weak sauce Aqueon light

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What is the K rating  as far as plant growth after prolonged  use say a year do plants suffer?

 

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The Philips Fortimo modules come in 3000K, 3500K, 4000K, and 5000K colour temperatures with CRI=80. They also have slightly more expensive and less efficient CRI=90 modules in the same K ratings except not 5000K. Colour temp does not deteriorate over time and intensity drops off too slow to be of concern, unlike fluorescent tubes.

Philips just released the 4th generation of their LED modules that save another 10% on electricity for the same amount of light. Some details are given in my blog update on biodives.com/blog/?p=127

There are plans to put in a group order for parts to build these lights with some ACE members. I can post here once I know more in case some of you are interested as well. A 2 foot 2200 lumen light could cost as little as $25 or so.

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Looks good, especially the 4000k 90CRI units.

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I would be interested in a group buy.  I was at that meeting and it was very very intriguing!

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I think John put in the order last night... PM geleen ASAP to see if you can still get in

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I will wait till noon today :-)

John

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Any update on how these have worked out for people? Eh?

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