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DIY LED Luminare MkII

Discussion in 'Articles' started by SuperColey1, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    This is a follow on from a previous thread on here.

    I'll start with a quick refresher of the original setup and then move onto the MkII. I won't add all the pictures of the MkI as you can see these in the original threads above. Also the complete build journals and pictures can be located on my website here:

    MkI
    GreenNeedle-Page1-DIY LED Lighting

    MkII
    GreenNeedle-Page1-DIY LED Lighting MkII


    The basic electrics: 5 seperate series of 3 x Luxeon 3W LEDs. Each series supplied with 12V which then run through a current controller (driver.) The driver consumes 1.5V and therefore 10.5V goes into each series of 3 making 3.5V per LED. This equates to 2.45W per LED and 7.35W per series. The whole setup with all 5 series on is therefore 36.75W.

    The tank it goes over is 33USG thus making 1.11WPG when all series are on. If they ran at max for the whole 9 hour photoperiod this would be a highlight tank.

    The reason for seperating the electrics into 5 series rather than 1 large setup is that I am no electrician and it is much easier for me to use 5 x 12V adaptors run on timers rather than PCB boards to simulate the sun moving along the sky as each series turns on at an appointed time until all 5 are on and then they turn off in the opposite direction (Left to Right series)

    Starting with the MkI unit (January 2009)

    The Plan:
    [​IMG]


    1 series:
    [​IMG]


    1 LED mounted:
    [​IMG]


    The whole board fired up:
    [​IMG]


    The unit in Situ:
    [​IMG]


    So that was 18 months ago. Next post will be the MkII version



    Regards AC

    continues............
     
  2. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    ............continued

    The MkII version of my DIY LED setup.

    Although I've called it MkII what I have done is in fact to make a new design of the unit and then transfer exactly the same electrics into it. Prettier and darned cool IMO ;)

    So...pictures below but first an explanation of the changes:

    1 - The unit is now made from 6mm MDF instead of 22mm pine. Much much lighter but still strong enough to support my 10ltr bucket if I need to empty and refill for any reason.
    2 - Access is now via a lid on the top rather than removing the glass underneath.
    3 - The bottom is now solid rather than glass so you can't see the internals.
    4 - I have used lense holders fixed into the bottom section to 'tidy' the appearance up. They house 45º lenses.
    5 - The unit has been veneered to match my other furniture.
    6 - The fans reduced to 3 at each end as they fitted nicely behind some vent covers I bought rather than the 4 at each end previously.
    7 - The unit is much more slimline now. 12cm to be precise :)
    8 - I am now using proper heatsinks for the LEDs rather than cut up pieces of reflector

    Why did I use lenses when I have mentioned before that the spread is much better without? Because it tidied up the appearance. Being 45º they do spread pretty well but if 1 LED is not as bright, the spread from the others does not make up for it anymore. I changed 2 LEDs that were a little 'yellower' than the others.

    So the unit is new but the actual lighting setup has now been running for 18 months with absolutely zero problems. The 2 LEDs that were removed were still working fine. It was just the differential in their colouration that made me change them:

    Drawing out the plan pre-routing:
    [​IMG]

    Aligning the fans on the side panels:
    [​IMG]

    Making sure the lense holders fit into the routed holes:
    [​IMG]

    Veneering the lip:
    [​IMG]



    continues.............
     
  3. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    .............continued


    The finished outer with nice laquered and polished underside (still to trim the veneer aound the fan holes):
    [​IMG]

    Positioning the vents on each end:
    [​IMG]

    The lid in place. I routed a 2mm recess around the perimeter of the unit which the lid sits in (The 'finger' hole is the rear of the unit and has a piece of black carrier bag on the inside to stop the dust):
    [​IMG]

    The electrics fitted inside:
    [​IMG]

    The aliens are landing :eek:, I mean yippee it still works ;) :
    [​IMG]

    All finished apart from 4 coats of Tung Oil. That is why the veneer looks much lighter than the cabinet. Once the Tung Oil is on and cured it will go the same colour as the cabinet:
    [​IMG]

    You may notice that the scape looks the same. That is because...........it is :) The scape is 15 months old and has only ever known LED light. The picture in the first post above is about 1 month into the scape where the picture in this post is about 1 month ago (14 months old.)

    How has it been maintained for that long without becoming a huge mess? I shall explain:

    1A - Full pressurised CO2 @ 30+ppm. for the first 6 months.
    1B - EI nutrients for the first 6 months.
    1C - The lighting stagger was much quicker meaning the full 5 series were on for 5 hours in the centre of a 9 hour photoperiod.

    After 6 months I was happy that it was nearly at the stage I wanted and so to preserve it as it was (almost like a permanent picture)............

    2A - The CO2 was ditched (I have in fact sold it and probs won't go the CO2 route again.)
    2B - The ferts were ditched (no ferts are added to this setup now.)
    2C - The lighting stagger is much longer meaning the full 5 series are now on for the central 1 hour only. Still a 9 hour total photoperiod though.
    2D - Now it is non CO2 there is no 20x turnover. The circulation pump has gone and the filter provides just under 6x turnover.
    2E - The last water change was in September 2009. 10 whole lazy months ago.

    Basically the lighting is reduced and CO2/ferts ditched meaning growth for the past year has been much much slower. Not stagnant but much much slower and almost no maintenance needed. This is effectively an El Natural tank except for the filter :eek:

    AC
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Good workmanship and execution. What is the PAR output?
    Borrow the meter, then measure from the tips down to the lower corners etc for the full range.

    Once the roots are well established and the biomass increased 4-6 X, then you did not want much growth, so yanking the CO2 was wise.
    You still get growth, just much slower........

    You can still add ferts BTW if you want, but the plants will grow more.

    So this is a 45 Watt hood now or the 36.5w?
    If the watt to PAR ranges is = to T5's, then this is about right and has a nicer spread in some ways.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Lol Tom. Remember this is the UK where we don't trust our best friend with anything worth more than a few pounds, let alone anywhere else :)

    As it is I don't know anyone here in the UK that has a PAR meter :)

    The LEDs are capable of 45W in total but when you work out the current going in after the controller the max this setup can run at is 36.75W 1.11WPG.

    As an idea the plants are quite happy with the light even though there is only 1 hour of 1.11WPG.

    The sequence is as follows:
    Hour Series Watts WPG
    1 : 1(Left) 7.35 0.22
    2 : 1,2 14.7 0.45
    3 : 1,2,3 22.05 0.67
    4 : 1,2,3,4 29.4 0.89
    5 : 1,2,3,4,5 36.75 1.11
    6 : 2,3,4,5 29.4 0.89
    7 : 3,4,5 22.05 0.67
    8 : 4,5 14.7 0.45
    9 : 5 (Right) 7.35 0.22

    Whilst it is a 9 hour photoperiod with these lenses the series will only overlap the series next to each so in essence the area under each series is receiving light for the 5 hours that the series above is on plus 1 more hour where it gets some overlap from the series next to it.

    I'm not adding ferts because the stocking is quite high 11 Corys and 15 Rasbora in a 33USG tall (80cm length) tank.

    I would estimate the Par to W ratio will be much higher than T5HO. Probably anywhere between 1.5x and 3x !!! Of course we already have the PAR ratios for Solaris 75W vs MH 250W and the Solaris was 85% of the MH PAR at les than a third wattage.

    You could get yourself ;) the latest articles from PFK. They have an article where they are comparing quite a few of the latest LED units against MH units and flouro units. All retail versions of course. The link to the current article is here, the magazine has all the info in it but it isn't on the website:

    http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/content.php?sid=2551

    Just to confuse others ;) An MH pendant is better than a flouro luminaire purely due to the area it shines light from (reflector) however the flouro will have a higher light output watt for watt. Sounds bad but the MH reflector is pretty similar to the LED grid. the light can spread and cover and get in all those spots that are shadowed with slim tubes and reflectors. Someone will suggest a much larger reflector for the flouros to regain the lost ground on MH and save money but then.............you can only fit 1 tube in to avoid restrike issues and that means low wattage etc.

    Saying that I would think a single full length t5ho with a reflector the footprint of the tank curved properly would reach medium-light equivalent growth!!! Even though that would only be about 1WPG!!!

    Hypothesis of course but then that is me. A poor boy with no finances and no friends etc :p

    AC
     
    #5 SuperColey1, Jul 14, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2010
  6. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    One last little improvement on this project is the hanging 'equipment.

    The unit was hanging by 2 chains that were linked to D ring on the luminaire and then up to some hooks in the shelf above.

    This wasn't the nicest looking piece of kit but has sufficed the past 18 months. My wife had commented on it. Several forum members had commented on it and it was something I was looking to replace so I finally got round to it.

    I bought one of the hanging kits that are meant for the old style Arcadia Luminaires and whilst mine is much bigger than the units this is intended for mine is probably a little lighter .

    The kit consists of 2 long cables which have a close loop at one end to hang it from. There are 2 shorter cables with round 'washer' type ends to attach to the luminaire, Both of these are similar to bicycle gear/brake cables in thickness.

    Next ther is a little 2 metal piece which is like a cylinder with an internal locking 'grip' mechanism. they are only about 10mm in diameter. The hanging cable goes through the centre of the cylinder and then when oyu pull it locks in place. Then the luminaire cable threads through a groove at the bottom and a screw in part then tightens to hold it in place.

    It is then just a case of raising/lowering the hanging cable by using the release mechanism on the cylinder unit. I used a spirit level and locked them off when I was happy the unit was level left to right. then it was a case of levelling the unit front to back which meant sliding the luminaire cables back and forth through the groove until the whole unit was level. then the screw in part is tightened to hold it in place.

    That is this unit completed. There are a couple of minor cosmetics to sort out where the old D rings were but these are just a case of plugging the old screw holes with some tiny veneer 'patches' and then applying some more Tung Oil over the are athey were to match them in.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    AC
     
  7. boink

    boink Junior Poster

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    What is the spacing on the LEDS and the dimension of the tank?

    It is looking great. I have 55 3 W crees and drivers laying around that I have not had time to monkey with and wanted to ask your spacing

    Thanks!
     
  8. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    very simple. 5 rows across 3 rows front to back. the 'footprint of the luminaire is 82cm x 34cm.

    The 'footprint then divided into 15 equal sqaures soi 82/5 across and 34/5 front to back and each LED in the centre of each 'area'

    AC
     
  9. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I still have that feline dynamic loading/perching problem so I'm a little concerned about the cable/hardware strength even though I have the same mounting kit. I have to stick with the chains for now I think.

    -
    S
     
  10. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Lol my 60lb greyhound doesn't even look at the fish tank :) The 220lb wife thought she could lean on the luminaire though whilst trying to get something from the shelf above. She nearly got a surprise face wash. lol

    AC
     
  11. boink

    boink Junior Poster

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    So that's about 6" (16.4cm) horizontal and 3"(6.5cm) front to back? Do you get any spotlighting issues?
     
  12. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    No spotlighting issues.

    The actual lights are approx 12" above the water surface so if you carry them out 45º from the LED downward (45º optics) they overlap each other just before they reach the water surface level. Its something I took into consideration when the optics came.

    Pretty easy to do. If you lower the unit down, you can see the 'spot circle' on the water surface looking from below and through the water (from the front glass). So I then raised it until there were no 'spaces' and therefore no beams either.

    Remember however that I am only now using the optics as a way of making the unit more aesthetically pleasing. These LEDs give a much more even spread with no optics but then you see the glare as you do with flouro/MH when it is raised..

    AC
     
  13. CptanPanic

    CptanPanic Junior Poster

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  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I have gone non CO2 for the majority of my own tanks at home.

    I think this might be a tend in the coming years, super efficient lighting, and non CO2.

    I hope so.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Closer to 3 I would suggest. No PAR meter though :)

    I think I could've gotten away with a lot less W overall on Non CO2. Possibly 0.5WPG LED would still be close to 1.5WPG of other lighting. However having the lights raised so much higher does give a nice look to the setup.

    AC
     
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