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LED lighting

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Tom Barr, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm not sure if it's the same thread I was reading but it could be. In any event, I don't have much choice. Having LEDs within a couple of inches of the water surface pretty much requires a splash guard. I did that once without and the splashing/humidity caused an LED to unglue and fall in on a shrimp only tank. Total loss. Not really up for repeating that one. :(

    Winters here are pretty dry so having an open top tank isn't that big of a deal and I haven't had to deal with wiping down windows or ice on them so I can stick with the eggcrate covers I have. They're heavy enough to keep the Cories and Discus in despite their best efforts. Besides, if I close them in I'll lose the flowering aromatica. :D

    -
    S


     
  2. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Just thought I'd show how I've got my LEDs temporarily. It is in the kitchen while I redo my lounge so the Luminaire is 80cm (32 inches) above the water level. This is because I have the cables cut to a length that lets me go from 6" above to 20" above when it is in it's normal positoin in the lounge. It hangs from a shelf not the ceiling in the lounge :)

    Only 1.12WPG but still loads of light in the tank. Enough to grow and grow well at that I would suggest :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Andy
     
  3. omartinez

    omartinez Prolific Poster

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    wow...led is a mesias in my country, we have the more expensive energy bill of america...

    It's a shame i know zero of electronics so i can make my own Led fixture for my 60x24x18 new tank :(

    then LED are good for planted?

    there is some place where i can order a customized DYI led fixture? or someone?
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I'm working with a local guy to make some pretty nice plant specific LED's, and I'll have one made for my 180 Gal tank as well as the others.

    This should drop my electric bill by about 20-30% on the lighting with better more cool light.
    So there will be some post about this in a week or two.
     
  5. feh

    feh Guru Class Expert

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    Sweet... definitely looking forward to this.
     
  6. omartinez

    omartinez Prolific Poster

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    Me too.

    i'm really looking to assemble one but dont know where to start or where to get what i need
     
  7. omartinez

    omartinez Prolific Poster

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    What do you guys think about the Bridgelux 3w LEDs?

    And what temperatures should i get?
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    How are those rocks growing for ya Andy?

    Mine just sit there.
     
  9. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Lol. they are surrounded by green of 2 types :)

    Type 1 is all the 'modular' planting I am using in scapes that will have a finished sparce appearance. In other words, loads of plants attached to small stones that boost the plantmass up whilst being able to just pick them out for photos.

    Type 2 is all the GDA/GSA over the rocks because I had 3 weeks of messing about due to bubble counter breaking, then DIY one failing, then replacement never turning up etc. So I have no bubble counter now. Just feeding CO2 straight into the atomiser and slowly the GDA/GSA starting to rebate. VERY slowly though.

    So the rocks have grown .5mm on all sides. lol

    AC
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    When I was rock farming, I never knew you could get paid fur it.
     
  11. 2wheelsx2

    2wheelsx2 Lifetime Members
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    Sure you can. Look at how much granite countertops from Brazil are worth. I almost want to quit doing gold exploration as a geologist so I can go and prospect for worthless granite instead. :D
     
  12. Spiracle

    Spiracle Junior Poster

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    I guess I will make my debut out of the wide world of professional lurkers. Here is my recently finished DIY LED setup:

    All LED supplies were purchased from RapidLED

    24 Cree XP-G cool white(8500k) mounted on two 8"x12" aluminum heat sinks from Heat Sink USA

    80 degree optics

    Two Mean Well dimmable drivers

    One Mean Well daylight controller

    4 Electric fans to cool heats sinks

    Custom conduit hangers that rotate out of the way for maintenance

    Total time to create: 4 hours

    Total expense: $350

    I am a DIY guy, so the tank(75 gallon), substrate and stand I made, well not the dirt, I just mineralized it. This tank was set up one month ago. Two smaller tanks were broken down and all the plants were transferred after having sat in buckets for a few days. After the first two weeks of the plants readjusting and a small GDA outbreak, everything has been growing incredibly fast. Glosso has almost filled in at 3 weeks. The plant colors are vivid and the shimmer effect is incredible. I just sit and stare at the tank for a good half hour(hence the couch in front of it). I have the lights positioned at 28" above the substrate and set at 100% brightness on the controller. I am running full current from the drivers because these are XP-G's and they can handle it. The controller has a a 45min sunrise and 45 sunset feature I am using as part of the daylight program for a 10 hour day. I can only guess what the PAR is based on some info from REEF LED lights website. But judging from the plant growth and the lack of algae I would say it's about the right distance. I would like to know for sure, but I am having trouble tracking down a PAR meter.
    I also opted to mount the drivers and controller in the cabinet as opposed to mounting in the fixture as I have seen some reefers do. This, I believe gives a clean look to the light fixture, I actually like the look of the aluminum heat sink with the optics lit up on the underside. I just ran the wires inside the conduit for a clean look. If anyone has any questions let me know, I'd be glad to help.

    Chris

    Enjoy the photos, although they don't seem to do the LED lights justice.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Buc_Nasty

    Buc_Nasty Junior Poster

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    I just got a marineland double bright LED, and one thing to beware of with the shimmer...I have a 3D backgruond in the tank, and the shimmer COMPLETELY overwhelms the tank if there is surface agitation. With a clear back (or even painted maybe I'm not sure) this doesnt happen as much, but in my case with the background in the tank it is almost dizzying and takes away from the tank and fish. When I turn off my pumps to stop surface agitation the tank looks absolutely fantastic because its not being shimmered to shreds, but when its shimmering its just waaay too much. I'm working on a way to solve this but its very disappointing
     
  14. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Height seems to be a large factor with shimmer. The closer to the surface the more likely it is to be an issue. When I had the small cube with 4 LEDs the shimmer was maddening. I was afraid I might trigger an epileptic seizure in someone. More LEDs with a closer spacing and consequently less needed output might also mitigate this. I had also wondered about aiming them at some white panel and then reflecting the light down into the tank as a possible way to reduce the shimmer.

    -
    S
     
  15. chopsticks

    chopsticks Prolific Poster

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    Some people love that effect, I myself like it a lot and is the main reason that I would switch from T5HO to LEDs.
     
  16. omartinez

    omartinez Prolific Poster

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    what are the dimention of your tank?


     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Nice look and post, thanks.

    I have a guy that will make folks any type of set up like this for about the same price as you spent to make it.

    DIY folks like their projects, I sometimes do, but not really here.

    I'll list his services shortly.

    the XP-g's are well regarded and bright as heck.
     
  18. Spiracle

    Spiracle Junior Poster

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    The dimensions of that tank pictured above is: 48" x 18" x 20". I kept it at 20" tall and eurobraced it so I could use 3/8" glass(according to the glass thickness calculator) instead of 1/2" which is a lot more expensive.
     
  19. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'd love it if I could get it to be more like the caustic lighting at the bottom of a pool. Enclosed hoods and lots of point lights don't seem to work quite so well for that. It's more of a multiple disco ball effect which is not exactly what I would call peaceful or calming.

    I've been thinking of getting a whole pile of Xmas LED lights and trying that in the biocube. It might have more of a luminous panel/flourescent design without the heat or power consumption. Given that I won't really need a lot of light for a tank like that and I won't need the power or optics for depth it may be a viable option. Shrug. I may very well contact the person Tom mentioned to see what he can do for me on the bigger tank. He'll need to get me under 108W for it to match my current power usage and much less would be even better.

    -
    S

     
  20. garryp

    garryp Junior Poster

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    shimmer

    Shimmer from surface agitation or ripples may be muted significantly, eliminated in some cases, by use of a diffuser. At the local hardware box store, at the same place that "eggcrate" lighting fixture diffuser is located, buy the sheet that has the small pyramid/diamond shape on one side. Close to the lighting, near zero reduction, close to the water (top of glass cover) max shimmer reduction. I use it with LED bulbs, not bare LED chips, so your mileage may vary.

    I went with the budget LED approach. I used 3x 15-watt 5000K 1200 lumen spot LED bulbs suspended about one foot above water surface of 48x18x20 75 gallon tank. Perhaps a little on the warm side, K wise. In this new setup initially fully planted, the fast growing stem plants grew, well, fast. Not having a photo spectrum analyzer, I have on order a prism to see if it can give me some idea of the spectrum from the bulbs.

    Spot lights are not ideal due to shading of smaller plants and lower levels. But all plants are doing fine. Fast growing stem plants are doing annoyingly extra-fine.

    This was a leap of faith on budget LED lighting to save electricity and room/water heat. Cost of 3x LED spots approx $105 plus non-sophisticated (read "cheap") mounting parts. What would I suggest as an improvement in design using LED spot bulbs? Use 6x smaller spots cross-aimed front to back to minimize shading. But this complicates mounting significantly.

    Not perfect, but works for me and my fishes/plants. In the past I hated tank mounted lighting. To make significant changes I had to remove lighting and could not see clearly. It is a wonderful change to be able to shut down everything and jump in up to the shoulders and still have lighting (which is mounted on the wall behind the aquarium)!
     
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