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Rapidled Diy Light Kit

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by bshenanagins, Jan 29, 2018.

  1. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    Is anyone running these kits or similar DIY led setups? It seems we can get the spectrums we desire by going this route, rather than just accepting the available commercial fixtures for double or triple the price. Anyone have any experience? Or maybe explain why these have not taken off in the planted hobby and only the reefers.
     
  2. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    I build these dual pucks and drive them with LDD drivers.
    This was my own configured mess, tested different LED's on pucks until I was happy.
    Use a StormX Controller to run all my tanks.

    Each box costs about $11 in raw materials, heatsinks & fans are repurposed from my work.
    Over the years I have saved heatsinks and fans from motor VFD's as they fail in the plant.
    I build a hinged canopy for all my tanks to mount as many of these boxes as needed. Many don't like a canopy, but?
    Labor is about 90 minutes per box, I'll make at least a dozen over the course of a week or it's not worth it.

    Have seen many start builds on other forums, lack the knowledge, spend lots of dough and are in way over their head.
    Builds never get completed, shoved in the closet, they write it off and buy a commercially available fixture. Go Figure.o_O

    Reefers have accepted LED lighting much better than the planted tank world, don't know why.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    Those are neat! You run those in your tanks? And that is very convenient getting the supplies from your job. Do you sell those or just make them for your tanks? I’m really interested in the rapidled kit that’s designed for freshwater. They boast their setups are enough light for corals etc so i can’t see why they wouldn’t be for us
     
  4. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    These are the only light I run nowadays.:D
    1 box for each square foot of available planting surface.
    Cannot run them @ full blast even in 21" depth, PAR would be excessive.

    Scraps from work help for sure!:)

    I have never sold them. Never really thought to.
    One time I offered 5 heatsinks to a junior poster on TPT and they bailed? Just pay for shipping?o_O

    RapidLED kits would be fine and do grow corals well.
    They seem a bit pricey to me but I am heavy on DIY.
     
  5. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    Wow that’s pretty awesome! We’re on the same page I love DIY if it’s feasible for me, makes the hobby that much more fun you know? Plus I like making things that either match or exceed commercialized products. I’m new to building LED’s but it seems remarkably straight forward, and that newbie that ignored your offer was a dope! How exactly do you make those pucks I’d love to know and what LED’s do you use? Also you mentioned the area they cover and the intensity, do you have PAR data or just from observation? Sorry for all the questions but I’m very proud of your work and effort and would love to learn more
     
    Phishless likes this.
  6. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    Newbie was like 15 or 16 years of age and investigating options.
    I only thought to help someone young and just starting a DIY project.
    They apparently did not have the funds for the rest of the project.

    I use all 3 watt LED's. Slow boat from China, $12 US per hundred.
    14 LED's per driver @ 52 volts DC, 48VDC power supply adjusted up a bit.
    2 disks that hold 7 LED's each all in series, total 42watts per box.
    To build a box, 6-15K white, 6-full spectrum, 1-RB, and 1-520nm green,
    Each box driven with 1 LDD Meanwell 700mA driver.
    This was the most bang for the buck!

    PAR data from a Seneye Reef monitor.
    I target PAR @ 100 at substrate.
    Never turned one of these up to 100% duty cycle.
    I don't know what the highest PAR obtainable would be?
    1 box for each cubic foot of substrate mounted in canopy.
    Seems like overkill but I wanted good complete coverage.
     
  7. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    Not bad at all, and since you don’t have them turned up all the way your prob using way less energy than you think. Where did you get the blank pucks and why 15k white and not the 6500k range?
     
  8. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    The blank disks are like $7 for 20, China.
    15K and full spectrum ratio is 1:1, full spectrum brought the PAR down too much in combination with 6500K, to bring it back up moved to 15K after 10K was not quit enough.
    Regarding lumens it doesn't count since they dim and they have never been 100%.
    Kelvin reading @ 21" is 22K but that is a blend of all LED's on.
    Kelvin when measured closer to light starts to drop?
    If I test an LED household bulb the Kelvin is spot on @ rated lumen distance so I know my meter is good.

    If you are interested I could dig up links for LED's and disks to PM to you.
     
  9. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    Thanks for the thorough responses and yes I am interested when you get the chance.
     
  10. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    I will add some links to this thread when I return from a dinner outing.
    I'll put them here, others may have interest too, who knows!o_O

    This LED solution has worked well for me.
    Maybe someone else can use or modify it to their liking!:D
     
  11. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    Sounds good! I entertained the rapidled aurora pucks but it seems they are lacking in red apparently, “visually.” You said materials costed you $11 per box right? Not including the heat sink and canopy of course. Those led’s I’m assuming are just cheap Chinese and not any specific name correct? How long have you had them running and any failures? And yes links would be great!
     
  12. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    Bridgelux and Epistar 3watt LED beads from China, yes they are dirt cheap.
    Max running for me is about 28 months = 6387 hours so far.
    No failure on StormX controller or Meanwell LDD drivers, or Meanwell power supplies.

    LED failures yes, 3watt UV trial lasted 8 months, the beads internally melted and remained dim.
    Other people had this problem too, so no more UV beads.

    Full spectrum failures from 1 lot of 20, slowly over time a dozen have failed.
    I can judge which is still yet to fail, slight difference in diameter and design.

    This was not a deal breaker for me though.
    Puck goes dim, 10 minutes to slide heatsink out of box and solder a new one in its place.
    I keep extras on hand.

    More to follow!
     
  13. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    Thanks for the links! Yeah I assumed there would be some issues with failing led’s but like you said, simple swap and supplies are cheap.
     
  14. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    I have been reading up on the subject all over forums and your friend jeffkrol over at the plantedtank has some good knowledge as well! I like the idea of using a high CRI COB that covers a good spectrum with the addition of desired extra reds or blues. The LUXEON Fresh Focus “Fish” looks promising as a COB. If I tried it I think I would go with 3 over my 40 and add maybe 4 3w photo reds around each cob as Jeff suggests. I do like the look of the 6500k but I do appreciate enhancing the other colors to my taste. Wondering if I should do individual heat sinks per cob arrangement or go with one big one across the tank. Would probably be able to passive cool if I did it that way.
     
  15. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    I don't chase high CRI ratings.
    I'm keeping it cheap on LED's and mix colors as I like.
    China $11 gets me 100 3watt beads.
     
  16. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    These pucks are only capable of one channel correct? So when you dim them your dimming all of the led colors correct?
     
  17. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    Yes it is dimming them all.
    It took some testing for PUR & PAR where I wanted it. Experiment with several 3watt LED's.
     
  18. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    Once the reds are introduced they run @ a lower forward voltage.
    Typically mixing voltages is not done well.
    Full spectrum LED's run @ same forward voltage as the whites!
     
  19. bshenanagins

    bshenanagins Junior Poster

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    Ahh okay. My other issue is knowing what part of the spectrum those led’s spike in. For instance Kelvin rating is meaningless when we talk about 6500k leds and some being more favorable in the green and yellow than in the blue and red. Did you find any data on those leds or you just experimented to see how everything grew in the end? For instance how do you know those full spectrum leds are actually full spectrum? Or was your main concern the color it provided.
     
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