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DIY LED lighting


Sep 1, 2012
i have led lighting on all my tanks including two octo tanks for the last three weaks any way and the octos don't seem to mind the bright light so far even with the lights turned up high enuf to grow sps and mangroves.
one of them is in a 72 bow front with 48 led's including cool white,420nm royal blue,460nm blue,660nm red,and green. unfortunetly i didn't plan the leds for octos so my red's are on the same string as the blues and greens so they can't be run alone but i plan to seperate them and run them off a small moonlight driver.
i think 36 led's would be plenty for a 55 and even capable of growing some sps if you wanted since your going dimable i would keep your blues on a seperate string so you can run them alone for night lights, i gradualy fade my whites down first then the blues fade off a few hours later. if you use good led's you won't need 9 reds to fill a 55, i'd go with 4or5 tops, don't forget to much red will give you alot of algie growth. also i would use a mix of cool and neautral whites to give a little broader spectrum with more yellos and greens.
if it wer me i would build it like this
driver 1 meanwell eln6048p- 16 cree xte 420 royal blue
driver 2 meanwell eln6048p- 6 cool white-3 neutral white cree xpg-2 cree xpg 460 blue
driver 3 dimable nano driver from rapidled- 4 cree 660 reds
driver 4 dimable nano driver.......- 6 uv led's not shure of brand
controler-boost led typhoon adrino controler- 4 channel controler with seperate timer,max intensity level and fade in/out times for each channel can run 2 driver per channel, i have 2 of these now and i love them, theyr not prety but theyr only 50 bucks
i'm not shure if the nano drivers work with the typhoon controler but i think they will
no lenses should be neessary for the led's and you will get better color mixing without them.
this is the top of my 72 before i added the uv's the led's are mounted on 1inch c-channel i made from square tubing i split on the table saw but 3/4 c-channel works just as well. if i wer to build this one again i would mount the c-channel closer togeather becouse their is a little bit of spotlighting(bright spots and colors not mixing well) as it is now and it gets realy bad if i add the 80* lenses.
i have bought allmost all of my building suplys from rapid led and highly recomend them


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this is the top for my 92 corner bow. the hole in the middle inishaly held a 250w halide but i replaced it with a led panel with 16rb 11 cool whites and 3 neatrual whites the outer ring has 16 rb and 12 cool whites and 2 warm whites mounted on solid aluminum plate. the inside of the hood is compleetly lined with miror polished aluminum sheet so the color mixing is excelent. the acrylic peices used to hold atinic power compacts when i originaly built the hood.


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i am thinking of trying a product called carotion-x, it's used by alot of raido controle boat builders to protect electronics and i have seen demos of it used on a raido reciver wich is treated, let dry and then droped into a cup of water and still functions perfectly after removal and i know for fact that even slight condensation will normaly drive these recivers haywire, the reciver also has led's in them and the product did not make any visable change to the color or surface of the led.
their are also spray on sealers available specificly from led vendors but i have not heard/read any reviews from peapole that have used them
none of my led's are sealed or coverd other than the glass top on the tankand 8-10 inches of air space and i have not had any corotion ishues so far at about 1 1/2yrs but i am very carefull about not splashing them
i was doing some reading today on an interesting led controler/driver and i thought i would post on it here becouse i think it would be a good option for someone who wants to have dimable led's with sunrise/sunset/moonlight controle but doesn't need high output lighting for corals.
this controler will run 4 independent chanels of three led's each at up to 500ma by itself, this is not enuf light for corals(mabie some mushrooms) unless you have a 10g or smaller nano tank then it's perfect for a mini reef. but this would be enuf for adequit lighting for say a 55-65g octo tank w/seperate chanell for red night lighting
posibly somthing like this
ch 1 3 royal blue
ch2 3 white
ch3 1 white,2 royal blue or reg blue or uv
ch4 3 red
this would alow for a decent looking daylight that can be adjusted by varying the max levels of each chanell or you could run red or blue only for nightlights with all the on/off and sunrise/set time being programable
for higher power lighting you can combine the controler with dimable drivers but still reserv chanels for smaller amounts of moonlight/red led's
for reef capable wide spectrum lighting w/moon/red
ch 1 dimable driver w/16 rb
ch 2 dimable w/14 neautral/cool white
ch 3 dimable w/14-16 460 blue,uv,green,cyan or internal driver w/ 3 red or blue moonlights
ch 4 intenal driver w/3 red
the controler can also power 2 12v 500ma fans that turn on whenever ch 1 and 3 are on
i have not tried this controler yet but everything i have read has been positive and i plan on trying one soon. i might even setup a nano to see how much light it can produce by itself

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