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DIY LED lighting?

GreenNeedle

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19 Jul 2007
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Lincoln UK
I just screwed them in to see how they looked and then unscrewed them. That series was to find out if I could do the res :lol: I will have to redo them to alter the wiring slightly yes but now I know this driver works I can use it to test the toher LEDs and series as I do them over the next couple of months.

Once I know each string is working on the working driver I will solder them to their individual drivers knowing that if it doesn't work it's the driver on each series that is wrong not the string of LEDs. lol

Next pics will be when the whole unit is ready to put in place and that could be some time!!!

AC

AC
 

GreenNeedle

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Those cheap double fans I bought are silent!!! I've run each at 12V 500ma on its own and they were silent. Then I rigged them all up as I will be running all 4 from the same 12V 500ma. Happy days. lol

AC
 

GreenNeedle

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This is my plan for the mounting board. I took an old 29" T5 reflector and cut it into 1.75" pieces to mount the heatsinks and LEDs on. They will act as more heatsinking. The reflector part won't really come into play but may stop some glare from direct view through the gap between the tank and 'luminaire'

mountingboard.jpg


And these are the fans on the 'in' side of the 'luminaire'. The other end is identical. Yes before you ask I have turned the fans the other way round at the other end so they are not both blowing air into the luminaire. The left set of 4 will pull air in and the right set of 4 will pull air out.

infans.jpg


So waiting for LEDs now. I have actually done 3 series and fixed them to the mounting board complete with their controllers. When I get the final 10 LEDs I will do the other 2 sets. Then all I need to do is to wire everything up and fit an acrylic sheet into the bottom of the luminaire to 'close' it off.

AC
 

Ed Seeley

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Looking very nice mate! I'm itching to try one of these too on one of my tanks, but it won't be until the summer now at the earliest :( . Can't wait to see it working.
 

GreenNeedle

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With the cost involved this is not just a test. lol I am definately aiming at a complete permanent setup here.

Cost will total about £110 so it needs to work for much longer than your average tube to validate the cost spent versus replacement tubes/electricity!!!

Hopefully it will last with minimal maintenance. I'm not too bothered if a couple of the LEDs need changing each year.

My current T5 has an internal ballast fitted in the reflector so when it goes you are supposed to bin the lot and buy a replacement. I've had it for about 18 months so its getting to the sort of time I would've replaced it.

I don't think it will save me much money overall but then the actual mount, wiring etc will never need redoing. Just LEDs will need replacing so I'll buy spares while they still make them. lol

AC
 

GreenNeedle

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The LEDs arrived and I now have 5 series of 3 all tested and mounted on the board. No more soldering left to do.

I have cut the glass for the bottom of the luminaire (modified ex DIY Hood) and fitted it.

Just got to do a few little mods to the inside of the 'luminaire' and then connect all the wiring up and its 'go go go' :)

I will post some pics of the completed mounting board tonight but won't be any 'working' shots until I get these mods done and fitted it in probs at the weekend.

I'm all excited :lol:

AC
 

BINKSY1973

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13 Nov 2008
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Oxford
Good work Andy, can not wait to see the finished product. Some close up pics would be cool off the soldering etc. How are those heat sinks attached to those pieces of reflector? And also the LEDS to the heatsinks? Cool therm tape?


Cheers Gordon.
 

GreenNeedle

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Not the soldering Aargh :) I had taken all the shots from distance to hide the close ups of my 'handy work'. :lol:

This is my first experience of soldering but I will do a close up to show the setup.

The LED is mounted to the heatsinks with some therm tape that was already on the heatsinks. Then a long screw goes through the 'reflector' mount (extra heatsinking really) and into the acrylic board. The screw shafts fit snugly into the 'star' parts and the screw heads hold them very tightly down so the heat sink fins are touching the reflector.

Pics will show better.

AC
 

BINKSY1973

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Thanks for the info Andy, Kinda know what mean mean about soldering was about 15 years ago i last did some, during me apprenticeship. Looking forward to pics.

Cheers Gordon.
 

GreenNeedle

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Some quick pics while I finish off wiring ready to insert it and connect it up.

This is from the end looking along the board. I put this first because I though it looked quite impressive:
completeboardside.jpg


This is the whole board from above. The acrylic sheet is 80cm x 34cm
completeboardtop.jpg


And just for Binksy this is an individual close up:
completeboardunit.jpg


Got to go...busy, busy, busy :lol:

AC
 

GreenNeedle

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I won't be posting pics of the lights after all. lol

Was very careless and connected the wrong +/- on 2 series and therefore 2 drivers burnt out. The LEDs still work though (tested them on one that didn't burn out.)

So will wait for 2 more drivers Aargh the cost. lol and be more careful next time.

Lesson learnt I guess. Take your time Mr Cole!!!!

AC
 

BINKSY1973

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Ahhhhhh Andy what a school boy error, lol.


But from them pics its looking quality mate well done.

I need to get some cash together and get something like this done for my 2ft tank.


Cheers Gordon.
 

GreenNeedle

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I had one eye on what I was doing and the other was watching the FA Cup highlights :lol:

However turns out it wasn't from me wiring the polarity wrong because I wired 2 the wrong way round yet only 1 of these was one that burnt out. The other was wired correctly.

From having a proper look this morning it seems that the 2 drivers that burnt out actually had wires that had touched (+&-)

I have now ordered 3 more drivers (1 spare) and am going to use silicon rather than tape like you see above to stop things from moving. Then I'll blob some silicon on any contact points or bare wire too.

Shouldn't be long for them to arrive and then I shall test again. lol

AC
 

GreenNeedle

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The replacement drivers came today and so this evening after I put the boys to bed I setup and took my time getting some soldering and wiring done and here are the results:

I left my living room light on which is directly above the board so you can see how bright these are in a normally lit room!!!

Here is the sequence from no lights to full lights. Look at the chair legs directly behind to see the brightness!!!
room0.jpg

room1.jpg

room2.jpg

room3.jpg

room4.jpg

room5.jpg

That is my sunrise effect :) To see sunset all you need to do is turn your monitor upside down and then scroll up on the mousewheel :lol:

And a couple of shots from above:
room6.jpg

room7.jpg


One question. I am thinking of using these 2 pin connectors so I can disconnect all the cables easily when removing the hood. They say AC only. Will that cause a problem using them on this setup?
room8.jpg


So tomorrow I need to continue with my hood modifications before putting these lights in this weekend ;)

AC
 

GreenNeedle

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I have installed the lighting and it is working. Photos don't do it justice in the slightest but then I would say that. lol

In summary I have moved from 48W fluorescent to approx 42W of LED. I have had to raise the 'luminaire' by 6" and therefore the light is now approx 12" above the water level!!! However it is still brighter. lol

Here is the tidied up board all lit up:
compfullboard.jpg


And here it is fitted into the 'luminaire'
compboardfitted.jpg


Finally a look at the right rear corner where the wires come out of the luminaire:
compdodgyconns.jpg


Onto the lighting schedule. forgive the quality of the pics. A mix of poor camera and lack of photography skills here. lol

Moonlight from midnight until 3pm (running on 10V)
compmoon.jpg


Light 1 comes on at 3pm
comp1.jpg


Light 2 comes on at 3-45pm
comp2.jpg


Light 3 comes on at 4-30pm
comp3.jpg


Light 4 comes on at 5-15pm
comp4.jpg


And light 5 comes on at 6pm
comp5.jpg


The full 5 series stay on until 9pm and then they turn off from the left so the reverse as in the sun moving across the sky.
Series 1 off @ 9pm, series 2 off @ 9-45pm, series 3 off at 10-30pm, series 4 off at 11-15pm and then moonlights back on at midnight.

The fans are running 24/7 and should make sure any moisture that may get into the sealed section is dried pretty quickly.

You cannot see in these pictures the shimmer. It is absolutely amazing. Wow factor to say the least and well worth the hours I have put into this (maybe as much as 50 hours!!!) The cost was high compared to comparable wattage of fluoro fittings BUT these are way brighter for the watts and the effect is worth the money.

AC
 

vauxhallmark

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29 Jan 2008
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Wow, you've done a FANTASTIC job!

Can't wait to see how the tank and plants respond to the new schedule.

Congratulations,

Mark
 

scottturnbull

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30 Oct 2008
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SuperColey:

What's was the total cost (excluding breakages etc.)?

I've seen a lot more electronics coming out that is geared towards running these LEDs. Only a couple of months ago, when this thread started, I could only find a couple of things. Now Rapid have a whole lot of different Integrated Circuits for powering LEDs. The easiest option is probably this one, although it only drives 1W LEDs, the datasheet shows ones capable of delivering 700ma. Cheaper, and more work, would be something like this. They also have dedicated chips, but I haven't a clue how to solder those without making a mess. I'm pretty sure none of the above ICs were available a few months ago.

Your setup looks good, SuperColey1. I'm interested to hear how it performs longer term. I'm getting into the mood for having a go myself. I'll let you know how I get on. I'm going to start off with a plug and play driver, like this, and then gradually replace it with a circuit of my own.
 

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