Waterproofing led strip

SilverJ

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Hello all

Whats the easiest and most inexpensive way to use these strips in my canopy.. moist level are HIGH..

Thank you
 

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ian_m

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You can't. Been there done that and failed.

I found no glue that would keep the strips attached, despite claiming they were 3M expensive adhesive. The water worked it's way in and strips came off. They need fixing with screws or clips. Don't trust any glue in presence of hot extreme moisture.

I was unable to achieve seals on the wires. The attached pvc wires actually don't seal with silicone (use neutral cure) and water/moisture seeps in and corrodes the copper PCB tracks.

Also the silicone covering the white LEDs started yellowing as attacked by the UV from white LEDs.

What some people are using are rigid LED strips in aluminium channel with front covering plastic. These keep the moisture away from the LEDs as well as allowing any damp air to vent out the channels.

Of course a lot DIY LED solutions on UKAPS are free hanging thus not affected by moisture.
 

ian_m

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Oh and bloomin dim compared to proper LEDs or even T5 HO tubes.
 

zozo

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Yes there are also complete aluminium profile led striips in IP68 available.

IP68 water proof is the propper search term for 100% waterproof. It's the last digit code 8.. Lower last number is less waterproof

They are waterproof by beeing casted with Epoxy resin. Problem is, its a solid piece, if it ever burns out the led strip can't be replaced and the complete unit is trash. I've tried one a while ago, they are indeed 100% waterproof and can de dropped in the water. But since they are completely casted and inclosed in epoxy have bad heat dissipation shortening it's lifespan. If the epoxy isn't UV treated it turns yellow after a number of weeks. Filtering light..

There are loads of different aluminium led strip covers available for indoor use. But not all have a snuggly thight fit cover to prevent moist air from getting in. Also outdoor use can be found for extra price are IP65..

The strips in the link above are ideal indoor models, have a snugly thight fitting pvc cover clamped on and the end caps can be siliconed and screwed to the deck. Makes it +/- IP65 Spray waterproof.

Only concern in a closed lid with maybe condensating water accumulting and dripping back into the tank. That is very soft distilled water and relative agressive to aluminium, you don't want that dripping back into the tank. Than put a protective spray coating on the outside of the aluminium profile.

For an open top tank, no issues at all, have used the above strips for many years in several occasions. Still today. :) Builded several aqaurium light setups for friends with this.. Yet never recieved one complain all are still happy..
 
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zozo

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Another very inexpensive way to make these strip covers even beter water proof also for condense water running off.

Since silicone is a petrol based product..

Mix some fresh silicone with white spirit, keep adding white spirit and keep stirring till you reach a consistency that can be applied with a brush.

Paint the profiles with this silicone mix, you can even put a thin layer on the pvc cover seam where it clamps the aluminium. (Dont paint the complete plastic cover obviously)

Let it cure for 24 hours, all spirit will evaporate and the aluminium will be completely covered with a thin film of inert silicone.. :thumbup:
 
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SilverJ

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Thanx for everyone's valued input on this matter.. I went to the local hardware store and the sales person recommended to use fiberglass resin on it.. basically smear on top and bottom of the led strip... almost what @zozo said.. any advice on the resin? did anyone try it before with success
 

zozo

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any advice on the resin?

Not realy cheap, you buy it per weight, smallest pack i could find is 1 kilo at around € 20, You need a few grams to coat the strips. For the rest thats left after it was opened could have a shelf life. Next to that most resins of the shelf are UV sensitive, need an extra added protector. Or else will turn yellow over time. You can not say in a shop i need 4 gram resin and the 10% UV protector. You have to buy it by the lot and mix your self what you need. If the least amount of resin is offered in a kilo, the smallest amount UV protector likely will be 100 gram bottle.

Than you still have to find away to mount the coated strips.. Refering to @ian_m experiences with no glue holds permantly in a constant moist invironment. The glues that do, need hammer and chisel to be romeved after its cured.
You have to find a way to screw fix the strips.

I have no advice on that, other than what you are trying to avoid. Do it propperly with a casing designed to hold these rigid strips or don't do it at all. Me also experienced that trying to reinvent the wheel to be cheaper in the end didn't always work and was a waste of money. Tho its a learning curve :) also worth something.. Thus not a complete waste seeing it from the positive side. Keep on DIYing and trying new ideas, you'll get there.. :thumbup:
 
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