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DIY LED Lighting Fixture

Discussion in 'Planted Aquariums' started by keno, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. keno

    keno AC Members

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    I recently completed a DIY LED light fixture for my 55 gallon planted aquarium. I have seen a number of articles on the internet on how to build an LED light fixture, and most of them were on marine aquariums. I built one for my planted aquarium using 12 Cree XR-E Q5 emitters that I put into a JBJ light fixture. I also took a different approach when it came to describing LED light fixtures. I decided instead of putting all the information into one article to break the information down into different sections and explore the cost, how do LED's work, what materials will I need, the build, etc. Well the DIY LED light fixture has been in and operating since January 5, 2010. If you have a moment or two take a look at it on my blog.
     
  2. keno

    keno AC Members

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    Here are a couple if images of the LED light fixture.

    I put together a section on my blog that shows various before and after images of certain plants within the aquarium. All of the plants are doing great and I am really pleased with the results of the LED lights.
     

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  3. chris-in-sf

    chris-in-sf AC Members

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    Nice job Keno. Love the tank and the rocky background.

    I actually came back to the forum to read up on people using LED fixtures, as I was thinking of switching too. I was about to have to replace another power compact but saw the new LED fixtures from Marineland and Current.
     
  4. DoctaQ

    DoctaQ all your wheel are belong to us

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    i had no idea that you could light a planted with so few leds, and you seem to be getting good growth hows your spacing like? do you get spotting? what size optics did you use if any?

    you went super overkill on cooling your leds, what fan did you use? my fan is super loud.
     
  5. keno

    keno AC Members

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    DoctaQ;

    Sorry I didn't reply sooner, I didn't get an email indicating anyone had posted on my LED article.

    To answer your questions:
    i had no idea that you could light a planted with so few leds, and you seem to be getting good growth hows your spacing like?
    I attached a picture from 2-15-10 the plants are growing like crazy. I had purchased only 3 glosso plants in pots, they have now taken over the entire bottom of the aquarium. To answer your spacing question I have two 12" heatsinks spaced 6" in from the ends of the fixture with a 10" gap between them in the middle. There are 6 LED's per heat sink (see picture).

    do you get spotting? what size optics did you use if any?
    I do not have any spotting, but the light intensity is less on either end of the tank. I did not use any optics.

    you went super overkill on cooling your leds, what fan did you use? my fan is super loud.
    I used two 1" fans mounted on the sides of each of the heatsinks, plus I have two 2" fans (Evercool 50x10mm fan #840556021834) that are part of the fixture. The 2" fans are very quiet, plus they individually move 19cfm for a total of 38 cfm. I can probably get by with just the 2" fans. I haven't tried disconnecting the 1" fans. I didn't know how hot the heatsinks would get so I went with overkill on the fans. The heatsinks stay pretty cool around 90 degrees.
     

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  6. DoctaQ

    DoctaQ all your wheel are belong to us

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    wow, thats a months growth with diy co2?
     
  7. Quartermain

    Quartermain From the deepest darkest abyss

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    That's just absolutely gorgeous! The genius of the fixture is punctuated by the success of the plants.

    Hmm... this may inspire me to do an LED DIY of my own. Maybe not a replacement for my fixture, but an addition to it. I'd like to get a little more light into my 40 gallon.
     
  8. CatsMeowww

    CatsMeowww AC Members

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    This is cool! How did you figure out how many LED's you would need for plant growth?
     
  9. DoctaQ

    DoctaQ all your wheel are belong to us

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    number of leds is about coverage, seems to me that a single led can cover 4x4inch area.
     
  10. keno

    keno AC Members

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    DoctaQ;

    It was about 6 weeks of growth with my CO2 running at about 28ppm. All of the plants have responded well, but the glosso has just exploded.

    As for the LED's I would have to agree that one LED can cover a 4"x4" area easily plus you get overlap. For example I thought the center of the aquarium might not have enough light since there is the 10" gap between the heatsinks. My findings indicate that the center of the aquarium gets plenty of light. If the glosso was not getting enough light it would be tall and stringy. The glosso hugs the substrate and is getting so thick I am going to have to figure out how to remove some of it without making a mess.
     

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