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DIY Moonlight - SMD LED Lighting - Low Profile - 210 Gallon

Discussion in 'Freshwater Equipment, Products, & DIY' started by bjbass, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. bjbass

    bjbass AC Members

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    Decided to finally get around to a moonlight for my AGA 210 as the two Marineland Double Brite LED fixtures don't have a second power source for the moonlight and it is not nearly bright enough to light my tank.


    I did some research and purchased this cheap ($15 shipped) from Hong Kong SMD Lighting on Ebay. It is flexible, waterproof, and it is LED. Another nice thing is that every inch and a half or so you can cut it so you can get the exact length you need.


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    Here you can see the scale.


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    I soldered a DC female adapter to the bare wire with a connector from Radio Shack for $3.


    http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2102490


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    I used an old DC 12V charger from an old cell phone.


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    My next problem was it has adhesive backing and it is very strong, but I needed something to mount it to. I wanted cheap and low profile. I went to Lowe's and bought this stuff. It is over with the building materials and I believe it is used in poured concrete to strengthen the edges so they don't crack/break as easy. It is made from aluminum so it is lightweight and shiny already. I was going to spray paint that reflective paint on something if I had to, but now I don't need to!


    Can't beat the price!
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    It has paper on one side, but no big deal. I also marked off the length of my tank and cut this with the cutting disc on my Dremel tool.


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    I tore that off and hand sanded it with heavy grit sand paper.


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    Since this is a right angle there wasn't anything to stick the lighting to underneath so I used some 1 hour silicone and smoothed it with my finger.


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    Here it is after spray painting it black with Krylon Fusion paint. This stuff is great for metal and it dries in like 20 minutes. I used two coats.


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    It turns out that the adhesive is great to stick to everything but silicone. So I removed the backing from it and applied a thin layer of silicone again onto the bottom of the aluminum strip. I then carefully pressed the strip into it down through. I double checked that I had not gotten any on the light and that it was firm the whole way.


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    Here is how slim the fixture is.


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    From the front.


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    The light in action!


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    Let me know if you have any questions!


    BJ
     
  2. smokey2957

    smokey2957 AC Members

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    Thats cool. I just ordered something like that from Flexfire LEDs. I will be going to a salvage store thats close by to see if I can get a used piece of trak lighting to put my leds in so they dont get banged against the glass top of the tank. Have to wait for the connectors because they are backed ordered but soon. How long was the strip you used. I have a 46 and was going to use 1foot of LEDs cut into four small sections. Do you think that would be enough. The moon lights on my pc dont even light up the tank that is why I was going to add the other ones. I would like it to be bright enough to be able to see the fish to a certain degree.
     
  3. Iamjustafish

    Iamjustafish Registered Member

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    took your advice

    Took the project idea and your advice for the Flexfire LEDs. Could not be happier. I have used the chinese ones and these are like double the brightness. I went with the bright white stuff and a strip of blue to give it a tint. You may need a dimmer for these bc they are reallly bright. http://www.flexfireleds.com/categories/LED-Flexible-strips/High-Intensity-UltraBright-LED-Strips/
     

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