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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, hope eveyones doin well today. This will be my DIY LED light setup thread. I am in no way an expert and ive been around this hobby since 2000 but never had or maintained my own tank. I bought my whole setup for 180$ from my bestfriend I couldn't pass that deal up. But it came with the ugly hood lights that I cant stand. I sold the eel in it and got rid of this massive 20-30 pound rock that was in there.

LED setup:
30-3w led's 20 royal blue, 10 cool white, 3 dimmable drivers
Royal blue:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/290735088230?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649

Cool White:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10PCS-3W-...501?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3378757065

Drivers:
http://www.rapidled.com/0-10v-dimmable-nano-driver-with-potentiometer/

Heatsinks:
http://www.rapidled.com/6-x-10-black-anodized-aluminum-heat-sink/

Tank Specs:
55 gal 48 x 12 x 18 HOB filter unknown hood light

Tank has 2 snails, 18lbs of liverock, several feather dusters here and there, 2 brittle stars (one is MIA since the tank move) and a aiptasia anemone (hitchhiker).

I don't plan on adding anymore livestock to the tank until my lights and skimmer are operational. Probably about a month, then ill add a little more liverock, a banded coral shrimp, 2-3 more snails, a tang and a mandarin dragon (and maybe one frag coral & amenone test out the lighting). It will be like that until I can determine weither the lighting will work with the cheapo led's or if im going to invest in cree led's and build my new stand so I can put a sump in which IMO is a must because I would like stuff like polyps and the softer coral types (SPS & LPS just are not very pretty to me)

im going to put 15 led's on each heatsink in a standard grid pattern, my ultimate goal with building the new stand and canopy is to have the heatsinks flip up so I don't have to take off the canopy and can work on one side of the tank and only having 1/2 the lighting taken away vrs taking the whole canopy off and having no light to work with.

Pictures of how everything is setup now can be found in the next link with the exception of the LED light bar, I took that POS off and went back to hood lights which I don't even know what kind the light is but the anemone seems happy so who cares.
http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/f7/new-guy-220356.html


EBAY says the led's will be here by the end of the month, and ill be ordering the drivers this weekend, and the heatsinks probably next weekend, ill update as I get stuff in and built so until then adios!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I will, I just got paid today and just got home, one set of my cool white led's came in today, im ordering the heatsinks and drivers tonight from rapidled, idk what their turn around is for orders but I hear they are pretty quick so ill probably be able to start setting it up by the end of the month!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well my drivers came in today.. I realized I forgot to order the 2 heatsinks from rapidled as well -.- either way that was quick. my set of 20 royal blue lights airnt set to get here until at least the 30th anyways.. ill be picking up a new soldering iron too this weekend and refresh my soldering skills in my free time. ive also gotta find a way to cut my aluminum bar that I have, I decided until I make my stand ill just put two bars on either side of the heatsink and let them set on top of the stand

sorry no pictures until the build actually starts :p but we are getting closer!! if shipping would hurry up ill be able to start making them Tuesday or wednesday
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Alright, progress! here I just completed the thermal adheisive stage. im pretty tired tonight, I did that last night and was planning on starting to solder the wires in tonight, fourth of july really took a toll on me (worked 62hours in 5 days with very little down time at work) and very little sleep as I decided to lower the sand bed to an inch and redo my aquascape.. here is a pic of the heatsinks

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
got half a strand done, it took like 2 hours, but that's because I spent an hour wondering why the multimeter wouldn't run 2 strands, and half an hour waiting for the iron to heat up... the tip was 1/2 way unscrewed.. fml. and maaaan do they get bright.. does anyone know exactly what percentage the potentiometer shuts the led's off at? it still has like 1/8th of a turn from all the way off until the led's kick on.. so is all the way off 0% or is 0% when the led's kick on? its the dimmable nano driver from rapidled
thx

I should have both heatsinks wired up tomorrow, ive got 3 drivers running 5led's on each heatsink so ill have to figure out a sleak looking 'wire bridge' between the two. I have lots of connectors in my R/C truck kit so ill end up making it so I can completely unplug one heatsink and have a splice in to reroute so I can totally remove one light and still have one working. that will take some careful planning.. until tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
main wiring is done! ive decided im going to put a jumper between the two heatsinks so I can completely take one out of the system and still be able to have the other one running. ive also got to glue the wires down and I think im going to put some caulk or something of the sort around each solder joint. and then the main power cord. and of course make it able to set on the tank
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
well the wire harness has been completed, now ive got got to find a way to mount it to the tank. ive got a hollow aluminum post that's 1x1" that I could cut up and use to attach to the sides, the problem is I don't wanna drill into the heatsink to attach the bar.. in the future these heatsinks will have an arm that will fold them down & up
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
And it all done! I didn't go with being able to unclip the harness because I was one set of connectors shy... I also decided to go from using a T brace and just setting them on the tank to a swing type hang that I made from home depot stuff. In all its an amazing new look, the led's just make it look like more of a rugged professional look. here are some pics.










 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
lol yep you guessed it! & thanks. but it is green. I haven't found any other real info on it other then a 'common sponge'. I can say that it just grows though. it hasn't tried to spread, unless it can change colors to white. I have white sponges all over the place. and ive had that sponge stay in one spot before then moved it and left a piece of itself behind and it stayed green so I don't think it changes colors. but who knows.

the design makes it more efficient to use in a emergency situation as well. or in my case now where I run my 55gal and 10g side by side. my 55gal just got done cycling so I only need one light over it now anyways. but ill end up making a light just for the 10g where I can experiment with uv, lime and other color led's before modifying my main light.
 

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Thats pretty cool. It looks so weird. I have like little purple vase looking things everywhere now and then. I assume they are maybe something like your white ones?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
its very effective, my softies love em! id like to see how sps like em but my water prolly isn't good enough. my next setup will probably be 3-4x more effective. when I first setup my 55g (the second time) I had the light all the way to the left & angled right and it grew diatoms all the way at the other end of the tank on the sandbed.

I saw a setup on ebay or something where they had 2 heatsinks hooked into one outlet, do u think I could combine my 3 plugs into 1 to save space on my powerstrip?
 

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I was about to buy some of these, but saw the lumen output... seems rather low?
Any chance you've metered these in your tank to see how much is getting to the bottom?
Have you had any issues yet with them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have no way of testing with a meter, all I can go by is how my coral look lol. So far they are doing well, I have nothing that requires intense lighting however. Everything I have is med-low light. I did just reaquascaped so I'm going to put a frag of zoa's on the bottom and see how they do compared to the others of the same frag
 
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