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View Full Version : DIY LED's.......how to?



codeman01
10-21-2012, 03:15 PM
hey everyone, I recently got over 100 3w LED's with 3 drivers for them. I quickly realized that I have no idea what to do with them. Do they have to be mounted to heat sinks? If so, where do I get heat sinks? Plus, is there anyone out there that can show me how to wire them and possibly show me how to solder? When I start my 150g FOWLR build these are the lights that I want to put on that tank.

reefmaster719
10-21-2012, 03:46 PM
Should've went to the meeting yesterday.. space ops and hooked r the best people to talk to. We learned that white is for aesthetics only and doesn't provoke any growth. Go with a ratio of 2-1 blue to white. Blue is what gives the best growth. Do you have a solder iron?

codeman01
10-21-2012, 06:12 PM
I know, I wish I could have made it. No, I don't have a soldering iron but I can buy one if someone wants to help me. I am still trying to figure out if there is a certain way that I need to mount them. Like could I just mount them to corrugated steel or do I have to use heat sinks?

reefmaster719
10-21-2012, 06:18 PM
Space ops uses sheet metal on his. I forgot what Doyle told me he uses last night. If you want I'm sure Doyle would teach you. I'm interested as well and from what I learned last night there's 100 ways to do it. Very simple also.

hooked
10-21-2012, 06:34 PM
I'd be happy to help you out. What kind of time frame are you looking at? I will be out of town all of November. I can help get you started before I leave. Maybe next weekend?
Or we can do it after I get back. What drivers did you get?
Here is my DIY build:
http://www.thescmas.com/forums/showthread.php?9113-DIY-3watt-LED-Lighting

stewart.anderson
10-21-2012, 07:22 PM
I would love to help also. I have just bought my first tank and builing the top for it. Then I will be installing my lighting system and I will be doing LED's. I will be gone with Doyle in November. If you can wait I would love to help.

codeman01
10-22-2012, 12:08 AM
I'd be happy to help you out. What kind of time frame are you looking at? I will be out of town all of November. I can help get you started before I leave. Maybe next weekend?
Or we can do it after I get back. What drivers did you get?
Here is my DIY build:
http://www.thescmas.com/forums/showthread.php?9113-DIY-3watt-LED-Lighting

WOW!!!!! your DIY is freakin' sweet!! That is way outside of my skill set lol. I will definitely take you up on the offer to help. After reading SpaceOps post though I decided that I want to get some other LED's and color spectrums. Also, where can I get heat sinks like you used for your build. Literally the only things I have right now are the LED's and drivers. I have three drivers and they are the exact same as yours....model:FLL-DD60w

codeman01
10-22-2012, 12:10 AM
I would love to help also. I have just bought my first tank and builing the top for it. Then I will be installing my lighting system and I will be doing LED's. I will be gone with Doyle in November. If you can wait I would love to help.

I can definitely wait, I need to collect some more things before I start my build anyway. Thank you so much for being so willing to help!

hooked
10-22-2012, 06:49 AM
I bought my heatsinks from heatsinksUSA.com. Mine are overkill but I wanted to make sure that I didn't overheat anythink.
As far as the drivers that you have. Mine died within 3 months. As did most everyone that bought them. So An alternative will be needed.
I guess that you need to decide if and how you want to make them dimmable. I started out with dimmable then made them non. As soon as you get the color that you like. The dim option is no longer needed. Which happened to be the end life of the drivers that I started with.
I have other options for drivers. I have designed one that has been working fine. I doubt they are going to fail. they have the ability to be dimmed a couple of ways.
I'll send you some more heat sink suppliers later. I have to remember who they are.

codeman01
10-22-2012, 04:51 PM
I bought my heatsinks from heatsinksUSA.com. Mine are overkill but I wanted to make sure that I didn't overheat anythink.
As far as the drivers that you have. Mine died within 3 months. As did most everyone that bought them. So An alternative will be needed.
I guess that you need to decide if and how you want to make them dimmable. I started out with dimmable then made them non. As soon as you get the color that you like. The dim option is no longer needed. Which happened to be the end life of the drivers that I started with.
I have other options for drivers. I have designed one that has been working fine. I doubt they are going to fail. they have the ability to be dimmed a couple of ways.
I'll send you some more heat sink suppliers later. I have to remember who they are.

good to know! do you know a website for better drivers? so in your opinion, you wouldn't do dimmables? also, why do you say that your heat sinks were "over kill"? i have read that if you just put led's on sheet metal or something that they don't last long.

SpaceOps
10-22-2012, 06:16 PM
We learned that white is for aesthetics only and doesn't provoke any growth.

Almost correct. White is necessary for aesthetics, but it can definitely promote coral growth, just not as efficiently as blue light. People successfully grew corals under white light for many years.

codeman01
10-22-2012, 06:27 PM
Almost correct. White is necessary for aesthetics, but it can definitely promote coral growth, just not as efficiently as blue light. People successfully grew corals under white light for many years.

Personally I am glad that blues are the best to promote growth because I prefer the blue color anyway :)

SpaceOps
10-22-2012, 06:34 PM
Which happened to be the end life of the drivers that I started with.

Apparently, a lot of people had trouble with those Chinese drivers. I like Mean Wells.

codeman01
10-22-2012, 07:19 PM
Apparently, a lot of people had trouble with those Chinese drivers. I like Mean Wells.

I honestly didn't even know that these were chinese. There was a guy on the MASC forum that traded me these LED's and drivers for a bunch of my old light fixtures (MH's, CF's, T5's, T8's, and T12's) I guess I just trusted that he wouldn't screw me over. I even gave him my low-profile over-flow since he drove all the way from Denver area. He was asking to buy it and I just gave it to him. I am pretty upset about this since I thought that we were all here to help each other. Some people!!!

reefmaster719
10-22-2012, 07:20 PM
Damn man... What's his screen name

reefmaster719
10-22-2012, 07:27 PM
http://www.aquastyleonline.com/products/MeanWell-LPC%252d60%252d1400.html
Try this site for drivers.

codeman01
10-22-2012, 07:33 PM
I don't know if I should put him on blast? Does anyone agree that a 48" 250wx2 w/ T12x2 fixture, a 72" 400wx3 w/ T12x2 fixture (plus 4 extra T12 bulbs), a 48" CF w/ moon light fixture, and a DIY 72" fixture w/ moon lights, 3x 400w MH's and 4xT12's is worth 3 quality 60W drivers and 100x 3w LED's? Not to mention the nice over-flow that I GAVE him? I guess if enough people think I got screwed then I will post his username.

hooked
10-22-2012, 07:34 PM
Dan,
Do you have the part # for that driver chip you were talking about Saturday. I'd like to look at the data sheet.

hooked
10-22-2012, 07:42 PM
I don't know if I should put him on blast? Does anyone agree that a 48" 250wx2 w/ T12x2 fixture, a 72" 400wx3 w/ T12x2 fixture (plus 4 extra T12 bulbs), a 48" CF w/ moon light fixture, and a DIY 72" fixture w/ moon lights, 3x 400w MH's and 4xT12's is worth 3 quality 60W drivers and 100x 3w LED's? Not to mention the nice over-flow that I GAVE him? I guess if enough people think I got screwed then I will post his username.

3watt LEDs are about 69 cents each now, in hundred quantities. As far as the drivers....I paid $17.00 each for mine almost 3 years ago. I feel that I got ripped off at that price.

reefmaster719
10-22-2012, 07:45 PM
Dang.. I found drivers for 25-35 bucks ea online. How much do the Chinese drivers cost?

Bigfoot610
10-22-2012, 07:46 PM
:( that trade was bad IMO put him on blast i mean even for a chinese kit that is probably sill like 200 bucks but he knew what he was doing and had no respect for you

hooked
10-22-2012, 07:48 PM
Dang.. I found drivers for 25-35 bucks ea online. How much do the Chinese drivers cost?

http://www.aliexpress.com/store/group/high-power-led-driver-and-dimming-driver/903774_210732009.html

Bigfoot610
10-22-2012, 07:50 PM
i would check some ouf the local electrical suppy houses before online leds's are phasing out a ton of electrical stuff and more supply houses are carrying them. they should have them as alot of em sell leds by the foot in strips

Bigfoot610
10-22-2012, 07:52 PM
like all the people who order the workhorse ballasts to run CF' and t5 you can buy those ballasts at home depot from advance way cheaper (just saying nobody checks) :)

reefmaster719
10-22-2012, 07:52 PM
Wow.. 5.00 for a Chinese driver.

Bigfoot610
10-22-2012, 07:54 PM
Wow.. 5.00 for a Chinese driver.

enjoy the fire :) have marshmallows ready:)

codeman01
10-22-2012, 07:54 PM
3watt LEDs are about 69 cents each now, in hundred quantities. As far as the drivers....I paid $17.00 each for mine almost 3 years ago. I feel that I got ripped off at that price.

Okay, so were looking at around $70 for lights and say $60 for drivers on the HIGH end......$130 total. The over-flow that I gave him was probably worth easily $40 used and the 4 fixtures with all the ballasts were easily worth about $350 used? I feel like I got screwed big time!

hooked
10-22-2012, 07:54 PM
like all the people who order the workhorse ballasts to run CF' and t5 you can buy those ballasts at home depot from advance way cheaper (just saying nobody checks) :)

Bulbs Plus has workhorse also. great prices. Haven't been in there for a while. Not sure about LED stuff.

Bigfoot610
10-22-2012, 07:57 PM
Bulbs Plus has workhorse also. great prices. Haven't been in there for a while. Not sure about LED stuff.

heard bad things on those ballasts brother bought one for his MH cfl pendant it worked about a year and died his advance is going on 4 years now

Bigfoot610
10-22-2012, 08:01 PM
what was this dudes name so i can hose him on frags later like a dbtc chunk of coal

codeman01
10-22-2012, 08:06 PM
So is anyone familiar with this guy then? kmauger1.....Kyle Is there anything I can do about getting screwed so bad?

codeman01
10-22-2012, 08:09 PM
heard bad things on those ballasts brother bought one for his MH cfl pendant it worked about a year and died his advance is going on 4 years now

I told him that I didn't know much about LED's so if he says it's a fair deal that I'll believe him. He also said that he owns an LED business.......

reefmaster719
10-22-2012, 08:13 PM
Oh damn dude... Yeah I know who he is. He screwed me over on my overflow box and Wetdry. He bought two of my overflows.

Bigfoot610
10-22-2012, 08:27 PM
http://www.marinecolorado.org/forums/showthread.php?7984-2x250-watt-hqi-halides-with-lumenarcs-and-ballast-200 that look fammilar?

Bigfoot610
10-22-2012, 08:27 PM
http://www.marinecolorado.org/forums/showthread.php?8342-HAMILTON-60-quot-5FT-500-Watt-Halide-Fixture-W-320watts-HO-T5-amp-LED-moonlights-400 or that

Bigfoot610
10-22-2012, 08:28 PM
http://www.marinecolorado.org/forums/showthread.php?8342-HAMILTON-60-quot-5FT-500-Watt-Halide-Fixture-W-320watts-HO-T5-amp-LED-moonlights-400&p=96350#post96350 or this

Bigfoot610
10-22-2012, 08:30 PM
http://www.marinecolorado.org/forums/showthread.php?7176-LED-Group-buy! and the group but on the leds he got ya with and he lives in pueblo some of the posts have his number

hooked
10-22-2012, 08:32 PM
Those 2 posts are over a year old.

Bigfoot610
10-22-2012, 08:35 PM
ehh didnt really look at date guy sounds like a club flipper anyhow = scum in my world seen it alot in vegas when i was there they were tossing people for it

reefmaster719
10-22-2012, 08:36 PM
Lol yeah. Look at the prices he sold those items for tho. Same thing he had.

Bigfoot610
10-22-2012, 08:38 PM
A guy in vegas was buying equipment off local reefclub members and selling it at his store outta town for double what he got it for

Bigfoot610
10-22-2012, 08:39 PM
at least you know they are bridgelux and not un named garbage leds tho i heard these were right under the crees

SpaceOps
10-22-2012, 08:47 PM
You'll have a hard time finding drivers, or any electronics for that matter, that aren't made in China, Taiwan, etc. Mean Wells are from Taiwan too. They just happen to be better designed and made.

SpaceOps
10-22-2012, 09:02 PM
Dan,
Do you have the part # for that driver chip you were talking about Saturday. I'd like to look at the data sheet.

Yep: http://www.onsemi.com/pub_link/Collateral/CAT4101-D.PDF

It's even PWM compatible. The VIN is 5VDC, so it's directly usable with the Arduino. It can be driven at 1A, 750mA and 350mA, simply by using a different resistor on the RSET pin. It looks like you may be able to tune it to other current values by choosing the right resistor. It would be nice to be able to drive a 1A LED at 900mA. It also handles up to 25VDC, so you could run 7-8 LEDs off of a single ship.

codeman01
10-22-2012, 10:29 PM
You'll have a hard time finding drivers, or any electronics for that matter, that aren't made in China, Taiwan, etc. Mean Wells are from Taiwan too. They just happen to be better designed and made.

I think I'm gonna have to order some mean wells.

codeman01
10-22-2012, 10:33 PM
Those 2 posts are over a year old.

Yeah, none of those lights were mine. Mine were actually nicer than those.....lol Regardless though, he screwed me! Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. I won't make a deal again w/o doing some good research first.

Joe
10-22-2012, 11:21 PM
3watt LEDs are about 69 cents each now, in hundred quantities. As far as the drivers....I paid $17.00 each for mine almost 3 years ago. I feel that I got ripped off at that price.

Doyle, those prices are a lot lower than I expected for the 3W LED's I was looking at rapidled and they have LED's for about $4 and controllers and dimmable meanwell drives in the mid $30's. That puts the DIY 55 LED dimmable at over $300. More if you do heatsinks. That is why I have been looking at the Chinese (Twilight Group) LED. For about $210 shipped I could get the 55 LED with built in timer and dimmers.

What is your favorite brand LED and supplier?

SpaceOps
10-23-2012, 09:35 AM
Yep: http://www.onsemi.com/pub_link/Collateral/CAT4101-D.PDF

It's even PWM compatible. The VIN is 5VDC, so it's directly usable with the Arduino. It can be driven at 1A, 750mA and 350mA, simply by using a different resistor on the RSET pin. It looks like you may be able to tune it to other current values by choosing the right resistor. It would be nice to be able to drive a 1A LED at 900mA. It also handles up to 25VDC, so you could run 7-8 LEDs off of a single ship.

Actually, Table 6 gives the RSET resistance values for 100mA through 1000mA.