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dane
12-12-2010, 02:34 AM
lookin For some advice on LED's someone who's done DIY
I was lookin at making some I have a bunch of LED's to use


heat sync
can u sub a few computer heat syncs together to make the same thing?


drivers
what do the drivers consist of and what is the purpose?

saudering
never done it before tips suggestions or even a quick tutorial?

SpaceOps
12-12-2010, 09:03 AM
What are you wanting to do with the LEDs? What LEDs do you have?

I'd recommend researching on the Internet first. If you have no experience at all in electronics, you're probably over your head. Even with DIY kits, you'll need to know what you're doing.

It's a PITA.

Murfman
12-12-2010, 10:27 AM
Dane, soldering is not something to learn on LEDs. Too easy to "burn them up" from the heat. LEDs are very heat sensitive.

SpaceOps
12-12-2010, 11:31 AM
Not to mention knowing about polarity. You can fry an entire string that way.

There are a number of LED fixtures and bulbs available. If you just want color, you can buy actinic screw-in bulbs or fluorescent bulb LED replacements. If you want to grow corals, you'll need high power fixtures. I got my DIY stuff here, but they also have everything else available: http://www.aliexpress.com

rye_84
12-12-2010, 12:40 PM
here is a link to the build that I did, I don't actually start the building process until half way through page 4. all the other pages are my thought process and trying to figure out what would work for me.

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=183879

SpaceOps
12-18-2010, 03:41 PM
Ok, final post.

Observations:


Based on PAR readings, roughly one 3W LED per linear inch of tank length is a good minimum number of LEDs. I get around 100 PAR on the sandbed, and 300-400 about 6 inches below the waterline.
Iím glad that I put each color on separate circuits instead of mixing them. Theíre can be independently dimmable and are on separate timers.
I donít think big, heavily-finned heat sinks are necessary as long as you maintain a couple of inch spacing between LEDs. I only have 1/8Ē thick sheet metal as my heat sink, and I canít detect the slightest bit of heat on the reverse side.


The upside:


#1 is the big cost savings. I made the equivalent of the prebuilt 120W fixtures for about $160 each.
You can get the exact ratio of LED colors you want.
With the right driver (combination AC/DC converter and constant current output driver), theyíre dimmable with just a $1 potentiometer. If you want more PAR, or to change the color mix, itís easy to add another circuit of LEDs. If the PAR is too high or the color is too white or blue for your taste, you can use the dimmer to make adjustments to both.
Each circuit can be put on its own timer. I have 5 circuits, so I can use up to 5 timers.
I love the shimmer, and I love the colors with just the blues on. With all of them on full blast, it looks like theyíre illuminated by something between 250W and 400W MH.


The downside:


Itís not for everyone. I would not recommend this to people who have no DIY skills, including soldering and basic 2-wire wiring skills.
They donít look like the commercially-made products (but if theyíre hidden from view like mine, who cares?)

dane
12-18-2010, 04:00 PM
what site did u use
I would love to learn to solder
for more then just putting leds together

SpaceOps
12-18-2010, 04:15 PM
I meant to post this in my old GB/DIY thread. Oh well.

I bought from this guy: http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/903774

You can chat with him live online once you create a login.

As far as soldering, etc., look at this guy's 5-part series. Here's the first part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I_5uh4R_QQ&feature=channel

epic.exposures
12-21-2010, 06:54 PM
I meant to post this in my old GB/DIY thread. Oh well.

I bought from this guy: http://www.aliexpress.com/fm-store/903774

You can chat with him live online once you create a login.

As far as soldering, etc., look at this guy's 5-part series. Here's the first part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I_5uh4R_QQ&feature=channel

I love DIY projects, I am really considering building my own lighting system now. One question though, If I have a 56 gallon tank 30 inchess wide, about how many rows of leds should I use, AND is it a blue led and white led per inch? Thanks