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View Full Version : T5ho + LED hybrid DIY


kylebeano
09/23/2013, 02:33 PM
I would appreciate any input or advice towards my new lighting upgrade. I am setting up a 40 breeder, and my current 150w metal halide will not sufffice. I have a phoenix 14k bulb now, and like the color/growth it offers. I would like this fixture to keep my current livestock, sps, lps, and anemone.

T5ho offers the best colored tanks that ive seen (with the appropriate bulb combo). LEDs pack the punch to get good growth and the shimmer missed by t5. MH is too costly all around (heat, electricity, bulbs).

So, I bought a 36" 6 bulb tek light with ambitions to replace the middle two bulbs with DIY LED strips. The 4 bulb combo I plan on running is ATI; blue plus, purple plus, LED, aquablue special, blue plus.

My questions are:
Is my bulb combo the best one suited to compliment LED strips and get the best colors and growth out of my corals?
Since I will be having these 4 t5 bulbs to cover the spectrum and already get good colors, do I need a "full-spectrum" array of LEDs?
Which LEDs should I go with (cree, bridgelux, phillips, etc)?
What color LEDs (royal blue, blue, violet, warm white, cool white, neutral white)?
Would the aquastyle 36 dimmable led kit be good? What drivers would you choose for this?

Thank you in advance!*

nikon187
09/23/2013, 03:51 PM
you wont be able to remove the inner 2 bulbs without turning all 4 inner bulbs off. They are wired one switch outer 2 other switch inner 4. Without rewiring the fixture or moving the endcaps that is.

for the combo, ditch the aquablue and go with a coral plus

asid61
09/23/2013, 05:09 PM
If you already have a lot of T5, get 430nm violet leds (420nm if you have to, but avoid those) and royal blue leds. You can also add a few neutral whites to even out the blue you'll get from adding the royal blues.
I would go with Luxeon M leds from Steve's Leds for the royal blues and 430nm Hyper Violets from Led Group Buy for the violets. 2 Luxeon M and 6 hyper violets to replace each bulb, but the amount can be adjusted to 1 Luxeon M and 3 hyper violets upwards.

kylebeano
09/26/2013, 07:17 AM
you wont be able to remove the inner 2 bulbs without turning all 4 inner bulbs off. They are wired one switch outer 2 other switch inner 4. Without rewiring the fixture or moving the endcaps that is.

for the combo, ditch the aquablue and go with a coral plus
Thanks for the heads up! I did not know how it was wired. When I gut it ill have to see about removing the pair of tubes and endcaps, and moving the 4 to the outer positions. And I will switch out the aquablue for the coral.

If you already have a lot of T5, get 430nm violet leds (420nm if you have to, but avoid those) and royal blue leds. You can also add a few neutral whites to even out the blue you'll get from adding the royal blues.
I would go with Luxeon M leds from Steve's Leds for the royal blues and 430nm Hyper Violets from Led Group Buy for the violets. 2 Luxeon M and 6 hyper violets to replace each bulb, but the amount can be adjusted to 1 Luxeon M and 3 hyper violets upwards.
Thanks so much for the suggestions, I have not seen the luxeon M LEDs yet, they seem pretty high wattage, will they require a specific heatsink, and what driver could I use that would be good for 6 of those? Thank you again

asid61
09/26/2013, 08:27 PM
The Luxeon M is just like any other led. You don't need a specific heatsink for it either, but you should run a fan on your heatsink.
A driver for 6 would need a voltage rating between 54 and 75 volts. I would run two strings of three on Meanwell LDD-1000HW drivers. Power with a 48v power supply rated for 2a or higher.

JDM_SOHC
08/15/2014, 10:58 PM
you wont be able to remove the inner 2 bulbs without turning all 4 inner bulbs off. They are wired one switch outer 2 other switch inner 4. Without rewiring the fixture or moving the endcaps that is.

for the combo, ditch the aquablue and go with a coral plus

Kinda old thread, but how would one have to rewire this fixture or move the end caps to be able to use 4 bulbs instead of all 6, and stick a 3" led fixture in the #3 and #4 bulb spots..?

thanks

Big E
08/16/2014, 03:23 AM
If you already have a lot of T5, get 430nm violet leds (420nm if you have to, but avoid those) and royal blue leds. You can also add a few neutral whites to even out the blue you'll get from adding the royal blues.
I would go with Luxeon M leds from Steve's Leds for the royal blues and 430nm Hyper Violets from Led Group Buy for the violets. 2 Luxeon M and 6 hyper violets to replace each bulb, but the amount can be adjusted to 1 Luxeon M and 3 hyper violets upwards.

Why the 430's? What's the issue with the 420s?

I see some led manufacturers using 405s as well.

kylebeano
09/05/2014, 06:41 PM
JDM,
It's really just moving end caps. My fixture, however, was sold to me with a defective ballast that needed to be replaced, so I did have to do some rewiring, and moving end caps. But ended up having two bulbs on either switch with my tek fixture.
I had originally retro fitted 24 3w Cree royal blue leds into the middle of the fixture, it had nice color but I think it was too much. I also did a terrible job securing the heat sinks as they ended up in the tank one day and killed almost all my livestock.
I have since replaced the Cree retrofits with the current orbit pro leds, at 36w, they are a bit more modest, better spectrum, controllable, and now have the ramp timer pro for sunrise/sunset and other functions. I was able to salvage 11 of the Cree royal blue and a heat sink which are now mid day actinic supplementation.
I feel like this is an amazing light. The tek fixture was $100, current led was $150, and Cree bar $80. The ATI bulbs can be replaced every 14-18 months since I am only running them 6 hours a day, and they are staying cooler much better with the middle bulbs removed.

saintsnsinners
09/09/2014, 09:58 AM
JDM,
It's really just moving end caps. My fixture, however, was sold to me with a defective ballast that needed to be replaced, so I did have to do some rewiring, and moving end caps. But ended up having two bulbs on either switch with my tek fixture.
I had originally retro fitted 24 3w Cree royal blue leds into the middle of the fixture, it had nice color but I think it was too much. I also did a terrible job securing the heat sinks as they ended up in the tank one day and killed almost all my livestock.
I have since replaced the Cree retrofits with the current orbit pro leds, at 36w, they are a bit more modest, better spectrum, controllable, and now have the ramp timer pro for sunrise/sunset and other functions. I was able to salvage 11 of the Cree royal blue and a heat sink which are now mid day actinic supplementation.
I feel like this is an amazing light. The tek fixture was $100, current led was $150, and Cree bar $80. The ATI bulbs can be replaced every 14-18 months since I am only running them 6 hours a day, and they are staying cooler much better with the middle bulbs removed.

Do you have a build thread for this?

kylebeano
09/12/2014, 10:02 AM
Do you have a build thread for this?

Unfortunately, I did not document building it. It was pretty straight forward. Find out which endcaps are controlled by each ballast, move the 8 (matching) endcaps you want to use to the outer 4 bulb positions. Remove inner middle two reflectors, and replace with LED fixture, current marine orbit pro in my case (fits perfectly). Route cables through housing, make sure the leds are mounted securely, very securely. I have the T5 connected to an analog timer with the royal blue cree bar to come on 12p-6p, the orbit led has a controller sunrise at 9a, sunset at 9p.

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c323/Kylebeano/Mobile%20Uploads/20140905_193330_zps6279c691.jpg

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c323/Kylebeano/Mobile%20Uploads/20140905_193129_zps648f8f45.jpg