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View Full Version : DIY 100g+ LED Reef Light - Arduino build


stnewton
07/24/2016, 06:32 PM
Hi all, first real thread here on RC, however being in a hobby for a few years now. I've loved reading and finding so much guidance and help on here throughout the years but never really posted. But I guess now's the time as a fellow reefer asked how I made this monstrosity. I've been needing to upgrade my lighting ever since my nano reef 20g changed into a 100g with 30g/20g separated sumps after deciding I no longer wanted to use it for freshwater. So after shopping around as we all do, I came to find I needed to spend ludicrous amounts of cash to get the lighting I required, let alone the convenient functions of full spectrum multi channel independent brightness that can be automated time controlled with dimming fade up and down to mimic sunrise/sunset. So as a master frugalist and a doctorate in tinker toying around, I found myself on ebay building up a shopping cart of components from China for a fraction of the cost of what my ideal of the shelf light would cost. So after rounding up a about 150 3w leds, an Arduino, a power supply and some other odds and ends the build began.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/33778690/20160703_040934890_iOS.jpg
So obvisouly you need a heat sync for bigger leds and since individual heat syncs can start to add up on the cost build, I decided to build the frame out of aluminum channel and alumiweld it all together so it was one large heat sync itself, and is actually quite strong. Attached all the led's with a thermal conductive tape from 3M to allow the heat from the 20mm star heat syncs that come with the LED's to the framework. Ideally would have used thermal epoxy but I already had the thermal tape.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/33778690/20160703_180852280_iOS.jpg
Starting to add th leds and wire up each channel.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/33778690/20160703_180042600_iOS.jpg
Test run on one blue channel.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/33778690/20160704_193323665_iOS.jpg
The Arduino, real time clock, lcd displaying time and levels, power supply and handful of LDD-700h drivers.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/33778690/20160704_235202315_iOS.jpg
All channels on at about 10% of full brightness, first time ontop of tank.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/33778690/20160722_022205859_iOS.jpg
And all channels at 39% brightness. This is seeming to be a good level for now for my livestock to acclimate to for the time being. (forgive the tank mess/fallen frag racks :spin2:)

Currently the warm whites start the sequence of sunrise with the bright whites an hour after, blues an hour after that, and the dark/uv blues an hour after that. Each channel take 2 hours to reach full brightness. Same sequence for sunset in the evening. All timing lengths and triggers are set and changeable in the code for the Arduino which I modified and re-wrote for this application.


https://youtu.be/cfDHsAIz2MQ
https://youtu.be/3Pm5Qx-fsRA
and some quick vids the build so far.

So a total of 142 3watt leds with a 360watt power supply providing more than enough light. Still to do - add all the 120 degree lenses onto each led for even better depth penetration (although not really necessary for my tank, but if your deeper than 1.5-2ft, probably a really good idea), build a external frame around the internal aluminum frame (cant decide if I want to do some nice stained wood or black or smoke acrylic). Install the lower clear acrylic sheet to help keep moister out, build a small enclosure for controller so the light stays super nice an thin (only about 2" tall with outer enclosure). Yes, oh so sleek. Yes, I haven't mentioned a moon light as I have made a 12 hour lunar cycle light with a string of individually addressable LED's to mimic the moon as well as has a lightning program that will easily fit inside the main light. Maybe a write-up on that later.

And last the schematic I made for those who'd like to see how it all is wired.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/33778690/light%20build%20-%20Copy.jpg (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/33778690/light%20build.jpg)

If anyone is interested in the code or has any questions on how they can make their own setup I'd be happy to help. I'll continue to post pics as the build continues, hopefully sooner rather than later, but we all know what happens when we have too many projects.

Cammunoz
07/24/2016, 07:00 PM
Wow impressive wish i had the knowledge to build a light like this[emoji1360]


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Tooboot
08/08/2016, 05:58 PM
Similar to what I want and am trying to build, with no electronics and programing background, only on a much larger scale. I am only looking to do 32 x 3w LEDs with 4 dimmable channels. Would a 12vdc 20amp power supply suffice for my setup. Is there no voltage droo, or how does voltage drop get factored in?

Sketch804
08/09/2016, 08:59 PM
Very nice. Would love to do this, I have Arduino but sadly I know little about coding it. Great job

Tooboot
08/11/2016, 09:27 PM
Meant to say smaller

DEA Coral
08/25/2016, 08:53 PM
Great job. I built my first LED lights based on a refit in a fluorescent light fixture back in 2012. I did this because the fixture is like a traditional fixture but has several switches and two power sockets factory installed in it. It was a Japanese product and is unique. There are no adjustments and I control the light channels manually and using a timer. I could expand it to include more lights and wizardry like this to make it more automated. I only used (4) royal blue and (2) cool white 10w LED chips mounted on some 8 inch, "V" shaped shinny aluminum channel that acts as a reflector and heat sink for two LEDs each. I only used six of these LEDs and the 1.0 version was very bright since I was running the LEDs at nearly 100%. I re-wired them all to run at 50% and that seems to work very well on my 200 liter (~53 gallon) Japanese tank (It is the same length as a standard 55 g but it is deeper front to back and not as tall. Similar to the way an 80 breeder compared to a standard 90 g is in size, all of which I own. I do want to build systems like this for my own use. This is a very good post, I wish there were updates.

Tooboot
08/26/2016, 08:16 AM
Great job. I built my first LED lights based on a refit in a fluorescent light fixture back in 2012. I did this because the fixture is like a traditional fixture but has several switches and two power sockets factory installed in it. It was a Japanese product and is unique. There are no adjustments and I control the light channels manually and using a timer. I could expand it to include more lights and wizardry like this to make it more automated. I only used (4) royal blue and (2) cool white 10w LED chips mounted on some 8 inch, "V" shaped shinny aluminum channel that acts as a reflector and heat sink for two LEDs each. I only used six of these LEDs and the 1.0 version was very bright since I was running the LEDs at nearly 100%. I re-wired them all to run at 50% and that seems to work very well on my 200 liter (~53 gallon) Japanese tank (It is the same length as a standard 55 g but it is deeper front to back and not as tall. Similar to the way an 80 breeder compared to a standard 90 g is in size, all of which I own. I do want to build systems like this for my own use. This is a very good post, I wish there were updates.

sounds interesting, do you have pictures or a link to a thread with some pictures of your light and tank.

oreo57
08/26/2016, 03:55 PM
Similar to what I want and am trying to build, with no electronics and programing background, only on a much larger scale. I am only looking to do 32 x 3w LEDs with 4 dimmable channels. Would a 12vdc 20amp power supply suffice for my setup. Is there no voltage droo, or how does voltage drop get factored in?
Short answer..
w 12V power supply and using Ldd's you have 12-3(some use 2V drop)= 9V
you can only power about 3 3w LEDs per LDD.
you need 12LDD's.
If using 700mA drivers 12x .7 = 8.4A ps is needed.
Ldd's "control" the voltage to allow 700mA of current to flow (that voltage is determined by the LED specs V(f) at 700mA
Say the diode runs 3.2V @ 700mA = 9.6 V for the 3 in series.. err.. close enough..

12V power supplies don't really work well w/ 3W LED's..in quantity..
There are some other tricks but not usually recommended (series/parallel strings like 3 in series, 2 strings (6 total) on a 1000mA driver (500mA per "row")
[email protected] drivers = 6A ps.. roughly. ;)
but o/t really..

BkSlayer
08/26/2016, 08:42 PM
Looks like a job well job. I am wondering, are you getting any corrosion on those electronics? Also, how is it controlled by the user, does the arduino need to be reprogrammed every time or are there some buttons hooked up?

Bradw18
11/17/2016, 12:15 AM
Iv built a light fixture and have always wanted to experiment with a micro computer like you have. Care to post a link from eBay on what I would need to get. I have experience in Plcs and electronics just never been into coding. I have dimmable drivers already the maxwell 60-48p I believe for 120 3 watt leds total plus about 120-150 or so already on the tank. Upgrading to a 220 and would love to be able to dim the fixture like you have. And considering the head sink idea like you have done. How much do you have in the metal? I have a hard time paying for big heat sinks.

kabla65
11/28/2016, 11:52 PM
Ohh , Its relay an en-lighting job. Thank you for posting. I am on the way to building LED set up for my 7' X 2' tank but has no programming experience at all, though do other electronics diy things. Just started with Arduino. If you kindly post the code/link than that will be very much of help. Thanks in advance

CltrAltDel
01/17/2017, 05:44 AM
stnewton, You have an amazing set up.

I am trying to do something much simpler. A simple dimmer to start with and then when I have mastered that, a timed sunrise/sunset using Arduino.


Background: I have a lovely aquarium and I built LED lights for it myself over the xmas break before I even knew *Arduino existed. While it is fantastic *:smiley-grin: *Harry, my Blue Gourami has a nervous breakdown everytime I turn the lights on in the morning. So I would like the lights to come on slowly.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/l2SaS37ux4pO4jqSXdhx_X_EP1T9rZ1YYAHBcRK6EB2gaBa6WIUmKCQt7ZcinaiHXrTMoAX9A1AFCvk8ByQrCObkxM-44_-nJB9Oikw1SbIv-YBWJ1IpUY7jPxNlybqW1s0iMoc=w1270-h716-no

LED Kit:

LED - 24 X 1W High Power LED ( http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/252311915543 )
Powered by - AC 85-265V DC 30-90V 300mA External Driver Power Supply for 25x1W LED ( https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00841YC8S/ )


This works as standalone now.

Arduino Kit

SODIAL(R) Tiny DS3231 AT24C32 I2C Module Precision Real Time Clock Module For Arduino
2N7000 N Channel Mosfet (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00AA7ODVK )
Aukru W5100 Ethernet shield with Micro-SD card slot for Arduino (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00PL70PA2 ) because I am optimestic and I should be able to get temprature readings etc sent to my mobile phone *:D
Elegoo UNO Project Basic Starter Kit ( https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01DGD2GAO )


First try - FAIL *:smiley-sad:

I tried a simple test. I used the standard test code Blink and Dimmer that came with the standard Arduino IDE with the Mosfet. I tried on an LED first and that worked great. But when I tried it with the actual Aquarium light, it Failed. I mean failed as in, even when it is "OFF" it would be on. It's always looks like a fluorescent light that is at the end of it's life. My first thought is that the Mosfet I have is not correct. But I don't know what the right one should be. So this is my first challenge - just to turn the Aquarium lights on and off for now. I cant even think about the clock and dimming because I am too much of a novice.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

saf1
01/17/2017, 03:15 PM
Question - any reason why you didn't use a multi-chip?

I was doing a similar build over a 40 breeder then ended up going the route of two multi-chips. Each with 4 channels to adjust spectrum and intensity. You have that covered obviously. Upgrading now to a 240 gallon tank and again considered extruded aluminum rails with single LED's. Ended up going with another 4 multi-chip 4 channels. Not that it would matter but the one reason why I went that route was to mitigate wire and cable management.

I also use a controller, I think it is a must when doing DIY lighting. Nice build.

Str8linespeed
01/17/2017, 07:13 PM
Very nice job! This is something that I would enjoy doing, but I have no idea about the coding, let alone design of it. The LEDs seem to be just randomly placed, but I know there is a reason behind that. Also trying to figure out how many LEDs I would even need.

I like the fact that you can program it for a light cycle and also for lunar cycles. It just amazes me this can be done. I would be curious about how to go about designing it and where to buy the stuff. This is right up my alley!

Jonviviano
01/18/2017, 10:23 AM
Question - any reason why you didn't use a multi-chip?

I was doing a similar build over a 40 breeder then ended up going the route of two multi-chips. Each with 4 channels to adjust spectrum and intensity. You have that covered obviously. Upgrading now to a 240 gallon tank and again considered extruded aluminum rails with single LED's. Ended up going with another 4 multi-chip 4 channels. Not that it would matter but the one reason why I went that route was to mitigate wire and cable management.

I also use a controller, I think it is a must when doing DIY lighting. Nice build.

I am also in the process of a single 4 channel multichip build for my biocube. Waiting for my LDD's in the mail. Do you have a build thread? I would like to see how you wired your dimmers/ Controller.

Jonviviano
01/18/2017, 10:26 AM
Great Build! Thanks for taking your time to make a schematic, It is very helpful to all of us.

saf1
01/18/2017, 05:38 PM
I am also in the process of a single 4 channel multichip build for my biocube. Waiting for my LDD's in the mail. Do you have a build thread? I would like to see how you wired your dimmers/ Controller.

I don't, not yet anyway. Tank arrived back towards the end of December. Picked up a few items during the various sales and rest is just planning for some free time. First on the list is to repaint the den/office it is going in and make a honest decision if I am going to notch the wall it is resting on to see it from the other side. Or maybe a port hole or two. Once I figure these out I can start working on the plumbing and water leak test, then move it in, etc.

I merged two 29 gallon bio cubes into a 40 breeder about 2 years ago. It has a pair of RapidLED Borealis Luxeon arrays. I really like them but they no longer make them and if truth be told, they are very heavy on the lime side. I'm guessing that is why they are not too popular. Hard to pass up the 4 channels and my reef angel controller manages them just fine. LDD's and meanwell round out that build. Those two will be carried forward and also used in the 240 build but this time I went with Blue Acro's - acrostar mega4 20k Pro. Another 4 channel multi set up again using Luxeon LED's which I really like. They also offer a driver which I wanted to try - thus letting me save space and ignore the need for LDD.

I need to check for photos but I believe I have a couple of them mounted on the heat sink and awaiting wire. Heat sink is 6" kit from LED Supply. Pretty cheap system with everything so makes it easier. I will build a frame from extruded aluminum so it will be adjustable between some cabinets on either side. Should look like a shelf more or less so no wires is the plan.






Borealis Luxeon Z Array