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View Full Version : I need advice with a DIY led build


Oliver Giesler
09/14/2017, 01:56 PM
I am new with building led units for tank and in very simple terms I need advice on how to design it,how many leds power supply sizes drivers/timers the electronics side no proplem I understand it,I just dont know where to start.

mcgyvr
09/14/2017, 03:13 PM
I'd suggest you buy one then..
5 years ago building your own made sense.. not so much anymore..

Or start here I guess..
Note that "how many LEDs" I need is the number of 3 watt LEDs
http://www.rapidled.com/led-university-1/

lingwendil
09/14/2017, 04:55 PM
I'd suggest you buy one then..
5 years ago building your own made sense.. not so much anymore..

Well, it's still cheaper to build than to buy, but only if you really know what you're doing... The average guy is probably better off buying something unless he is very specific in his wants/needs, or just has to build it himself for personal reasons, most of the time. I'm a die-hard DIY guy, and can build very high quality lighting at 1/4-1/2 the cost of an "equivalent" commercial offering, and I can do it exactly the way I want, get better (for my desires and needs) features, and use parts that the commercial guys aren't yet (or ever going to be) tooled up to use. Pinching pennies is a terrible idea for a first build unless you really know what you're doing in the first place, and you'll usually end up with something ugly that doesn't work as well as something similar in cost due to you learning throughout the process...

If you really want to build it yourself first though, my best advice is to search the internet for various build threads on DIY Reef LED lighting. Binge on as many build threads as you can, develop a good understanding of the process, costs involved, mistakes others made, etc. Once you've done all that, tally up a list of parts, tools, and then add it all up and see if it's right for you.


My favorite go-to suggestion lately is to get a RapidLED premium enclosure, a pair of Acrostar (or Radion boards) arrays, some Meanwell LDD drivers, and a Meanwell PSU. add some wire, jacks, switches, etc. Easy way to get your feet wet without going broke, but this isn't an easy option outside the US.

DIY LED lighting is one of my favorite aspects of the hobby, and is a very rewarding pastime once you figure it all out, I even dabble in the freshwater side of things too, so my planted nano has a killer LED rig on it too, I couldn't resist!

https://preview.ibb.co/daH5UF/IMG_20170903_204153.jpg (https://ibb.co/isdZOa)

perkint
09/15/2017, 06:49 AM
As above - if you like DIY it is fun to do. But if not, the budget off the shelf options have improved so much the benefit is not always there. You can easily end up spending more than you could have bought one for, but build it right and yours will be a lot better, more suited to your specific requirements, easier to repair should anything go wrong, and doesn't have to look like something thrown together from scrap parts :)

Tim

Oliver Giesler
09/15/2017, 01:30 PM
I need advice what Leds to use colours wattage and so on,I DIY d my whole system tank stand sump hood current light fitting so DIy is no proplem for me.

lingwendil
09/15/2017, 02:42 PM
I need advice what Leds to use colours wattage and so on,I DIY d my whole system tank stand sump hood current light fitting so DIy is no proplem for me.

Well, we need details. Tank dimensions, what you intend to keep, desired color, what sort of control scheme you want, etc. Can't do anything without information.

Oliver Giesler
09/15/2017, 05:29 PM
Sent you a pm

catchthemtides
09/17/2017, 03:59 PM
I think this thread has answers for that: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2556775

mcgyvr
09/17/2017, 06:08 PM
I need advice what Leds to use colours wattage and so on,I DIY d my whole system tank stand sump hood current light fitting so DIy is no proplem for me.

As long as we tell you exactly what to do right ;)

lingwendil
09/19/2017, 12:00 PM
Sent you a pm

Well, I don't discuss/consult via PM usually, as it fills up too fast or doesn't lead anywhere, but from the PM sent, some basic info-

My tank is 3ft x24'x24' about 65 gallons. It is a mixed reef with SPS corals,clams,LPS,and a few softies

That's a pretty deep tank, and assuming that the higher-light stuff is up middle or towards the top, i would probably do-

three clusters total, consisting of-

1x Bridgelux (not to be confused with the cheap "bridgelux" stuff on ebay) Vero 13 4000k 90CRI (sourced from digikey, farnell, mouser, etc)

12x Luxeon Rebel or Sunplus royal blue

3x Luxeon ES blue

1x Luxeon ES cyan

1x Luxeon ES lime

3x SemiLEDs true violet (not UV! real 415-425nm violet!)

arrange all the colors around the Vero as tightly as possible, and mount about 6" above the water behind a suitable splash sheild. If they need to be mounted higher, use focusing lenses on everything except the Vero, the Vero will get a ledil reflector (available wherever you buy the Vero) and the spacing will change on the colors accordingly. The mounting height will be dictated by the angle of optics you buy, and the angle will be dictated by the desired mounting height, so figure out what you want here!

Use Luxeon for all colors except violet, for that you use the SemiLEDs or LED g r o u pBUY. You could use Cree instead of luxeon, but my experience with both has led me to prefer the Luxeons in all instances, other than a few nitpicky color specifics, or when you have a need to stick to a solder pad design for a specific board design. I recommend getting everything you need from StevesLEDs, as they are cheaper than most anyone else, and they do offer international shipping.

Use Meanwell LDD-700H or 1000H for driving everything, and run off of a 48V DC PSU. I would probably run two PSUs and split my colors out (aside from blue) onto a lower voltage supply to save some cash.

If you decide to discard reason and go with the inferior epistar or "bridgelux" LEDs, you will need to increase numbers of everything by 30-40%, and you are on your own from there.



I'm intentionally leaving out some details here to get you to do some of your own reading before decided to go through with it, that way you get a basic understanding of how to proceed.