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Old 03/31/2012, 03:31 PM   #1
Registered Member
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Richmond BC, CANADA
Posts: 57
150 long tank lighting

I am thinking of converting my 150 long (72"x18"X28") into LED lighthing.
I've read where you have recommended 60 leds.
Any ideas on heatsinks, and lens configurations?

I've a canopy that measures about 8" high, and opens my splitting in 1/2 (front flips over onto the back).

With the tank, the back 1/3 will be stacked with LR. Here's where my heatsink/lens questions come in.

I am thinking about running the heatsinks left to right, probably about 60".
How many would I need? I central strip with an LED at every inch? Would that provide enough coverage for the 18" width?

2 Heatsinks 60" i mounted front, and 1 mounted back? LEDs at every 2 inches.
With the rock wall would it be better that have 80 degree lens for spread in the back heatsink. And 40 degeree in the front for penetration?

Or alternative setups?

Also with the PWM controllers, is there just 1 cycle for the entire setup? The instructions mentions 3 channels. What I really want to know is that will it run some of the blues as moonlights, or is a moonlight kit needed as well?

To package my system, I'd need:
48 led kit
12 led kit
PWM contoller
4 led moonlilght

And that should do it right?

4ptbuck is offline  
Old 04/01/2012, 06:20 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 23
Lots and lots of questions... let me say I've recently converted from metal halides with fluorescents to LED's from and this LED array has been in use about 3 months now. I'm sorry I went with LED's. The lighting just aint the same! I had a very thick encrusting of pink coraline on back and sides of my 55 and most of it now has fallen off.

LED's do not saturate with light as do metal halides. And with LED's you're forced to buy drivers which have their built in problems such as 'leakage.' If you dont own an AquaController of some sort you're going to want to get into sunrise/sunset/storms and cloud cover. All very interesting...I'm not knocking the idea and I have such myself.

Anyway, get your heatsink(s) from, they have everything in the world of heatsinks.

To the meat of the matter... I expoxied my LED's to the heatsink...bad idea. It's a much bigger project to drill and tap and screw down the LED's but if you're not happy with the first configuration you can always re-do. Not so when you glue them down.

The dimmable drivers from MeanWell have a problem... some leak voltage and you can not ever get a leaky one to mimic sunrise / sunset. The PWM drives the ELN-60-48P's and there's 3 channels with unchangeable sunrise/sunset durations on the PWM. I've read you can put 9 ELN's on it. I'm using the ELN on my 2 banks of blue LED's to mimic sunrise/sunset.

The standard heatsink is a heavy item. I have a 48" one... I should have gotten a 1/4 inch aluminum plate and put a couple of 5" fans over it. Anyway, the key feature of DIY LED arrays is guesswork as far as your layout goes. You personally might not be happy with any suggestion speaking towards spacing your LED's every 2" or every 2 1/2" or in clusters of 5 or of 7 and so on and on. Thats why some people screw them down instead of glue them down.

40 degree lens have a tendency to spotlight with royal blue LED's. That means any coral up high in the tank and under a 40 degree len on blue LED's with a white LED next to it will show a bright blue streak on the coral... not a natural look.

To try and answer your last question... I have the 48 LED DIY kit from RapidLED on a 48"
heatsink and I have abundant light... all LED's are 3 watt Cree's... 4 arrays of 12 each spaced 2 1/2 inches apart. Oh, another thing about len's... you have to glue them on so if you get the wrong degree len and glue it to your LED its there forever. You can probably saw it off with a Dremel Moto-Tool.

In review... DIY means you're on your own... gluing things down leaves no opportunity to correct undesireable results in the final product...if I had to do it from scratch I would instead get 4 heatsinks 2" wide by 48" instand of one big, fat heavy one 9" wide... makes easy wiring and if I'm not happy I can always have moved them around. lastly, you must have a glass cover protecting the LED's from splashing fish / pumps / Murphy's Law / and condensation... unless the LED's are far from the water line.

I hope some of this experience of mine helps you decide what to do.

HarryLongo is offline  
Old 04/02/2012, 09:42 AM   #3
Rapid LED
.Registered Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,107
buck, depending on what you're keeping I'd say 60-72 LEDs sounds right for that tank using 60 or 80 degree optics (depending on where in the tank you're covering).

If you're using the 1.1" strips go with a two of them (the 60" will be fine), spaced every 2 inches if you're using 60 LEDs. The heatsinks will get fairly warm if you run 30 LEDs each so try to get some cooling inside the hood or along the heatsinks as well.

The DDC-01 doesn't have a moonlight cycle, so you'd have to set those on a separate timer to come on when your regular lights go out (or just leave them on 24/7, there's no harm in doing that).

Harry, I'm sorry you haven't liked your lights as much as you expected to, the one thing I'd try is dropping the number of LEDs being used (or dimming them way down). On a 48" x 12" tank you'll only need about 30 LEDs (depending on what you have inside of course), so going up to 48 is a LOT of light.

Rapid LED is offline  

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