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Old 02/06/2012, 01:31 PM   #1
maglofster
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Minimalistic multichip DIY LED build

I love LED builds. I have done a lot of them during a couple of years. Recently (the last 8 months or so) I started using LED multichips instead of the smaller 3W LED's. The reason for this was inspiration from Maxspect using them and also an online friend (Lasse, one of the best reefers in Sweden) bought a couple of multichips and was very successful with his builds.

So I did a conversion of my Giesemann pendant, taking away the MH's and putting a heatsink and some multichips into it. This build has given me 8 months of very nice light and consistent SPS growth.

My Elos 120 with DIY LED:


But recently I started thinking of converting the lighting on my 160 gallon cube. I wanted this build to have the smallest footprint possible and as much wattage / buck. So this is what I'm going to build.

2x200W (driven att 180W each) multichips with a combination of 20K and 453nm blue leds.
2x50W 10K multichips. These are going to run a couple of hours midday just to ensure the right spectrum for growth.

So four chips totaling about 460W but only during peak hours. Most of the day only 360W though. This is replacing MH's and T5's totaling about 700W.

To cool the chips I'm using GPU coolers for computers. Very cheap, very efficient. The ones I'm using are rated for 250W GPU's.

The cooler with all the mounting brackets removed:


The cooler with one chip mounted:


Still waiting for my drivers and 90 degree lenses, but I will share pictures when the lights are going through their "burn in".


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Last edited by maglofster; 02/06/2012 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 02/06/2012, 05:06 PM   #2
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Interesting, I am looking forward to your updates!


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Old 02/07/2012, 08:15 PM   #3
kcress
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Those coolers have fluid in them. Are there any mounting position limitations?

What multi-chips are you using?

How exactly are you mounting them?

What drivers are you using?


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Old 02/08/2012, 12:31 AM   #4
maglofster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcress View Post
Those coolers have fluid in them. Are there any mounting position limitations?

What multi-chips are you using?

How exactly are you mounting them?

What drivers are you using?
Yes, heatpipes have fluid in them, the fluid turns to vapor and that's what facilitates the cooling. I'm not sure if there are any limitations on how you can mount them, but I have seen many 90 degree mods on computers (this is where you mount all cards vertically instead of horisontally) and that works. I'm going to hang these horisontally exactly as they would be in a standard computer setup.

The coolers have a small loop in each corner, I'm going to run a wire through it and hang it up as any normal light.

I buy multichips with Epistar led in them. Not sure if it is ok to post links to resellers for the chips / drivers. But I buy them from Hong Kong over Ebay. I have used MeanWell 240W drivers very successfully for these chips also.

Mounting the chips to the copper heatsink is done by first polishing both surfaces and then applying arctic silver thermal adhesive and pressing both surfaces together. In a matter of minutes it's rock solid.


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My name is Magnus and I think: "A.C.A.B - All Corals Are Beautiful"

Current Tank Info: Drop reef in the making

Last edited by maglofster; 02/08/2012 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 02/08/2012, 05:34 AM   #5
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Thanks much for the clear answers. (Yes, an under-100 poster would be well advised to not put in ebay links)


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Old 02/12/2012, 02:18 AM   #6
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Okay, since I'm still waiting for the drivers for the larger chips I decided to start working on the smaller 50W lights. So today I set up a small test using an Arctic Cooling L2pro cooler with a 50W 10K multichip on it. I'm driving the fan with a small 12V poweradaptor. Nothing is soldered or set up properly as I'm only testing the cooling capabilities. As suspected, the cooler rated at 100W has no problem keeping the LED cool.

So a complete 50W LED light for about 110 dollars.

Btw, the pictures might not look like much, but I asure you guys, this LED sure packs a punch.


The test setup, scissors included for size reference.


Everything fired up. Had to take the picture from the side, my camera just could'nt handle the flare from the light.


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Old 02/12/2012, 07:27 AM   #7
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WOW!, kind of over kill heatsink on your first thread pic. LOL.. but looks good though. I used a intel P4 cpu heatsink with a 100w LED and heat from the led wasn't that much.


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Old 02/12/2012, 08:30 AM   #8
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How many multichip units are you using to light your Elos 120?


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Old 02/12/2012, 08:41 AM   #9
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First, you want to keep the LED as cool as possible (longer lifetime) so the more cooling capacity the better. Second, when I go on vacation for a week and the fan fails, I don't want my LED to burn up. Overkill? I don't think so. Third, the fans on full speed are barely audible compared to a CPU heatsink with fan.

A P4 intel cpu heatsink is designed to handle a CPU with what, around 115W maximum? In the long run you risk to shorten the lifespan of the LED. I wouldn't run anything over 50W on a P4 heatsink.


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Old 02/12/2012, 08:41 AM   #10
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For my Elos I use 2x50W 10K and 20x10W 16K.


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Old 02/12/2012, 03:45 PM   #11
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Are the multichip leds dimmable? what optics are you using for them?


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Old 02/12/2012, 04:48 PM   #12
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hows the efficiency on these leds compared to a series or 3 watters. great idea, i love it. i cant wait until we got a few of these over our tanks instead of a 100 3w leds


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Old 02/12/2012, 08:49 PM   #13
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do you build for other people. i know nothing about electricity but would love one of these


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Old 02/12/2012, 10:39 PM   #14
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The chips are dimmable yes. There are a lot of different optics available, tight beam, wide beam, diffused etc. Most large optics are made of glass.

The efficiency are a bit lower when comparing total wattage, but ease of building, replacing broken LEDs, flexibility, price etc by far makes up for that.

I do help with builds, but I'm in Sweden But for any that like I can make a total "noob" guide how to make one.


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Current Tank Info: Drop reef in the making
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Old 02/13/2012, 12:53 AM   #15
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Any links to Led Multichips that you recommend


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Old 02/13/2012, 05:02 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maglofster View Post
The chips are dimmable yes. There are a lot of different optics available, tight beam, wide beam, diffused etc. Most large optics are made of glass.

The efficiency are a bit lower when comparing total wattage, but ease of building, replacing broken LEDs, flexibility, price etc by far makes up for that.

I do help with builds, but I'm in Sweden But for any that like I can make a total "noob" guide how to make one.
How do you mix or get colors? Typical on the 3w leds people are using RB:CW:NW:WW in a combo there of, and dial them in through dimming to get an end color that you like.


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Old 02/13/2012, 06:16 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maglofster View Post
The chips are dimmable yes. There are a lot of different optics available, tight beam, wide beam, diffused etc. Most large optics are made of glass.

The efficiency are a bit lower when comparing total wattage, but ease of building, replacing broken LEDs, flexibility, price etc by far makes up for that.

I do help with builds, but I'm in Sweden But for any that like I can make a total "noob" guide how to make one.
I am sure I am one of many that would love to see your step by step "noob" instructions to building your creation! Will you please include the websites where you purchased your parts?

P.S. I checked out your Elos build thread, very impressive!


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Old 02/13/2012, 06:19 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by 007Bond View Post
How do you mix or get colors? Typical on the 3w leds people are using RB:CW:NW:WW in a combo there of, and dial them in through dimming to get an end color that you like.
The chips come in different kelvins, I just order a 50 watt 10000k chip. They also have 16000 and 20000 kelvin.


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Old 02/13/2012, 07:07 AM   #19
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The chips come in different kelvins, I just order a 50 watt 10000k chip. They also have 16000 and 20000 kelvin.
Subscribing, Want to see more. Thanks


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Old 02/13/2012, 08:49 AM   #20
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Are you concerned with the copper that close to your tank?


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Old 02/13/2012, 11:06 AM   #21
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About the links to the Ebay seller: PM me, I'm not sure if it's ok to link in the forum.

About color temperature: get a mix of different chips and dial them in as you would any normal build, but with fewer chips. Also, there are multichips with mixed colors in the chip. Like RB and CW 60/40.

About copper: Yes I have been thinking a lot about it. But I will have the lights quite high up from the water and without a canopy, ver well ventilated so it should be ok. I have also been thinking about putting som sort of laquer (spelling?) on just the exposed bits of copper or as an alternative putting a plexiglass screen underneath the light.


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Current Tank Info: Drop reef in the making
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Old 02/19/2012, 07:44 PM   #22
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Any updates Maglo?


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Old 02/19/2012, 08:52 PM   #23
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i dont think you need to worry about the copper. think of all the stuff in any light fixture that would be released if submerged in the tank for a long period of time, it doesnt really happen.


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Old 02/19/2012, 10:31 PM   #24
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Update: Got all my 50Ws working. They are solid, barely hot to the touch after a couple of hours runtime. Unfortunately I'm still waiting for the drivers for my 100W LEDs.


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Current Tank Info: Drop reef in the making
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Old 02/20/2012, 12:43 PM   #25
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Tagging along


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