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Old 09/10/2017, 12:52 PM   #1
TimmyD16
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DIY LED Fixture - Pointers for future build

Hi All!

So I'm in the process of planning out a system and I just couldn't really find an of the shelf LED fixture that I was in love with, so I'm deciding to build my own!

First I want to outline my design goals:
  • Full specturm
  • High CRI factor
  • Small footprint (pendent(ish) style)
  • Customizable
  • Ability to grow all coral

Next some justification for those goals, the first being full spectrum; I want the light to be as natural as possible, my goal for the tank as a whole will be to try and recreate nature as it exists in, well, nature. I want to carry this to the light as well, I'm just not a huge fan of the super atinic look of some royal blue heavy fixtures that some people really like and have good luck with, just not my thing. Next goal is a high CRI factor, I want to carry over that natural feel to me when observing the tank or taking pictures of the tank, and this means that I want all the colors to appear to their best ability. A small footprint, plain and simple just looks better in my opinion, and the tank is for me so my opinion matters A LOT. Wanting to have the fixture customizable is no brainer, I just want the ability to tune in the spectrum and look of the light. Ability to grow all coral is another no brainer, I want a reef tank and corals are part of a reef.

So now the specifics of the light, I will be actively cooling a 100mmx100mmx25mm pin heatsink, which gives me enough room to fit 16 20mm LED starboards, which I will be separating into 4 separately controlled channels. The channel outline and specifics are as follows:
Ch. 1 - Base White - 2 Cree XP-G3 Neutral White & 2 Cree XP-G3 Warm White
Ch. 2 - Base Royal Blue - 4 Cree XP-G3 Royal Blue
Ch. 3 - Aux Growth - 2 Cree XP-E2 Blue & 1 SemiLED True Violet &1 SemiLED Hyper Voilet
Ch. 4 - Color Fill - 1 Luxeon Rebel ES Lime & 1 Luxeon Rebel ES Cyan & 1 Cree XP-E Red & 1 SemiLED Ultra Violet UVA

So now to ask for some advice, with my design goals in mind how does that spectrum and LED mix look? I'm thinking of maybe replacing one of the XP-G3 Blues with another Violet? And assuming about 3W from each LED (I won't be driving the whites at a full 2A), is this enough light to fit over a 25gal Lagoon tank (footprint of 24"x17"x12") and grow all coral types? Or will I need two?

Thanks for the help everyone! looking forward to the advice and in the end building this thing!


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Old 09/10/2017, 01:21 PM   #2
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Changing it up already.... opting for the Cree XT-E Royal Blue instead of the XP-G3... they look like better LEDs...


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Old 09/10/2017, 03:49 PM   #3
lingwendil
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CRI only really matters for your base whites, you are guaranteed to hate the look of true high CRI lighting over a Reef, a macro or planted tank may look ok...

As you have it now, that arrangement will give you a very warm 9000-1000k look... I would suggest another pair of royal blues personally, especially since you have the lime in the lineup.

If using neutral and warm whites as a base the reds aren't really needed, I've always ended up dimming them way down to off on neutral/warm based builds.

What would save some bucks, and give much improved color rendition, would be to go with a Bridgelux Vero 90 CRI white in the ~4000K range as your base, these will replace 2-4 Cree whites a piece, at only a few bucks each, while offering less wiring work to boot. The difference on these compared to the offerings from Cree are night and day-

Bridgelux VERO Decor 4000k 90CRI white BXRC-40G1000-B-23

Using these you can get away without supplementing a warm white, although if going this route it might be fun to leave a 660nm red in there for color tuning.

You can also try out the Neutral whites from Citizen, they are 97CRI and look amazing when paired with a handful of royal blues, I have a few and they are a very, very nice LED-

Citizen 4000k 90CRI Neutral white CLU028-1203C4-403H7K4



Last edited by lingwendil; 09/10/2017 at 03:50 PM. Reason: edit
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Old 09/10/2017, 04:03 PM   #4
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Double post, sorry


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Last edited by TimmyD16; 09/10/2017 at 06:50 PM. Reason: double post
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Old 09/10/2017, 06:49 PM   #5
TimmyD16
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@lingwendil

Those whites look great! plus it would leave me some space to put in a couple more Royal Blue LEDs!

So would 6 Royal Blue be enough to match up with one of those white COBs you think?


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Old 09/10/2017, 07:33 PM   #6
oreo57
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Just to throw some "alternate" whites..
Luminus devices "Studio" 5600k 95 CRI- $13.85 each
and a new kid w/ a higher K value:



and a new kid w/ a higher K value:
"Fresh fish" 6500k



Quote:
Fish LUXEON CoB 1208 3325 3694 118L/ W 900mA 15 L2C5-FS001208E1500
Just throwing these out there..


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Old 09/10/2017, 09:13 PM   #7
lingwendil
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^ hey!

You lurking over here too?

Yeah, I would love to try the "fresh fish" but only if adding some red or a warm white in conjunction, at least with a reef array...


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Old 09/10/2017, 09:20 PM   #8
lingwendil
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Originally Posted by TimmyD16 View Post
@lingwendil

Those whites look great! plus it would leave me some space to put in a couple more Royal Blue LEDs!

So would 6 Royal Blue be enough to match up with one of those white COBs you think?
Should be, most people dim the whites considerably, so that with two of the regular blues should be a good starting point, I prefer a 20k look myself, but this should get you a good 10-14k look, and adding the cyan and lime will help brighten things up too.


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Old 09/10/2017, 09:36 PM   #9
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interesting @oreo57, those two look like good choices, I have been away for a bit and didn't realize all the new options for COB LEDs.

Though I don't know how I would feel using an LED that is designed for super markets that sell "fresh fish"... haha


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Old 09/10/2017, 11:17 PM   #10
lingwendil
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Yeah, the fresh fish looks like a decent cool white with cyan/regular blue already taken care of. It would be really interesting to pair it with some reds in a larger array.

The Citizen 97CRI 4000k is my current pet CoB, but I really like the 90CRI vero decor series, even the 5600k looks good, but I'm using that in a mix over a freshwater planted with a handful of other LEDs to great effect.



Last edited by lingwendil; 09/10/2017 at 11:23 PM. Reason: Edit
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Old 09/11/2017, 12:19 AM   #11
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So would that fixture, with the white CoB LED and two additional Royal Blues, be enough to grow any type of coral in a 25gal Lagoon tank?


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Old 09/11/2017, 07:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyD16 View Post
Changing it up already.... opting for the Cree XT-E Royal Blue instead of the XP-G3... they look like better LEDs...
What makes you say that? Generally the XP-G3 is better than the XT-E. Cree haven't added the XP-G3 RB to their product comparison tool (last time I checked) and their own info isn't hugely explicit, but suggests:
XT-E up to 600mW at 85°C
XP-G3 up to 680mW at 25°C

Tim


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Old 09/11/2017, 09:54 AM   #13
lingwendil
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25 lagoon? What are the measurements and intended livestock? You would probably be good with SPS but it depends on the height.

Quote:
Originally Posted by perkint View Post
What makes you say that? Generally the XP-G3 is better than the XT-E. Cree haven't added the XP-G3 RB to their product comparison tool (last time I checked) and their own info isn't hugely explicit, but suggests:
XT-E up to 600mW at 85°C
XP-G3 up to 680mW at 25°C

Tim
What are the numbers of the XP-G3 at 85°C? Probably a more realistic comparison, but it should still be pretty close.

I'm a LumiLEDs guy when it comes to royal blue, personally, but the Crees have the advantage of taking more current, so I don't mind them when available.

Just as an experiment, my next array will be based on either a Vero 10 4000k 90CRI or the Citizen 4000K 97CRI, with two Cree regular blue, a Rebel Cyan, Rebel Lime, and a Luxeon K16 royal blue, with 2-3 violets. A couple of these clusters should easily be good for a pretty good rig over a 12x24 footprint or even over maybe 18x36 depending on what is meant to be kept. Four over a standard 55 gallon would probably be a great budget rig for most anything other than highly demanding SPS unless kept up high.

The Luxeon K8 or K16 is a great choice for royal blue, but it's no longer being produced... Still worth grabbing a few, you can get the K16 (which can dissipate 45w!) For $5 each on FleaBay and Aliexpress, and cheaper if you buy 5 or 10 at once.

Something like that might be good if you want a small footprint, less emitters, but it steps into the territory of advanced skullduggery, and may not sound as Gucci to all the snobs.



Last edited by lingwendil; 09/14/2017 at 12:37 PM. Reason: Edit
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Old 09/11/2017, 10:07 AM   #14
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Just noticed the dimensions, and yeah, you should be fine.


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Old 09/11/2017, 10:50 AM   #15
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The only suggestion I would make in addition to the above is if you free up room with the COB whites I would throw additional 420 NM in rather than royal blue. The additional violet will increase your florescent response without making your tank look like Windex.


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Old 09/11/2017, 12:38 PM   #16
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I would strongly recommend that you consider BlueAcro COB LEDs. I have his 20K Blue Pro pucks on my 150g (5x2x2) and really like them quite a bit. MUCH easier than individual LEDs which I had in my other 2 builds. But to be fair, I also have 4x80W T5 supplements which really complete the look when they are on. At the moment, I have 3 BlueAcroCOBs and the 4x 80W T5s. I have another 3 BlueAcro chips and 4x 4500K 90CRI neutral LumiLEDs neutral white COBs ready to add when I have time. The goal would is to reduce the amount of time I run the T5s while spreading the LEDs out more evenly rather than having 3 pools of light.

Be careful with the warm white and red LEDs in your build - those may grow more algae than you would like to have....


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Current Tank Info: 150G mixed reef (6x Blue Acro 20K Pro COB LEDs, 4x LumiLEDs 4000K neutral white, 4x 80W T5 supplement), 75G corner mixed reef (DIY LED), 90G fw Angelfish (CF lighting), 150G FW discus (4x 54W T5), 125 G FW Discus (CF), too many small tanks to mention
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Old 09/11/2017, 01:16 PM   #17
lingwendil
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I would strongly recommend that you consider BlueAcro COB LEDs. I have his 20K Blue Pro pucks on my 150g (5x2x2) and really like them quite a bit. MUCH easier than individual LEDs which I had in my other 2 builds. But to be fair, I also have 4x80W T5 supplements which really complete the look when they are on. At the moment, I have 3 BlueAcroCOBs and the 4x 80W T5s. I have another 3 BlueAcro chips and 4x 4500K 90CRI neutral LumiLEDs neutral white COBs ready to add when I have time. The goal would is to reduce the amount of time I run the T5s while spreading the LEDs out more evenly rather than having 3 pools of light.


Be careful with the warm white and red LEDs in your build - those may grow more algae than you would like to have....
Agreed on the warm whites and reds, but it depends on water parameters too. I personally like a good neutral white over most warm whites, and I'm not a huge fan of discrete reds at all except in very specific circumstances...


And, I can't believe I forgot about BlueAcro! I run a pair of the HalfMega (with custom emitter choices using the new beta series of his Luxeon C boards) and I am extremely pleased with them. The only thing I may do differently next time is step up to the larger boards for more channels and color mix. Two of them is absolutely perfect on my standard All-Glass-Aquarium 20 long.

Keep in mind this color choice was due to my love of the 20K radium look-

Quote:
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Custom arrangement on the Luxeon C boards-

3x royal blue, 1x semiLEDs violet, and 1x mint, 1x blue, 1x royal blue, 1x 90CRI 5700k white. Both channels driven equally looks just like a 20k Radium

Installed on a heatsink from rapidLED, the multichip in the middle is just a moonlight.

Hard to get accurate pics, but this Blenny has patterns and color I haven't even seen before. These pics don't do it justice. My montipora also turned from a full brown and green to a pink and green. Very pleased!









If the OP isn't stuck on the idea of a pendant, one of the 6x20 premium enclosures from RapidLED would be a good choice for his tank, with a pair of the BlueAcro 48w boards, or three of the 24w may work, but for full blown SPS the 48w boards may be a better choice, and give more channels of control.

http://www.rapidled.com/premium-enclosures/

https://blueacro.com/acrostar/



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Old 09/11/2017, 07:02 PM   #18
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Not sold on much of anything at this point, and those 48W Pro Blue boards do look pretty slick....

I might just have to pivot to two of those... It looks like it will be a bit more expensive, but if the light will be more versatile and future proof then I'll probably be all for it... I really like those RapidLED enclosures, but anyone know of a controllable fan that fits in that area? Something I can control with the Storm LED controller?


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Old 09/11/2017, 11:10 PM   #19
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The storm can control the fan with some additional circuitry, but that is one of the shortcomings of the setup from rapidLED, is that it's nearly impossible to find a 4-wire (PWM ready) in the same style. The MakersLED style heatsink will take any standard 92mm PC fan, but doesn't look as nice (I have one on my freshwater) as the units from rapid.

The coralux fan controller will control any common 2, 3, or 4 wire fans, and will work with the fan on the rapid heatsink-

http://coralux.net/?wpsc-product=fan-power-pwm-board

I think a pair of the 48w AcroStar boards would be a great choice, and he even sells adjustable dual-drivers that will bolt down to the heatsink as well. Just add a few jacks, wire, and a PSU and its a great way to build up a killer sleek light.



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Old 09/12/2017, 07:05 AM   #20
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What are the numbers of the XP-G3 at 85°C? Probably a more realistic comparison, but it should still be pretty close.

[...]

Just as an experiment, my next array will be based on either a Vero 10 4000k 90CRI or the Citizen 4000K 97CRI
Figures for the XP-G3 at 85°C would be better for comparison but they don't provide them and haven't added it to the PCT do you can't get them That was what I was thinking about when I put "they are not explicit"

Could get the XT-E RB at 25°C now I think about it as that is in the PCT. Might have a dig later

Any reason you don't use the Vero 10 97 CRI? I have a few of them and they are a very good base for lights (IMO)...

Alternatively as said, the blueacro stuff is very good and makes life much easier

Tim


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Old 09/12/2017, 08:49 AM   #21
lingwendil
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Which part number and CCT Vero?

I've had a hell of a time trying to actually find a 4000k or higher 97CRI Vero actually for sale outside of the datasheet. That's why I grabbed the Citizen COB.

The LumiLEDs "crispwhite" and "fresh fish" are two I'd like to check out too.



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Old 09/12/2017, 12:45 PM   #22
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Which part number and CCT Vero?

I've had a hell of a time trying to actually find a 4000k or higher 97CRI Vero actually for sale outside of the datasheet. That's why I grabbed the Citizen COB.

The LumiLEDs "crispwhite" and "fresh fish" are two I'd like to check out too.
3000K. I should probably mention the ones I have are probably gen1 and I've had them from when the Vero 10s were new (ish)!
BXRC-30H1000-B-03

Funny you say they are harder to find - the reason I went for the Vero's was they were by far the easiest to find in high CRI! But then, that was three years ago!

Digi-Key have stocks of the current 3000K high CRI one: BXRC-30H1000-B-23. No higher temp ones in the same CRI which I think you've said you'd prefer (if I remember right)...

Tim


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Old 09/12/2017, 01:00 PM   #23
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Could get the XT-E RB at 25°C now I think about it as that is in the PCT. Might have a dig later
So the top bin XT-E would put out about 650mW at 25°C. Compared with the XP-G3 at 680mW.

Doesn't look much, but then take in to account the XP-G3 is also running on less power (again not massive - XT-E takes about 7% more power) and significantly improved thermal resistance (2°C/W compared with 5°C/W).

So more light, less power and more easily cooled, never mind can be driven much harder if you wish - and doesn't carry much of a premium

But then if you want the option of more light from fewer units (so less wiring) neither will compete with the Luxeons!

Tim


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Old 09/12/2017, 03:17 PM   #24
lingwendil
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Hard to compete with the Luxeon offerings, but still pretty good!


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Old 09/12/2017, 04:00 PM   #25
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Tried to find the performance data for the Luxeons the other day, but as they don't seem to list it on their site, I failed Doesn't help that I didn't/don't know which is the best performer (in light output per watt terms)...

Tim


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