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DIY LED lighting
#1
Looking at doing my own LED lighting.  On another post someone uses Futuereden as a supplier and they do sell what is needed. My question is they sell 1w LED's at more or less the same price as 3w LED's. so it would be easier and cheaper to use the 3w ones. Also I'm sure somewhere I've read that higher power LED's will penetrate better but when I've looked at lighting on sale they appear to use lower power LED's and lots of them, this could be to get a good spread.  Anyone got any suggestions which way would be best? and any other help would be much appreciated.
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#2
I'm just setting up my 'new used project' 260l tank, I've bought a generic LED light bar off eBay, 1200mm, its way too bright! 99 LED, 50W, 5500lm.
I've bought a TC420 controller, now got to grips with programming it, mainly to dim the total white output, I'll be starting a new post once I know its working 100%, just now removed the 2 way switch and re-wiring it. Big Grin
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#3
(08-10-2019, 04:09 PM)jacksdad Wrote: I'm just setting up my 'new used project' 260l tank, I've bought a generic LED light bar off eBay, 1200mm, its way too bright! 99 LED, 50W, 5500lm.
I've bought a TC420 controller, now got to grips with programming it, mainly to dim the total white output, I'll be starting a new post once I know its working 100%, just now removed the 2 way switch and re-wiring it. Big Grin
Will be interested in how you get on. That controller uses PWM I'm assuming you use your own power supply. I'm looking at using different colour (wavelength)  LEDS  and install them in a cover to the tank. The cover is still in the thinking stage. As the tank is 9ft long most things are going to be home made. Want the lighting to be good enough to grow plants which ones not sure yet so was looking at having the different colours adjustable and hopefully practice and patience will overcome.
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#4
You have two ways of doing it really. High power, less LED's or low power, more LED's. You want to under power any LED's you have as this will make them last long, produce less heat, use less power etc. I'd be tempted on a 9ft tank to get some large chips ( 25w chip ) and do multiple smaller spot lights. Most come with a 120 degree lens, and a single 25w will do a 2ft tank at 18" deep.
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#5
Not a clue what PWM does! The TC420 uses the original light power supply, mine are 12V, it covers 12-24V and most aquarium LED sets are 12 or 20V. So far I've found the LED's work from about 5V up to 18V, mine have a 12V supply as stated. I need to try and find what voltage relates to the %age output from the controller, then set up the dawn/dusk timings.
My main problem is the TC420 uses the negative wires to switch between the white and red/green/blue LEDs, whilst the lamp has a common earth and 2 live feeds. I've had a good look at the LED board under a bright light, I think I can scratch through all the earth tracks going to the RGB, then solder on a separate earth to an exposed part of their track, I'll try tomorrow!
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#6
TC will only output what the lights can take ( Plus a 12v PSU won't output more than that! )
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#7
I understand that much: I've been working on cars and bike electrics for over 30 years.  Wink 
How come I measured 31V when the lamp was connected to the 12V PSU? I did check it, exactly 12V output....

[Image: 7pVqcj5l.jpg]
Can you see where I got 31V?  Big Grin
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#8
the capacitor no doubt! Big Grin
[-] The following 1 user Likes fr499y's post:
  • jacksdad
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#9
I've binned it now, just ran wires direct, tested using the PSU and a 9V battery. I tried a 18650 3.7V battery but 4.1V won't fire the LEDs at all. Tomorrow I'll try different %ages and see what the corresponding brightness and voltages are.
This will all relate to 66 white LED and 33 total RGB ones, all I have spec wise is the figures quoted above, and the TC420/421 controller, but may be helpful to others Smile
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#10
(08-10-2019, 07:54 PM)fr499y Wrote: You have two ways of doing it really. High power, less LED's or low power, more LED's. You want to under power any LED's you have as this will make them last long, produce less heat, use less power etc. I'd be tempted on a 9ft tank to get some large chips ( 25w chip ) and do multiple smaller spot lights. Most come with a 120 degree lens, and a single 25w will do a 2ft tank at 18" deep.
Yes I agree underpower the LED's I shall probably go with the 3w and run them at 2-2.5w. I'm looking at using 1,2mm sheet aluminium reinforced with angled strips as tank covers (painted white) and the leds can be glued directly to it. This will give me plenty of area to mount the LED's. Probably upto 100 or more of them.  Or do you think using 25w will give better penetration. The tanks 26" deep and 30" wide.
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#11
(08-10-2019, 09:05 PM)jacksdad Wrote: Not a clue what PWM does! The TC420 uses the original light power supply, mine are 12V, it covers 12-24V and most aquarium LED sets are 12 or 20V. So far I've found the LED's work from about 5V up to 18V, mine have a 12V supply as stated. I need to try and find what voltage relates to the %age output from the controller, then set up the dawn/dusk timings.
My main problem is the TC420 uses the negative wires to switch between the white and red/green/blue LEDs, whilst the lamp has a common earth and 2 live feeds. I've had a good look at the LED board under a bright light, I think I can scratch through all the earth tracks going to the RGB, then solder on a separate earth to an exposed part of their track, I'll try tomorrow!
PWM pulse width modulation the output is switch on and off at high speed and the on/off ratio is changed to adjust the output not the voltage. If there is any inductors about this can cause higher voltage to be measured
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#12
alloy strip won't cut it. Don't go cheap on the cooling. Cheap 12v flexi LED strips will make the alloy hot to touch in less than a hour at full power, imagine what a 'proper' LED chip will do.
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#13
(09-10-2019, 09:40 AM)fr499y Wrote: alloy strip won't cut it. Don't go cheap on the cooling. Cheap 12v flexi LED strips will make the alloy hot to touch in less than a hour at full power, imagine what a 'proper' LED chip will do.
There's going to be approx. 2 square meters of metal and can fix a quantity of aluminium angle strips as well. Going to have small fans as well. I know there could be 2-300 watts of LED's on there not expecting to run at that power hope it will be 1-150 watts. Do you think proper heatsinks would still be required.
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#14
Yup. No point doing it twice. It will look a lot nicer as well.
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#15
Are the TC420 definitely PWM? I thought they are voltage modulated. Yes, I'm positive you will need a proper heat sink, my lamp has an alloy casing/heat sink, and it gets too hot to touch. The PSU does as well, so I made a heat sink out of 2 alloy sheets and 3 lengths of box section (leftover stock!) and cable tied it to same, made a huge difference.
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