Calling all DIY LED Lighting experts

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Seeing that no-one replied to my previous thread, I thought i'll start a new thread.

I'm looking at building a DIY unit for my tank, my tanks dimensions is 1200mm (length) x 450 (depth ) x 600mm (height)

I'm planning on only keeping LPS/Softies in it. what type of LED's, Colours , Drivers and Lenses types would you recommend I use.

I've been looking at rapidled and groupled websites for some recommendation but all seems to make reference to SPS dominated tanks.

I would like to keep costs at a minimum as well as wattage, but I would still like to have good colour spectrum.

Your Advice will be greatly appreciated ! :biggrin:
 

dallasg

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use the new ones from Reef Aquatics, @Andre@ReefAquatics can help and he ships.

i have done my own DIY but these new units works out cheaper if not the same.
shipping a small order is about $80-$120 which alone adds a lot of cost, then heatsinks here are costly and never what you want. also the cost of LEDS are $3-$4 etc and would need 30-50.

but @butcherman can comment
 
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butcherman

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use the new ones from Reef Aquatics, @Andre@ReefAquatics can help and he ships. i have done my own DIY but these new units works out cheaper if not the same. shipping a small order is about $80-$120 which alone adds a lot of cost, then heatsinks here are costly and never what you want. also the cost of LEDS are $3-$4 etc and would need 30-50. but @butcherman can comment
If you have a steady hand and a little bit of electrical knowledge, Doing a DIY Project can be very rewarding, and the lights are very effective.
 
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My question is around how much of these Cree led lights is actually needed for an LPS tank, which has moderate lighting requirements. Do you know of any calculator available to get a certain PAR rating ? Surely It would be a waste of energy ?
 
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I have built a 1.2m 200W unit, cost me just over R1500, and with the PSU and drivers I have I can extend the unit to 350W. I used 10W led's from hong kong, they look significantly brighter then a tank lit with similar wattage of 3W but dont have PAR meter to test.
 

dallasg

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well not all LPS are medium light, some have the same requirements as SPS
 
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The best would be to connect enough leds to light up a sps reef, & then simply use the controller to turn down the intensity to what you require for your lps's.

My personal opinion is, that its easier & cheaper to simply buy a ready built smartsun led unit from reef aquatics, & buy the smartsun controller with it.
You can get the 900mm unit at R3800.
Here is the link
http://www.marine-aquarium.co.za/online-store/products/led-cree-marine-lighting/
 
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These guys are quite big in the states, this unit provides a good colour spectrum and uses minimal power. It will cost around $290 to bring it in from the states

 

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These guys are quite big in the states, this unit provides a good colour spectrum and uses minimal power. It will cost around $290 to bring it in from the states
plus 35% duties, plus 14% VAT
 
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Dont worry if the unit is too strong, just because its capable of pumping out 300W of light does not mean you need to run them that high. Just dim them, thats the joy of it. And as your light requirement increases at least you know you wont have to upgrade your lihgts. And dimming them saves electricity as well.
 
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Dont worry if the unit is too strong, just because its capable of pumping out 300W of light does not mean you need to run them that high. Just dim them, thats the joy of it. And as your light requirement increases at least you know you wont have to upgrade your lihgts. And dimming them saves electricity as well.
Thats exactly why I am rather building a 350W unit, it works out way cheaper then buying a prebuilt unit and I just dim them down, if I need more I just crank up the power.

I am using the MeanWell PCB mount drivers, which are fully dimmable via PWM, also the MeanWell 7.3A PSU I am using has a regulator on the side allowing me to dim the entire LED system.

The 10W LED's are dirt cheap...

But if you are not good with DIY and soldering, I would not reccomend it. Also Heatsinks are not expensive, got 150cm x 9.7cm for under R400 then just put two silent 80mm fans on it.
 
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Using 350W of leds over a 1.2m will be enough to bleach even the highest light requiring sps coral!
Sorry to ask, but i highly doubt you will be able to build a 350W diy cheaper than a complete unit!
Like @dallasg mentioned. The duties & tax will increase the cost dramatically!
 
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Using 350W of leds over a 1.2m will be enough to bleach even the highest light requiring sps coral!
Sorry to ask, but i highly doubt you will be able to build a 350W diy cheaper than a complete unit!
Like @dallasg mentioned. The duties & tax will increase the cost dramatically!
I dont have a 1.2m tank, lol. was just mentioning that I built that unit for cheaper than the 900mm unit you guys mentioned above. Also by dimming the unit you extend the life of the LED's drastically and also produce far less heat, So just because the unit is capable of 350W does not mean you are going to crank it to 100%.

Also being DIY, I can easily repair the unit and replace components

I bought everything locally besides the LED's, which I paid no duties or vat on any of the imports as the guys in hong kong listed the value as 6$ and a gift even though the value was much higher. anyhow it worked on the last three shipments, 20x10W 10K-14K, 10x10W Royal Blue, 5x10W, 6500K.

I am not thinking about doing it, I have done it and it was substantially cheaper but then again I am very handy with electronics.

19488-3000mm / 3M - HEATSINK LIP 19488 NAT 3M

3m Heatsink, only R700.
 
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I dont have a 1.2m tank, lol. was just mentioning that I built that unit for cheaper than the 900mm unit you guys mentioned above. Also by dimming the unit you extend the life of the LED's drastically and also produce far less heat, So just because the unit is capable of 350W does not mean you are going to crank it to 100%.

Also being DIY, I can easily repair the unit and replace components

I bought everything locally besides the LED's, which I paid no duties or vat on any of the imports as the guys in hong kong listed the value as 6$ and a gift even though the value was much higher. anyhow it worked on the last three shipments, 20x10W 10K-14K, 10x10W Royal Blue, 5x10W, 6500K.

I am not thinking about doing it, I have done it and it was substantially cheaper but then again I am very handy with electronics.
Lol, sorry, thought you were putting it on a 1.2...
I dont think everyone is as talented as you when it comes so sourcing electronics locally!
 
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Lol, sorry, thought you were putting it on a 1.2...
I dont think everyone is as talented as you when it comes so sourcing electronics locally!
hehe no worries.

We have this lovely forum to help guys out.

Not everyone has the budget for the LED units and some people love to DIY, in my case I love to DIY.

Also dont always look at the smaller PSU's, I bought a 7.3A for R450 from Mantech, old stock. The 4A was R700. So shop around. Looking at printing circuit boards for the Mean Well drivers, will work out really cheap if we do group buys, etc, have the diagrams for a 6up Meanwell unit
 
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dallasg

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i did my own units too :) well @butcherman finished them
 
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