Is LED DIY the way to go or just a crappy looking cheaper option ?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Sammy, 26 Jul 2012.

  1. Sammy

    Sammy

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    The topic says it all ?

    I would like to know your experiences ? Does it pay to go DIY, cost vs looks, how do your units look? what are the pricing differences ? Your tank is normally the attraction in your lounge ?

    Are you happy with spending +2K on your DIY Led or would your tank look far more fantastic and finished with an Illumilux unit hanging over it ?

    Is the cost saving worth the stress ???

    Just a thought ?
     
    Last edited: 26 Jul 2012
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  3. mytank

    mytank

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    Have you ever seen those cars that wish they were like the Audi's with LEDs?

    If you have then you got your answer ;)
     
  4. Sammy

    Sammy Thread Starter

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    hmmm, my point exactly !
     
  5. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    I think that a person doing diy leds starts out with what he thinks will cost less and by the time you have modified to a point of satisfaction, you will find the price has come down so much that it would have been more cost effective to have waited a little and bought pre made units.
     
  6. Sammy

    Sammy Thread Starter

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    +1 also with a bought unit you have a gaurentee and later your LEDs don't start popping off one by one into your tank.
     
  7. Sammy

    Sammy Thread Starter

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    Not seen an aesthetically sleek diy yet ?
     
  8. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Mine is DIY, built by @Goby, and it's certainly not a "I wish I was an Audi" job, have a look:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cost, you'll have to ask @Goby, but definately not as much as some of the units around. Howerver that is my not so humble opinion. ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  9. Sammy

    Sammy Thread Starter

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    That's a build well done, but I must admit I think its quite bulky though, why the secrets on the cost, surely you paid for it?
     
  10. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Hey I like bulky woman :p, I don't know the actual cost of the unit alone, but I paid R5000 for the tank, sump, stand and unit. The whole setup is of exceptional build quality, check out the thread on how @Goby built the whole tank at: Can i get it wet this time? - Marine Aquariums of South Africa.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  11. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    For me it's got to be a DIY job...these Units are very pricey, especially trying to get one to fit into my TL 450...I can't justify forking out R5000+ for a "plug-in-and-play" for my Nano...:( and having heat issues in summer, LED's is the way to go and also only having 2x 18W PL...which I now know are useless and really don't help my Corals...leaves me with HAVING to go with LED's....so in the end it's either DIY or 2 crappy tubes...:(
     
  12. Toolboysa

    Toolboysa Moderator

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    Some ppl DIY not cause of the cost. Its more about the challenge and making something customizable to my exact needs. Yes some DIY wont look as sleek as bought units as most of the time DIYers dont have access to million dollar equipment and usually use parts that were not designed solely for the purpose of the build.

    End of the day its up to the individual personal choice. After all the cree led in a DIY job is the same cree led in most of the shelf led units
     
  13. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope

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    I think led's are the way to go.maybe not the initial setup but in the long run definitely. If u pay for crap leds you will get crap leds. There no heat issues,no globe changes,saving on electricity. You get awesome colour,awesome growth. Leds are perfect for. Nano. I'm all for leds and will never have a tank without them! A bit of time and a. Bit of research and you can build urself a sleek led unit..my 2c.
     
  14. paul bloem

    paul bloem

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    I porsonally do not DIY because it will never look as neat as a bought unit, if it did it would be the more than a bought unit. But to add in defence to the guys who do built it, if the prices can't come down then its the way to do it and it makes it fun.

    In the other hand is it really so expensive: you pay for a decend light unit between R8000 and R24000 to run SPS. Now for the same price you can buy two LED units for R2000 - R4000 more and save on electricity and globes.
    Don't know if my oppinion is right though?
     
  15. Clownfish9906

    Clownfish9906

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    Hey @paul bloem ....looks like u sitting on the fence buddy... :p

    I am planning an led build. I believe with a bit of research, time and planning, a very professional unit is buildable. Using the correct materials and finishing of the unit is important if you want a high grade product. If you want something like the vertex units iro build quality, then maybe u will want to buy one than rather make it...depend on how able you are to get the build going which may be a problem for the technically challenged.

    I have a new setup, but my tubes are old - 4 x 54w T5's...do I replace them at around R350 each...or do I diy an led build for a little more?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  16. Rory

    Rory Admin MASA Contributor

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    A lot of guys also have hoods so how the "unit" looks doesn't really matter anyway...
     
  17. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Here are my 2c, to use the outdated car metaphor, not everyone can afford a Ferrarie and besides whats the point if your going offroading?

    We all need to light our tanks and weather we build or buy it does not make much diffrence. As long as you understand the needs of your tank in the first place!

    I can go and spend thousands an led unit for my tank and with the uit i cant keep sps. But because i didnt know what i was looking for in the first place, the unit is now bad. Same goes for diy if you dont know what you need to build in the first place how can you make a suitable unit. I am pro diy but only because i am good at it.

    For me DIY can offer
    - The same if not better perfomance as most high end LED units.
    - They can be Customised to any specific need.
    - They can look just as good as premade (most guys just build and never finish off their projects)
    - They can save alot of money (DIY costs normally go up when a person does not research and understand what he is building and b does not follow instructions and ends up burning his led's)
    - DIY in itself is a hobby and a challenge.
    - If needed i can repair my LED unit myself.

    In the end you need to be happy with what you build or buy. Always make sure that what ever route you go that the lighting you are looking at will suite your tank.
     
    Last edited: 27 Jul 2012
  18. mytank

    mytank

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    Good answer :D agreed
     
  19. rakabos

    rakabos

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    DIY is cool but you can never get to the same build quality or features, EVER.

    So its a cost vs looks vs features issue for most people. All units use the same CREE leds these days even if you DIY so you get similar sort of power from similar sized units. Do you need sunset/sunrise integration via software, no, is it cool, heck yeah.
     
  20. DubKorps

    DubKorps

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    I personally think that's the whole aspect of DIY is more money related .. I wouldn disagree on the pricing issue coz the units are shit expensive... But what in this hobby isn't????

    So IMHO .....don't buy the car if you can't afford the petrol!!! :p
     
    Last edited: 27 Jul 2012
  21. Jayceew

    Jayceew

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    Probably the best reason to do it. No fancy light unit will be worth it if you cant see it.
     
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