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ram50 11-16-2010 03:42 PM

DIY LED lighting
For this DIY project I decided to make my own set of LED lights with moon lights for my tank. I wanted to see how cheaply I could make it. After some research on the net I found a way to do just that. I will layout the whole design in the up coming posts with pix's

livefishcam 11-21-2010 05:45 PM

i did a nice project with some blue led lights for my tank. cost just £6 and wired into my iobridge web interface device so people can control via my website.

take a look at Live Fish Cam Aquarium | Under Water CCTV, Webcam, Film and Cameras | Big Brother Style FishCam TV

you can turn the led night light on using the button above the live webcam feed of my fish tank.

Mikaila31 11-21-2010 07:05 PM

Its not too hard to do if you have basic electrical knowledge or simply research it. You can use regular old LED if you just want to light the tank. For plants though LEDs get really complicated. Also if you are doing a larger tank they do not work very well over depth. Cold cathodes are a better option, but provide a light blue light then most blue moonlights.

ram50 11-30-2010 06:09 PM

Sorry for the delay in getting this DIY LED lights done and documented. I had just got a new tank started and needed a light for it. I really liked the look of LEDís but didnít have the money for one. So I started to look around to see what my options were. After a couple days of research I found a person that had done one with Christmas lights to get the moon lighting. I thought about it and researched some more about Christmas LED lights. This is what Iíve found

1. If you have live plants DO NOT USE THIS TYPE OF LIGHT!!!
2. Christmas LED lights are easily found and are easy on the pockets
3. This is a easy DIY project that I feel anyone can do.
4. If you have live plants DO NOT USE THIS TYPE OF LIGHT!!!
5. Good thing I donít have live plants!!!!

What you need for this job is a piece of 1.5Ē pvc pipe cut to length to fit your tank
A jig saw
A drill and drill bit (I found a drill bit that was the perfect size and I didnít need glue)
Christmas LED lights make sure to use indoor/outdoor lights not just indoor lights.(I used 100 white and 100 blue)
I got these for $12.00 each
and some glue. Hot glue is the best ( I glued my finger to the PVC on a test run!!)
Start out by cutting your 1.5Ē pvc pipe in half. It doesnít have to be perfect
You can use 3m adhesive glue and put some aluminum foil shinny side out to act as a reflector.
Before youstart drilling your holes put two lights together and measure across them
to see just how close you can place them.On these lights I drilled my holes 1/4 inch apart. Use your imagination
(I put a piece of tape down the center and drilled on either side then went down the center)

Start putting your lights in (I will try to get the size of the drill bit it made it so easy to install without having to glue)

make sure that you install your lights so that your plugs come out at the same end.

I had hoped to use my old lid from my other light but it will not fit. I will have to get a piece of the plastic gutter and see how that fits

I will run two timers one for day, one for moon, and then of course the off time

I hope that you found this useful. I love the way it came out.

Here are the rest of the picts of the finished light (minus the hood)
The above picture was taken at night with the flash off on my camera
after seeing just how bright the blue LED were I could have gotten away with a strand of 50 or 60 instead of 100 and it doesn't create heat !!!

now I'm sure I forgot something but please tell me what you think. I will answer your questions about this DIY build to the best of my abilities

zof 11-30-2010 07:33 PM

Oh my god, look at that wire nest!!! Interesting concept you got going there

ram50 11-30-2010 08:51 PM

zof: hehe yeah its quite the nest of wires. I hope to get to the hardware store soon to get it covered up.

FiatBen 11-30-2010 09:17 PM

Can you explain
why you warn against using this setup with live plants?

ram50 11-30-2010 09:30 PM

Ben, I've been told by several sources and other web sites that the these type of led lights do not work in the correct wave length for proper plant growth. among others

Mikaila31 12-01-2010 12:21 AM

Yes the common little (5mm) are crap for growing plants, for various reason. When using LED's to grow plants, super high powered 3 watt LEDs are used. These things are a whole different ball game then little LEDs. They are powered differently, produce considerable amount of heat, are expensive, and some other stuff.

Honestly, no insult intended, but I don't feel this is a good way to go. $12 for LED moonlights is expensive to me. IDK what size tank you are lighting either or how bright it really is in person. For me a 15 gallon tank(2x1x1) took 4 good quality component LEDs to light it. Wire is cheap to come by in this house. The 5mm LEDs themselves costed 60 cents. Then maybe a dollar for resistors and $5 for a decent phone charger to run them off of. Then its just some time, tape, and know-how. IMO anytank deeper then 1 foot or longer then 30" you should just use cold cathodes. Adjustable cold cathode moonlighting on my 55gallon costed $17 maximum, requires less work then the LEDs, but still need to splice and connect a couple wires.

bearwithfish 12-01-2010 07:44 AM

while i appreciate that things could be done differently IMHO i think this is a great DIY and i am glad it got entered in the contest!!!. its really fits for what a lot of folks are trying to do out there... i agree with you Ram that perhaps a rain gutter cover would clean up the look a bit.. but other wise well done!!!

oh on a quick side note there is nothing wrong with a healthy conversation where folks present both sides and nothing wrong with two or more DIY projects covering the same topic with differing approaches... at this time the conversation seems to be bread from varying perspectives and that is great!!! be aware however that this should not turn into a flaming of the OP....

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