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Discussion Starter #1
I've built 1 before using 420 5mm LED's, mainly white but some red & blue as well. I came to the conclusion that discretes don't cut the mustard, good but not great. It fits a 30" tank, you can see 1/2 of it in my avatar. It ammounts to about 20W in total.

I've just recieved these beauties today



60W of Luxeon, white, 5600K LED's :)

Now let's see if we can grow plants with these ...... just gotta mount them somehow 1st.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I knew I had some somewhere :wink: here's a couple of bits of likely looking ali to mount them on. Leaning up against the tank they'll eventually end up helping to illuminate. (sorry about the mess :oops: )

 

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Excellent thread DTT - can't wait to see it coming along. :D

Please keep posting pics! Do you have any pics of the set you have already completed?
 

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There are several places on EBay selling single LEDS and the ballasts to run them. Dave I'm interested in following this thread myself. Soalris is a commercial unit but costs thousands. I've known several people that bought the kits but failed to assemble them beacuse of how time consuming it was. Youa re right that the luxeon bulbs are currently the best. Look for some of the dioptic magnifiers, they will seriously intensify your LED.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks all. I'll try to take all questions individually.

Kate, good idea, see below.

Cheers joe.

Dazzy, when have you known me to get technical ........ more pics when I've done something to photograph ...... :roll:

Brandon, I got them from a German company called Dotlight, a quick google should find them. They are not cheap. About 9 or 10 dollars each + shipping. Not entirely sure how I'll wire them yet, more than likely 2 sets of 7 in series as I have a top notch 24V power supply to hand.

mike, I don't like to give it a downer for performance as I've not tried 1 but I think the Solaris is ugly !! looks like some1 left an 80's video player on top of a tank !!! for the money it should look better. Having said that I'd love to have a play with 1. I also think their control system is far superior to anything I'm likely to come up with though I'm sure this adds greatly to the cost & isn't something most people would use much.

Anyway as I darn't go against the youpster's wishes here's some shots of the mkI

I started off with 160 white & 80 blue, 5mm, 15,000 mfd, 40 degree, discrete LED's. They are mounted in 2 lengths of inverted white plastic gutter.



Not so bright with the lights on



From the back, covers off



On the tank covers off. Incidentally the covers are 2 black, inverted, similar section, lengths of gutter that sit on top of the white 1's. I would point out that this is not a show tank ..... more an experimental 1. mrst would not allow gutter in the front room :squint:



I wasn't happy with the intensity or the colour so added 60 more whites and 20 reds to bring the total to 420. It works and the plants grow pretty vigorously but it doesn't challenge the 72W of T5's that were on the tank previously. Hence the Luxeons.

 

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Dave, thanks for sharing this, you've made a really professional looking job of it.

Aye, that is some serious lighting you have there. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Kate, you are too kind, it looks better in the pics.

Here's a recent 1 of Nugget my female golden ancistrus basking in the LED's.

 

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Discussion Starter #12
thanks Daz. I think the cleanliness is down to the huge population of apple snails. There's 3 adults and 50 odd juveniles :shock:
 

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Thanks Nandoposis.

I've done a bit more, here's 2 off 24" 7 LED light bars



This is more like it. They are very bright. Each bar has a max of 21W. To achieve that they'd need to run at 3.7V per LED but I'm only running around 3.4V for now.



Even with all the kitchen lights on they give my cam some probs with contrast.



Just got to fit them into some sort of hood/luminaire arrangement and we're off.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Jaysn. I've got a fairly tight fitting plastic anti-condensation cover between the tank and the LED's. I've done abit more since I last posted.

Here they are in the mounting frame


and on the tank



brighter than the mkI by far



Here you can see the bars bending upwards as they are getting hotter and consequently expanding more than the frame. You can also see the anti-condensation cover.

 

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you could add some lower wattage blue leds in between the white ones so it would give off a moonlight affect for the night.You would have to put it on a seperate circuit so both the white and blue wouldn't light at the same time.
prolly use a spdt switch to perform it.
 

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This thread has gone silent for a very long time.

Used to be a source on Ebay out of Hong Kong that sold high powered 5w and 7w bulbs that are used in the Solaris project. Problem with it all is that you don't even see Solaris being advertised anymore. I think the LED fad for reef lighting has worn off. But look for that source on Ebay as they sold everything on the cheap needed to make your own set up. I think it was around $1 per LED or less.
 
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