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BadFish's DIY LEDs for Idiots (....that's Me)


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  1. #1
    Badfish - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Pat

    Default BadFish's DIY Vol. 1: LED wiring for Idiots (....that's Me)

    After reading all the hype about LEDs on many of the different online forums, I decided I wanted to try out LEDs for myself. I had an extra 2 gal Fluval spec laying around from a LFS sale, so I built this little LED hood for it. I wasnt sure if I was going to do a DIY thread for it because there are many out there, but I have been asked a few times to do one so here it is. This is going to be a very basic DIY I’m not going in to the Volts or amp conversion, pretty much just the materials and how I wired it up. There are many different web sites to buy LEDs from and different ways to wired up LEDS, power supplies, and drivers, this worked for me. Be sure to do your own research on what will be the best for your tank setup!
    Here is a website to help with some wiring questions

    Electrical wiring - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia@@AMEPARAM@@/wiki/File:C...cable_5G16.JPG" class="image"><img alt="" src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c5/Copper_cable_5G16.JPG/220px-Copper_cable_5G16.JPG"@@AMEPARAM@@commons/thumb/c/c5/Copper_cable_5G16.JPG/220px-Copper_cable_5G16.JPG

    If you are not comfortable with electrical wiring get someone to help you!!
    Material-
    5 LEDs from Superbrightleds.com
    -2x Cree 3w XPE Royal Blue
    -2x Cree 3w XPG Cool White
    -1x High Power 3w UV

    Drivers from Ledsupply.com
    I bought the buckpucks (Drivers) with the dimming option and pots wired in so I could have total control over the color and intensity of the lights.
    1x 1000mA Constant Current Output, External Dimming w/ pot.
    1x 700mA Constant Current Output, External Dimming w/ pot.
    Power supply from MPJA.com
    1x 24v 6.5A Potrans
    Heatsink from Heatsinkusa.com
    7.280" Wide x 6" Long Heatsink

    *Anything not listed can be bought from Radio Shack
    I started my by using thermal paste to glue the LEDs to the heatsink with 2” spacing between them. Then I wired the LEDs into 2 series circuit with each series having their own buckpuck, but on the same power supply.
    The Buckpuck has 6 wires coming out of it. Labeled LED(+), LED(-), CTL, REF, VIN+, and VIN-.
    buckpuck - BadFish's DIY LEDs for Idiots (....that's Me)

    So first you need to connect the wire labeled “LED(+)” on each buckpuck to the (+) of the first LED of each color(one buckpuck for the whites and one for the R.Blue/UV). Then wire the (-) of that LED to the (+) of the next LED of the same color and so on, until you get to the last LED where you connect the LED (-) to the buckpuck wired labeled “LED(-)”.
    The wires coming off the buckpuck are short so you will have to splice wires to make them longer, and you will need to solder the wires to the LEDs connection pads. (Soldering is very easy, before this I had never solder electronics. All you need is a cheap solder iron and solder.)
    Your LEDs are now wired to the buckpucks.
    The Next two wires on the buckpuck are CTL and REF, these come pre-wired to the pots. The pots are the knobs that control the dimming of the lights. You can mount them how you want, and even buy covers to make them look nice. (http://ledsupply.com/03021hep-knob.php)
    The last two wires on the buckpucks are VIN+ and VIN-. These are wired to your 24v Power supply with the same labels. These wires are short as well so you will have to splice them too.
    Power - BadFish's DIY LEDs for Idiots (....that's Me)
    The Last wiring you need to do is to wire a plug to the power supply, you can just cut an old electrical cord and use that plug. Then wire up the plug's phase wire (usually brown or black wire) to the L terminal on the power supply, the neutral wire (usually blue or white wire) to the N terminal, and the ground wire (usually the green/yellow wire) to the FG terminal.
    LEDSchm2 - BadFish's DIY LEDs for Idiots (....that's Me)
    You can also buy a little computer fan from radio shack wire to a 12v plug (I used an old phone plug) for cooling on you heatsink
    That’s it for wiring. Not as hard as it seems huh?
    After that you can mount it how you like. I welded a box out of sheet metal, then painted it and hot glued the buckpucks in a project box from radio shack. I also add on/off switches (optional) to the V (-) wires and made a Plexiglas splash guard (recommended).
    It’s up to you for this part!
    top - BadFish's DIY LEDs for Idiots (....that's Me)
    LEDson - BadFish's DIY LEDs for Idiots (....that's Me)
    I hope this Helps everyone who was asking about it, Let me know you have any questions or comments
    Last edited by Badfish; 08-18-2011 at 07:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Badfish - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Default

    Had to change some pics around

  3. #3
    180reefer - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Default

    Thanks for sharing the build - I have been toying around with doing some DIY led builds for quite some time now, trying to light up the front of my bow front is a real challenge! I would really like to see some more pictures on the tank for reference! Good job! and very nicely written so even someone like me almost feels confident enough to give it a try!
    I promise, I'll be done in 5 more minutes!

  4. #4
    Badfish - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Default

    Sure what I can take some more today, what exactly would you like to see?

  5. #5
    180reefer - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    I would like to see what the tank looks like - what color spectrum did you end up with? Also, what did you end up spending on each unit? or total package?
    I promise, I'll be done in 5 more minutes!

  6. #6
    jstan - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Default

    Great info, I'll be following along with this thread. Starting to toy with the LED idea as well.

  7. #7
    bigbill - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Default

    same price would be great for whole DIy
    I have no fear of losing my life - if I have to save a koala or a crocodile or a kangaroo or a snake, mate, I will save it.
    Steve Irwin
    mbisite.org/mbi_sig.aspx?u=bigbill&img=2

  8. #8
    tankdude - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Default

    Wow LED is not a complicated as I thought, thanks for sharing.

  9. #9
    Heidi - Reefkeeper
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    LOVE this thread!!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Makes me feel like I can do this too. . . and I might

  10. #10
    Badfish - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Here is a pic of the Tank with the LED hood on it.
    IMG 0762 - BadFish's DIY LEDs for Idiots (....that's Me)

    Here is the range of light spectrum that I can dial up with the manual knobs. I only have the LEDs at about 20-30% power, otherwise they will fry the corals.

    100% Whites 0% Blues
    IMG 0758 - BadFish's DIY LEDs for Idiots (....that's Me)

    0% Whites 100% Blues
    IMG 0757 - BadFish's DIY LEDs for Idiots (....that's Me)

    40% Whites 60% Blues (This is the color mix I use)
    IMG 0755 - BadFish's DIY LEDs for Idiots (....that's Me)

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