Well.. I am relatively a new reefer (around 7 months) with a small simple 14 gallon biocube. Just like every other reefer, I too wanted to get into LED to get better color, lower power consumption, long life and better control. This is the summary of my LED build.
- 3 Cool White Cree XP-G
- 2 Natural White Cree XP-G
- 5 Royal Blue XP-E
- 1000mA dimmable buckpucks with PWM input.
- 5.75"x9" Heat sink with longitudinal fins
- Cooled by Stock fans
- Dawn to dusk light control with Arduino
- Entire system turned on with a simple wall timer
- Use power supplies hanging around. Laptop charger for LED, small 9v power supplies to arduino, and 12v power supply to fans.
Basic logic is that timer will turn on arduino and fans simultaneously. Arduino will start internal clock and take control of the lights until until dusk followed by system shut off by the timer. Future plan to replace the timer with RTC module.
Got my LEDs from ledgroupbuy real cheap. Around $5 for whites and $4 for RB. Arduino from eBay. Buckpucks from rapidLED. Thermal paste also from ledgroupbuy. Screws and nylon washers from Ace hardware.
Drilled and tapped the heat sink for #4-40 screws. I wanted to keep the white and blue as pairs to reduce color shadowing. Drilling and tapping is real easy and you dont really need a bench drill. My handheld drill did the job without breaking a single drill bit.
Soldered the LEDs into two circuits. Bought a aluminum strip from LOWES to make two simple brackets to attach the heatsink to the hood. Here is the finished product mounted in the BC14 hood. What you see below the heat sink is a little plastic baffle to force air through the fins instead of taking a short cut.
Sorry couldnt snap photos in between. Next is to program the arduino. I had little trouble getting the driver installed. Everything else is super easy if you have little background in C programming.
Hooked up everything to test the setup.
Worked like a charm.. I can ramp up and down blues and whites independently. Blue light made my clowns go blonkers and finally settled with both white and blue ramp up and down together. Will fine tune later. This is my current schedule.
- 30 mins lights ramp up to 2%. This happens around 1 pm
- Next 2 hrs lights ramp up to 50%
- Continue 50% intensity for 6.5 hrs (day time)
- Ramp down to 2% over 2 hrs
- Ramp down to 0% over last 30 mins
And this is the final product..
Now I am ready for SPS.
Total cost around $150 which include Arduino controller and shipping. Of course I didnt have to buy power supplies.
Future plan is to add an LCD display to show the reef clock, light intensity and perhaps tank temperature.
Comments and questions welcome.