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DIY LED project. 24 x 3w and 40 x 3w


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  1. #1
    Tom Toro - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Default DIY LED project. 24 x 3w and 40 x 3w

    The Father/Son LED DIY weekend starts tomorrow. I have to get myself an array of tools (read Evil's Thread) from Home Depot.

    1st up is for my son's 28g biocube. 24x3w LED on a 7x11" heatsink.

    2nd up is for me and it's a 40x3w LED (30x453nm + 10x420nm) on a 60" tubular heat sink.

    2 fans for the 24 and 1 percussion fan for the 40.

    I bought most of the parts from Aquastyle. I've heard their drivers are lousy but for the money, I can swap out the drivers if I need to and still be ahead.

    The only problem is the instructions. Vague at best. Does anybody have a link to generic directions/advice/cautions that I can use for my project?

    I have some simple questions like:

    -how far apart do the LED's need to be spaced? Can they be 1" apart or 2" apart, what's too close,what am I trying to achieve/avoid, etc.

    -How can I wire the fans so they go on with the fixture instead of using their own plugs

    -Proper soldering technique for the LED's. I could see too much heat damaging the led's

    -Any tricks of the trade that would make the installation easier

    -Cautions (DON'T DO THIS!)

    Thanks for any help,
    Tom
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by jimsflies; 02-02-2012 at 07:03 AM. Reason: Added photo for display purposes
    240g Great Lakes Glass! ETSS1400/panworld250,LED 120wX4 AJM, LED,2x sunbrite ,Tunzex4/,200gal sump/mixed reef/Biopellets.

    135gGlass,ETSS1400/IWAKI 100,100gSump,MHIwasaki/LED,Tunze,Closed Loop/Dart. Biopellets. LPS dominated.

    IMG230 - DIY LED project.  24 x 3w and 40 x 3w

  2. #2
    Tom Toro - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Default

    All done. Took about 5 hours of soldering, cutting and thinking. Son did most of the thinking. Thanks to Ninjaskillz for the help, especially the tinning process. Made the soldering easy. Followed some youtube how to videos too. The basement is a disaster area, but both are done and ready for installation. I decided to add an additional foot of heat sink to house all the LED's (took your advice to heart, Chameleon). The percussion fan works great and puts out tons more than any small muffin fan I've seen. Son's fixture fit perfectly in his biocube hood. He put in 4 muffin fans for his 78watt fixture and opened up some more vent holes for ventilation. Very clean job and can't wait to see it on his setup. More light than he needs, but he has two dimmers. He also put two 3w UV led's on another dimmer and transformer for his moonlights. We used his over one section of my 240 and it lit up at least a 4th of it (2') all the way to the bottom with no problem. My 120 watt 6' led worked well on my 135 and the violets really hd the corals. Tomorrow I have to come up with a mounting system and some sort of lense to protect the fixture. Here are a couple of pics after we were done.

    Both are dimmed down to almost zero because it washed out the camera when on full and directly at the optics
    LEDDIY017 - DIY LED project.  24 x 3w and 40 x 3w
    LEDDIY018 - DIY LED project.  24 x 3w and 40 x 3w

    Both kits including shipping from Hong Kong cost around $300. Aquastyle included extra led's, but not extra wire or wire connectors. The heat sink from Steve's was cheap but the shipping was high.
    Last edited by Tom Toro; 01-22-2012 at 11:58 AM.
    240g Great Lakes Glass! ETSS1400/panworld250,LED 120wX4 AJM, LED,2x sunbrite ,Tunzex4/,200gal sump/mixed reef/Biopellets.

    135gGlass,ETSS1400/IWAKI 100,100gSump,MHIwasaki/LED,Tunze,Closed Loop/Dart. Biopellets. LPS dominated.

    IMG230 - DIY LED project.  24 x 3w and 40 x 3w

  3. #3
    Tom Toro - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Lousy pic of the LED supplimental lighting with the Iwasaki MH on .

    NewpicsofLEDspstank005 - DIY LED project.  24 x 3w and 40 x 3w
    240g Great Lakes Glass! ETSS1400/panworld250,LED 120wX4 AJM, LED,2x sunbrite ,Tunzex4/,200gal sump/mixed reef/Biopellets.

    135gGlass,ETSS1400/IWAKI 100,100gSump,MHIwasaki/LED,Tunze,Closed Loop/Dart. Biopellets. LPS dominated.

    IMG230 - DIY LED project.  24 x 3w and 40 x 3w
    Likes MizTanks liked this post

  4. #4
    Tom@HaslettMI - Reefkeeper
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    Awards Yugo Award - For helping with the CR Booth at MCES Monthly Giveaway Winner Monthly Giveaway Winner Photo of the Month Tank of the Month

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    Nice work. Looks great! How about a before shot (or one without the LEDs on)?

    Tom

  5. #5
    binford4000 - Reefkeeper
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    looks great Tom

  6. #6
    Tom Toro - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom@HaslettMI View Post
    Nice work. Looks great! How about a before shot (or one without the LEDs on)?

    Tom
    Thanks Tom. I'll get one this evening and try to put the camera in the same spot.

    Quote Originally Posted by binford4000 View Post
    looks great Tom
    Thanks Chuck! Sorry I missed you at the swap. I was lookin' around for ya. Wanted to introduce you to my son. I told him a lot about your setups.
    240g Great Lakes Glass! ETSS1400/panworld250,LED 120wX4 AJM, LED,2x sunbrite ,Tunzex4/,200gal sump/mixed reef/Biopellets.

    135gGlass,ETSS1400/IWAKI 100,100gSump,MHIwasaki/LED,Tunze,Closed Loop/Dart. Biopellets. LPS dominated.

    IMG230 - DIY LED project.  24 x 3w and 40 x 3w

  7. #7
    binford4000 - Reefkeeper
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    Sorry I missed you guy's.I have been sick as a dog so I slipped in and got what I pre ordered and went home to my nyquil and bedI voluntered to hold a meeting at our house in Febuary,swing in.I haven't heard back from them tho so no date yet.It sounds like an old school reef geek meet tho !! I miss those

  8. #8
    Tom Toro - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by chort55 View Post
    How was the service and length of time to actually get the leds after ordering from aquastyle.... i am considering ordering some for my 180g through them and was wondering about that and quality.
    Service was awesome. Quick to reply via email, but not if you send on their site. You have to copy the email address and use your own and they'll answer the next day. The site seems to lose the message.

    I think it was around 2 weeks for them to show up. Maybe into the third week. They send extra led's in case you fry a couple.

    Shipping costs were ridiculous, but it is coming from Hong Kong Fed x. Mine was $60.

    Heat sink for son's kit was awesome. Good quality and came with the kit.

    I like the Bridgelux, but don't have anything but the sunbrites to compare them to. Blows those away at less than half the price if you diy. Sunbrites were $300 for 6' tube @42w and these were around $150 including heat sink (from Steves) for a 6' tube, percussion fan and 120watts. Plus dimmable. I had to buy the heat sink from Steve's cause they didn't offer a long HS. I now see that home depot has a lot of long aluminum tubing that would've worked about the same.

    We had to buy some extra wire at Radio Shack cause we wanted to move the drivers around. Also had to buy some project boxes and extra solder.
    Last edited by Tom Toro; 01-31-2012 at 06:46 PM.
    240g Great Lakes Glass! ETSS1400/panworld250,LED 120wX4 AJM, LED,2x sunbrite ,Tunzex4/,200gal sump/mixed reef/Biopellets.

    135gGlass,ETSS1400/IWAKI 100,100gSump,MHIwasaki/LED,Tunze,Closed Loop/Dart. Biopellets. LPS dominated.

    IMG230 - DIY LED project.  24 x 3w and 40 x 3w

  9. #9
    Tom Toro - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Tom H.,
    Here's the No LED and the ON LED
    ONOFFpicsofLEDs005 - DIY LED project.  24 x 3w and 40 x 3w
    The Iwasakis are great for par, but really washed everything out.
    ONOFFpicsofLEDs006 - DIY LED project.  24 x 3w and 40 x 3w
    Here it is with all 120w on. I wish I'd taken before and after with the Sunbrites to show the difference.
    240g Great Lakes Glass! ETSS1400/panworld250,LED 120wX4 AJM, LED,2x sunbrite ,Tunzex4/,200gal sump/mixed reef/Biopellets.

    135gGlass,ETSS1400/IWAKI 100,100gSump,MHIwasaki/LED,Tunze,Closed Loop/Dart. Biopellets. LPS dominated.

    IMG230 - DIY LED project.  24 x 3w and 40 x 3w
    Likes MizTanks liked this post

  10. #10
    Tom Toro - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    No problem, Chris.

    The 36 count led kit is actually the one I bought. It came with everything included except the heat sink and fan (extra on their site). It doesn't show the two power cords, but mine came with two.

    -You'll need more 20 gauge wire unless you plan on mounting the drivers very close to the last LED soldered.

    -At $.50 a piece, you might want to buy a couple of different angle optics. I wish I had.

    -Get some extra wire connectors. They only give just enough.

    -I bought a Weller 40 watt soldering iron with three hot heads. Ended up using the middle size one. Small one heated too slowly.

    -Their fans are terrible. No power at all so if they include it, use the transformer and buy a good muffin fan. You'll know what I mean as soon as you turn it on. The heat sink wasn't drilled for the fan.

    -Your two drivers will drive 40 LED's @ 3w each so maybe order 4 more of different colors to use it all or more of the white for par. The whites and blues are around $3 each.

    -Project box to mount the two potentiometers.

    -Some good quality thermal epoxy. Their's is supposed to set up in 10 minutes and it took over 24 hrs for it to stop moving. Maybe we were doing something wrong. They are holding now, but when you have the LED's soldered together, they move around a lot when trying to place 'em.

    -We soldered separately from the heat sink and glued as a string. Not sure if this was better or worse, but we figured the heat sink would draw the heat out and make it harder to get the plate on the LED hot enough.

    I'm thinking about ordering some more from them to light up my 240. If you end up building them, let me know how you like them and if it's enough par. My son's is definitely strong enough on his 24g biocube and he has it turned down. I gave him some sps as a test so we'll see.
    240g Great Lakes Glass! ETSS1400/panworld250,LED 120wX4 AJM, LED,2x sunbrite ,Tunzex4/,200gal sump/mixed reef/Biopellets.

    135gGlass,ETSS1400/IWAKI 100,100gSump,MHIwasaki/LED,Tunze,Closed Loop/Dart. Biopellets. LPS dominated.

    IMG230 - DIY LED project.  24 x 3w and 40 x 3w

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