OK, starting my research on lighting first. After giving some consideration to the tried and true halide, and my previous favorite T5, I have decided to go LED for this project.
Having been out of the loop for the last year or so, I have lost a list of favorite sites. I know where to get my heatsink, and I am sure I can do the forced air cooling locally, but I am still learning the LEC language. It looks like a ratio of 2 to 1 blue to white is the norm.
With the drivers, can they be connected to a Reefkeeper Lite controller and be made to gradually increase and decrease light intensity? What driver should I be looking at?
Sorry for all the questions, but I am going to do this right the first time!
I second rapidled great service, although I personally like the TRC drivers that nanotuners offer. Though choice of driver is up to you. Just make sure the LEDs are good, there the backbone of your fixture.
Check out Evils sticky in the ask the experts forum. He also has a bunch of threads another forum. Can't remember which one though. Just do a google search on his screen name and it should pull up a bunch of stuff.
That ones beyond me, so far....
Although the dual pendants is a good start. The other thing to keep in mind is your tank depth. If it's a shallow tank like mine(12" deep) you might not need that many. Also your optics , if you use any, can make a big difference as well.
The next led build I'll be working on, is going to be using 90degree to 120degree optics just cause it's so shallow. Although I think most people use 40 to 80degree optics. And again you have to research which ones are best to use.
if your going the diy route, try and find some UV led chips for better penetration.
Also to get even more light outta of your fixture look into 3-up Indus stars that have 3, 3watt crees mounted to the chips.
Though I have to say that having a dimming option is a must have for any fixture. Which is why I like the trc drivers, there pre-wired to accept a dimmer. With out the hassle and added cost some of the other drivers have. My sliding dimmer only cost 4-5 bucks or so, without an additional power supply or fancy controller. Just soldered the wires up and it was good to go. I love simplicity. You should try to make it out to the Ann arbor swap tomorrow if you can. Lots of people will have led fixtures there in use, some diy and some store bought fixtures.
really depends on how you wanna control the LED's,
you say you want a 2:1 ratio right?
the most common way to do it is to put all the blues on there own drivers and the whites on there own.
since you'll have a total of about 14 whites all the whites can go on 1 driver, you keep the 2:1 ratio and save ur self 34$. Those drivers can only controll between 8-14 LED's so if you wanted the whites to have there own, you'd need 8 whites on each pendant. up to you really.
and yes you can mount the drivers where ever you want.
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