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06-24-2010, 11:02 AM
I would avoid the red LEDs in all honesty. They are very bright (your eyes are very sensitive to it), and will be very distracting. If you want to add a little more red to bring out certain colors in the tank, then use neutral white LEDs opposed to cool white. They aren't as bright, but they help with certain colors.
As for the rest of the layout, I'd add a few more LEDs to just make the output a little more even across the tank. Make 3 groups of 4 LEDs, if you want to keep the layout you have now. Each group would consist of 2 white and 2 blue LEDs. Starting with an even ratio will get you in a 14K temperature range. If you use dimmable drivers, you will be able to adjust from that point, higher or lower. If you are going to use Buckpucks, get two total (one for blue and one for white), and run it off a 24v power supply. MPJA has a good, inexpensive unit from Potrans (24v, 6.5A, $15). Smaller heatsink will work, but will be dependant on a fan for temperature control. If you want to improve things thermally, but still keep it cheap, use a sheet of aluminum to mount everything to. Sandwich the sheet between the LEDs and the heatsink. It will create a much larger area to mount the LEDs to (most small PC heatsinks don't have a huge mounting area), and add more mass and surface area for cooling.
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