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Fluval Edge Custom LED Fixture

Discussion in 'Q & A' started by Glenn, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. Glenn

    Glenn Getting serious

    Location:
    Grays
    I'm looking into upgrading the lights on my Fluval Edge to improve the lighting for corals. I've looked around for quite some time now and had considered the TMC 500HD tile, but I don't think this will fit without modding the hood - something I really do not want to do. So, I've decided that the best option would be to build one myself.

    Below is a list of the components and fittings that I propose to use. I've worked out that I can probably do the above light fitting for around £50. But I have a few questions.

    8 x 3w Cree XP-G R5 Cool White LED's
    3 x 3w Cree XP-E Blue LED's
    1 x 3w UV LED
    1 x 30w LED Driver (for white and UV)
    1 x 10w LED Driver (for blue)
    2 x 100x76x21 aluminium heatsinks (will solder/use thermal conductive adhesive to stick them together)

    The LED's will be attached to the heatsinks with thermal conductive adhesive and laid out in 3 rows =
    Front row - 4 x white LED's
    Middle row - 3 x blue LED's and 1 x UV LED
    Back row - 4 x white LED's

    I want the blues and whites to be on separate drivers so that I can run the blues separately from the white ones as moonlight for a couple of hours after the whites.

    What are people views. Are the Cree LED's still the make to buy when building custom LED fixtures, or are the cheaper alternatives with similar lumens and higher kelvin ratings just as good now? I don't mind paying extra for the Cree LED's but if the others which are half the price are just as good then it could knock £10-12 off the build cost.
    Is it worth putting the UV LED on it? And will 1 be enough? I've read that a lot of builds now include them to promote coral growth.
    Will the drivers above be suitable and not burn out the LED's as they are rated slightly higher than what I'm fitting (30w driver and 27w of LED's and a 10w driver and 9w of LED's).

    I plan not to get waterproof drivers and have them located next to the tank. Will the extra length of cable between the driver and the LED's effect their performance in any way? I could use waterproof drivers and fit in the hood too if necessary, but feel that it would be less cluttered away from the hood. I decided against dimmable LED drivers as I am only fitting a few LED's.
    And is there a big difference between the drivers that you can buy on eBay for a few quid and the branded ones like Mean Well? I'm guessing that a lot of the ready made fixtures that you can buy will use standard ones to keep production costs down, so why not?

    I look forward to hearing people's views.

    Thanks

    Glenn
  2. simonwbrown

    simonwbrown Forum junkie

    Location:
    colchester
    in regards to the drivers as long as the amperage is correct u will be fine the LEDs will only pull there max voltage if theres not enough to max out the driver, or will be slightly dimmer if u have too many LEDs. i got my drivers from http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/satisled/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=25&_trksid=p3984.m1543.l2654
    and there fine the only diff is that meanwell ur paying for the name really there all the same inside, i think he also does dimming ones but if not i have some dimmers that can be used laying about somewhere like these http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-PCS-12V...6485?pt=UK_Light_Fittings&hash=item2578799f35 u just wire them in after the drivers. also i wud keep the drivers out of the hood just purly for heat build up reasons and the cable between driver and LEDs wont make any diff if only a meter or two
  3. Glenn

    Glenn Getting serious

    Location:
    Grays
    Thanks Simon. Good to know I was on the right track!

    That's exactly what I thought about keeping the drivers out of the hood.
    With regards to dimmable drivers, am I right in thinking that you can only dim the LED's up and down if you have a dimmable driver, and that you can't use a normal driver and insert the dimmer between the driver and LEDs?
    simonwbrown likes this.
  4. simonwbrown

    simonwbrown Forum junkie

    Location:
    colchester
    no u "can" insert the dimmers i posted between the driver and the LEDs
  5. Glenn

    Glenn Getting serious

    Location:
    Grays
    Ah, ok. - thanks That's even better then - no need to pay the extra for dimmable drivers. I was looking at the thread before mine which mentioned about the jarduino, which looks like an excellent piece of kit, but I'm not sure I would have the skills to pull that off! But manual dimmers could be useful. Thanks.

    Which type of LEDs did you go for? Cree or something else?
  6. simonwbrown

    simonwbrown Forum junkie

    Location:
    colchester
    Got my LEDs from that same eBay seller
  7. Glenn

    Glenn Getting serious

    Location:
    Grays
    Oh right. I've had a look and they are about half the price of the cree's and I've searched and your tank looks great under them. Which kelvin did you go for? You went for a 1:1 ratio didn't you?

    Sorry for all the questions mate. I appreciate your input on this.

    Cheers
  8. simonwbrown

    simonwbrown Forum junkie

    Location:
    colchester
    did u look at my nano as thats the one under DIY leds not the 5ft. whites were 10000k
  9. Glenn

    Glenn Getting serious

    Location:
    Grays
    Yeah, had a look at that one mate. Looks great. The colours on those zoas really pop.
    Just had a re-count and its 8 white and 7 blue. Sorry, couldn't see the kelvin rating of them on there.

    Looks really good.
  10. simonwbrown

    simonwbrown Forum junkie

    Location:
    colchester
    Check out his website and order direct from there he has all his k ratings on there. It's the same name as his eBay store
  11. Glenn

    Glenn Getting serious

    Location:
    Grays
    Great. Thank Simon. I'll post up progress once the build begins.
    simonwbrown likes this.
  12. Simon013

    Simon013 Getting serious

    Location:
    Brentwood
    Can I ask where you are buying them from? Also I built my LED system with 24 3w cree's and it will easily bleach corals, so get a dimmer :) I would reccomend 50/50 white to blue, no need for UV.
  13. simonwbrown

    simonwbrown Forum junkie

    Location:
    colchester
    Only benefit to uv is the corals pop more if u have them on with the blues. I only had 8 whites 5 blues and 2 reds on my nano so dint need the dimmers. If u want them I will try to find them and u can have them for £5 each. There still boxed and never used
  14. Glenn

    Glenn Getting serious

    Location:
    Grays
    Two Simons - that's not gonna become confusing haha.

    Simon013, thanks for the advice. I was looking at the 3w 8000k cree's available on eBay, although SimonW has made me consider the cheaper alternatives to cree's now.

    I was looking at a similar ratio as SimonW's nano, as it is the same size. I've found a heatsink which should enable me to fit 16 LEDs instead of the 12 so was thinking 10 cool white, 4 royal blue, 1 UV and 1 red (for sunrise/sunset if I go down the route of a dimmable controller). May lose the UV and go with 2 reds though?

    Thanks for the offer Of the dimmers Simon, but am now looking into a dimmable controller. Will bear it in mind though if needed.
  15. simonwbrown

    simonwbrown Forum junkie

    Location:
    colchester
    i wud lose the reds and run the UVs with the blues
  16. Glenn

    Glenn Getting serious

    Location:
    Grays
    I know what you mean Simon about the reds, but I've currently got a red strip on a controller which simulates the sunrise and sunset and do really like the red/purple/blue effect it makes, so was hoping to add something similar to the new light and lose the other controller.

    I'll go for red and UV. With the new larger heatsink, I can go for 6 cool white cree's, 6 royal blue cree's, 2 UV's and 2 reds. That should give me a nice variety and would mean 4 separate drivers as I'm looking into going down the route of a single 24v psu to power it all.
    simonwbrown likes this.
  17. simonwbrown

    simonwbrown Forum junkie

    Location:
    colchester
    hmmmm thta wont work as the UVs and reds cud be 350mA and the whites and blues will be 750mA u have to have the amperage right on the LEDs or u will blow them also u should go for 1w UV
  18. Glenn

    Glenn Getting serious

    Location:
    Grays
    I will power the whole thing using a 24v 10a 240w switch power supply driver which will be split over the following 6 x XP-G cool whites with a 5w 1000mA driver, 6 x XP-E royal blues with a 5w 1000mA driver, 2 x 3w UV LEDs with 3w 700mA driver and 2 x 3w red LEDs with 700mA driver. All of the drivers have the same output current as the LEDs dc forward current and each driver can run a maximum of 6 LEDs.
    I can change the UV's to 1w and use a 350mA driver for those. What's the difference between the 1w and 3w then?
  19. simonwbrown

    simonwbrown Forum junkie

    Location:
    colchester
    oh ok so ur pretty much sorted then :) u wud probably find the 3w UV overpowering
  20. Glenn

    Glenn Getting serious

    Location:
    Grays
    Thanks Simon. spent ages yesterday looking into it. its gonna cost a bit more, but it should be worth it. How about if I went with 3 1w UV and 3 1w red? That shouldn't be too overpowering, should it?
    simonwbrown likes this.

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