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DIY LED Conversion
by David Fair (kubby)
Page  1  |  2  |  3

Disclaimer: I am not an electrician. I have never worked as an electrician. I have not consulted with an electrician. I do not recommend that anybody attempt to make any changes to any electrical device. I do have glass lids over all my tanks; to help reduce the risk of electrical incidents, to keep fish in the tank and to reduce moisture to equipment and house. Any attempt to retrofit any device you do at your own risk.



  Tools:   Materials:
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Saw
  • Tape Measure
  • Wire Cutters
  • Wire Strippers
  • Pliers
  • Fluorescent Light Fixture
  • LED Lights - SMD
  • Light Base - GU24-3
  • 18 Gauge Wire
  • Wire Nuts
  • 1" x 2" Wood
  • Screws

Light is important to me, because I like my tanks to look like a jungle. But having many lights brings other challenges. Like how can I afford that? And why can't the kids turn off the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen lights when not in the room? Yet, I have my tank lights set timers for 12hrs a day. Each 75g tank had 2 shop lights with half of the bulbs being 'full spectrum' and the other half being 'plant' bulbs. That's 4x40w T12.

Have you seen the LED lights advertized in the magazines? "Call for a price quote"... uh, no. So being a DIY'er I got excited and started keeping an eye on an ongoing discussion on my local cichlid club forum about lighting. A fellow club member, Dan Schacht, brought a 'sample' to a club meeting and I was hooked

I emailed Dan for his sources (Thanks Dan). Unfortunately suppliers for the LED lights are somewhat limited. After spending some time reviewing my options, I dusted off the credit card and placed an order with www.aliexpress.com. Pay close attention to which lights you order since all have a minimum order quantity. I then proceeded to waist time at Lowes and Home Depot looking for the correct light socket (got to plug the lights into something) and wire. They don't carry them and I didn't need 1000 ft of wire so picked up 50ft at Radio Shack. You can find the correct bases at www.lightbulbemporium.com (Part # 90-1548).

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