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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm building a 310 Plywood tank. In an effort to keep this thing completely DIY and custom I want to build my own LED hood. I have built some LED Moonlights so I know I can do this but an entire hood will be on a larger scale and ideally i'd like to have the hood mimic an entire day cycle (i.e. morning - noon - evening - night). I will have 3 rows of main lights. Morning would begin at the front of the tank, noon will illuminate all 3 rows, evening just the back and then night would light just the moonlights (not contained in the main lights).

anyone with practical knowledge or actual application please chime in and help me out with this.

Thanks!!
 

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http://www.rapidled.com/servlet/StoreFront

take a look around their site, and if you have questions, give them a call. They have good quality pieces, have good customer service and are pretty renowned in the reef communities for setting you up for success. Prices are a bit higher then some prices but they have a good selection and offer kits ready to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have looked at this site in the past. They are so much more expensive than http://www.uniqueleds.com

I'm not committed yet but I think I want to go the Unique route unless there is a reason not to (i.e. the CREE lights are needed for aquarium situations)
 

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BigDaddyK said:
I have looked at this site in the past. They are so much more expensive than http://www.uniqueleds.com

I'm not committed yet but I think I want to go the Unique route unless there is a reason not to (i.e. the CREE lights are needed for aquarium situations)
There are led's and then there are Cree led's.
Take these two and compare...
Unique 1 watt White 30-40 lumens $5.99
CREE XP-G R5 Cool White 3W Min. lumens 139 $5.25
I couldn't find any led's even close on the unique site.
 

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There is a reason all the high end (pacific sun, aqua illuminations, vertex illumina, etc) use cree.......just going to throw it out there.

I know LED is new to the fresh world (and salt for that matter) and I know a lot of people doubt the value...but I did a LOT of research before going with my current fixtures (AI sols) for my 100 gal fresh tank....the Crees last longer, provide much better efficiency with accurate spectral coverage for what you order, and are just downright the brightest out there.

Phillips luxeon has a few high end LEDs coming out soon to match the Crees with a bit better broad spectrum coverage but are similar in price
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
paradigmsk8er said:
There is a reason all the high end (pacific sun, aqua illuminations, vertex illumina, etc) use cree.......just going to throw it out there.

I know LED is new to the fresh world (and salt for that matter) and I know a lot of people doubt the value...but I did a LOT of research before going with my current fixtures (AI sols) for my 100 gal fresh tank....the Crees last longer, provide much better efficiency with accurate spectral coverage for what you order, and are just downright the brightest out there.

Phillips luxeon has a few high end LEDs coming out soon to match the Crees with a bit better broad spectrum coverage but are similar in price
I am not arguing or challenging the high end use of cree, I'm certain there is a reason for this. my biggest thought on this is that I'm not looking to make coral's grow or have plants in this tank. My focus is fish accentuation. I think you and GTZ (thanks for the links btw :) ) are both right in that the 3W LEDs are brighter

I need two Hoods that will cover 3'8" x 19" area's. I can't imagine how many LED's I'll need for that. I'm thinking if you look at say the Marineland double brights I'd need 4 3' hoods. I can't afford that.

I just wasn't sure that I needed them in my application. I may have to go with t8's or t5's for the the time being as I'm quickly approaching the limit of my budget :(

Thanks to all for the advice!
 

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Depending on your depth...I don't know that 1w would really cut it. You can always run 3w LEDs at a lower wattage, but honestly 1w is sort of weak when it comes to light output. That and if you use say 70 degree lenses or something, the spread will be greater with the 3w since you will be dispersing more light
 

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BigDaddyK said:
I'm thinking if you look at say the Marineland double brights I'd need 4 3' hoods. I can't afford that.
I just wasn't sure that I needed them in my application. I may have to go with t8's or t5's for the the time being as I'm quickly approaching the limit of my budget :(
Thanks to all for the advice!
You're not the only one sticking with T5's over LED's ;)
Even with double brights, there are plenty of people finding them not bright enough for their liking.
The only other option is to go with more bulbs or higher wattage, and then it gets expensive.
 

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I went to **** and picked up a LED lighting system that cost me around $90. It came with a remote to switch between 16 different colors, dim and brighten, slow fade between all the colors, flash between all the colors and RGB flash. I thought it was pretty **** rocken for the $$$, plus you can add up to 8? LED strips. I have 4 on my 55, which might be a little overkill, but it lights the **** out of it.

The brand is OLS and you should be able to find it in the lighting section of ****, or heres the link the their site, its waaaaay more expensive on the site though, so id recomend going to ****.

http://ppa-usa.com/olshargb.html

Heres what the inside of my canopy looks like. I used heat shrink on all the connections and used liquid nails to secure it to the lid (I might have to revist that later and clean that up, but w/e) The little black box on the center brace is the "brains" of the setup, the IR sensor for the remote connects to that, which i drilled a hole and poke it out the front, most people dont notice it until i say something about it lol



Close up of "brains" and wiring.


IR sensor poking out the front.




Power plug coming out the back.


White. (Dont mind the mess, i was moving 8p)


Purple!


Red!


Green!


And finally one of the best parts of the LED system, the remote. 8P And of course, a fish bible.


HTH
 

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Now that, that is pretty freaking cool. Looks like I'm spending $90, thanks a lot! :lol:
 

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lol Glad i could help.

When you go to **** your gonna have to buy a couple other things in addiiton to the main kit. the main kit is gonna come with: the remote, the brains, and 2 LED strips. What i had to buy in addition to the main kit was a Y-splitter, and 4? extension cables (the wires connecting the strips near the ends of the canopy) to make a setup like mine.

Edit: You need a Y-splitter, 2 cables to come off the Y-splitter to go to the first strip of LEDs, and 2 cables to connect the other 2 strips together.

I havent been able to fully set up my tank yet, but ill keep the lights on just for ****s and giggles and the LED strips barely get hot/warm to the touch. Im not to sure what amperage they draw, but i know its minimal and a **** of a lot less than T5s. The wattage is way less for sure.

From the website:

Peak illumination – Maximum 10 watts on 2 LED strips (2 ft.)
Non-peak illumination – Minimum 1 watts on 2 LED strips (2 ft.)
So i basically have 20watts on full blast, thats not to shabby.
 

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Not too shabby at all. Compare 20w to the 135w compact light and 100w actinic I run on my 4' tank I could save a lot of energy by switching.
 

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I can not offer any advice but good luck with your project.
 
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