Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:48 pm Post subject: Sourcing DIY Led Parts
I want to make DIY Led setup for my aquarium. My tank size is 18 * 12 * 14 inch. I gone through various posts in this forum and finalized my plan. I planned to use 3 watt cool white led - 10, 1 watt blue led - 3, 1 watt red led - 3, 1 watt blue led - 3, 25W 0.6 A led driver for my setup.
Next I tried sourcing the materials from SP road Bangalore. I tried few shops in SP Road, but I could not find CREE or EDISON Brand LED. I am getting only Chinese made LED with Star PCB sold separately for the LED. I even tried in Coimbatore also, I couldn't find shops selling it. I got a 25W 0.7A led driver and 0.3 A Led driver from SP Road. But I want to buy PWM dimmable driver which also i couldn't find in SP Road. They suggested me to check in Chickpet for the drivers. Next week i will try to check in Chickpet.
Now How can i get the CREE or EDISON Led in Bangalore or Coimbatore? Whether getting CREE LED's from aliexpress is a good option? Also anyone know where to find pwm dimmable led drivers in bangalore?
Also whether my planned LED setup is good for planted aquarium with DIY CO2?
Joined: Nov 07, 2007 Posts: 2036 Location: Bangalore
Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:19 pm Post subject: Re: Sourcing DIY Led Parts
IMO its better to get pressurized CO2 before worrying about lighting. If you do not have good Co2, lighting does not matter. You will only be able to grow Anubias, ferns and some common stem plants.
What do you really want? a minimalist aquascape or a complex aquascape with demanding plants?
I would suggest that you use CFL or the common 2 feet LED tube light to start with. Unpredictable DIY CO2 will cause Algae. Giving us a idea of what you want in the planted tank will make it easier for us to respond.
Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:53 pm Post subject: Re: Sourcing DIY Led Parts
Eventually I want to go for a pressurized CO2 setup. may be after 3 4 months. This is the first time i am keeping planted aquarium so I am looking for minimalist aquascape with dwarf hair grass, Alternanthera and some medium req plants. Fauna would be guppies and tetra. I will be using ADA or Controsoil substrate.
I want to build dimmable led light, so it may help to control algae issues. Just a hope
Joined: Nov 23, 2011 Posts: 1881 Location: Bangalore, Prakashnagar.
Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:58 am Post subject: Re: Sourcing DIY Led Parts
If you want a PWM dimmable LED driver, you will have to go for Meanwell drivers, for which you will find a lot of electronic shops selling in SP Road. Just check out shops with the Meanwell banners, checkout online for the models you might be interested.
And about the LEDs, A cree dealer is avilable in Bangalore, but the cost is very prohibitive. next best source would be Ali Express .
And my suggestion is, dont fall into this nonsense of RED, BLUE And other color LED. its not proven that these are absolutely needed.
Just go fro Cool whites of any LED, it has worked for me and many more people whom I know..
Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:58 pm Post subject: Re: Sourcing DIY Led Parts
TL;DR: Instead of going for a complete DIY build, look at mass market LED Bulbs. They have everything you need, right color, right optics, right price and sufficient lumen output.
I've had tanks with almost all lighting techs(except MH). And I would go with others' suggestions that you dont really need a complicated DIY LED build for a small planted tank. Ive built a 180W dimmable LED unit for my nano reef tank and it was only justified because the very specific wavelengths zooanthelles react to, since in nature they grow at quite a depth of sea water which refracts most wavelengths out.
Plants however can absorb a much wider temperature of light. 6500K is arguably the juggernaut in this space.Yes, sure some people argue temperature is not correct and you should be looking at the wavelength. Well, 6500k has everything, dominant being the 440nm-460nm blues and ~700nm reds, with some 550nm greens in their as well. Blue and Red light are all that plants absorb, which 6500k has a lot of so you don't really need to supplement more.
There are commercial lights with added reds and blues which are mostly gimmicks and add only aesthetics nothing else.
What you should be looking for in your lights are its color temperature and lumen output. CREEs today are churning 180-200 lumens, which make them highly efficient, but the trade off is the chip cost. Instead, LEDs of a year or two back still make 90-100lumen/W and have gained the power of mass production. Look at the Phillips Stellar range of LED bulbs, 6500k, 100lumen/W, no heatsink/driver needed, available from 4-20W i.e. 400 to 2000 lumens, and readily available for a reasonable price.
The drawback is they do not go with new-age aquarium aesthetics defined by the ADA or Chihiro units, which IMO look so good they justify sacrificing your first born to buy. The other drawback is that I dont think they are dimmable too, but this can be overcome by using several low power bulbs and keep them on seperate circuits.
Focus on getting other things right, its better to have less light than more light. Not all plants react well to liquid carbon, not all plants grow at the same rates, too much nutrients is a thing. DIY CO2 is a very fickle thing in itself, you'll be facing black beard algae in no time if you're not extra careful. Also, the citric acid+baking soda setup is a million times better than yeast and sugar. It is almost as good a source as liquid CO2 without the drawbacks.
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