Pico LED Lighting?

Discussion in 'Nano and Pico reef systems' started by coralreefer, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. OP
    coralreefer

    coralreefer I contributed!
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    Okay, I am starting to get my head wrapped around this project but I still have a long way to go :). I have a few questions though:

    1. As far as a current driver, how will I know what current I want to use (ie 300mA, 500mA, 700mA, 1A)? I imagine you want a happy medium between the amount of heat generated and the light output you can generate, right?

    2. I am totally lost on the concept of dimming them. Bemi0701, you mentioned buying the parts individually so that I can make them dimmable. Does that mean that I cannot use a dimmable driver with the kits from rapidled, or does the dimmable driver replace a component of these kits? Not really sure how dimmable drivers fit into the whole wiring scheme or what part of the power they actually control (current I assume??). Sorry, I am obviously a :lots: when it comes to this!

    3. What do you think about this heatsink for a 6 led setup? If I use the thermal adhesive pads that Bemi0701 mentioned would it even make sense to use screws to hold them in place or is this just a good failsafe?

    4. What about shielding from salt spray. Do you guys put an acrylic shield or something over the whole setup?

    5. I think it would be cool to hang it from a hanger like this: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2009-04/diy/index.php Do you see any problems with adding a couple more screws to the heatsink so that I can attach wires and having it stand alone as a fixture or would I need to create some kind of housing for the whole setup?

    Okay, I think that's all I can remember for now. Will probably have quite a few more questions soon though.
     
  2. Mike Bennett

    Mike Bennett Decapodian
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    With the dimmable driver, you'll be able to adjust the brightness of the LEDs. The driver I suggested for you is a 1000mA (1A) driver which is the max for your LEDs. The driver comes with a small knob that you can turn up or down to adjust brightness (dimmable). With the heat sinks I suggested, you'll be fine on cooling, though a computer fan never hurt anyone (wouldn't hurt to include one).

    Here's how you'd have to hook up the drivers I suggested

    Wall outlet--> DC power supply (like that for a laptop)-->dimmable driver (buckpuck)-->LEDs in series wired to return to the driver. I can draw up a circuit diagram next week wednesday when I'm done with finals and include pictures and places to buy each component if you like..

    You'll 100% want to shield the LEDs. The stock biocube shield is what I'm using now.

    I love the hanger idea.

    As for the heatsink, I really suggest using the ones I suggested. There is no better way for thermal transfer than a high quality thermal paste (like arctic silver) and then screwing the LEDs to the heat sink. The pressure added by the screws will allow perfect contact with the heat sink. The thermal pads are the next best thing, and screws would still help with these. You can do just the thermal pads with good results, but they're not the *best* but will be fine.

    The thing I like about the heat sinks I suggested is that they already are drilled for screws to fasten the heat sink to the fixture which is AWESOME! and it's tapped for screwing in the LEDs.

    hope this helps.
    ~Mike
     
  3. OP
    coralreefer

    coralreefer I contributed!
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    Thanks Mike! Yeah, I wasn't sure if the dimmable driver would replace the normal current driver. In this case, it seems like it would make more sense for me to buy the components individually.

    Where do you recommend buying the DC power supply?

    This might be one of the prettier designs I have seen and has me pretty motivated to get working on this!
    http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=200335&st=20&p=2329927&#entry2329927

    Yeah, if you could write up a quick diagram that would be great. I have a pretty good idea of what you are talking about though. Good luck with finals!
     
  4. ArstenA

    ArstenA I contributed!
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    Guys not sure if you gave this a thought but you can get fairly efficient PC power supplies for cheap. And as long as it has two 12 volt rails you can stack them to get 24 volts at some super high current (30 amps).
     
  5. Chem Guy

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    He only needs 1 amp at most. :) The driver is going to limit it. But yeah, I suppose you could use a PC power supply, it'll just take a little more DIY knowledge.
     
  6. ArstenA

    ArstenA I contributed!
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    I wasn't sure what he needed for power. But I want to make a LED system. lucky for me my company designs/builds controllers for vehicles. It looks like I could control 1 to 108 1 amp LEDs. So for something that large a huge power supply would be needed.
     
  7. OP
    coralreefer

    coralreefer I contributed!
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    Chemguy, not sure if I have this right but it seems that the new XP-Gs are lacking on lenses so that's why they are naked in the 6 piece kit, right? If I do this individually, would you guys recommend going with 3 XRE-RBs and 3 XRE-WG-Q5s with 80 degree optics?
     
  8. Mike Bennett

    Mike Bennett Decapodian
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    In a tank as small as yours, the lenses are more for show, you'll likely just have to turn down the LEDs more if you focus them more.
     
  9. OP
    coralreefer

    coralreefer I contributed!
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    Well, I am looking hard at a 6 gallon nano from truvu for this build. It will take me a lot longer to fill out this tank but they make pretty nice tanks so I think I will be happier with it in the long run. It will also give me the freedom to try out more quality pumps in terms of flow and I can hide the majority of my equipment. It would be really nice to put an MP10 on one of these but I would have to do it on the side which sucks.

    http://www.truvuaquariums.com/aamicro6.html

    What do you think about lighting for this tank. Should I still go with the 6 LED idea and just put lenses on everything or would you recommend ramping it up?
     
  10. Chem Guy

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    Lenses on these LEDs are used to reach water depths of over 12". With anything smaller than 50ish gallons, lenses aren't needed as Bemi mentioned. Lenses actually make LEDs harder to work with because you run into spot-lighting which looks funky at best, and can bleach corals at worst.

    Long story short, you don't need lenses with any Cree (or equivalent) LED on a 6 gallon tank. In fact you'll probably only be running at 500-700 mA to prevent bleaching even with no lenses.
     
  11. OP
    coralreefer

    coralreefer I contributed!
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    Okay cool, would you still recommend going with 6 LEDs or should I do a few more?
     
  12. Chem Guy

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    Six should be fine on that. Google some other LED pico/nano builds to get an idea what 6 vs. 12 LEDs looks like and choose based on your preference.
     
  13. Mike Bennett

    Mike Bennett Decapodian
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    [​IMG]
    Ok here's a crude drawing of what it would look like for the RapidLED kit.
    The top right corner is the 3 prong plug connected to an outlet (don't plug it in till you're sure everything is hooked up correctly and secure). The black cord from the three prong outlet is actually just tubing and will contain 3 other wires, white, black, and green. The green will not be used. Strip the white and black wires so they can be used. Connect the white to the blue on the meanwell (ACN) and the black to the brown (ACL). On the other side of the meanwell is your red and black wires. Connect black (V-) to the negative side of the first LED star pad. Then Connect that LED star's positive to the next stars negative. Repeat till all 6 LEDs are wired together in series. Then connect the + on the last LED to the red (V+) from the meanwell.

    LMK if you want a diagram for the buckpuck model too or if this one was too crude and you need a better diagram.
     
  14. OP
    coralreefer

    coralreefer I contributed!
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    The diagram is pretty clear...the wiring doesn't seem bad at all. I was thinking of buying the components individually. If I don't, will the mean well make it dimmable or do I need something completely different. That is the biggest part that I don't understand from setups I have seen. I guess the only thing I have seen is something like this...

    http://i28.photobucket.com/albums/c216/nightmare_star/ELOS/DSCF1109.jpg
     
  15. Mike Bennett

    Mike Bennett Decapodian
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    The setup from rapidLED would not be dimable.
     
  16. Mike Bennett

    Mike Bennett Decapodian
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    The only way I could see to make this rapid LED kit dimable would be to custom wire a 555 timer based PWM for the DC output of the driver (not an easy task).
     
  17. OP
    coralreefer

    coralreefer I contributed!
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    No, if that's the case I will just go with buying the components individually.
     
  18. Mike Bennett

    Mike Bennett Decapodian
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    I'll get you that diagram in a day or two if you can wait.

    Do you want the blue and white on different strings? (so you can dim either color)

    Do you want a 1white-1blue ratio?

    How many LEDs did you want?
     
    #38 Mike Bennett, Aug 16, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010
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    coralreefer

    coralreefer I contributed!
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    Well I guess I am retarded. I totally missed the boat on the fact that the buckpucks come with the potentiometers and are dimmable as is. Let me see if I have the parts list correct:

    Predrilled/tapped heatsink
    6 CREE LEDs
    3 80 degree lenses (for royal blue LEDs; if at all)
    1 1000 mA LuxDrive buckpuck
    1 power supply? (not really sure what I need for this one)
    Thermal adhesive (looks like there are a couple different kinds, not really sure which one)

    Other than some extra wire would that be it?
     
  20. Mike Bennett

    Mike Bennett Decapodian
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    http://www.norsystems.net/cgi-bin/p?showItemDetails=1&itemno=hp7130ac

    Anything that's a 32v (or anything between 23 and 32) DC power supply (changes AC from the wall to 32vdc) will do just fine as far as I know (I'm no expert, just have messed around with a lot of electronics).

    You'd need some solder and a precision soldering iron for connecting those wires. You should also pre-solder your LEDs together before they get on the heatsink, otherwise you'll need a really high power iron. You'll also need some waterproof connectors to twist the wires together in and (optional heat shrink to keep everything nice and water tight)

    2 Predrilled/tapped heatsink
    6 CREE LEDs
    1 1000 mA LuxDrive buckpuck
    1 32v DC power supply
    6 Thermal adhesive Pads from nanotuners.com (or 7 just in case)
    Wire (16 or 18 guage auto wire is what I use, but doesn't have to be)
    Solder, not the lead free kind (lead free doesn't bond well with the quick solder pads)
    Friend with a nice soldering iron and if you can't do it yourself, someone to help make the connections.

    Consider getting some metal or acrylic to make a housing and one PC fan to cool the setup (optional).

    Get some sort of thin acrylic or glass to sheild your LEDs from splashes from the tank.
     
    #40 Mike Bennett, Aug 16, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2010

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