$100 DIY Cree LED XR-E - Actinic Supplement 48" Light Strip

Discussion in 'I made this!' started by Night-Rida, Jul 11, 2010.

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  1. Night-Rida

    Night-Rida Finback Whale

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    $100 DIY Cree LED Actinic Supplement 48" Strip

    Well Ive been bouncing around ideas for the last few weeks on what I was going to use for actinics on my setup. my 2 10k mh bulbs are just tad to yellow. I was thinking about pc,t5,and led.

    Power compacts = heat issue, power usage, short bulb life, no room in canopy

    T5 = only enough room to mount 1x54w around my mh reflectors, if I try to mount 2 bulbs, one would be hanging outside of the tanks top edge. $175

    LEDS = no heat, bulbs last forever, could easily put 1 48" strip in the front of mh reflectors.

    Reefbrite Led: 48" blue led strip $250+ (to much for my blood right now)

    Current usa powerbrite led: qty (2) 12" strips $120 and only 8x1w leds.


    and after reading some easy diy options I decided to go this route: 8)

    Updated Budget:

    8 CREE XR-E Royal Blue 3W LED on Star @ $5.75 = $46.00
    1 Mean Well LPC-35-700W constant current driver (up to 12 leds) @ $15.00 = $15.00
    8 60 Degree CREE XR-E Lens/Optics (black) @ $1.00 = $8.00

    Total w/ shipping: $75.00

    48"x1.5"x1/8" aluminum flat bar $10
    6-32 screws, nylon washers, drill bit & tap: $10
    3-prong power cord: $4
    2x2 @ 48" wood stick: $1

    Total: $100.00

    I already have: ;D
    saw
    drill
    soldiering gun
    soldier
    16g wire (you can use 18g-22g)
    thermal compound
    existing cooling fans in canopy
    black paint

    I will be spacing them 5" apart. Will not be using glue but qty (16)6-32x3/8" screws.The meanwell driver can run up to 12x3w cree leds, so if 8 isn't enough I have the ability to add 4 more with little modifications. With me running 8 leds on driver, I should be pushing them a little higher than 700ma. maybe 800-1000ma max. From what I've read, 10x3w xr-e blue leds @70%+ power equal the same par as 1 ati blue plus t5 bulb.

    I also plan on having the leds about 7" above waterline. and with 60 degree lens. I hope not to have any spotlight effect. With using wide lens and leds mounted high off the waterline I shouldnt have a problem. I just want a nice wide full blue color to help fight again my white/yellow tinted 10k mh bulbs.

    so to some it up:
    Basically what it would cost me for 8-1w (total of 2 current usa powerbrite strip units),
    I can have 8-3w of DIY cree lighting...

    here's some pictures of the process. I've got everything ready, just waiting for the leds/optics/driver to come tomorrow in mail. (hopefully)


    [​IMG]
    above: nothing much just a piece of 2x2 wood and 48" aluminum strip.

    [​IMG]
    above: drilled some holes, using a cree led paper template. Also spray painted 2x2 wood black to match my canopy. I drilled & tapped 2 holes per led for installation. also drilled 2 bigger holes 1" to both sides of LED to run wires.

    [​IMG]
    above: all wire leads are cut to size and pre soldered. I routed wires through pre drilled holes.

    [​IMG]
    above: I used a metal spacer behind heatsink to allow air flow and space for wiring. I used 3 spacers and screws to hold aluminum strip to wood.

    [​IMG]
    test mounted the strip, I have it so I can adjust/aim the leds once installed. Simply used 2" long screws through the side of canopy into center of 2x2 to allow a swivel action.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    above: just missing the leds! lol 8)

    FYI: To get a 48" reefbrite led strip equivlent or BETTER in par via DIY, I would estimate you'll probly need 18-20 3w leds w/ optics running 70%+ power to them. Which is the same PAR as 2 t5h0 ati blue+ w/ reflectors.

    so that if you want to do that, I would estimate your led/driver/optic budget to be around:

    20 CREE XR-E Royal Blue 3W LED on Star @ $5.75 = $115.00
    2 Mean Well LPC-35-700W constant current driver (up to 12 leds)@ $30.00 = $30.00
    20 Degree CREE XR-E Lens/Optics (black) @ $1.00 = $20.00
    -------------------------------
    $165.00
    and probly another 20-35 dollars for the rest of the materials.
    Estimated Total For 60w CREE DIY light strip: $200

    note: having this many leds, probly be wise to buy some heatsinks as the aluminum flat bar I'm using probly wont be enough for cooling. or use multiple bars and dont put more than 10-12 leds per bar. Alot of fans in your canopy will help though.


    websites visited:
    rapidled.com
    ledsupply.com
    heatsinkusa.com



    addt'l note: I had zero knowledge of leds prior to this DIY. maybe 1 or 2 days of reading up info.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
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  3. Night-Rida

    Night-Rida Finback Whale

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    here's a picture of Cree 3w leds, driver and optics/lens.

    [​IMG]

    I also had a problem with figuring out the wiring diagram on this unit. mike @ www.rapidled.com helped me with the fastest response via email earlier.. literally took about 2-3 minutes to get a reply.

    Red and black wires goto leds +/-
    brown and blue wires goto a power cord. I used a 3 prong, but not needed here. so I just cut the green wire off my power cord. also brown and blue can goto either color power cord wires. doesnt matter.

    Thanks mike! 2 thumbs^
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
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  4. djbonney138

    djbonney138 Peppermint Shrimp

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    Wow looking good! That is cool, and I just ordered 2 x 96 watt actinics for my 250 watt halides for $75. (with shipping) and you only spent a hundred. When my bulbs die in 6 months I will looking for the rest of this thread! K+ to you. Thanks
     
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  5. Night-Rida

    Night-Rida Finback Whale

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    Great! I hope you build one too. Think of all the money, electricity and heat build up you'll save doing a DIY led strip. It seems so easy, I really didn't want to hesitate any longer in building one for myself. ;D
     
  6. Night-Rida

    Night-Rida Finback Whale

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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
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  7. hddoutside

    hddoutside Fire Shrimp

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    i wish crees werent so expanse. that why i can buy them by the 50pc for 20 dollars.
     
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  9. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That looks like a quality project to me Night- Rida

    cant wait to see the finished article lit up

    Steve
     
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  10. horkn

    horkn Giant Squid

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    I've been thinking of doing an LED project. Nice work so far, I'll be watching the thread closely:)


    Those 10000k MH look fairly blue, what brand are those?
     
  11. Broaner

    Broaner Feather Duster

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    Awesome project and writeup! I'm getting ready to do one of my own.

    Running the LED's in series? Is there a reason you choose this besides wiring simplicity?
     
  12. Magnus

    Magnus Sharknado

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    Very nice project! It would be cool to see a picture of the dark room (all lights off) and only 1 blue LED turned on to see how much blue light they put out.

    Take one like that if you can!

    I think you'll be happy when it's all finished!
    Keep us posted. Subscribed!

    - Mag.
     
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