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Bamato's LED Build


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#1
Bamato

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Unfortunately I don't have any actual "building" pictures, just the aftermath. I got so hyped up in my build and some problems I ran into that I didn't take progressive shots.

Build Material List:
(6) Cree Q5 CW LED's
(6) Cree RB LED's
(2) 1000ma dimmable buck-pucks with pots
(1) 4" x 3" Aluminum project box
(3) Mini connectors (m/f pairs)
16awg stranded communication wire (overkill, considering the buckpucks are wired with 22awg, but it was free)
(1) MPJA Potrans 6.5a 24v power supply
(1) 6' appliance cord
(1) Silenx 80x15mm fan
(1) fan filter/guard
(1) 1.4a laptop power supply 12v (for fan)
(1) 8.5x5 aluminum heatsink
(1) Tube of thermal paste
(3) 4-40 tap and drill sets
(1) Spare mock-up hood
**Bonus** Drill press to make the job MUCH easier
-misc screws and hardware to mount leds

I built everything in stages since I got the heatsink first. I bought 11 of the LED's from a fellow board member, and bought the extra RB LED and two buckpucks from LED supply. I spent about 30 minutes a day for a few days drilling and tapping the heatsink in my garage. I cannot stress enough how much easier the job was made with a drill press. If there was only an affordable way to tap holes as well (and a way to do it without getting impatient and breaking taps off in the aluminum heatsink) it would have been more than easy. I used a diagram provided for a 12 LED layout in Waterproofs build thread. Most of this build was directly influenced by his thread, with a few minor adjustments.

After the LED's and arctic silver arrived I began mounting the LED's. I used 4-40 stainless screws and nylon washers to help insulate the star boards. It only took a very minuscule amount of arctic silver on the leds, so I didn't use much. I tube of that stuff probably could have done 50-60 leds.

I picked up the project box and mini connectors from my local fry's electronics, and ordered the silenx fan from newegg.

The spare hood came in very handy for test fitting the heatsink and making the actual installation process go much faster. (I know have an extra hood and stock electrical if anyone is interested ;))

I ran into a problem the evening I was installing the hood over the tank though. (I decided to do it at night when the light was already off). Earlier in the testing phase I noticed the bucks were not dimming at all, so I figured I would continue my build since everything was working and have replacements delivered later on. However, the lights powered on for three minutes, then everything turned off and the power supply indicated that something was drawing huge amounts of power. So, at 9pm on a work night, I was re-assembling my stock hood lighting so I could have light the next day.... It took two hours, but had I not marked all the wires I cut, it would have taken longer...

One week later, new pucks arrived and I replaced the bad two (ledsupply is yet to test the bad ones to refund the money I had to pay for new ones). Tore the electrical out of the hood again, re-assembled the leds, and everything worked beautifully :)

And here are the results :)

Fan
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Dimmed lighting - I chose not to hide the wires very well, it seemed like it would add a lot more work for minimally satisfying results.
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Full power!
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It casts big shadows through my living room, even with the overhead lights on
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FTS - I couldn't get the colors to come out right, but here are a few with different colors dimmed. This is where LED technology really shines, the ability to control my Kelvin ratings is really awesome!
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more to come....

#2
Bamato

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My project box. I later drilled holes in it for venting (don't forget that!!)
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I know the holes are totally crooked. It was a last minute fix, it will get replaced.

I sort of threw everything in the cabinet, and I don't like it for two reasons. It's cluttered, and it vents poorly.
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Spare parts anyone?? lol.... seriously... buy them...
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And that's it for now. Thanks to Waterproof for taking the time to write a very thorough and descriptive write-up.

And thanks to Evilc66, I know I bothered him with many strange questions, but he was an immense help.

I couldn't be happier with this build. I'm taking the clam dive here in the next day or two, so anyone interested in keeping clams under LED can follow my thread in the clam section.

My trachyphillia didn't seem to happy though, so I re-homed him to my parents tank :) I think the light was just too intense, or he just never adjusted well to it. He just never got as full anymore. He looks much happier under florescent's :)

Thanks for looking!!

#3
xcracer

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awesome.. love the comparison between.. RB+CW to RB to CW.. i really like the CW by itself.. that is all i am running at the moment.. i am probably going to add.. 3-4 blues to it just to lighten a little..

#4
Bamato

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The CW shows up better in pictures. My camera HATES the RB, but everything fluoresces so well in the RB's.

I think the CW alone is a bit yellow for my taste. I like the 14k look the 50/50 mix gave me :)

#5
evilc66

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Don't worry. Everyones camera hates the royal blues. You need to play with your white balance settings to get it closer. It will take some experimenting to see what your particular camera will like.

#6
Bamato

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Yeah I was really trying to get things to "glow". Didn't work so well. lol :)

#7
evilc66

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Full on royal blue is very hard to get a good picture of. I've been trying to do it for over a year with my DSLR and it's hard. Still haven't got it quite right.

#8
supernip

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can you show me which wire was pos and which was neg for the silenx fans? I cant tell as all the wires are clear, and also, which way does the air flow? The manual said stick side up but there are stickers on both sides -_-

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#9
deepdvnarq

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looks nice Bam

#10
Bamato

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can you show me which wire was pos and which was neg for the silenx fans? I cant tell as all the wires are clear, and also, which way does the air flow? The manual said stick side up but there are stickers on both sides -_-


Sorry it took so long to reply :(

As for the pos/neg leads, I just played around till it blew the right direction. Contrary to my belief that it would work no matter how it was hooked up, it only ran in one wire config.

I have mine blowing onto the heatsink. And the warm air vents out the existing hood slots.

#11
h3llphyre

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can you show me which wire was pos and which was neg for the silenx fans? I cant tell as all the wires are clear, and also, which way does the air flow? The manual said stick side up but there are stickers on both sides -_-


Fan Pin Out (standard 3-pin)

The fan exhausts out the bottom. If you are looking at the fan so it looks like the image below, you have a nice breeze in your face.
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#12
Kmon

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no update? nice build would like to know what youve been able to keep under this lighting and if you worked the color out

#13
Sahin

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What size is your tank and how are the corals doing with the LEDS? Did you buythe clams andhow are they doing? Many thanks for the replies.

#14
Bamato

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Sorry for the late replies guys, haven't kept up well on this thread.

The corals are doing well. I recommend keeping LPS in the lower half of the tank if you are running the leds at 100%. SPS on the other hand, are LOVING these LED's. My Acro sarmentosa has starting coloring up amazingly since I bought it.

The clam is now doing very well (after a bout of PM). I actually had to move it down, as the spot I had it in must have been too intense because the mantle would never fully extend. I'll get pics up in my BC14 thread sometime in the near future.

#15
Sahin

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Are you able to post photos please? I would love to see some before and after pics, but if that aint possible, at least some phoros to show how the SPS are in terms of color etc. Many thanks.

#16
hurricanefan1281

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how much did it cost for everything?

#17
Bamato

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Before:

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After:

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I know I'm comparing a top down to a side photo, but trust me, the coral was very white when I bought it no matter what angle you looked at it from. Sort of had a pink hue to it. And besides, some of the branches in the before photo are top down. Both pictures were taken under LED lighting. (I'd never buy an SPS coral with stock BC lighting)

I can't remember exactly how much it cost. Roughly around 280 I think?

Edited by Bamato, 23 March 2010 - 01:59 PM.


#18
Sahin

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I am confused here, you have before and after photos...there is clearly a change, and I am really glad to see that the coral has coloured up very nicely. But what lighting did you have when the before photo was taken?

Many thanks for posting the photos.

OK, I get it now...was having a dumb moment there. This shows that LED's do work for reef tanks :)

#19
Bamato

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Sorry for the confusion. The picture just shows the coral the day I got it, then a month or two later. I'm glad you understood though, just thought I would clarify for any other readers.

#20
Bamato

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Thought I would attach a photo of my clam sun-bathing under the LED's.

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#21
Sahin

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Many thanks for posting the clam photos. Looks like its doing quite well. So you've had the clam for nearly 6 months under the LED's? If so, then with 12 LED's you are doing extremely well. And you dont have the buy new lights again for this tank. That s really god.

#22
blasterman

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SPS on the other hand, are LOVING these LED's


Glad to finally see sombody posting some examples. Yes, SPS and LEDs work very well together and don't need Disney store colors to prove it works.

Superb growth on those tips.

#23
Bamato

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I'm very pleased with my build :) I am dissapointed to see all the people who are having trouble with their lighting though. I really think a lot of it has to do with placement of corals in the tank. The LED beams are so tight and concentrated....

#24
coolwaters

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I'm very pleased with my build :) I am dissapointed to see all the people who are having trouble with their lighting though. I really think a lot of it has to do with placement of corals in the tank. The LED beams are so tight and concentrated....


i agree i noticed a huge difference between coral straight under LEDs then on the edge of it.
and coral right under the whole system grows the fastest. (or bleaches the fastest...)
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FFFuuuunnnnkkk O.o

#25
Bamato

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Yeah, it just requires careful planning on where everything goes. LPS especially, seem sensitive to the intense lighting. My mushies seem ok, but they don't open as much unless they are partially shaded.