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A Complete Idiot's Guide to Building an LED Array


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#26
Pickle010

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One of the best DIY Led write ups I've seen to date. Good Job.

#27
andru24

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did you ever get a picture of the light over the tank?


The camera battery died before I could get pictures with the whites on... But here are some pics with just the blues. It really make corals pop. The pictures don't do it justice.

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

Edited by andru24, 31 January 2011 - 04:54 PM.


#28
dekonstruktr

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Looks great! Awesome guide, I've just started researching these DIY led systems and this has been very helpful!

#29
andru24

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Can you tell me what the driver output voltage is once it starts to flicker?



Hey Evil... I took everything home today, took it apart and put it back together this time doing more permanent soldering of all of the wire connections, then wire nuts over top all in a more legitimate project box from Radio Shack.

The flashing no longer occurs. Now when I dim it will dim nice and slowly then when it gets really low it will basically shut off (in actuality it's just barely lit). I am guessing this normal as it is basically the same as when the power adaptor isn't plugged in at all. I tested voltages and they go basically like this:

Royal blues (x 10):
Max @ ~37 volts (makes sense)
dims until around 28v then the voltage jumps to 24 volts and the lights go to their "shut off" mode (just barely lit)

Whites (x 8)
Max @ 28v
Dims to 22.5v then jumps to 20v and the lights go to super dim

Let me know if this seems normal or not. I am guessing the pot basically just shuts off all additional power from the adaptor at those points where the voltages jump.

#30
Llamaguy

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:bowdown: I would LOVE two of these! Very clean and tidy DIY.

#31
evilc66

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Sounds like everything is working well now.

#32
andru24

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Sounds like everything is working well now.



Is it possible to dim cleanly and evenly from 0% light up to 100%? Or are you pretty much always only going to be able to dim a certain subset of the range (40% - 90%)?

#33
evilc66

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There are limitations in the LED and the driver that will set how dim they can be set. LEDs have a minimum current to actually generate light. Meanwell ELN "D"s are supposed to dim down to 5%, but I think the practical limit is higher than that on those particular drivers. Linear dimming with buck drivers isn't easy below a certain point.

#34
NirvanaandTool

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Great write up! Thanks. Definitely bookmarking this for when I tackle my diy led light in a few weeks

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#35
andru24

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There are limitations in the LED and the driver that will set how dim they can be set. LEDs have a minimum current to actually generate light. Meanwell ELN "D"s are supposed to dim down to 5%, but I think the practical limit is higher than that on those particular drivers. Linear dimming with buck drivers isn't easy below a certain point.



Yeah.. it dims awesome then it just hits a point where the LEDs bsically switch off, but are just barely lit. The point at which it switches off seems much higher than 5%.

Great write up! Thanks. Definitely bookmarking this for when I tackle my diy led light in a few weeks



Cool. Hope it helps.

#36
AFRobert568

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This is probably the first LED guide that makes me feel I can do this. Is a multimeter the same thing as a voltmeter? My dad has a voltmeter, but I went back to your thread and noticed you said multimeter.

#37
Arkayology

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I'm glad someone mad ea thread for me! lol

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#38
WillWork4Frags

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Thank you for the detailed and well illustrated DIY. I will be doing mine soon and your guide put my mind at ease.

Edited by WillWork4Frags, 05 June 2011 - 01:00 AM.


#39
karisma

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Awesome write up bud! Wish I ha this when making my fixture haha!

I just finished my pico lamp led fixture. Im curious what brand fixture you retro fitted the heatsink into there? Is it an odyssea?

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#40
kleankord

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great thread, thanks for posting.

#41
longbeachstateofmind

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Thank you for the write it, it cleared up a bunch of questions and concerns i had.
QUOTE (Evanski9 @ Nov 30 2011, 08:09 PM)
Btw your tank looks like poopy

How many GPH...???


http://lmgtfy.com/?q...ters to gallons

fern most def got a friend in me. Lol

If your in the so cal area and need body work and/or paint jobs, hit me up I give reefer discounts :]

#42
Gig 'em

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Do you have any pictures of the wire connections for the wires going to the pots? I'm not entirely sure how to connect them the way you have in the diagram

#43
redfishsc

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Excellent write-up.

I've been thinking of doing this for the planted tank forums but haven't had time.

Anyhow, I found something you'll want to correct.

Your caption for the pic below says that the SRV2 screw is on the right, but it's actually on the left in the pic. For those who haven't taken apart a Meanwell, it can be a bit tricky to find in your pic, but THANK YOU for posting it. I'll be referring a LOT of people to this thread.

Posted Image
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#44
jojoe972

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Nice!!!!

#45
rockryno

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good build!

#46
FishSticks

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Quick question about the Meanwell driver, so you need a 10v adapter for the pot to work? With two drivers you're going to have 3 plugs/outlet total?

Edited by FishSticks, 16 August 2011 - 04:19 PM.


#47
Sailfish

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Quick question about the Meanwell driver, so you need a 10v adapter for the pot to work? With two drivers you're going to have 3 plugs/outlet total?

I once had a dog, and his name was BINGO! :)

#48
redfishsc

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Quick question about the Meanwell driver, so you need a 10v adapter for the pot to work? With two drivers you're going to have 3 plugs/outlet total?


Sorry for the ridiculously late answer lol, but you have the right idea.

However, many Meanwells (in fact, EVERY one of the 10 Meanwells I've set up) could be "tweaked" to allow a 6-volt input into the dimmer to allow a full 1,000mA into the LEDs.

Meaning, you don't need exactly 10v. Anything from 6-10 will work fine. LOTS of cell phone chargers are 5.9v which will do just fine. I use a 5.0v on my 11g tank and my LEDs run at 700mA, but I could go higher.


All you have to do is hook everything up, put a multimeter inline with your LEDs to measure current, and turn it all on. Then carefully adjust the SRV2 screw (see the pic above, the white plastic screw on the bottom left). Turn that screw GENTLY until you hit the desired current level.
"Jesus did not come to make good people better. He came to make dead people LIVE."--- Ravi Zacharias.

Redfishsc's 11g Shoebox Reef, 36X9X9, LEDs, and a Beer Bottle

LED powered 23" Cube Planted Tank

Redfishsc's 10g RockBox Nano, custom AIO build......................................25g mixed reef

#49
jprime84

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How does a fixture like this compare to T5 HO or metal halide? How do the corals like it?

#50
Jodah

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Rapidled Has DIY 2 color Dimmer kit. goes for like $30 bucks.

OP: awesome write up, solved a lot of my issues especially considering I am doing a 20G tank thats almost exactly the same size. (Mines a bit taller at 16") So, I've essentially decided to use your exact same setup (except for the fixture) Thanks for solving a lot of questions that I had!

Edited by Jodah, 09 October 2011 - 11:31 AM.

All tanks dry. :-(