After many days of gathering some guts and doing this mod.. it finally became a reality the other day. The stock lighting was "ok" but definitely not up to par. So, I decided to go with RapidLED and ordered a kit that I would have to custom fit.
What I ended up getting was the Biocube 14 Retrofit Kit with two dimmable drivers. The kit came with a 4.25" x 9" drilled and tapped heatsink, 12 CREE LEDs (6 Royal Blue, 6 Cool white), 2 Mean Well ELN-60-27D dimmable drivers (to control blue and white separately), fan, etc. Here's the link.
The only thing the kit did not come with was a dimming controller, so I purchased two potentiometers and a power supply. Below is a picture of the RapidLED order straight out of the box.
I was not intending on making a DIY since I had no idea how it was going to fit my tank, but this is what I ended up with:
Above is the CREE LEDs mounted on the heatsink. I decided to go with the whites along the outside and blue in the inside. (Cant really explain but if you look at the wiring you will see what I'm talking about.)
I then constructed a controller box with the potentiometers.
I then mounted the drivers on another project box (where I hid all the wiring). When I adjusted the SVR2s (I think it was..) I set the output current to a max of 0.75amps to avoid burning out the LEDs, I could adjust them to be brighter, but I am happy with the results at this setting.
Now came the big question. How am I going to fit this unit inside the hood. Well, the solution I came up with was... turn the hood 90 degrees (so the long side is the front) and cut the hell out of it. You will see what I'm saying in the next pic.
So after a strenuous 2-3 hours.. Here is the final product..
First I will do a comparison.
50% RB 50% CW CREE LEDs:
100% RB 100% CW:
100% RB Only
100% CW Only:
The pics dont do it justice, its sooo much more vibrant in person.
All in all, I love the hell out of it. I love the ability to adjust the lighting to my preference and the brightness that make my corals pop! Let me know what you think... If you have any questions, feel free to ask as well.