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DIY AI SOL insipred LED light


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#1
disaster999

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I have 7x39W T5HO on my 100gal tank and they are well over a year old. Colors is pretty meh and I'm getting some algae problem. They need to be changed.

I really wanted to switch to LED since they last forever and dont need to be change, but the fixtures cost WAY too much.

I like the AI SOL as they are pretty compact, and packs a punch in such a small package. I thought to myself i can probably DIY something similar. So instead of dumping around $180 in bulb replacements, I went ahead and bought everything I needed to make my LED light.

16x XP-G whites
16x XP-E Royal Blue
16x XP-E Blue
48x 60 degree optics
4x ELN-60-48D
2x 53x12x2cm heat sink
Thermal Glue

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Went to the hardware store and bought a whole bunch of wires, project box, power supply, voltage regulator, dimming pots, screws and fans

The total came out to be around $280

The whole process took way longer than expected. the hardest part of this entire build was get the wiring right. There was so much soldering, wire stripping, measuring cutting, testing...but in the end when you finally figured out all the kinks and the lights work the way you wanted to is priceless.

Testing
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Finished product
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Driver box
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Internals of driver box
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White and Blue 100%
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Blues only
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Whites 100%, Blue 10%
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Blues 100%, white 10%
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I briefly had the light over my tank, it was about 2 inches off the the water surface, no optics, at 100% it was easily brighter than my current T5HO setup. Aside from not having a purple/red bulb, the color werent all that bad. I havent really messed with the adjusting the colors, but I can tell I will love this new setup.

I'll post more pictures later with a better camera.

#2
iball1804

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Pics with the light above the tank (before/after)! :D You can always add more LEDs as you go. They'll just have their own drivers.

Edited by iball1804, 19 February 2012 - 06:48 PM.


#3
disaster999

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Exactly, thats why I have an empty space in the middle of the heat sink. I can add 12 more LEDs if i needed down the line.

#4
iball1804

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You will eventually add more, trust me. ;)

#5
disaster999

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I forgot to mention ill be adding 2 T5HO bulbs to balance out the spectrum and add some purple/red color

#6
floppybass

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Following along, waiting to see the T5 hybrid looking for ideas to use on my future build

I can only guess his rubber doll is flat and he's frustrated. :lol:


#7
748S911

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totally cool, great work, do you have the measurements of the 60 degree optics? im building a fixture myself and dont have the optics measurements. Do you like the spread of the 60 degree optics? sorry for all the questions.

#8
Small Frag

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Thats sick and love the build.

#9
lizardfish

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with ether the T5's your adding or the extra leds, get actinic 420nm T5 or true violet (TV) if you want more growth , maybe replace some 480nm blue with the TV cuz 480nm doesn't cause allot of growth.

nice build

#10
disaster999

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Following along, waiting to see the T5 hybrid looking for ideas to use on my future build

Ill be sure to post up more pictures when i finish the build

totally cool, great work, do you have the measurements of the 60 degree optics? im building a fixture myself and dont have the optics measurements. Do you like the spread of the 60 degree optics? sorry for all the questions.

what do you mean by measurements? Par readings?

I havent put the light over the tank with the optics, i will do that tonight and see how i like the coverage. From my design sketches, i think the 60 degree optics should cover my tank nicely

Thats sick and love the build.

thanks

with ether the T5's your adding or the extra leds, get actinic 420nm T5 or true violet (TV) if you want more growth , maybe replace some 480nm blue with the TV cuz 480nm doesn't cause allot of growth.

nice build


Thanks for the info. Ill look into it. People with the AI SOL and other fixture that uses a mixture of blue and royal blue LED both have nice growth. As far as I know and from what Ive read, par value is what you are looking for for growth, not color. the reason people use a mixture of blue LED or a mixture of colors of LED is for a better spectrum so its pleasing to our eyes.

#11
disaster999

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will the meanwell drivers need to be actively ventilated? will i have any problems if i leave them inside the box?

#12
Paleoreef103

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Thanks for the info. Ill look into it. People with the AI SOL and other fixture that uses a mixture of blue and royal blue LED both have nice growth. As far as I know and from what Ive read, par value is what you are looking for for growth, not color. the reason people use a mixture of blue LED or a mixture of colors of LED is for a better spectrum so its pleasing to our eyes.

Keep in mind that I have never seen a 420 nm LED that can handle more than 500-600 mA long term. Unless you are using them on their own string, you'll be limiting your RBs to about half of what they can take. If you're running T5s with your fixture, I'd use a T5 that has a strong 420 nm peak instead of swapping 420s into your build. That said, I'd rather have 3:1:2 Royal blue to blue to neutral white than 1:1:1.

The meanwells drivers will get warm, but not super warm. If you can, leave them ventilated, but it's not a huge deal.
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#13
disaster999

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Thanks, i think ill cut slots/drill holes in the plastic for some natural convection.

I will run my setup as is and see how i like the colors. im quite surprised on how bright the whites are. even with a 2:1 ratio of blue to white, with everything at 100% its not as blue as i thought.

#14
civickm

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nice work! wish I had skills like that lol

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#15
TMG

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Looks really, really good! Great job!

#16
disaster999

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nice work! wish I had skills like that lol


With a little planning and some electrical know how its not hard to do.

Looks really, really good! Great job!


Thanks, I cant wait to finish it.

Ran a small burn in test last night just to see how everything is holding up and see how hot the drivers got. I ran the lights with some fan I found for around 2 hours. With 15V pumping through the fan it kept the light nice and cool. The drivers on the other hand got a bit toasty. I will run the test again without the cover and see how hot things will get. Might just leave the cover off if its able to lower the temps a bit.

#17
civickm

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With a little planning and some electrical know how its not hard to do.


I am sure I am good with electrical as I went to school for it but it comes down to lack of creation on my part :D

Posted Image - While I was doing my 10G sump/refug lol

But I do like your light! Nice work!

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#18
disaster999

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I am sure I am good with electrical as I went to school for it but it comes down to lack of creation on my part :D

Posted Image - While I was doing my 10G sump/refug lol

But I do like your light! Nice work!

there are tones of people who are willing to help walk you through it, give ideas, pointers on how you can improve your design. dont be afraid to ask!

progress is a bit slow, right now, just bought 2 computer fans for the fixture. mounted and tested them. i can dial their speed way down and still get plenty of flow and almost silent. also, they are a nice white color. kinda matches the silver
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#19
civickm

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nice, how heavy is it?

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#20
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I think that 747S911 was asking the actual measurements of the optic ex: w x h x d kinda thing. I'd like to know also and the spread of a single optic as well as over all light spread


if you want to.

#21
disaster999

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nice, how heavy is it?

im not sure. ill go weigh it when i get home. im thinking its around 6-7lb.

I think that 747S911 was asking the actual measurements of the optic ex: w x h x d kinda thing. I'd like to know also and the spread of a single optic as well as over all light spread


if you want to.


ah gotcha. the optics are 11.8mm in diameter, 6.8mm tall,

im not really sure how i can give you a spread of a single optic and overall spread. got any ideas? ie measure out a fix distance and turn the light on and take a picture?

#22
disaster999

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finally hung the light
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#23
civickm

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looks nice disaster!

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#24
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Ok wow! Does the pics look like it in real life like colour wise? And don't worry about a single optic. Absolutely stunning well done!

#25
disaster999

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i tried to adjust the color temp so it reflects what it actually looks like in real life.

forgot to mention they were running at 100% in that pic