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
2x 53x12x2cm heat sink
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.
Internals of driver box
White and Blue 100%
Whites 100%, Blue 10%
Blues 100%, white 10%
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.