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Need help deciding on LEDs


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#1
jedimasterben

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Hang on to your tail feathers, kids, it's gonna be a doozy!

For a precursor to this thread, please see this one that contains information and rough designs of my new tank build: http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=296165

Here is the meat of it, though:

Tanks are 24x12x12 and 24x12x14 and will be placed one in front of the other, with the rear tank raised up by 10" so the substrate is equal to the top of the front tank's rim. Leds will need to be mounted ~28" above the front tank's substrate and ~16" above the rear tank's substrate.

The top tank I plan to put SPS and maybe some LPS in, and the bottom tank will be for anemones with a bunch of sexy shrimp. I've got rock flower, mini-maxi, and small bubble tips planned for that one, so the lighting requirement isn't as high as it would be for, say, condylactis or sebae nems.

I'm planning on having about 36 LEDs across the two tanks.

These are my current possible configurations (and costs for just LEDs, no optics, wiring, drivers, etc):
Also included the numbers for if I used the CREE 3-up white & blue stars.

6x neutral white
12x royal blue
6x violet
6x deep red
6x turquoise
This configuration would be arranged in three clusters of six (one of each white and exotic, and two royal blue per cluster) above each tank.

----------------
-------DR-------
-----V---RB-----
-------W--------
----RB----T-----
----------------

Cost:
CREE: $137.57
Bridgelux:$98.36
CREE 3-up stars: $144.85

6x neutral white
12x royal blue
12x violet
6x deep red
6x turquoise
This configuration would be arranged in three identical clusters of seven (one each white, red, and turquoise, and two each of royal blue and violet) above each tank.

---------------
-------DR------
-----V---RB----
-------W-------
----RB----V----
-------T-------
---------------

Cost:
CREE: $165.36
Bridgelux: $126.15
CREE 3-up stars: $172.64

6x neutral white
12x royal blue
6x violet
4x deep red
4x turquoise
This configuration would be arranged differently, with five clusters over each tank, three containing one white, two royal blue, and one violet, and the other two clusters in between in each other cluster containing one red and one turquoise.

---------------------------------
-----RB-------DR-------RB--------
-----W------------------W--------
---RB--V------T-------RB--V------
----------------------------------

Cost:
CREE: $128.16
Bridgelux: $89.12
CREE 3-up stars: $135.61

8x neutral white
16x royal blue (would have to order 18x, so would use the other two for moonlights)
8x violet
4x deep red
4x turquoise
These would be arranged into two clusters of 10 above each tank.

-----------------
---RB--DR--RB----
---V--W-W--V----
---RB---T---RB---
-----------------

Cost:
CREE: $171.05
Bridgelux: $110.67
CREE 3-up stars: $172.66


I had originally given myself a $150 budget to get the LEDs, optics, drivers, everything, but I see now that's probably not going to happen, so if I can keep it less than $200, I'll be happy (and, more importantly, the Mrs. won't kill me!).

I'm not sure which one I should do to get even lighting above the tanks. I can play with the mount height of the fixture in both the front and the back, but I can only go higher, not lower.

The CREE 3-up stars seem a lot more viable now that I add up the numbers, except that the optics for them are $6 apiece! But are the CREE worth the $30-70 more?

Next can of worms is drivers. I would need three of them per build, and they are a minimum of $34 each. Are there other inexpensive options for dimmable drivers? I'd like three to have more control over the colors. I can order some Maxwellen drivers (I use those on my big reef tank) for ~$75 for three drivers that will run 10-18 LEDs each. I've looked at Buckpucks and Meanwells, but would I be any better off, and what kind of combo of those to get?

Optics for the non-3up LEDs would just be from ebay (the rear tank will not need hardly any as most of the LEDs would be 60 degree already)

I've been looking around for the past week and a half trying to figure out what to do, where to buy from, which to get, etc, and I just need some help deciding. I don't think I left anything off, but if you need any other info, just ask. :)

#2
jedimasterben

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Talked with the mrs. a bit about the cost of the tank so far, and she was pretty ok with it!

Anyone have any advice? :/

#3
Milad LEDGroupBuy.com

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I would suggest doing:
6x neutral white
12x royal blue
6x violet
4x deep red
4x turquoise

with CREE 3UP stars. You will need 3 drivers. 1 for Blues, 1 for Neutral Whites, 1 for the Exotics
FYI the optics for the 3UPs are for a pack of 2 not each so split the cost in half.

#4
sammy113

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Thank God I found this, finally someone has 3up LEDs combined with RB and NW at an affordable price! THANKS! :D

#5
jedimasterben

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I would suggest doing:
6x neutral white
12x royal blue
6x violet
4x deep red
4x turquoise

with CREE 3UP stars. You will need 3 drivers. 1 for Blues, 1 for Neutral Whites, 1 for the Exotics
FYI the optics for the 3UPs are for a pack of 2 not each so split the cost in half.

Would I be able to do the same amount of LEDs in Bridgelux? I don't mind them not being in the stars if it means I can cut out $40, or would I need to bump it to 8x whites to bring the total lumen output up? 3x CREE whites would be 750 lumen, while 3x Bridgelux is 600 lumens. Adding another pair of BL LEDs is cheap, though. If I did 8x neutral whites in Bridgelux, would I still use 12x RB or would I need to step it up to 14x or 16x?

#6
Milad LEDGroupBuy.com

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Would I be able to do the same amount of LEDs in Bridgelux? I don't mind them not being in the stars if it means I can cut out $40, or would I need to bump it to 8x whites to bring the total lumen output up? 3x CREE whites would be 750 lumen, while 3x Bridgelux is 600 lumens. Adding another pair of BL LEDs is cheap, though. If I did 8x neutral whites in Bridgelux, would I still use 12x RB or would I need to step it up to 14x or 16x?


If you want to switch it up to bridgelux you basically need to get 1-1.5x Neutral Whites as you have Royal Blues so you would be something like:

18 NW
12 Royal Blue

#7
jedimasterben

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If you want to switch it up to bridgelux you basically need to get 1-1.5x Neutral Whites as you have Royal Blues so you would be something like:

18 NW
12 Royal Blue

Eighteen NW? Are you sure? My 55g tank has a 16x cool white, 16x royal blue, 16x true violet, 6x deep red, and 6x turquoise, and it's WAY too white without turning the whites down to 65% or so, I can only imagine if I had that kind of ratio using neutrals.

#8
Milad LEDGroupBuy.com

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Eighteen NW? Are you sure? My 55g tank has a 16x cool white, 16x royal blue, 16x true violet, 6x deep red, and 6x turquoise, and it's WAY too white without turning the whites down to 65% or so, I can only imagine if I had that kind of ratio using neutrals.


Up top 18, at the minimum 12

Over your 55g are you using CREE or bridgelux? Very big difference between the output of the two on the white emitters. Also cool white is much more blue so you end up needing less but more royals.

#9
jedimasterben

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Up top 18, at the minimum 12

Over your 55g are you using CREE or bridgelux? Very big difference between the output of the two on the white emitters. Also cool white is much more blue so you end up needing less but more royals.

They are Bridgelux on the 55g.

#10
Milad LEDGroupBuy.com

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They are Bridgelux on the 55g.


Interesting. You dont think the color is too purple with that setup?

#11
jedimasterben

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I've been playing around with the looks of the tank recently (also after burning a birdsnest 16" below the lights), and I run the whites, two red, and two turquoise at 60-65%, and the two strings of half the blues and half the violets and another pair of red and turquoise at 85% each. I'm thinking that possibly the violets is what burned the birdsnest, I've been doing a lot more reading lately (I was pretty much a noob when I bought this set) and that violets put out little visible light, but a crapload of PAR in just the right spectrum for photosynthesis. When I bought them, I thought they would just add more color "pop". :)

Here is a very, very crappy FTS with the numbers I described above:
Posted Image

I've been trying to get my sis in to get "real" pics of the system, but she never seems to bring her camera when she comes over.

#12
Milad LEDGroupBuy.com

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I've been playing around with the looks of the tank recently (also after burning a birdsnest 16" below the lights), and I run the whites, two red, and two turquoise at 60-65%, and the two strings of half the blues and half the violets and another pair of red and turquoise at 85% each. I'm thinking that possibly the violets is what burned the birdsnest, I've been doing a lot more reading lately (I was pretty much a noob when I bought this set) and that violets put out little visible light, but a crapload of PAR in just the right spectrum for photosynthesis. When I bought them, I thought they would just add more color "pop". :)

Here is a very, very crappy FTS with the numbers I described above:
Posted Image

I've been trying to get my sis in to get "real" pics of the system, but she never seems to bring her camera when she comes over.



Ya its hard to get a good picture with LEDs.

If you like what you have with the cool whites (6500K) then I would say instead of 18 stick with 12 Neutral Whites. I think you will like that color combo.

#13
jedimasterben

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Especially when you only have a phone with a crappy camera :)

I have a suggestion for you, have you ever considered doing a 3up star of red, turquoise, and royal blue? And possibly sourcing different optics for the 3up stars, sometimes 40 degrees I just too narrow. :)

#14
Milad LEDGroupBuy.com

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Especially when you only have a phone with a crappy camera :)

I have a suggestion for you, have you ever considered doing a 3up star of red, turquoise, and royal blue? And possibly sourcing different optics for the 3up stars, sometimes 40 degrees I just too narrow. :)


Yes, we are testing them right now
3UPs only have 40 degree because of the small optics and size. Anything higher and you loose efficiency.

#15
jedimasterben

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Yes, we are testing them right now
3UPs only have 40 degree because of the small optics and size. Anything higher and you loose efficiency.

Any ETA on those? Would you like an outside tester (that will also pay for them)? fingerscrossed

#16
jedimasterben

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Ok, so total price breakdown for EVERYTHING:

CREE 3up stars, exotics, drivers, optics: $216.99

Bridgelux, exotics, drivers, optics: $184.08

Difference: $32.91

Still not sure which one I'll go with. The $33 could go towards the mount system I'll need to build and the CPU heatsinks to cool them.

Edited by jedimasterben, 12 March 2012 - 10:09 AM.


#17
Milad LEDGroupBuy.com

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Any ETA on those? Would you like an outside tester (that will also pay for them)? fingerscrossed


They may be up for Pre Order this week.

#18
jedimasterben

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Then you may have a preorder for them this week. :D

#19
M@rine_lover

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Then you may have a preorder for them this week. :D


I follow your step... :lol: !!!

#20
Ocean Flyer

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They may be up for Pre Order this week.


I want, I want. I can't wait, please up for Pre Order this week.

TQ.

#21
Milad LEDGroupBuy.com

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Here is the game changer brought to you by LEDGroupBuy.com first:
Posted Image

#22
jedimasterben

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Here is the game changer brought to you by LEDGroupBuy.com first:
Posted Image

Wait, are they all three under one diode? Smokin' jesus titty cinnamon!

#23
Milad LEDGroupBuy.com

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Wait, are they all three under one diode? Smokin' jesus titty cinnamon!


Its going to be worth the wait. We are just altering a few things on it and running some tests. They are custom made just for us from what our engineers are recommending.

#24
jedimasterben

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That is a sexy, sexy LED.

Now the question on our minds - price. Will it be comparable, more, or less than buying one of each LED? You don't have to give specifics (unless you want to, of course :) ).

#25
Milad LEDGroupBuy.com

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That is a sexy, sexy LED.

Now the question on our minds - price. Will it be comparable, more, or less than buying one of each LED? You don't have to give specifics (unless you want to, of course :) ).


Its going to be very comparable. Im not sure if im going to disclose the contents of which chips we mixed together to get "Ocean Coral White" but its designed to add just a couple per foot of tank to get the colors to really come out in corals when using the standard RB:NW combos.