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NanoTopia's Pico LED fixture DIY Build


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#1
NanoTopia

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I needed a Pico LED light fixture for my new Pico 3 gallon build. I could not find anything suitable for my needs on the market so it looks like I am building one.

My plans are to have 6-3w Cree LED (18w total) modular mounted on a small heat sink 1 3/4 X 3 1/4 inch (69mmX83mm), a fan mounted on top, two drivers running the fixture (one driver for Royal Blue LED's and one driver for Cool Blue LED's) this way I can run only Royal Blue if I wish. Parts are on order but I have the heat sink/fan already. See order below for details on the supplies ordered:

Attached Thumbnails

  • LED_DIY.jpg

Edited by NanoTopia, 27 March 2012 - 08:41 PM.

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"Problem solving in reef aquaria should be a process of elimination"

 

"Every good reefer reads a lot but thinks for themselves"


#2
chucktdbm321

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couple remarks
-any white leds?
- look into buck pucks instead of the moonlight drivers so you can have them dimmable
- i doubt you'll need a fan on such a small fixture

#3
NanoTopia

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couple remarks
-any white leds?
- look into buck pucks instead of the moonlight drivers so you can have them dimmable
- i doubt you'll need a fan on such a small fixture

I have cool whites which I prefer over warm whites. I was thinking the same about the fan, I have it already so I can use it if there is too much heat, so I may not use it. I will check out the drivers thanks, do you have a link? Thanks for responding and your input :D

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"Problem solving in reef aquaria should be a process of elimination"

 

"Every good reefer reads a lot but thinks for themselves"


#4
NanoTopia

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Not completed but mostly done. I still need to work on the rest of the mounting bracket and switches. Here's some pics as the build progressed:

Heat sink is from an old computer.

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LED's are Cree 3w cool white X4 and two Royal blue:

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Testing the LED's, I have them on two channels so I can run the royal blues by themselves. This is all them running.

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I mounted an acrylic plate I made over the LED's. The design allows for air flow to the LED's but protects them from salt spray and accidental touching.

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And all together now.

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Now over the tank. I may bring the fixture down a little closer to the water, maybe an inch or two. This is just temporary placement for the photo.

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Still lots of work to do on this 3 gallon Pico but it is coming along nicely. Check out my Tank build: NanoTopia's Pico Build

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"Problem solving in reef aquaria should be a process of elimination"

 

"Every good reefer reads a lot but thinks for themselves"


#5
iball1804

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Nice!

#6
zooman72

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Very well done and very clean looking - sort of like an Innovative Marine Skyye Light, but hand-made so it is much cooler!

#7
NanoTopia

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One more picture and a video:


2 X 3w Cree royal Blue

Posted Image

I love the shimmer you get with LED's. Can't wait for livestock!

Pico LED Video

Edited by NanoTopia, 30 March 2012 - 07:09 PM.

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"Problem solving in reef aquaria should be a process of elimination"

 

"Every good reefer reads a lot but thinks for themselves"


#8
JR!

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sorry man. im gonna have to steal this idea for my pico too :D amazing job

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#9
NanoTopia

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sorry man. im gonna have to steal this idea for my pico too :D amazing job


Go right ahead have fun with it, here's the link to the place I got the LED's from LED's

Edited by NanoTopia, 31 March 2012 - 06:21 AM.

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"Problem solving in reef aquaria should be a process of elimination"

 

"Every good reefer reads a lot but thinks for themselves"


#10
NanoTopia

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So I wanted to make a simple control box with on/off control for both channels and a place to house both mini drivers. I used a small project box and two toggle switches. The wires from the LEDs come in on one end and the power cords come in on the other end. I will be plugging the power cords into a basic timer so I can control on/off times that way as well if I choose, say if I am out of town for example. Here are some pictures of the control box as the build progressed. Please feel free to ask any questions regarding this build.


Project box with the two switches I already in placed:

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I drilled some holes in the back plate for ventilation:

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This is the inside of the box showing the two switches:

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This is the wiring, I needed the soldering iron for these connections. The insulating tubing is used throughout:

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With the two drivers in place:

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Box completed, the whole project took me about one and a half hours:

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"Problem solving in reef aquaria should be a process of elimination"

 

"Every good reefer reads a lot but thinks for themselves"


#11
Quantum

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Great diy, but personally I would have went with 2 rb strips and 1 cool white. (2:1 cw to rb looks to white imho)

#12
NanoTopia

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Great diy, but personally I would have went with 2 rb strips and 1 cool white. (2:1 cw to rb looks to white imho)


True it looks white, but I am considering a spectrum that will help grow coral.

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"Problem solving in reef aquaria should be a process of elimination"

 

"Every good reefer reads a lot but thinks for themselves"


#13
slammin

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Very nice DIY, looks professional!

how did you bend the aluminum arm? can you get flat bar like that from home depot? looks very sleek, i'd like to build 2 arms like that to hold up my 24" powermodule, do you think they can handle the weight?

thanks

#14
NanoTopia

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Very nice DIY, looks professional!

how did you bend the aluminum arm? can you get flat bar like that from home depot? looks very sleek, i'd like to build 2 arms like that to hold up my 24" powermodule, do you think they can handle the weight?

thanks



Yes, it is from Home Depot (Canada), it is 2" aluminum bar. I bent it slowly in a vice using a rubber mallet. Not elegant but it did the trick. I think if you heated it up it might bend easier. They are quite strong really, the bar (bent) is holding about 3 pounds.

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"Problem solving in reef aquaria should be a process of elimination"

 

"Every good reefer reads a lot but thinks for themselves"


#15
RK_tek

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Very nice work on the entire build. It reminds me of my PicO Ridge build only much cheaper. I heated my light mounting arm with a propane torch as I bent it and it made it much easier. No need to get it ridiculously hot, just soften it up a bit.

Ps. Pics of my tank are in my sig link

Edited by RK_tek, 26 April 2012 - 07:30 PM.

http://www.nano-reef...-3#entry4314959

My DIY rimless 25g with LEDs before they were cool


#16
uxdesigner

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Awesome build, really like the idea and the use of the acrylic splash guard.

#17
Enigma

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This is such wonderful work. Are you happy with the Modular LED products? I'm seriously leaning towards using one of their kits on our 40B, but I'm pretty sure our set-up won't be 1/2 as slick as yours (I'll be happy if they turn on. ;)).

#18
NanoTopia

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This is such wonderful work. Are you happy with the Modular LED products? I'm seriously leaning towards using one of their kits on our 40B, but I'm pretty sure our set-up won't be 1/2 as slick as yours (I'll be happy if they turn on. ;)).



Yes very happy, I did not use a kit but I know they are so easy to use, everything is plug and play. Martin will help guide you in what you need and help you if you have problems. Tell him Christine says so, lol. Oh and BTW, get a dimmer on all channels, it is more but you will thank me later. LED's will blast your corals and bleach them out, you need to acclimate the corals to the new light, slowly ramp them up over weeks.

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"Problem solving in reef aquaria should be a process of elimination"

 

"Every good reefer reads a lot but thinks for themselves"


#19
Enigma

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Yes very happy, I did not use a kit but I know they are so easy to use, everything is plug and play. Martin will help guide you in what you need and help you if you have problems. Tell him Christine says so, lol. Oh and BTW, get a dimmer on all channels, it is more but you will thank me later. LED's will blast your corals and bleach them out, you need to acclimate the corals to the new light, slowly ramp them up over weeks.


Sweet! Thank you :)

Speaking of "sweet" there is a rumour going around that Martin slips chocolate into some orders. :wub:

#20
alex leblanc

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I've got a Dairy milk, very good product!

#21
NanoTopia

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Sweet! Thank you :)

Speaking of "sweet" there is a rumour going around that Martin slips chocolate into some orders. :wub:


It's true, I've had a couple chocolate bars now, amazing how good they are when your stressin' in the build.

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"Problem solving in reef aquaria should be a process of elimination"

 

"Every good reefer reads a lot but thinks for themselves"


#22
BoricuaNY

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Awesome Light fixture, very inspirational :D

#23
NanoTopia

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Awesome Light fixture, very inspirational :D


Thanks BoricuaNY, I learned a lot doing the build, I think it would be even easier next time around.

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"Problem solving in reef aquaria should be a process of elimination"

 

"Every good reefer reads a lot but thinks for themselves"


#24
BoricuaNY

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What changes would you make if any if you were to do it a second time around?
I'm interested in borrowing your dosing for a small tank I'm going to be putting together. I like the Dimm4 from LED group buy, but not sure if I want to spend that much. I guess the other choice would be using dimable buck pucks but that still might add up to the cost of the Dimm 4 as well so I'm not sure. I like the simplicity of your over all LED set up though.

#25
NanoTopia

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What changes would you make if any if you were to do it a second time around?
I'm interested in borrowing your dosing for a small tank I'm going to be putting together. I like the Dimm4 from LED group buy, but not sure if I want to spend that much. I guess the other choice would be using dimable buck pucks but that still might add up to the cost of the Dimm 4 as well so I'm not sure. I like the simplicity of your over all LED set up though.



No change on the emitters or drivers, I think I would have done something to stop the light bleed at eye level. Somehow create a skirt around the heat sink to block the light from escaping and direct it more to the tank itself. I could still do it but I have been lazy these days. I did add an independent single moon light just behind the heat sink, after thought. Moon Light

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"Problem solving in reef aquaria should be a process of elimination"

 

"Every good reefer reads a lot but thinks for themselves"