TinyGiant

GU10 LED Build Thread (Chinese Ebay Lights)

1,970 posts in this topic
Well, if they arent ghetto, they are made for ppl who are too lazy to strip a wire and crimp on a butt splice :P. In all honesty I look at those as something that is temporary at best, and should be used as such. Thats why they are removable :)

 

Though I wouldn't really recommend them either, IDC connectors like these can be fine permanent connectors, but like anything it's possible (tho not easy) to use them incorrectly. Buy 3M (high quality) and use the correct type and size of connector according to instruction and you should have no issues. I wouldn't really recommend them as much for solid core wiring as for stranded. (Wouldn't recommend solid core for this type of project at all, in fact.)

 

IDC's main downsides in our context (in my experience) is their large size and cost. Wire nuts (again used according to instruction!) make a whole lot more sense. (Don't economize here...2-3 wires per correctly sized nut, max.)

 

Crimps are OK too (+fairly cheap), but also have the possibility of being over-crimped and wrecking/weakening the wire connection. Again, use properly sized connectors and don't over-stuff them! (Follow mfgr instructions.)

 

-Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The bulb I mentioned above is pulling 4.9 watts at 700 mA.

The color is around 10K

I should also mention that the bulb gets pretty warm after running for 15 minutes

 

 

Sweet...someone else with a Kill-A-Watt! (Next for me is an IR thermometer and a LUX meter.) :)

 

My 3x1w Daylight GU10's run around 2 watts each on average. (60 watts measured for 30 bulbs...110 VA though.) Blue's are closer to 3 watts.

 

The heat sinks on both get barely warm to the touch after 10 hours of use...no problem keeping my hand on one for as long as I like.

 

Wondering if you could measure your 3x3's heat sink diameter and height? (My 3x1w's are 1 7/8" diameter and 7/8" tall.)

 

There's gotta be a maximum amount of watts these little 'sinks can dissipate before bad amounts of heat build up at the emitter....just wondering if yours is still identical to the 3 watt or if it may be a little beefier.

 

Thanks!

 

-Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope I'm not offending N-R with the link, but this is "of interest". :)

 

I took some spectrum pictures of my GU10 bulbs which you can find on a blog I'm maintaining over here. Happy reading!

 

-Matt

 

(Please delete this post if the link is offensive in any way.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The 2:1s are good for picos, but on anything larger, I really prefer to have the ability to operate whites and blues independently...

 

Not sure what the intention of these 2:1 hybrid bulbs is, but if I were getting some I'd be using them instead of the blues in a usual W:B:W:B:W arrangement.

 

With the all-blue bulbs, even at 2 daylight bulbs per 1 regular blue (as I'm running at the moment - WWBWWBWW), I think it's pretty darned blue. :)

 

-Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just purchased 7 blue and 6 cool white bulbs 4x1 with 45 degree optics from led-hk. got the sockets and ordered some of these to connect the sockets to the extension cord. anyone have any experience with these or think that they'll work?

 

I'll be building a canopy to go over my JBJ nanocube24 and will mount everything into the canopy. Super excited! I'll post updates as things progress.

 

So I actually went with 6 cool white and 6 blue with 60 degree optics on my 24g nanocube. The dimensions of the tank are 18"x19.6"x19.7".

Am I going to have enough light for softies and lps?

How high should I mount it?

Should I go with 3 rows of 4 bulbs or 4 rows of 3?

Any recommendations on how to hang the canopy?

Can I use any extension cord with an outlet on the end?

Do i need to do anything with the end of the cord or just leave it as-is?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sweet...someone else with a Kill-A-Watt! (Next for me is an IR thermometer and a LUX meter.) :)

 

My 3x1w Daylight GU10's run around 2 watts each on average. (60 watts measured for 30 bulbs...110 VA though.) Blue's are closer to 3 watts.

 

The heat sinks on both get barely warm to the touch after 10 hours of use...no problem keeping my hand on one for as long as I like.

 

Wondering if you could measure your 3x3's heat sink diameter and height? (My 3x1w's are 1 7/8" diameter and 7/8" tall.)

 

There's gotta be a maximum amount of watts these little 'sinks can dissipate before bad amounts of heat build up at the emitter....just wondering if yours is still identical to the 3 watt or if it may be a little beefier.

 

Thanks!

 

-Matt

 

The heat sinks on the 3x3w are the same size as the 3x1w bulbs.

 

BTW the advertised dimmable function on the 3x3w Cree bulbs does not work.

I plugged one of those 3x3w dimmable Cree lamps in a desk lamp with dimmer switch and as soon as you dial the dimmer any less than the maximum, the bulb starts flickering.

Perfect strobe light to practice some 80's disco :D

Edited by devmasa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The heat sinks on the 3x3w are the same size as the 3x1w bulbs.

 

BTW the advertised dimmable function on the 3x3w Cree bulbs does not work.

I plugged one of those 3x3w dimmable Cree lamps in a desk lamp with dimmer switch and as soon as you dial the dimmer any less than the maximum, the bulb starts flickering.

Perfect strobe light to practice some 80's disco :D

 

 

I reeeally hope that the 3x3w bulbs i order DO in fact dim. Im ready to roll!

 

IMAG0482.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I reeeally hope that the 3x3w bulbs i order DO in fact dim. Im ready to roll!

 

Check my posts on the previous page, the 3x3w Cree pull only 4.9 watts so they are not as bright as I expected. I doubt if you will need dimming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The heat sinks on the 3x3w are the same size as the 3x1w bulbs.

 

BTW the advertised dimmable function on the 3x3w Cree bulbs does not work.

I plugged one of those 3x3w dimmable Cree lamps in a desk lamp with dimmer switch and as soon as you dial the dimmer any less than the maximum, the bulb starts flickering.

Perfect strobe light to practice some 80's disco :D

 

At 4.9 watts how many VA (volt amps) do those 3x3's pull?

 

So that should be a little more than twice the heat as my ~2 watt 3x1's. Seems logical, just wondering what the actual emitter temperature in that little package is going to be after 10 hours of service? I would not hesitate to provide some kind of air circulation in the immediate vicinity...whether a fan or an AC duct, etc.

 

I don't know a whole lot as I haven't had a chance to experiment here yet, but if you pick up a (e.g.) Lutron CFL/LED Dimming switch, I believe the correct technology might be present to dim your bulb. GET IT? Hahah. Ahem...

 

:P

 

-Matt

Edited by mcarroll

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm getting ready to order 40 blue and 40 cool white, plan to use 33 and 33 on a 125 gallon. For 80 bulbs and 100 bases, I'm looking at $360. I've not priced any DIY Cree LED kits, but I'm guessing that 72" of Cree LEDs would be almost triple the price. Anyone have any experience in this area and have any recommendations over the GU10 route? I'm curious more than a little about light penetration due to the deepness of the 125 gallon tank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm getting ready to order 40 blue and 40 cool white, plan to use 33 and 33 on a 125 gallon. For 80 bulbs and 100 bases, I'm looking at $360. I've not priced any DIY Cree LED kits, but I'm guessing that 72" of Cree LEDs would be almost triple the price. Anyone have any experience in this area and have any recommendations over the GU10 route? I'm curious more than a little about light penetration due to the deepness of the 125 gallon tank.

 

Check out Tiny giants build thread for his 55 gallon, namely check out the growth pics. Should be a similar depth to your 125(i think a standard 55g is ~21 inches deep) My 40b is 18 inches deep in i have no penetration issues. I'm not saying put acros on your sand-bed. But i think this will be perfect as long as you have good coral placement. I'm definately happy with my gu-10s as a lower cost and idiot-proof LED DIY.

I know its be pretty hard to adequately light a 6ft long tank in the $300 range using any other method, especially with LEDs

Aquastyles has a 120 LED kit for $319 but you are gonna pay out the ass for heatsinks large enough to adequately cover a tank that large.

Edited by C.I._Reefer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm getting ready to order 40 blue and 40 cool white, plan to use 33 and 33 on a 125 gallon. For 80 bulbs and 100 bases, I'm looking at $360. I've not priced any DIY Cree LED kits, but I'm guessing that 72" of Cree LEDs would be almost triple the price. Anyone have any experience in this area and have any recommendations over the GU10 route? I'm curious more than a little about light penetration due to the deepness of the 125 gallon tank.

 

"Welcome to the club!" Heheh.

 

Can't really help with alternate suggestions as I went straight from halide to GU10. (Due to circumstances, mostly.)

 

Let me know when you get around to thinking about wiring! I had fun doing my 30 bulb (aka 60 connections) fixture, which is among the larger installations I'm aware of, and I'm about to repeat that on a second unit. You'll have around 160 connections on yours - should make it interesting! :)

 

While I'm 97% happy with my light's performance (always something to improve, right?), I'm not fully content with my current wiring plan. Definitely leaving solid-core wiring out of the picture in the future - stranded is better for this due to flexibility. For wire-connections, after debating ease of use, cost, security and other factors and trying out as many options as I could, I settled on wire nuts (vs burn/twist/wrap, crimp, push, or IDC/"quick" connectors) as the best solution.

 

They're cheaper than every solution outside of electrical tape and solder - neither of which am I willing to consider. Wrapping is the least secure/extremely messy if you have to undo anything; soldering is good, but I'm way too inexperienced and would be an old man before I got done with 60 connections. LOL! Further, every house and commercial lighting fixture I could immediately check uses wire nuts, so the choice can't be "too wrong". :) So I'm definitely staying with wire nuts for the next build.

 

The other elements (organizing connections, bringing in power, fusing/switching and grounding options, hiding the wiring for safety, etc) are all up for a re-think.

 

I'm curious what you'll end up doing.

 

Good luck!

 

-Matt

Edited by mcarroll

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got around to doing a little work on my lights... I'm using GU10 lights but my sockets have not come... So I'm not using sockets.

 

I also wanted to mix my light a little better than having bulbs packed closely so I decided to move some of the LED's around...

 

535379_385681931453982_100000365358637_1269402_896474936_n.jpg

526240_385682068120635_100000365358637_1269403_2017750878_n.jpg

One of the bulbs has 3w blue leds... Just because I can...

578430_385683284787180_100000365358637_1269408_1164360154_n.jpg

 

Now. There is a reason that taking the bulbs apart is a bad idea. You get to see things like this...

553159_385683418120500_100000365358637_1269409_1063807448_n.jpg

I am not surprised this bulb didn't work when I first tested it... Now I know why.

 

 

Light fitting should be done by this evening or tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anybody got par readings on these things?

I am very impressed with my "GU10"; well actually a e27 base one with 2 blue and one white Epistar. I'm thinking it's metal halide brightness at 12" in water in a 6"x6" area.

 

Cheeselover, I have a question.

How hot are your 3 watt led modifications getting?

I thought about doing that very thing, but with several bulbs and the capability to dim each color. However, the potential of overheating concerns me.

Edited by jm82792

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Let me know when you get around to thinking about wiring! I had fun doing my 30 bulb (aka 60 connections) fixture, which is among the larger installations I'm aware of, and I'm about to repeat that on a second unit. You'll have around 160 connections on yours - should make it interesting! :)

Hopefully it will go smooth. I have a few ideas of how I want to wire it up for variety. I'm planning on using multiple timers to help as well.

Definitely leaving solid-core wiring out of the picture in the future - stranded is better for this due to flexibility. For wire-connections,... I settled on wire nuts

Thanks for the heads up on using stranded. I had planned on using solid as it's easier to skin, but harder to bend into the right places at times. I had thought about wire nuts, may squirt a little silicone in them to keep the water out.

The other elements (organizing connections, bringing in power, fusing/switching and grounding options, hiding the wiring for safety, etc) are all up for a re-think. I'm curious what you'll end up doing.

I have a few ideas that I hope I can make reality. Of course getting it from my head to the tank may be a different story. I'll take plenty of pictures (or have the wife take the pictures) when I'm working on it and wiring. Hopefully what I build will be picture worthy. Once I get it finished I'll post the final, then possibly the behind the scene shots. Can't wait for it all to get here so I can get started.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well just had another 3x3w die on me. Figures. I've been testing different types in different settings.So far, i have only found one version of 3x3w bulbs with a solid enough heat sink to last long term, and unfortunately that particular one has fixed optics that are very tight. Also, the emitters are very close together.. Just posting as a heads up to everyone. Shy away from the 3x3w. Even with a fan cooled fixture, there just isn't enough heat sink there to sustain them long term.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm my GU10 with an actual e27 base with 2 white and 1 blue 1 watt Epistar LEDs are hot like CFLs. I'd get burned after a minute of firmly grasping them. I pulled them apart,

removed the old heatsink grease and now the heatsink gets hot faster, but that's about it.

Maybe they are actually 3 x 3 watt leds?

They seem really bright for a few hundred lumens.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not sure what the intention of these 2:1 hybrid bulbs is, but if I were getting some I'd be using them instead of the blues in a usual W:B:W:B:W arrangement.

 

With the all-blue bulbs, even at 2 daylight bulbs per 1 regular blue (as I'm running at the moment - WWBWWBWW), I think it's pretty darned blue. :)

 

-Matt

 

I would use them for a fuge. I have bought the bulb w/ blue, and I ordered the 1W cool white and 1W red. I plan on soldering each so it's a W-B-R in one bulb.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So how hot do your GU10's get?

I'm loving the idea of keeping some corals in my sump, and they like the 1 white 2 blue combo but I'd hate to see it toast itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The ones from Luck from my experience do not get too hot but it's definitely not cool that you can't get burnt if you leave your hand on it. I have a 5W with same heatsink style but looks like aluminum and that burns if left for hours.

 

On my fuge, I set it on a timer that I shut it off for one hour in between the 8 hour period.

 

I dont'think the interrupted lighting would bother them, I have some unattached zoas in the fuge now and I see it's till growing new heads.

 

if you use PVC pipes to mount the lights like from the examples here, why not see if you have fan blow through it to provide some cooling?

Edited by bizzarro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So how hot do your GU10's get?

I'm loving the idea of keeping some corals in my sump, and they like the 1 white 2 blue combo but I'd hate to see it toast itself.

 

I wouldnt worry about the 3/1w bulbs. I have dozens of those running for 12-14 hours a day. They get hot, but not so hot that they are gonna fail. They're fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the heads up on using stranded. I had planned on using solid as it's easier to skin, but harder to bend into the right places at times. I had thought about wire nuts, may squirt a little silicone in them to keep the water out.

 

If you reall have enough water/spray in the air to worry about, I'd seriously think about resolving that issue before you hang any lights.

 

Beyond that, the bulbs themselves are less waterproof than these connections you will be making. :)

 

If you still want waterproof connections, they do sell wire nuts with some gel already in them. Likewise for most kinds of quick connects. I wouldn't think it worth the extra bother or expense though.

 

-Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you reall have enough water/spray in the air to worry about, I'd seriously think about resolving that issue before you hang any lights.

 

Beyond that, the bulbs themselves are less waterproof than these connections you will be making. :)

 

If you still want waterproof connections, they do sell wire nuts with some gel already in them. Likewise for most kinds of quick connects. I wouldn't think it worth the extra bother or expense though.

 

-Matt

 

not really worried about spray, just thinking about high humidity and possibly exposed connections... probably not worth too much thought though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, i'm thinking about upgrading. Probably 24x24x13.. how many bulbs should i get?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So, i'm thinking about upgrading. Probably 24x24x13.. how many bulbs should i get?

 

With 30º lenses you'll get 5"+ diameter of solid coverage per bulb at 10" height. Double that with 60º lenses, which would not be a bad option for a 13" deep tank.

 

Convention is to use a solid row of white bulbs next to blue bulbs in a 50:50 ratio. For a tank length of 24", that would give you two rows of twelve bulbs. I'm pretty sure I would build for a third row of sockets in the middle "just in case". You may want to supplement different colors or add intensity later, if not at first.

 

One alternative, if possible in your installation, is to keep the traditional 30º optics, but hang the lights higher than the 10" norm. At 20" high you'll get a solid 11" of spread (and color mixing) per row with only two rows and you should still get plenty of penetration.

 

I'm coming to think that on my 50 gallon (36x18x18) that I'd like to have three rows of fifteen rather than the more customary two. I'm trying to give it time in the current configuration though to see if the extra row is really warranted.

 

So far in my build I've been getting nice results with a W:W:B:W:W arrangement. The conventional W:B:W was a bit too blue for me, so I'm trying it. I think there's a decent amount of room for adjusting to taste, as long as your bulbs are close together for maximum color mixing. It looks good to me like this. :)

 

Just to confirm for everyone, my second row (back) is still 100% daylight bulbs. Though things are growing back there, things are also browning without the blue supplementation. I'm sure the corals are happy..who knows maybe happier, but they aren't prettier. ;) More blue bulbs will be on the next order...just waiting on budget. As usual. :angry:

 

-Matt

Edited by mcarroll

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now