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bensanders

sandman's 40br LED build, finished

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bensanders

In light of Sammy's recent build thread, I've decided to take the plunge as well. I had initially ordered an AI Sol Blue but because they were on backorder everywhere, I decided I'll just save money and get my light sooner by going DIY.

 

Everything needed for this build comes from HeatsinkUSA, RapidLED, Nanotuners, and RadioShack. All drawings are to scale and are done using Microstation:

 

Heatsink: 5.886" x 24"

42 LEDs + 4 Moonlights: 2:1 Ratio...28 XP-E Royal Blue, 14 XP-G Neutral White, 4 RB Moonlights

Optics: 60* for RBs, 65* for NWs

Drivers: 3 TRC 700mA, Moonlight Driver (350mA)

Fans: 92mm Vantec Stealth Fan Kit

Thermal Adhesive: Arctic Silver Premium Thermal Adhesive

Wire: #20 AWG Stranded Wire - 10 ft. each of white (for NWs), blue (for RBs), and black (for MLs)

Hanging Kit: 4 Hook Wire Hanging Kit

Build Equipment: Soldering Iron, Solder, Multimeter

 

I've laid out the array and I need opinions. This is just a first guess, if you think the LEDs could be laid out better to prevent bad blending/spotlighting/shadows/disco/etc., please chime in. Thanks for following.

LEDarrangement_2.jpg

Edited by bensanders

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Pilg0re

If you're thinking of one heat sink I would go with the 10" wide heat sink. 40 Breeders are 18 inches deep and I would be worried that a ~6 inch heat sink wouldn't give you really good coverage front to back.

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Milad LEDGroupBuy.com

Im digging those pods, very nice layout.

 

Couple issues I see are mainly with the moonlights. People will argue that the royal blue are way to bright even at low current for moon lights. You could give it a whirl, worst case, you have 3 extra royal blue to make more corals pop.

 

For thermal adhesive I would say go with the pads, they save so much time, so much headaches its not even funny. Tapping and drilling is for the birds.

 

For the wire, everyone thats picked it up from us seems to love it : http://www.ledgroupbuy.com/categories/Wire/ much cleaner and easier to work with than home speaker wire some use. (and its cheap)

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bensanders
If you're thinking of one heat sink I would go with the 10" wide heat sink. 40 Breeders are 18 inches deep and I would be worried that a ~6 inch heat sink wouldn't give you really good coverage front to back.

 

Initially I was going to go with the 8.46" wide heatsink. I asked Evil what the maximum spacing between LED clusters should be to prevent spotlighting and his opinion was 4". That's why I ended up with this profile. I think I'll be able to hang the fixture a little higher and use 60* optics to get a nice spread. Hopefully I'll be doing those drawings today (fixture with optic cones above tank).

 

Im digging those pods, very nice layout.

 

Couple issues I see are mainly with the moonlights. People will argue that the royal blue are way to bright even at low current for moon lights. You could give it a whirl, worst case, you have 3 extra royal blue to make more corals pop.

 

For thermal adhesive I would say go with the pads, they save so much time, so much headaches its not even funny. Tapping and drilling is for the birds.

 

For the wire, everyone thats picked it up from us seems to love it : http://www.ledgroupbuy.com/categories/Wire/ much cleaner and easier to work with than home speaker wire some use. (and its cheap)

 

Hey Milad

 

Thanks for the heads up on the moonlights. What would you recommend? Regular blues?

 

I wasn't 100% positive if I'm required to drill and tap, I figured it was an option. I'll check out the thermal pads vs. adhesive. Honestly, it will probably come down to whether the website I order all this from has pads or adhesive or both. I'll look into it for sure.

 

Good tip on the wire. I was planning on getting something like that (definitely not speaker wire). Again, this will come down to wherever I decide to pick everything up.

 

Thanks again for the responses so far. What do y'all think about the arrangement of the blues and whites? Should I stagger how I layout the colors (like Sammy does it) or keep it symmetrical as I have it?

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Paleoreef103
Initially I was going to go with the 8.46" wide heatsink. I asked Evil what the maximum spacing between LED clusters should be to prevent spotlighting and his opinion was 4". That's why I ended up with this profile. I think I'll be able to hang the fixture a little higher and use 60* optics to get a nice spread. Hopefully I'll be doing those drawings today (fixture with optic cones above tank).

 

 

 

Hey Milad

 

Thanks for the heads up on the moonlights. What would you recommend? Regular blues?

 

I wasn't 100% positive if I'm required to drill and tap, I figured it was an option. I'll check out the thermal pads vs. adhesive. Honestly, it will probably come down to whether the website I order all this from has pads or adhesive or both. I'll look into it for sure.

 

Good tip on the wire. I was planning on getting something like that (definitely not speaker wire). Again, this will come down to wherever I decide to pick everything up.

 

Thanks again for the responses so far. What do y'all think about the arrangement of the blues and whites? Should I stagger how I layout the colors (like Sammy does it) or keep it symmetrical as I have it?

My plan is to do something a lot like this, but raise it up to ~10 inches off the water with the 60 degree optics and have about 5-6 inches between rows for coverage. One thing you might want to think about with the drilling vs thermal pads is that drilling your tank will make upgrades much easier to handle. LED technology is continually improving (Cree just tested an LED that puts out 231 lm/W for example). If you plan on having this tank/ light for the long hall then you'd want to drill and tap it. If you'll upgrade the tank in less than three years I'd say go with the thermal pads.

 

I'd also recommend you got a second meanwell for Royal Blues. Wiring LEDs in parallel isn't perfect. 2 strings on two drivers would be ideal for the LEDs.

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gabe3eb

White moonlights for the win :D. I've never seen a blue moon...

 

RapidLed (sponsor) sells a 350mA moon light driver. Not sure if its too bright, but you could probably throw a cheapo 1W chinese light on it or something else cheap. Just a thought.

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bensanders
My plan is to do something a lot like this, but raise it up to ~10 inches off the water with the 60 degree optics and have about 5-6 inches between rows for coverage. One thing you might want to think about with the drilling vs thermal pads is that drilling your tank will make upgrades much easier to handle. LED technology is continually improving (Cree just tested an LED that puts out 231 lm/W for example). If you plan on having this tank/ light for the long hall then you'd want to drill and tap it. If you'll upgrade the tank in less than three years I'd say go with the thermal pads.

 

I'd also recommend you got a second meanwell for Royal Blues. Wiring LEDs in parallel isn't perfect. 2 strings on two drivers would be ideal for the LEDs.

 

I saw that reefbuilders article, pretty neat. I've got the equipment and skill to tap and drill (hey-oh), all I need is a tap set. I could see myself upgrading the LEDs in the future, I guess I didn't consider that.

 

Just curious, what do you mean when you say wiring LEDs in parallel isn't perfect? I know series is easier/safer, but I was under the impression that if you use fuses, parallel is acceptable. I was also going off of these:

 

http://reefledlights.com/wiring-diagrams/

 

Thanks for your input Paleo!

 

White moonlights for the win :D. I've never seen a blue moon...

 

RapidLed (sponsor) sells a 350mA moon light driver. Not sure if its too bright, but you could probably throw a cheapo 1W chinese light on it or something else cheap. Just a thought.

 

Good point, the only Blue Moon I've seen is made by Coors.

 

However, wouldn't any other color look silly? Doesn't a white moonlight defeat the purpose of allowing the tank to 'relax' in a dark environment, and get that great fluorescent pop from your corals at night?

 

I saw that moonlight driver and considered it but, how does it integrate with a controller? My goal is to use a controller in the future to control the light schedule and moon phase.

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Paleoreef103
I saw that reefbuilders article, pretty neat. I've got the equipment and skill to tap and drill (hey-oh), all I need is a tap set. I could see myself upgrading the LEDs in the future, I guess I didn't consider that.

 

Just curious, what do you mean when you say wiring LEDs in parallel isn't perfect? I know series is easier/safer, but I was under the impression that if you use fuses, parallel is acceptable. I was also going off of these:

 

Basically, the problem with wiring a set of LEDs in parallel is that one of the two strings often gets more of the current than the other. Ask Evil about it. That's why I'm recommending two royal blue drivers. The meanwells aren't THAT expensive and I think the peace of mind is worth it.

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bensanders

I gotcha. I have a feeling Evil would recommend the same thing, so I'll take it as good advice. You're right, I think it would only be any extra $35 or something. One thing I considered getting was the Nanotuners 3 channel LED driver. I like the sound of the TRC drivers, and the look of the Nanotuners driver box with dimming sliders, rocker switches, etc looks sweet. The price is very comparable as opposed to getting 3 ELN 60-48Ds. Thoughts? Where is evil?

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Paleoreef103
I gotcha. I have a feeling Evil would recommend the same thing, so I'll take it as good advice. You're right, I think it would only be any extra $35 or something. One thing I considered getting was the Nanotuners 3 channel LED driver. I like the sound of the TRC drivers, and the look of the Nanotuners driver box with dimming sliders, rocker switches, etc looks sweet. The price is very comparable as opposed to getting 3 ELN 60-48Ds. Thoughts? Where is evil?

HA!!! I have been asking them for a while when I can get my hands on a Trio 700... I reaaaally want one so I can do all the crazy controller wizardry with LEDs. Also, a Trio 700 would allow for 14X3 LEDs instead of 12X3. Hopefully we can get them soon.

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bensanders

14x3? I wouldn't mind adding two extra clusters to an end of this fixture ;)

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Paleoreef103
14x3? I wouldn't mind adding two extra clusters to an end of this fixture ;)

Yup. Me neither. Each 700 mA driver can handle 15 LEDs. You should note that the Trio 1050 can handle 10 LEDs per string instead.

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bensanders

Hmm, so which one would I need in my case?

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Paleoreef103
Hmm, so which one would I need in my case?

I was told that 700 mA with 60 degree optics and 42 LEDs (14X3) would get you over 200 PAR at the sand bed. If you go with the 1050, you'll have to pull the array down to 10X3. At that case I'd say use 40 degree optics and put that thing 16" off the water.

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bensanders

Ah, I follow now. So if I were to use the 700 mA with my original set-up (12x3), I would just need to dial the drivers down a little bit?

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Paleoreef103
Ah, I follow now. So if I were to use the 700 mA with my original set-up (12x3), I would just need to dial the drivers down a little bit?

Need to? No. You'd only want to dial them down if you're looking for less power out of your LEDs. They should be constant-current drivers so at max, each LED would get 700 mA in series. I wouldn't have them set up with say 4 LEDs on the channel (I think 5 or 6 is the minimum for those drivers, but I wouldn't quote me on that), but 12 on a string is just fine.

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Milad LEDGroupBuy.com

Its not the color (royal blue) that is too bright for moonlights, its just that the 3w CREE LEDs are too bright as moonlights. you would want something in a 1w LED. Or if you have an APEX controller, just get the moonlight module.

 

drilling and tapping very small holes is not the same as drilling and tapping large holes. it takes some light, smooth hands.

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evilc66

Umm, a "1W" LED at 350mA is 1W. A "3W" LED at 350mA, is 1W. Unless the "1W" LED has significantly lower output, it's not going to make a lot of difference, and will still be too bright. Unless your tank is over 24" deep, high power LEDs shouldn't be used for moonlights. Beyond the fact that they are too bright on most drivers, it's unessecarily expensive. 5/8/10mm LED or superflux LEDs are more than enough, and a lot cheaper.

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bensanders

Thanks Evil...what color would you recommend for moonlights?

 

Here's a couple mock-ups of 60* optics over a 40br. The fixture is centered and hung 6" above the tank. Teal lines are RB optics, black lines are NW optics.:

 

Optics_60_profile.jpg

Optics_60_profileside.jpg

Stupid, convoluted plan view. :

Optics_60_plan.jpg

 

 

I didn't feel like messing with 3D in Microstation but these should suffice. Looks like the optics, LED spacing, and heatsink size can work for my particular rockwork, but I might need to adjust this considering most all of the light is in the first 50% of the optic.

Edited by bensanders

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Paleoreef103

It looks like you're going to get some pretty decently dark corners out of your set up. If that's cool, then go with it. I would probably hang it in the ~9 inches range to get more coverage. Honestly though, I'm kind of stoked I didn't get corrected by Evil. Maybe I have learned something.

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bensanders

Yeah, I may need to go with 80* optics if I want to hang it 6" above the tank.

Edited by bensanders

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evilc66

Nah. Visually, the whole tank will be pretty bright. PAR wise, the top corners will be lower intensity, but who puts corals all the way up there?

 

Looks good though Ben. Chop chop.

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bensanders

My rockwork is a good 3" away from the edge of the tank all the way around the base, and even more as you go up. Whatever optics I end up going with, I really want to keep the fixture 6"-8" above the tank at all times.

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bensanders

I've revised the LED layout to include two more clusters. This is because I switched from ELN to TRC drivers, and I can now run more LEDs per driver. I'm going with 4 moonlights as well.

 

Do the TRC drivers need power cords like the ELN drivers do?

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evilc66

Yes. There is only about 6" of wire coming from the driver, and they are not terminated. A standard 3 pin power cord will do the trick.

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