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Old 06-28-2010, 12:27 AM   #1
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2.5g Pico Tank LED lighting!

Okay, so I finally decided to begin an LED reef light for my new 2.5g pico tank as a way to get my feet wet before building one for my 20g.

So I need to cover an 11in by 5in area with light. The tank is 6in from top to sand bottom.

My plan is to use 3-3W CREE XR-E whites (6500K) and 3-3W CREE XR-E blue leds. I will use a commercially made dimmable driver for ease and compactness.

I have some issues to work out:
1-How should I arrange these leds? Right now I am thinking two rows of leds. One for the whites and one for the blues. Instead of drilling, I will use thermal adhesive pads.
2-I want the tank to be on the blue end. (Love the blue look, plus I want to have Acans and Chalice corals in here). Should I have a separate non-dimmable driver for the blues and a dimmable driver for the whites? This would let me vary how much white I have to drown out the blue, right?
3-I dont want to cook anything and considering the deepest part of the tank sis 6in, I will leave out optics. Sound good? Do I need to be concerned about driving the blues at full power? I could always use two separate dimmable drivers, but could save $10 by going with a non dimmable for the blues.

More to come soon. I am considering different drivers right now. I will use nanotuners for the LEDs since they are $6.00 each. (cheapest I have seen).

Matt
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:31 AM   #2
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Following. Jw is this a regular 2.5g or a bowfront? Also we'll need lots of pics.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:32 AM   #3
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Just a cheapo 2.5g from petsmart. Nothing fancy, yet!
Pics to come soon...

Matt
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:39 AM   #4
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1-How should I arrange these leds? Right now I am thinking two rows of leds. One for the whites and one for the blues. Instead of drilling, I will use thermal adhesive pads.
I would do them in one strip, alternating.
2-I want the tank to be on the blue end. (Love the blue look, plus I want to have Acans and Chalice corals in here). Should I have a separate non-dimmable driver for the blues and a dimmable driver for the whites? This would let me vary how much white I have to drown out the blue, right?
You can do that, or you can have one or two more blue LEDs and have the whole string on one dimmable driver.
3-I dont want to cook anything and considering the deepest part of the tank sis 6in, I will leave out optics. Sound good? Do I need to be concerned about driving the blues at full power? I could always use two separate dimmable drivers, but could save $10 by going with a non dimmable for the blues.
no optics, if you are going to run them both on separate drivers, just pay the like 5 bucks extra. 2.5s arent that deep and you will want the control.
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:41 AM   #5
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This might help you some PICO LED Build - Nano-Reef.com Forums (found this thanks to Jimbo7 )
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:47 AM   #6
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You can also do a DIY dimming driver for around $10.00 for 2 8 LED sets. You need a power supply though.
hpled - Project Hosting on Google Code
DIY LED driver for reef lighting - Reef Central Online Community
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:56 AM   #7
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This has been brought up before, you can't run 8 LEDs on a 24v power supply. At least not at full power.
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:16 AM   #8
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That 2.5g pico looks great. Much more light than I thought too. Maybe I ought to go with 5 leds then?

B-W-B-W-B
Spacing could be like 1.5in between leds? Really want to avoid spot lighting, but really want to make sure the corals get the light they need.

Id love it to be good enough for SPS for when my acros need fragging...They could go right under the white LEDs and let the rest of the corals (Acans, Chalice, brain, and polyps) get the blue. Sound good?

I think I may just get one dimmable driver for now, and just add more blue LEDs as I feel the need for more blue color.

I like the idea of building a driver, but feel it would take more time than I have. Id want to have a pcb made for it anyways, and that would cost too much. (Just hate breadboards, wire tying, ect.)

Thoughts?
Matt
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:28 AM   #9
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I dont think you will get any spotlighting with 1.5 inch spacing. You should get right under 20K with that combo. You can put them right under the particular LED but their angle is pretty wide. 100-120 degrees is where the majority of the light falls if i remember correct. So they should all mix well. It's surprising the PAR that these little things put out, did you see his readings in that thread?
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:41 AM   #10
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Good to know, I will go with 1.5in spacing...

Yea, those PAR values are nuts! Thats why I am a bit worried with my tank depth, hence the desire for a dimmable driver.

Now for holding this all together...I will get a heatsink large enough that I can drill holes for standoffs to hold the heatsink to a piece of acrylic to act as a splash guard and a structure. Acrylic legs will sit the whole thing on top of the tank giving plenty of airspace. I can get acrylic from ebay and have it cut to my specs for not too much.

Now I just need nanotuners to clarify what their meanwell ELN-30-27 really is , as its described (in the description) as being the 30-48 which is NOT what I want, right? 5 LEDs at 3.3v each is 16.5v.

I wonder how these drivers work? They seem to be SMPS, so if they output 27v and your load drops 16.5v at 1A, then the SMPS has to dissipate the extra 10.5v (at 1A). Thats 10.5W wasted.

When/if (I am sure it will be when ) I build one for my 20g, I will go with a self made driver to save money, and tailor things better for me.
Matt
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