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Old 11-16-2012, 01:49 PM   #1
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DIY 20 Gallon LED Hood

Hey guys, I am new here, I've also posted in the introduction forum.

I have a 20 gallon freshwater aquarium that I am building my own hood for, I have 96 white waterproof LED's on order, they are 4 strips of 24 LED's each, the strips are 24cm long. I plan on taking a nice piece of wood and gluing 3 sides on it, maybe 1 inch tall. After that I'll spray the inside with a shiny silver (for reflection) and over that maybe a spray on polyurethane for some additional waterproofing, the outside I plan on staining espresso color to match the bookcase my aquarium is on.

I am still working on how I will attach the strips to the wood and also how I will run the wiring, but that I will figure out as I go along.

I also may want to incorporate some sort of hinging mechanism so I can easily throw food in. Likely a piano style hinge.

This is the item list so far, I have most of it, except for a hinge.
- board 24" x 12"
- (3) sides 1" tall
- (4) 24-led strips
- wood glue
- wood screws
- power supply
- (need) piano hinge

Let me know what you guys think and if there is anything you think I should consider or change!

Edit: these are the LED's I have on order:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o00_s00_i00
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:57 PM   #2
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Sounds like a good plan. I would definitely go with poly all over the inside to prevent any rot of the wood. Post some pics of the build once you get going, we love pics!
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:59 PM   #3
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Welcome to the site!

We love DIY stuff and pics here. Please keep us updated on your project.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:10 PM   #4
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Will do! Thanks guys. I am headed to Home Depot as soon as I get outta here! (work)

I will get some pictures as I work on it over the weekend.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:35 PM   #5
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Got started by cutting a board down to size and lining three edges with 3/4 inch cedar molding I think it was that I bought. Just waiting for the glue to dry so I can stain. Sadly I think it'll take about a week for the LED's to get to me.

As for a place to feed the fish, I've decided to borrow a hole-saw from work to make a feeding hole. The hole saw leaves a nice circular piece of wood that I can lay in the hole once I add some supports for it to rest on. That way there isn't a gaping hole.

I attached some pictures of what I've done so far. And also of the tank it is going on.
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:05 PM   #6
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Made some more progress. Got everything sanded down nice and smooth, then I spray-painted the bottom/inside with a textured silver spray paint I had leftover from another project after that I sprayed the inside with two coats of poly.

THe next day when all that dried I stained the outside with espresso stain followed by another two coats of poly.

Now it's waiting for the led's which I think I'll attach with silicone.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:11 AM   #7
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Looks great! I love the color of the stain! Keep us updated!
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:18 PM   #8
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Very nice work!
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:44 PM   #9
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Today I went to Home Depot and picked up a tube of 100% silicone and siliconed all the seems on the inside of the hood.

After that I applied silicone to the bottom of each led strip and laid them out as you can see in the pictures (I used some tape to hold them in place while the silicone dried), then to hold the wires on I used gobs of silicone.

All the strips are hooked up to a 2 amp, 12 volt power supply from an old network switch I don't use anymore. This is powering all 96 leds.

I am very happy with the result, it provides ample light to the aquarium at very low power use.

In the end it cost me
10 bucks in led's (waterproof, amazon.com)
8 bucks in poly (home depot)
4 bucks in silicone (home depot)
some leftover wood, stain, paint and a little bit of time. Not bad, I say!

I still have to clean up the wiring, I have some nice sleeving in mind that I can "borrow" from work. Also at some point I hope to make a maybe 2 inch hole for feeding, once I get a hold of a holesaw.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:18 PM   #10
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That's cool! Do you have a glass top over the tank, or are you going to use this right over the water?
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