Hi all, I've read a number of the DIY LED
lighting threads and can't seem to find the info I need; I'm also hoping to use this thread to document the set-up of the LED
lighting system I'd like to do.
*** THE OVERALL TASK ***
Basically I'm going to try and do some custom LED
lighting that allows for a sunrise/daylight/sunset option and the same but for a moon light. This project is as much to fulfil the electronics geek in me as it is to look sexy and make the aquarium as natural as possible for the fish. I did considering using different timer lengths each day to account for seasons and the movement of the sun from the southern to northen hemisphere, but that just seems to be taking the idea too far, so I will work on set time periods.
I'm working with a hood that has a 300mm (11.8") x 725mm (28.5") area I can populate with LEDs. My intention is to spread both white and blue LEDs across this area so at sun or moon rise the LEDs begin turning on from one side and progress across the tank until the daylight/moonlight setting is reached, at an appropriate time the LEDs will extinguish in a similar fashion to how they were turned on.
My thoughts at this point are that I will divide the LEDs into banks. For the sake of this post I will assume that there will be 8 banks of LEDs for each of the two colors of LED
. Each bank will be attached to a timer (which I will refer to as "Secondary Timer Day/Night 1-8") and each timer will be triggered by another timer (Primary Timer Day/Night). Using this idea, Primary Timer Day will be set to trigger the "on" cycle, then wait for 11 hours, trigger the "off" cycle" then wait for 13 hours and then repeat the cycle. The night cycle will be similar but will align with the moon. When the Secondary Timers receive the on/off trigger, Secondary Timer 1 will change state immediately, there will then be a short delay until Secondary Timer 2 changes state and so on until Secondary Timer 8 triggers, at this point all the LEDs will have changed from on to off or off to on.
As I progress through this build I'll document more information about the timers, wiring, cooling etc.
*** MY QUESTION ABOUT LEDS ***
At this point I am trying to determine the LEDs I should use for this system. My tank has a water depth of 320mm (12.6") and the LEDs will be mounted 230mm (9") above the water, the tank will contain Neon Tetras and plants that suit medium light conditions. I'm thinking the LEDs should have a fairly narrow beam so I can use more of them and have greater control over the rise/set functions. Can anyone recommend specs for the LEDs for this set-up?