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Old 06-16-2011, 01:55 AM   #1
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DIY LED Lighting in a custom built hood

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?
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:15 PM   #2
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I too am trying to do something very similar. I am using standard GU10 sockets with matching bulbs as LEDs. I am wondering how what device I could use to have the same effect you are speaking of. I found a device that may work for you but being that I am in the US my voltage is different so I am still in search of something that will work for my application. I just found it this weekend so have to wait to call around and get more info once the week starts.

The product you should look into is a CEBEK R-11.
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Old 07-04-2011, 06:58 AM   #3
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Thanks for the info Terence.

I'm looking at using some relays and hooking them up to the computer, similar to what people do for those Xmas light setups
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Old 07-04-2011, 12:01 PM   #4
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What do you mean by relays? I am totally new to this and do not have much of an electronics background. Maybe what you are doing will work in my application.
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