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Old 04-03-2004, 06:24 PM   #11
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Yes, it will completely remove this problem, of heat disipaction. resistors don't melt like ice cream, but they will burn up the carbon inside of them, and throw off their resistance value.
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Old 04-03-2004, 09:09 PM   #12
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Well, I let them run for about 2 hours and everything seemed ok, except that the resister stayed pretty hot.

I've decided I'd like to get different LEDs, though. The 5 I've got have a 60-degree dispersion and even when it's pitch black in the room, they barely give off any noticable light in my 10-gallon tank. From the pictures I've seen on these forums, most folks' moonlighting is substantially brighter, and they use the super blue LEDs that are more focused (I think 15-degrees).

So, now I need to find somewhere that sells them (I think Fry's might), and then do some more calculations to see what resisters I need. I think I'll go with the 1 resister per LED setup this time.
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Old 04-03-2004, 09:25 PM   #13
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lol i am glad i finally won you over. the ones i have used have a 30degree angle, and are quite nice, and generate a good amount of lite in the tank. if you have a paypal account/credit card i suggest you get the next set of led's from www.lsdiodes.com they are Probably cheaper than frys (in ohio we have no such store, but according to the forums on fatwallet they rock) and they have 30degree lighting angles, and are 45cents a peice, they do sell resistors (in limited choices though) so you could get everything you need from one place, if that interests you.
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Old 04-03-2004, 09:50 PM   #14
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you can get some good one's at lebos.com 4000 mcd. bright enought to make a difference and only 95 cents.
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Old 04-03-2004, 10:00 PM   #15
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the ones from lsdiodes, are 4000mcd too, and at 45cents a piece beat lebos.com
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Old 04-03-2004, 10:52 PM   #16
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Well, I may just take a set off Isdiodes...those seem to be what I'm looking for....

I noticed the LEDs have Min, Typ, and Max specifications....which should I base my resister choice on? If I use the max values, my math says I should get 130 ohm 1/4 watt resistors. Does it hurt to use a higher wattage resistor than is needed?

And on another note....just how bright SHOULD my moonlights be?? This is just a little 10-gallon tank, so with focused LEDs I'm concerned about getting the light spread out enough. That's why I started with five 60-degree LEDs. With these brighter, more focued LEDs, I was thinking of turning the LEDs upside down and aiming them into my reflecters, to help spread the light out better.
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Old 04-03-2004, 11:26 PM   #17
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ok first things first..

it's completely fine to use a higher wattage resistor, the higher the wattage, means they can take more of a beating. you should almost never base resistor choices on max anything (voltage, amps, etc) you should use the middle of the road to calculate stuff. so if max is 30, and min is 20, use 25. that way if something goes wrong you have a safe zone of operation.

the brightness is really user specific, the best way to do this.. is get the brightest leds you can, then use another method of toning them down to your liking. there is a few ways to do that. you could build the circuit as is, then slightly sand the leds, to get a frosted effect. however some people say that's a bad idea because you have cause deep scratches, that reflect the light back into the led and severely limit it's lighting ability. another way to diffuse the light, is coat the led in aquarium sealant. that will diffuse the lite and alot of people prefer doing that, opposed to other methods. next you could take a trip up to hd and get some lighting diffusion planes. it's basically a plastic sheet that diffuses light, you see them alot in commerical buildings that use florescent lighting, alot of people also prefer that method, since it really dissipates the light evenly through the tank and doesn't require you to physcially change the led.

my personal opinion though is use to the plastic lighting planes from hd, i think they sold for 4-5bucks and you get a huge pain, 2' x 4'. you cut them to fit your application and they do the best job of diffusing the light.
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Old 04-03-2004, 11:33 PM   #18
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Hmm...the plastic lighting planes sound interesting....

You think just cutting a very small piece (say, 1" square) and mounting it in front of each LED would do the trick?
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Old 04-03-2004, 11:36 PM   #19
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that's exactly what you need to do. just make sure you either use a sharp utility knife, or a sharp pair of scissors.
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Old 04-03-2004, 11:43 PM   #20
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Almost starting to sound like I need to build an entire "sub-fixture" within one of my fixtures. Maybe get a 1/2" diameter piece of PVC cut in half with the LEDs mounted in it and the reflector covering the open side. That'd be cool.

Too bad it's such a pain to find LEDs for sale locally....and they're always like $1.50 each. :|
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