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Old 07-31-2012, 10:21 PM   #1
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This is the start of a thread to build a specific light for a frag tank I am adding to my system. For those of you that follow my turf algae scrubbing thread, you know this reef system is 20 years old and has about 400 gallons running. It is all led powered for the past 4 years.

I am adding a 6' long, 18" width, 18" depth tank with egg crate bottom for growing SPS, zoas and mushrooms. The DIY light will be different in two ways. One, it will move the length of the tank every 8 hours on a rail system built for hydro farmers. Two, the LED will be 200 watts and use only two multi segmented LED's seen below.

The first shot shows the two LEDs, the one mounted to the heat sink is a 100 watt 20k cool white led. It will be on a fixed output 100 watt driver. The other LED is a actinic (royal blue) 100 watt part that will be mounted on a matching heat sink. One of the 90 degree reflectors and lens is also shown. The driver shown is for the white led, it will be fixed, the driver for the blue led has it's own PCM driver so it can be dimmed.

The philosophy is that the design must be compact (it will be on the move) and I have wanted to use these new parts for months. The trick is keeping them cool. These parts dissipate about as much heat as a modern micro processor, so I am using those computer parts as active heat sinks. Keeps the whole package really small. The reason I am moving it slowly the length of the tank is a system I saw when visiting family in Phoenix. Some of you will know this system with the moving light rail and have seen the shapes the SPS have taken. I am going for a smaller version of that system with my own twists.

The surface of the copper heat transfer plate is tapped for small screws and the led is held by those and thermal paste applied to transfer the heat from the part to the sink.
Both heat sinks with lenses will be placed into a small metal box. The drivers will be mounted separately on the wall and a power cable will supply the juice to the moving light. I will post more pictures as we go. Everything seen was bought cheaply on EBay.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:36 AM   #2
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Wow, that looks awesome! Really excited to see how this turns out.
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Old 08-06-2012, 06:44 PM   #3
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Luckily I have access to a milling machine. So here are the pictures as I drill and tap the copper heat transfer plate to accept 4-40 screws that will hold the LED chips. The second picture is after thermal paste has been added and the LEDs attached. The next step is build a box to hold this, the reflectors and the lenses. The heat sinks are powered by their own 12VDC power supply.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:29 PM   #4
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Just ordered a anodized aluminum case that is 8"x8"x4" that will be perfect to hold the two LEDs, heat sinks, two 100 watt drivers and the 12 v transformer to run the heat sink fans. I will mill out the holes for the lenses next time I shoot photos. I lit the two chips a few minutes ago and they are blindingly powerful. I decided I wanted everything in one compact unit, so everything will be in one box that I will hang on the 6' motorized rail over the tank.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:31 PM   #5
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So far:

$40 for anodized black aluminum case
$100 for (2) 100 watt multisegment LEDs (blue and white)
$100 for (2) 100 watt PCM drivers
$40 for (2) active fan powered computer heat sinks
Free, 12 VDC transformer (had one in my parts box)
$10 lenses and reflectors
$10 misc. Parts, wire, etc.

$300 so far for a dim-able 200 watt LED

In volume it could be far less, but for a one off, not bad. Could get the drivers for less but went for some nicer waterproof ones.
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Old 09-21-2012, 08:48 PM   #6
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Okay...I just finished the project. Don't have the moving rail in yet, but I am testing the light over a frag tank. With the light 24" above the surface, I had PAR 650, here, about 6" down it is 350 and at the bottom it is 200. That is about right for my setup now, and the light is way up in the air. One thing I don't like is that the blue emitter and white emitter are only inches apart, but one side of the tank is bluer than the other side. Need to work on that.

I went overboard on the machine work on the case, so my budget got smashed. This light cost me almost $500, so nice project, but I didn't save any money.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:47 PM   #7
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48 hours since light was introduced. Capricornus grew 2mm in this short time. Looks like everyone in the frag system is tolerating it fine so far. Will wait a few weeks, maybe a month them lower it about 10" where that will kick PAR up to 400 on the shelves I stock LPS on and a PAR of about 600 at the top for SPS.

One side effect of these multi emitter LED chips in this wattage is it is like looking at a welding torch. Another side effect is getting the colors to mix well when you have just one white lens and one blue one.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:58 AM   #8
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The pics of your tank are beautiful. I am jealous. Lol. I am new to the sport and hope to have a tank as nice as yours some day.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:07 AM   #9
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Thank you! Most folks that come by and see it in person don't realize how long it took to get to this point.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:12 AM   #10
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Hey good morning. I was hoping you could help me with my lighting schedule. I have 55 gallon fowlr. I have 80 lbs of Caribbean seas base rock with a 4 or 5 inch live sand bed. My tank is 2 weeks old cycling I hope with 6 blue chromis who are doing excellent. I have a Tom rapids wet dry with a built in protein skimmer. I want to grow coraline on my rock. What should my light schedule be. 2 12000k sea world t5 white bulbs. And 2 t5 actinic blue bulbs. As well as 6 blue led moon lights. Please advise. Thanks
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