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Old 08-10-2014, 03:22 PM   #1
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DIY LED lights and Canopy

I spent a few weeks building a custom LED light fixture and a new canopy for my legacy 90-gallon tank. This is the driver box I made to make the lights work.
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Old 08-10-2014, 03:25 PM   #2
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This is the initial layout. I made 2 of these.
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Old 08-10-2014, 03:29 PM   #3
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I made the canopy with some help of a friend that is a professional finish carpenter.
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Old 08-10-2014, 03:32 PM   #4
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The cabinetry being built. All joints have been glued, nailed and screwed together.
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Old 08-10-2014, 03:34 PM   #5
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The wood surfaced primed and prepped for painting.
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Old 08-10-2014, 03:37 PM   #6
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Painting in progress
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Old 08-10-2014, 03:40 PM   #7
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Installing the lights
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Old 08-10-2014, 03:42 PM   #8
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Finishing the wiring. It worked first try!
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Old 08-10-2014, 03:45 PM   #9
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Canopy installed and lights programmed.
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Old 08-10-2014, 03:46 PM   #10
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Posted the lights with cloud and lightning effects.

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Old 08-16-2014, 12:28 AM   #11
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This is an awesome thread.!


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Old 08-16-2014, 09:25 AM   #12
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Excellent works there!! Could have picked a manlier build shot though how much does something like that run? Excluding lumber..

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Old 08-16-2014, 10:14 AM   #13
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Excellent works there!! Could have picked a manlier build shot though how much does something like that run? Excluding lumber..

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Manlier? Which shot? I'm guessing you mean the one with the iron. Hmmm...it's not like he is sporting a feather boa or fashionable scarf.
I think this build thread is awesome with the pics alone. Would love to have that much garage space to build things. Driver box looks like a professional setup. I like LEDs. So much lighter, cooler, and smaller than fluorescents.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:23 AM   #14
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Manlier? Which shot? I'm guessing you mean the one with the iron. Hmmm...it's not like he is sporting a feather boa or fashionable scarf.
I think this build thread is awesome with the pics alone. Would love to have that much garage space to build things. Driver box looks like a professional setup. I like LEDs. So much lighter, cooler, and smaller than fluorescents.
Yah, i was just Joshing.. takes a real man to edge band anyways!

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Old 08-16-2014, 09:10 PM   #15
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Yeah, I posted the pic on my facebook page with a comment for the ladies not to get excited. I was putting on the edge tape. Total cost for everything including the LED's heat sinks, power supplies, bits, pieces, etc. was a little over $500. The lumber was just over $100.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:15 PM   #16
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I think this build thread is awesome with the pics alone. Would love to have that much garage space to build things. Driver box looks like a professional setup. I like LEDs. So much lighter, cooler, and smaller than fluorescents.
Thanks. I have worked in electronics for over 30 years. I have had a bit of practice building wiring harnesses so that part was easy for me. The woodworking was the hard part. A good friend of mine let me help (or maybe it was hinder) the build process in his shop. So far the LED's have been great and the wife is going to love the lower power bill since this replaced a fixture with 2 250w metal halides and 4 54w fluorescents.
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:41 AM   #17
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Thanks. I have worked in electronics for over 30 years. I have had a bit of practice building wiring harnesses so that part was easy for me. The woodworking was the hard part. A good friend of mine let me help (or maybe it was hinder) the build process in his shop. So far the LED's have been great and the wife is going to love the lower power bill since this replaced a fixture with 2 250w metal halides and 4 54w fluorescents.
Holy power bill batman!!! I saw an amazing picture of a riparian with an 8 slot 48 " fluorescent rig hanging above it.. $200/mnth?? I think you should notice a major operating cost difference with the switch you've made! As for the aesthetics? How do you like leds over the tubes? Actnic look about the same? The 4 or so blue moonlights in my finnex led are pretty powerful and throw a deep, almost black light, spectrum. I'd imagine it to be ideal for sw setups..

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Old 08-17-2014, 10:36 AM   #18
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... the lower power bill since this replaced a fixture with 2 250w metal halides and 4 54w fluorescents.

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Old 08-17-2014, 05:36 PM   #19
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The LED's light as well as the actinics and the metal halides as well. Better even since you can tune the different spectrums to fit your needs. I didn't put in moonlights but I have a spare channel that I could if I change my mind. I would just need to run new wires for the LED's and move one channels wires and double up 2 sets. The lights I installed put out a good spectrum, no need to change bulbs that cost $85 each (MH) or $13 each (T5's). It's going to be a cost savings all around. I expect to save more the first year than I spent on the lights and canopy.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:32 PM   #20
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I ran into my first problem with the canopy. I can't get my scraper down inside the tank to scrape the coraline forming on the glass. Hmm... gotta think about this one. Any ideas?

I need something long-handled because my tank is 33 inches deep. However, I only have about 14 inches of clearance between the top of the water and the light guard. I can get the bottom stuff but my rocks are in the way to get the middle and sides. I may have to go with multiple scrapers although I would consider something that telescopes and locks in place so I can work with it.
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