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Thread: LED lighting

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Lanett Alabama
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    LED lighting

    I want to convert my fish room lighting to LED strips with a timer similar to our speaker last Saturday. As low tech as possible. Not worried about plants. What do I buy and where? Some thoughts please.
    Ron VanZant

  2. #2
    Having not been to last meeting, there are several ways to convert over to LED lights. 1st way is by using pre-made LED light strips purchased from EBay. 2nd which is more low tech, is to use outdoor LED light strips. You can choose from 6500K light, color lights (RGB), 5000k lights and so on. Some of these strips even come with Wifi communications or Bluetooth. I prefer the Wifi since it can act as a time. I purchased my LED lights for under my kitchen cabinets this way and found them on Amazon for the best price at the time. Below link is an example of the 6500k light. On amazon, you can find "package" sets that will include the ballast, wifi connection point and everything else you need for typically 25ft sections. This lights might have to be doubled up to get effective lighting. I also needed to get a better adhesive tape to make it stick effectively to my cabinets. Feel free to ask any questions.


    https://www.ledsupply.com/led-strips...T1YaAt668P8HAQ

  3. #3
    Member
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    Aug 2009
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    Lanett Alabama
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    Keep in mind, I am very low tech. I'm not even sure about the wifi part. What I have in mind is light strips that I can cut to fit above each tank, attached to the the wooden rack above. I understand that each strip would then need a lead that would run back to a power supply. The power supply would be controlled to turn on and off by a timer. I bought a kit to try this a while back and it came with a remote. I don't want a remote. It ended up by failing after a couple of months. I might need for this to serve 20-30 aquariums.
    Ron VanZant

  4. #4
    Ron,

    I'm the one that did the presentation that included the led lighting. I would guess the route you go will be dictated by how adventurous you are. You can just get the off the shelf under cabinet lighting that can plug together and that will work fine, though that might cost a bit more in the long run (depending on how many you need. Something like https://www.amazon.com/EShine-Dimmab...ctronics%2C158 or https://www.amazon.com/Lighting-Adap...s%2C158&sr=1-4. Or you can go the full on diy route like I did and once you get the initial work done, adding more lights is super cheap.

    How comfortable are you with doing a little bit of soldering? If you are good with that and want to be a bit adventurous, the lights I use are actually pretty strait forward.

    The leds I use are something along this line: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1. They are somewhere around the 6000k - 6500k range so they do ok with low and a bit of medium light plants. They come in 20" lengths and if you need smaller, you can cut them at particular marked places. The do come with some wires attached to power them, but I generally replace them with a larger gauge (hence the little bit of soldering). I think you can find some clip on power connectors for them vs soldering them, but I haven't really looked into it. The led strips that Tangfan showed are also fine as well. I tend to prefer the ridged one over the flexible ones, but that's just a matter of preference.

    The dimmers I use for this setup are along this line: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1. You basically just wire it between the power supply and the leds you want dimmed.

    The power supply I use is something like this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1. It's a 12v supply and due it's it's amperage, it can run alot of the led strips. There are multiple positive and negative outputs on it so I tend to try to balance groups of the led strips across them to decrease the amount of power going down a single pair of wires. This particular power supply has 3+ and 3- so I would make three different groups of multiple led strips.

    The led strips themselves don't really produce hardly any heat so you don't really need to have any cooling or a heatsink for them, but I do attached them to aluminum channels like this: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Alexandr...6C03/205576701. This allows me to drill holds in the channel to use to mount the led strips anywhere I want.

    I connect everything with standard off the shelf bell wire: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Southwir...0045/202316488. When you wire it up, you want to run all of the led strips in parallel. That will keep the voltage at 12v. Basically, each time you add another led strip to a run, you connect the positives together and the negatives together. If you connect them in series, positive to negative, you end up decreasing the voltage.

    So the idea is, you put the power supply somewhere out of the way and plug it into a timer of some kind (I use something like this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1, but any kind of timer will work fine). Then, you run a pair of wires out to your rack of tanks or wherever you need led strips. Connect up all of the led strips you want to control as a group to a led dimmer. Then connect that dimmer to the pair of wires from the power supply.

    Let me know if you have any comments or questions and I'll be happy to help.

    Thanks,
    Mitchell Broome

    Quote Originally Posted by ronv View Post
    Keep in mind, I am very low tech. I'm not even sure about the wifi part. What I have in mind is light strips that I can cut to fit above each tank, attached to the the wooden rack above. I understand that each strip would then need a lead that would run back to a power supply. The power supply would be controlled to turn on and off by a timer. I bought a kit to try this a while back and it came with a remote. I don't want a remote. It ended up by failing after a couple of months. I might need for this to serve 20-30 aquariums.

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