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Old 10-17-2012, 03:50 PM
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Default LED strip lighting for vivarium

Hello all, I was wondering if anyone has had any experience or luck with using these for vivarium lighting. i have read some stuff online about using them for that purpose. Some of the information was good but there were some things that i am still curious about. Should i have the actual lights within the vivarium glued to the glass top? Should i silicone around the edges to make sure the tape on the back is not affected by the humidity? The tank is 3 feet long, 2 feet tall and 1 foot deep. I'm going to make it a high humidity viv for some black eared mantellas. Thanks in advance!
-Jesse
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

Hi Jesse;

Although LEDs give out a lot less heat than other light sources, they still put out a fair amount of heat; I suspect you'll find that putting them in the viv itself is going to add a lot heat that you don't want.

I mounted four 18" SMD 5050 strips on a piece of plastic and ran it over one of my vivs, and the temp on the back of the plastic ran around 117F, in a room with a ceiling fan and an ambient temp of 74F. Mounted outside the viv (an 18" Exo cube with a clear glass top), it would raise the temps in the viv by 1F-2F with the lights on; if it had been mounted inside, I'm sure it would have gotten much hotter.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

hmm, i guess thats something to consider. I was under the impression that LED's didn't put out very much heat at all but i guess in the close confines of what is essentially a glassbox the heat might build up. Would you suggest then putting them on something that would go above the top of the viv? I'm just trying to avoid having something on top of the tank adding to the height of the whole thing.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:58 PM
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LEDs don't put out as much heat overall as other lights due to having much less surface area however; they get a bit warm and put out direct heat (as mentioned above).
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

Quote:
Originally Posted by hornemadness View Post
Would you suggest then putting them on something that would go above the top of the viv? I'm just trying to avoid having something on top of the tank adding to the height of the whole thing.

Putting them on top works okay. You don't need much in the way of height -- just something rigid to mount them on (anything flexible will tend to bend as they heat and cool with on and off cycles) -- a piece of glass would work; something like a strip of aluminum might be better, as it will tend to conduct heat away from the strips.

I'd recommend leaving at least a half-inch of airspace between the strips and the top of the viv, to allow air to circulate and cool rather than transferring into the viv (or cooking the LEDs); you'll also want to insure that there's a bit of air flow around the fixture for the same reasons.
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:48 AM
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I'm not sure if you're referring to these LEDs, but here is how mine are mounted:
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:30 AM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

i am actually referring to the kind that come is rolls, i think some people call it "light tape". The stuff is flexible and comes with some double stick tape on the back of it that allows you to stick it to things. They sell it for cars but that particular kind is usually always some weird colors.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:38 AM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

That kind of LED is so dim I dont think it would be worth looking at. I am using 40 watts of high power LED above my 29 gallon tank, it would take a lot of led tape to make that kind of light.
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:24 AM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

Quote:
Originally Posted by mordalphus View Post
That kind of LED is so dim I dont think it would be worth looking at. I am using 40 watts of high power LED above my 29 gallon tank, it would take a lot of led tape to make that kind of light.
It's available in a variety of output densities. Plus, as you point out, you can always use a lot of it. :-)

Here's a 40 breeder I use for growing out viv plants; it's lit with 8 strips of SMD 5050 LEDS (5 cool white, 3 warm white) -



There are more efficient options, but not many that lend themselves as nicely to low profile lighting. I've got plants growing under flexible LED strips, plus I also have some of the screw in LED units like yours, and some "reef-style" DIY units.

It's all good, and it can all be made to work, depending on what your application is.
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Old 10-18-2012, 03:10 PM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

I really like my LEDs. I would not ever put them into the enclosure. The casing that holds the LEDs can get pretty warm. However, it is not nearly as hot as the T5s. My plants are doing well and I am very pleased with the lower heat being put out.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

Quote:
Originally Posted by mordalphus View Post
That kind of LED is so dim I dont think it would be worth looking at. I am using 40 watts of high power LED above my 29 gallon tank, it would take a lot of led tape to make that kind of light.
I always tell people the same thing.
LOL.
Then they buy it anyway.
Then they throw it out after a few weeks.

Cheers!
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:16 PM
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I've found the led strips to be quite useful. The batch that I have is quite bright and very versatile. It's not a replacement for a good led bulb but the strips work well on some of my tanks.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnakePaparazzi View Post
I'm not sure if you're referring to these LEDs, but here is how mine are mounted:
if any one is interested. i have ones 2 x as long under production.oh mods... please don't spank me for self promoting.

Cheers. Todd
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Old 10-28-2012, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnakePaparazzi View Post
I'm not sure if you're referring to these LEDs, but here is how mine are mounted:
Are those 20 verts? I was looking at those lights for mine and was wondering how effective they are at lighting a 20 vert. Would I need 2?
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:04 PM
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Yup, those are over 20 verts. I also use them on all of my other tanks. They seem perfect for my 18 and 24 inch tall ExoTerras. I use 2 of the 13w Jungle Dawn LEDs for my 36 wide Exos.

Edit: I want to add that I use 1 LED for each 20.
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Last edited by SnakePaparazzi; 10-28-2012 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

Here are some comparison pics of the Jungle Dawn 13 watt LED's I installed.
Here we have four 25 gallon, slope front vivs, side by side. The first pic shows them under their old lighting, which was a 2 tube, 4 foot, T8 shop fixture. Tubes are 32 watts each, for a total of 64 watts.

Second shot has four 13 watt Light Your Reptiles Jungle Dawn LEDs installed, one over each viv. That is a total of 52 watts. They brought my overall frog room temps down appreciably, are brighter overall, and use less electricity.

Other shots show the LED strip build.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumilo View Post
Here are some comparison pics of the Jungle Dawn 13 watt LED's I installed.
Here we have four 25 gallon, slope front vivs, side by side. The first pic shows them under their old lighting, which was a 2 tube, 4 foot, T8 shop fixture. Tubes are 32 watts each, for a total of 64 watts.

Second shot has four 13 watt Light Your Reptiles Jungle Dawn LEDs installed, one over each viv. That is a total of 52 watts. They brought my overall frog room temps down appreciably, are brighter overall, and use less electricity.

Other shots show the LED strip build.
I apologize for the off subject question. Are the spots on the glass algae? If so does that become a problem over time?
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

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Originally Posted by papajuggalo View Post
I apologize for the off subject question. Are the spots on the glass algae? If so does that become a problem over time?
Yes, algae, frog poop, and general assorted slimes. Those side walls have deliberately NOT been cleaned in two years now. It serves as a visual barrier to the frogs next door. I don't clean the side walls on any of my breeder vivs. I save that for my displays.

It has nothing to do with LEDs. It will grow/form over any viv over time if you let it. Sometimes it wipes off quite easily. If it's been there a really long time, it may take a razer blade to scrape off dried spots.
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Old 10-28-2012, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

Thanks pumilo. I was a little worried about it overrunning the tank. I really like your idea for making the light strips. About how much was the cost for materials?
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Old 10-29-2012, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

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Originally Posted by papajuggalo View Post
Thanks pumilo. I was a little worried about it overrunning the tank. I really like your idea for making the light strips. About how much was the cost for materials?
The "housing" is just plastic rain gutter. I think it's around $10 for a 12 foot strip. It cuts easily into whatever length you need. A few bucks for nuts and bolts.
You'll need to go to Todd at Light Your Reptiles for pricing. He supplied the 13 watt Jungle Dawn LEDs and the hood-less horizontal sockets.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:35 AM
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I know this thread is about led strip lighting but has anyone tried led spot bulbs from Lowes or home depot? I picked up an 18w rated at 5000k and it is brighter and whiter than my 26w cfl. The bulbs are expensive compared to cfl's too at $39 a pop, but considering the savings on energy and bulb life I feel it's worth it. Any thoughts?

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Old 10-30-2012, 05:19 AM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

Are you talking about the type made for can light and junction box installation? I install them all the time for house hold use ( im a handyman) Just fyi my local lowes had them for 25 since this weekend.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moraki View Post
Are you talking about the type made for can light and junction box installation? I install them all the time for house hold use ( im a handyman) Just fyi my local lowes had them for 25 since this weekend.
They screw in a normal socket like the average lightbulb so I just put them in a dome fixture. I plan on getting another one and running it in a double fixture.

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Old 11-01-2012, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnakePaparazzi View Post
I'm not sure if you're referring to these LEDs, but here is how mine are mounted:
Those are neat lights, do they need a specific type of fixture or would a standard aquarium fixture work with those?
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

Nevermind I answered my own question after checking out the product description
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Old 08-08-2015, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

I bought these LED light strips recently. I think they are typically used for Christmas lighting or something. They are inexpensive, look great and very, very easy to install. You can also choose the color and change the use of a remote control. I like settings brown-green for vivarium it seems more "exotic".

Last edited by lucifer; 08-08-2015 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 04-20-2016, 01:42 AM
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Default Re: LED strip lighting for vivarium

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Originally Posted by lucifer View Post
I bought these LED light strips recently. I think they are typically used for Christmas lighting or something. They are inexpensive, look great and very, very easy to install. You can also choose the color and change the use of a remote control. I like settings brown-green for vivarium it seems more "exotic".
Do you have any pics of how this looks? I would like to try for accent lighting.
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