Dendroboard banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
D. tinctorius azureus
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, I wanted to share my lighting that I use on my tanks for inspiration for others that would like to do the same thing. I'm a techy person and like to implement tech into my aquariums, vivariums, etc... Anyway, one big part of mimicking a biome is the lighting such as the weather, moon cycles, and amount of light at a certain part of the year/season. This one can do all of those things using a bluefish controller. One thing to note is that all the fancy stuff this light will do is not necessary for a thriving environment by any means. All questions and comments are more than welcome!! So with that little bit, heres the build!

The light fixture is 12" x 10" x 3/4" and uses a 1/4 plate of aluminum as the backbone of the fixture.
Technical Specifications:
  • 64 individual 3w-5w LED chips.
  • 2pc 370nm, 2pc 400nm, 3pc 445nm, 6pc 470nm, 2pc 500nm, 4pc 525nm, 2pc 580nm, 4pc 590nm, 2pc 650nm, 4pc 660nm, 1pc 850nm, 8pc 3K white, 2pc 4K white, 2 pc 4.5K white, 20pc 6K white.
  • Total max watts: ~250.
  • 6 Channels: UV, Blue, Green, Red, Warm white, Daylight white
20201216_012021.jpg

Each of the 6 channels can be controlled individually to get the perfect overall spectrum that someone is looking for along with giving plants the color spectrum they need to grow.
CollageMaker_20210121_160356380.jpg
20210121_160844.jpg

The lens panel is made from 1/5" black acrylic and the lenses can be interchanged to suit various width requirements of tanks. For instance I have 90° lenses for a 20" x 20" viv but I can change them out for 120° lenses to cover a much larger sized viv.
20201215_210819.jpg

20201215_222013.jpg

Heres some pictures of the electrical innards for anyone whose interested.
20201212_151214.jpg
20201215_005213.jpg

Features of the controller:
  • Weather simulation: the controller can mimic the weather of any location in the world that has a publicly accessible weather station and will show real time weather. I have mine set to mimic the cloud forests of Equador. The various weather patterns that can be mimicked are full sun, partly cloudy, fully cloudy, and light night storms (I dont use as I haven't seen any evidence that storms dont negatively impact frogs).
  • Realtime sunrise and sunset times based on the selected location.
  • Realtime lunar cycles that utilize the blue and white spectrums of the light to produce different levels of light during the night.
  • The channels can also be rigged to control fan speeds. This could be used to control the humidity level day by day.
  • Dynamic sunset/sunrise.
  • Connected through wifi and can be monitored on a phone/tablet from anywhere with internet access.
  • Ability to connect a web cam so you can watch your tank inhabitants from anywhere!
  • Many others.
20210121_134925.jpg

And again, if anyone has any questions or comments, feel free post or pm me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
Very nice looking build! I'm just now in the process of building my own (far less complicated) led fixture. Mind if I get a bit of a break down of what's going on in the electronics box? I see the Meanwell LDD drivers, which I'm going to be using. I assume the board in the lower right is the controller? Everything else, I'm lost, haha.
Thanks!
 

·
Registered
D. tinctorius azureus
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Very nice looking build! I'm just now in the process of building my own (far less complicated) led fixture. Mind if I get a bit of a break down of what's going on in the electronics box? I see the Meanwell LDD drivers, which I'm going to be using. I assume the board in the lower right is the controller? Everything else, I'm lost, haha.
Thanks!
Sure thing! 24V power is connected through the bottom and is then routed to a breakout board which has the green light on it. Power is then connected to 7 different buck voltage converters to change the 24v into different voltages. Each channel runs off of a different voltage, not just 24v so they need to be converted using the voltage converts. 6 go to 6 different channels and one goes to the wifi controller card on the bottom right corner. The wires coming off of the controller are the 6 separate pwm signals that connect to the meanwell pwm input pins.
Let me know if you want anymore info and I'd be glad to help, I could probably draw up a schematic if needed as well.
 

·
Registered
D. tinctorius azureus
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
That looks awesome! How much does something like that cost to make?
Thank you! The cost was about ~$170 or so, the controller by itself was $100 so that makes it a little expensive, but the cool thing about it is that if I ever get the chance to have a very large viv or more tanks being lit by the same type of light fixture, the controller will control as many light fixtures as I want so each additional light fixture will only be around $70 or so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Very good work!

Do you have PAR readings by any chance? I'm just curious about the distance you have it from the top of the vivarium, even with 90-degree lenses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,622 Posts
Since this is a build thread I will throw in my opinion on something. I dont build any but I did do some custom orders from buildmyled years ago. I can now firmly say I made one major mistake I wish I would have fixed. Put RGB LEDs in clusters near each other. For some reason we make the sort of mistake of thinking well we should spread them out, to make them more even right? But what that does is create more of a disco effect where you can see color hot spots.
Here is an example to make it clear. W=White, R= red G=Green, B=Blue Y=Warm white
The first is how most people normally space out diodes.

WWRWWYWWGWWYWWBWWYWWRWWYWWGWWYWWBWWYWWRWWYWWGWWYWWBWW

This is how it would have been better.
WWWWYWWRGBWWYWWWWYWWWWYWWRGBWWYWWWWYWWWWYWWRGBWWYWWWW

The reason is that the 3 RGB diodes next to each other will more quickly mix to look roughly white and look more even on the vivarium. Whereas the former style will have a disco effect sometimes pretty deep into the vivarium. And obviously if you get something more complex like this LED you have to think about how those colors would best be placed. The idea is simple through group things together in a way that would avoid color hot spots and make groups that are as close to white when averaged out as possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
This was also my experience in the last LED fixture I made. RGB LED spacing leads to multi-colored shadows, which can be a bit awkward or unpleasant on the eye.

This is also why in my most recent build, I used a combination of 6000K and 4000K white LEDs, instead of RGB LEDs, but I haven't measured their spectrum yet, so I'm not sure I'm getting good coverage in the bands that plants care about, especially towards 400nm (blue/violet).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
180 Posts
Thank you! The cost was about ~$170 or so, the controller by itself was $100 so that makes it a little expensive, but the cool thing about it is that if I ever get the chance to have a very large viv or more tanks being lit by the same type of light fixture, the controller will control as many light fixtures as I want so each additional light fixture will only be around $70 or so.
That's awesome! Not too bad a price point. And you know the quality of the build, unlike some things you buy online. Prob makes repairs easier too.
 

·
Registered
D. tinctorius azureus
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Very good work!

Do you have PAR readings by any chance? I'm just curious about the distance you have it from the top of the vivarium, even with 90-degree lenses.
Thanks, as far as par readings go, I only tested the par at the lights max output since the par output is changing quite often due to "weather conditions" but the par I did measure with the max setting at a distance of 24" from the light fixture, using an apogee par meter I got 652 par in the center, and about 430 par around the edges.
 

·
Registered
D. tinctorius azureus
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
That's awesome! Not too bad a price point. And you know the quality of the build, unlike some things you buy online. Prob makes repairs easier too.
Yep! Repairs are easy and I know where to get all of the parts and usually keep two of everything so the light will last me a good long while.
 

·
Registered
D. tinctorius azureus
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Since this is a build thread I will throw in my opinion on something. I dont build any but I did do some custom orders from buildmyled years ago. I can now firmly say I made one major mistake I wish I would have fixed. Put RGB LEDs in clusters near each other. For some reason we make the sort of mistake of thinking well we should spread them out, to make them more even right? But what that does is create more of a disco effect where you can see color hot spots.
Here is an example to make it clear. W=White, R= red G=Green, B=Blue Y=Warm white
The first is how most people normally space out diodes.

WWRWWYWWGWWYWWBWWYWWRWWYWWGWWYWWBWWYWWRWWYWWGWWYWWBWW

This is how it would have been better.
WWWWYWWRGBWWYWWWWYWWWWYWWRGBWWYWWWWYWWWWYWWRGBWWYWWWW

The reason is that the 3 RGB diodes next to each other will more quickly mix to look roughly white and look more even on the vivarium. Whereas the former style will have a disco effect sometimes pretty deep into the vivarium. And obviously if you get something more complex like this LED you have to think about how those colors would best be placed. The idea is simple through group things together in a way that would avoid color hot spots and make groups that are as close to white when averaged out as possible.
This is definitely true for fixtures that are close to the enclosure since the light paths have not had the distance to overlap each other, they will create hot spots of a specific spectrum. I knew I was going to have the fixture at least 12" from the enclosure so by using roughly a 12" x 12" area for light generation and that in combination with 90° lenses ment that all the individual light "beams" would be mixed and intersecting at a 12" distance from the fixture making a evenish distribution of each spectrum of light.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Just stunning. Did that viv grow-out with that light fixture, or has it been added later?

You're convincing me to to re-build my light fixtures using this approach, with lenses. Do you have part numbers/links to the lenses and LEDs you used?
 

·
Registered
D. tinctorius azureus
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Just stunning. Did that viv grow-out with that light fixture, or has it been added later?

You're convincing me to to re-build my light fixtures using this approach, with lenses. Do you have part numbers/links to the lenses and LEDs you used?
When I first built and planted the enclosure it had a basic led flood light over top of it which I wasnt liking the overall look and didnt seem to grow the plants very well. The tank is 3 about 3 months old and has had the new light fixture on it for almost 2 months now.

Heres the links to the lenses: 100pcs 90degrees led Lens for 1W 3W 5W Hight Power LED with 20mm black holder | eBay

As for the LED chips, most of them were bought from this ebay seller: deal-top on eBay

The rest were all bought from different sellers on ebay, I just search for the specific spectrum that I wanted and the wattage and found them all that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
This is spectacular - amazing work. I’m in the planning stages for 4 vivs and would love to DIY the lighting both for learning and for ease of replacement. Are there any resources you recommend for learning some of the basics behind this?
 

·
Registered
D. tinctorius azureus
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
This is spectacular - amazing work. I’m in the planning stages for 4 vivs and would love to DIY the lighting both for learning and for ease of replacement. Are there any resources you recommend for learning some of the basics behind this?
Thank you! As far as learning resources go, I personally taught myself electronics when I was a kid so I learned everything from the data sheets from each company but I think there are some basic videos on youtube. RapidLed and Coralux both have lighting kits that can be bought. I'd check them out. I think they also have a small tutorial on there meanwell ldd-h driver boards. I'll put the links in this post. I didnt use these when making this fixture so unfortunately I dont know if they will help or not.
YouTube tutorials:
Link to the controller I used:
Coralux and RapidLed websites:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Hello all, I wanted to share my lighting that I use on my tanks for inspiration for others that would like to do the same thing. I'm a techy person and like to implement tech into my aquariums, vivariums, etc... Anyway, one big part of mimicking a biome is the lighting such as the weather, moon cycles, and amount of light at a certain part of the year/season. This one can do all of those things using a bluefish controller. One thing to note is that all the fancy stuff this light will do is not necessary for a thriving environment by any means. All questions and comments are more than welcome!! So with that little bit, heres the build!

The light fixture is 12" x 10" x 3/4" and uses a 1/4 plate of aluminum as the backbone of the fixture.
Technical Specifications:
Amazing build. What are the voltage regulators for? I had never seen those modules but being constant current why do you need to step down the voltage? Shame nobody has hacked the little bluetooth modules that the chinese chihiros lights use. They go for 15 quid assuming they are using pwm to control the LED's
 

·
Registered
D. tinctorius azureus
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Amazing build. What are the voltage regulators for? I had never seen those modules but being constant current why do you need to step down the voltage? Shame nobody has hacked the little bluetooth modules that the chinese chihiros lights use. They go for 15 quid assuming they are using pwm to control the LED's
Thanks! Each of the 6 channels use a different voltage. The meanwell drivers that I'm using are a constant current type of driver but can use a varied voltage input between 9 and 56 volts I believe. If I had done a bit more work on making sure each channel's string of LED's had a forward voltage of 24V, (this is the input voltage of the device) then I would have been able to directly wire the drivers instead of having each of them connected to a voltage converter. As it is:
Channel 1: 32.0V
Channel 2: 19.2V
Channel 3: 25.6V
Channel 4: 19.2V
Channel 5: 28.8V
Channel 6: 14.0V
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top