29g Biocube LED Build

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29g Biocube LED Build

Postby black hills tj » Mon Nov 24, 2014 2:23 pm

Working with Chris to put together an LED upgrade for my 29g Biocube. Going to be building something fairly simple. It will have a few tricks, but I don't need all of the bells and whistles. Feel free to throw some suggestions or input my way. I will update this as things progress.
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29g Biocube LED Build

Postby SoDak » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:09 pm

Drill that bad boy and put a sump under it while you are at it.
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby black hills tj » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:43 pm

SoDak wrote:Drill that bad boy and put a sump under it while you are at it.


Not entirely out of the question, but lights first!
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby SoDak » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:59 pm

I drilled my BC14 and like the added water volume. My brother has an overflow on his and really liked what a dump did for his tank. Overflow may be a lot simpler though
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby tarvis14 » Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:49 pm

Automatic timer with ramp up AM/ramp down PM

Option to include another set of LED with separate/opposite timing if you think you will be having a sump with some sort of refugium at a later date

I personally like the concept of relay-controlled outlets. For example, to turn off skimmer with the push of a button when you are feeding, then programmed to automatically turn back on after a set amount of time so you don't wonder if you remembered to turn it back on.

Probe to monitor temp and turn off heater (another relay outlet) in the event of a heater malfunction/tank overheating. Also probes to monitor other things - pH, water level in return section of sump if applicable, etc
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby black hills tj » Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:26 am

I already run the tank with a Reef Keeper, so most of the timing is already setup. Just need to do the LED build itself. (drivers, led config...single or multichip, color selection, controller, etc)
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby tarvis14 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:47 pm

Gotcha... if you are going with single LEDs and are not afraid of a little electronics work, you can DIY drivers with a CAT4101 chip. I have done it, and I am by no means an expert at soldering or working with electronics. If you are interested, let me know and I can get you more info. I would guess the cost to be around $5-10 per driver (3-4 LEDs per driver if using 12V, 7-8 per if using 24V which I recommend), and $40 would be a high estimate for your power supply that would run all your drivers
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby black hills tj » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:03 pm

I am getting ready to pull the trigger. What do you guys think of Bridgelux LEDs compared to CREE? Bridgelux are half the price at LED Group Buy. Here are the parts I am looking at going with

Bridgelux 4500k(Neutral White) $1.59 each
http://www.ledgroupbuy.com/bridgelux-ne ... ite-4500k/
wattage: 3w max drive current: 700mA (500mA recommended) forward voltage (@ 700 ma): 3.6v light intensity: 200lm

Bridgelux Royal Blue - 455nm $1.99 each
http://www.ledgroupbuy.com/bridgelux-royal-blue-455nm/
wattage: 3w max drive current: 700mA (500mA recommended) forward voltage (@ 700 ma): 3.6v

OR

cree xt-e white 6000k $3.30 each
http://www.ledgroupbuy.com/cree-xt-e-white/
wattage: 2.1w (700mA), 3.1w (1,000mA), 5w (1,500mA) max drive current: 1500mA forward voltage: 3.0v (700mA), 3.15v (1,000mA), 3.3v (1,500mA)

cree xt-e royal blue $2.95 each
http://www.ledgroupbuy.com/cree-xt-e-royal-blue/
wattage: 2.1w (700mA), 3.1w (1,000mA), 5w (1,500mA) max drive current: 1500mA forward voltage: 3.0v (700mA), 3.15v (1,000mA), 3.3v (1,500mA)



I am also going to add some UVs, but these are the only ones at LED Group Buy, so I may order some on eBay so I'm not breaking the bank.

exotic true violet led - 410nm $4.50 each
http://www.ledgroupbuy.com/exotic-true- ... led-410nm/
wattage: 3w max drive current: 700mA forward voltage (@ 700 ma): Min 3.0v Max 3.6v light intensity: 640mW - 680mW



I plan on using these drivers for the Bridgelux and UV

meanwell ldd-700hw led driver $7.25 each
http://www.ledgroupbuy.com/meanwell-ldd ... ed-driver/

Or these for the Cree

meanwell ldd-1000hw led driver $7.25 each
http://www.ledgroupbuy.com/meanwell-ldd ... ed-driver/



And run this unit for power

180w 48v 3.75a dc power supply $31.50
http://www.ledgroupbuy.com/180w-48v-3-7 ... er-supply/


And I will use these knobs to manually dim everything to tweak the color to my liking

10k ohm 1/2 watt linear taper potentiometer $3.00 each
http://www.ledgroupbuy.com/10k-ohm-1-2- ... entiometer


LED Group Buy has this fancy heat sink, which I am considering. But at 50 bucks, I may just use the stock fans in the biocube hood and get something like a 6x12 heatsink on ebay.

makersled designer heatsink kit - professional grade - anodized 12" for $50
http://www.ledgroupbuy.com/makersled-de ... -anodized/


And I will use Arctic Alumina for mounting to the heat sink

arctic alumina thermal adhesive 5g $6.99
http://www.ledgroupbuy.com/products/Arc ... ve-5g.html



What do you guys think? Also, how many 3w LEDs would you run on a 29g biocube? Mostly softies and LPS. No sticks right now. How many whites-blues-UVs do you suggest?
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby mikembe » Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:19 pm

I don't know much about diy LEDS but as far as a light count, my 28g NanoCube has 25 - 3W 10000K whites along with 4 - 3W Blues and 2 night lights. I think if you did something like that it should light up a 29 biocube pretty well and allow you to grow softies, LPS and SPS.
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby kevine9723 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:43 pm

lots of good things about cree haven't heard of the others but that don't say they are not good but if you look at a lot of the big light builders they use cree
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby cdness » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:43 pm

My old LED fixture had bridgelux. My new ones have Cree. I preferred the look of the Bridgelux to be honest. Very reliable LEDs...
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby black hills tj » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:45 pm

Thanks for the input guys. Any other advice on # of each?
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby kevine9723 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:56 pm

I would go with 75 W and 65b lol no idea but good luck man
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby tarvis14 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:53 pm

Only my opinions below, based on my research and experience. I am NOT trying to tell you how to build your setup, but you might learn from my mistakes. Please accept my apology in advance for this being so long

I went with Phillips Luxeons on my build from Steves LEDs... I am not familiar with Bridgelux vs Cree. Of the ones you listed, the Cree are more efficient, both in more light produced and less heat generated. Probably not a huge concern, but you would need more Bridgelux LEDs to match the output of the Cree.

Those are not UV, they are true violet. Probably better/safer for your tank than the UV would be. As far as the cost goes, you are probably only looking at only having 4-6 (max) on your tank, and you never know what you might get from fleabay....

Nice choice on the drivers. I would have used them but they were sold out when I was building mine. However, see comment on Knobs

48v power supply might be a bit much, the downside is that you will need to have about 45 forward volts going to each of your strings of LEDs (48 volts supplied less the 3 volt drop in the driver as obtained from the spec sheet) - this means you would need each driver running 12-15 LEDs, depending on which brand you go with. Not a huge problem, but you would need to decide if you want 15 or 30 white Crees, 15 or 30 RB Crees, etc. You could use a voltage regulator (and will almost need to for the violet LEDs, my quick googleing says that violet light should be less than 20% of the total light you have for a reef tank). Voltage regulators are cheap and easy to use, get a 12v if you want 3 TV LEDs, 18v for 4-5 TV LEDs. http://www.taydaelectronics.com/ic-inte ... ators.html

Knobs - those linear pots will not dim the drivers you have chosen. Those drivers require a PWM signal to be dimmed. Many controllers provide a PWM signal, not sure about yours though. You would need at least 2 PWM signals to control your color (one for white, one for blue), I would advise one for your TV as well (total of 3, can run all your white drivers with one PWM signal). If your controller doesn't have PWM outputs, you can build a PWM generator easily with a 555 timer chip and a few other simple cheap electronic components (google 'pwm 555 timer' or email me if you are interested, I can build them cheap enough if you need me to).

If you are planning on putting the LEDs inside the existing hood, the heatsink you have listed is way more expensive than what you need. If you are hanging it, then it is probably a good choice. If it is going in the hood, you could use a much less expensive general purpose heatsink (heatsink usa has them, for example). Another option would be getting some square aluminum tubing from your friendly neighborhood Home Depot, Menards, etc, and mount your LEDs to that. With either of the options I presented, I would recommend using a fan to further cool the heatsink, most computer fans would do a fine job (or the stock fans already in the hood). The Makers heatsink you referenced has fans included in the price (I think).

I used self-drilling, self-tapping screws to hold down my LEDs. I also used nylon washers to keep the screws from touching the solder pads and potentially grounding them out. I used Arctic Silver 5 to help transfer heat from the LED Star to the heatsink. I opted against the type of adhesive you mentioned because I wanted to be able to upgrade/change out LEDs if they died. I probably won't end up doing that, but I did accidentally blow up a full string of 7 when I was doing my testing on them. I was really happy I used screws, and will use them every time in the future because of it.
The Makers heat sink uses screws by design to mount the LEDs, you should use Arctic Silver 5 or a similar product when mounting to it.

Number of LEDs depends on what you want your tank to look like. Most of what I have read says between 1:1 and 2:1 ratio of Royal Blue to White. If you are going with the 48v power supply, it kinda limits what you can do. I'd go with an equal number of each (15 each if going with Cree, 12-13 each if Bridgelux due to higher forward voltage requirement). I don't have personal experience with any TV LEDs, but I would guess 3-5 of them, separately controlled from the white/blue. This should be enough light to grow just about anything. Power supply would handle this load just fine, figuring 45W of white, 45W of blue, 15W of TV for a total of 105 Watts, 180W supply should be perfect (not overkill, not overworked).
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby black hills tj » Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:36 am

Thanks for the input. I will send you a message to pick your brain a bit!
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby darkone8484 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:22 pm

I'd be very curious to hear what the total cost ends up being when you finalize your build. I'd love to see pictures too when you're finished.
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby tarvis14 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:22 pm

May be helpful if you are going the arduino route and have a bunch of time to read posts. Very long but a great reference, I will be reviewing once I start an arduino build

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showt ... ?t=1987110
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby XSlayerX » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:29 pm

Led2[1].jpg

Led1[1].jpg

took some Chinese leds apart. and added them to my 29g biocube. added bigger fans to hood. works good. running hard corals with no problem now.
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby XSlayerX » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:33 pm

by the way leds 165w 50\50 blue\white both on separate switches. so have it timed for sun rise and sun set..leds were about $65 bucks off amazon.
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby black hills tj » Sat May 02, 2015 8:07 pm

It lives O.o
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby jolson » Sun May 03, 2015 9:11 pm

nice looking hope they work as well as they look
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Re: 29g Biocube LED Build

Postby black hills tj » Mon May 04, 2015 5:50 pm

Thanks, John. I will get some more photos up soon. They are awesome. Definitely fun to play with the different color levels, fades, etc.
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