Need lighting help led

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by brian_e, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. brian_e

    brian_e Active Member

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    I need some help with design for my tank build
    tank is 96lx48wx24d. I would like dimmable drivers
     
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  2. ChrisY

    ChrisY New Member

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  3. brian_e

    brian_e Active Member

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    Thanks for the help ro many pages for me ill just end up going back to mh when the people are talking about the led iam lost i just want simple answers u guys can close this post for me thanks
     
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  4. ChrisY

    ChrisY New Member

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    MH are great, but dont give up on LED. the bottom line is that with the MeanWell drivers that most LED units use (LEDs use drivers, not ballasts, but same principle in a way) and you can have dimming capability and they use far less energy and last far longer, I would still look into them. In Matts thread it was a bit of uncharted territory since he is using a very high end controller and some very cool lights and had to be sorted out how to plug what into what since it was the 1st time being done, but definately doable and in the long run cheaper IMO. Now the process is pretty straight forward.
     
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  5. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Administrator
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    Brian if you go to one of the Big Hitter LED suppliers they have forms and such to take a lot of the guess work out of this concept. They've spent countless house (and dollars) in figuring these out so you don't have to re-invent the wheel.

    Depending on what you want, where you're located you can try ReefLEDlights.com or Modular LED

    They can more accurately help you get narrowed down what you need.
     
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  6. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Administrator
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    Of course my links are if you want to do the majority of the build yourself and do it from a KIT. I should have made that clear.
     
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  7. chipmunkofdoom2

    chipmunkofdoom2 Well-Known Member

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    It used to be the only way you could really get a decent LED setup over your tank was DIY.. that is not the case anymore. I would actually be as bold as to say that you would be better off buying a few Radions or AI Sols instead of DIYing it all. With these fixtures, you get the added bonus of having a light that works with controllers.

    I've done the DIY thing and it's definitely rewarding, but when you factor in time spent, cost of materials, and headaches trying to fix problems that come up, I don't think it's worth it to DIY anymore.

    Oh, and if the cost of the ready built LEDs is a turn you off, factor in 10 years of replacing MH bulbs every 6-12 months. Most of the time you'll break even with that alone, not even counting the electricity savings (efficiency, no chiller needed, etc).
     
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  8. brian_e

    brian_e Active Member

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    Diy all the way i have a friend that is going to wire it all just we are having the problem of how many leds its going to take to light a tank that size for sps and what drivers would be best to run them and i agree much cheaper in the long run with power and bills but tht money is over time spent all the kits i see are for at most a 180 gallon and are still $1300 for a diy ready kit
     
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  9. chipmunkofdoom2

    chipmunkofdoom2 Well-Known Member

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    Well, the number of LEDs depends. If you want to mimic the pendant style lighting that most popular fixtures are taking now, you will need around 24 LEDs to light a 24"x24" area. The Meanwells are better as they are power supply/driver in one. The amount of LEDs you can run on one Meanwell varies by model.. you really have to choose what suits your needs best. It's going to make coordinating the dimming difficult if you go with the pendant style design, as you likely won't get a nice even number of LEDs on one Meanwell. The dimming can also be problematic, as there isn't just a simple knob you can turn with the Meanwells, but I'm sure you can find guides on how to design your own circuit. If you want to go the route of covering the entire tank, you will need a single LED every 1.5"-2".

    I was all for the DIY as well as recently as a year and a half ago, but it's not as practical now. With the DIY route you really have to be somewhat of an electrician as well as an experienced aquarists because you have to know what exactly are the benefits and reasons you would go with a Meanwell over a 24v power supply and some Buckpucks, just to list one example. I strongly recommend one of the many ready-made fixtures. If this is not something you're willing to do, you should start reading up over on Nano-reef.com's lighting section. They have tons of DIY builds over there with various levels of documentation.
     
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  10. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Administrator
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    give them a shout over at ReefLEDlights.com and see what they can do for you.
     
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