LED aquarium lights

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by DreyeIce, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. DreyeIce

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 23, 2011
    13
    0
    What would be the best LED to use. Im going to use white and possibly a few lines of blue for an "evening" mode.

    im unsure about using a bunch of 5mm's or a bunch of the 4 pin mount type. Also for the power supply. i have a iMac charger cord that puts out 3.65A at 16.5v, Can it be modified to work?

    Thanks
     
  2. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,346
    6,833
    Start with how much light you need. Then look up LEDs to figure out if you're working with milliwatts or multiple watts. Then it will fall into place. It's the old engineering trick of designing from the output (light) to the input (power supply).

    Edit: Try looking at aquariums in a fish store to see what they are using.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013
  3. paulktreg

    Distinguished Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    612
    120
    I'm not at all familiar with aquariums but if plants are involved do you need a particular "type" of light to keep things healthy?
     
  4. aws505

    Member

    Mar 11, 2013
    59
    7
    Everyone else's ideas have been dead on, so far. I'll say a bit about the power supply. Yes, absolutely you can rig the old iMac supply to work. Really, you can rig just about any old power supply to work, given it has proper power ratings for your LEDs. You'll want to look into linear voltage regulators (like LM7805, LM7812, etc...) These parts are very standard and will take your iMac's output voltage and drop it to a level that you need. Especially if this electronic is going to be around water, fuses are always a good idea. These are more for limiting current and protecting your house wiring in the case that water falls somewhere onto your electronics and causes a short.

    The more details you give us, the more we can help.
     
    #12 likes this.
  5. DreyeIce

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 23, 2011
    13
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    Ok, i will work out how many im going to use and get back to you guys,

    as far as LED types, and viewing angle what should i be after? something with a broad viewing angle?
     
  6. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,346
    6,833
    You have this backwards. You have to tell US how far the LEDs will be from the water and how close you want to space them. We can't tell from here whether you are lighting up a fish bowl in your daughters bedroom or a display in a zoo.
     
  7. DreyeIce

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 23, 2011
    13
    0
    Its will be a 10 gallon fish tank. 20" long, 10" wide. But the light spot, (a glass cutout in the top) is only 19"x4"

    The LEDs will sit 1-1/2" above the water level. Im thinking lengthwise, i will do LEDs spaced 1" apart along the 19" cutout, and spaced 1" across the 4" side.

    So im looking at about 4 rows of 17 LEDS, for a total of 64 LED's. that sounds like a TON.
     
  8. Bernard

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 7, 2008
    4,176
    397
    Just a rough cut: white or blue , Vf about 3.3V, into 16.5V =5 LEDs in series or better 4 & a 160Ω resistor. 64/ 4 = 16 short strings of 4 in series. 16 X .02 mA = 320 mA = no sweat for PS. Viewing angle does not seem critical with 1" spacing, anything around 30 deg.
    Any action on LEDs- waving, sequencing, throbbing- or any other of Bill Marsden's tricks? There was or is another acquarium illumination post last year?, believe it was a reef diarama- no water.
    Put reef in "Find" box for all kinds of reef illumination; the one I remembered is from cpqfe29, 1-22-2012
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013
  9. tresguey

    Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    55
    1
    Hi, I am new here and this post intrigued me. I build custom reef tanks and have built a few custom LED lighting fixtures.

    My first question is is the lighting going to be just aesthetic? Or will you need proper color and penetration to grow plants or corals?

    How large is the aquarium?
     
  10. DreyeIce

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 23, 2011
    13
    0
    IIRC the aquarium is 10gal.

    I guess purley asthetic is OK, i dont have any real plants in there so it shouldn't be a problem.

    I want to do it because bulb heat, its effect on water temps, and the fact that these stupid 15w bulbs only last a few weeks. :mad:
     
  11. edwardholmes91

    Member

    Feb 25, 2013
    186
    19
    Depending on what type of fish you have... you could go for purple LEDs close to but not the same wavelength (for obvious reasons) as UV. This will make some tropical fish really glow brightly.
     
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