DIY LED stunner strip

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DIY LED stunner strip

Post by GoodToGo on Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:51 pm

I just started a project to make my own 48" LED stunner strip. The idea is to either augment or replace one or two of my T5 bulbs in my 6 bulb T5 canopy. I like the quantity of light I have, but really like the look of LED lighting and the pop it gives the coral. I have played a little with different bulbs but at $25 a crack it is hard to do too much experimenting. Rather than buy LED lighting and replace my whole setup (expensive) I am going to just add blue led's into the mix and see how it looks. I have recently seen a couple of tanks that have combined lighting and they looked really nice. My hope is to do this for under $50. Materials list:

48" aluminum angle the heatsink/mount 1 1/16" x 1/16". $9
(20) 3 watt royal blue leds $15
600 mA LED driver $10
thermal adhesive $8
90 degree optical lenses $5

I already have wire and solder. It will be a couple of weeks before all of my supplies arrive. I am intentionally buying cheap components. I'll update once I get started.

GoodToGo
Tang
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Location : Grand Rapids
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Re: DIY LED stunner strip

Post by seaponygirl on Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:38 pm

I love the look of LEDs.they really make zoa's pop. I Will be interested to see how it works. I have several melting points of solder and am not to bad at it. Good luck.

seaponygirl
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Re: DIY LED stunner strip

Post by blennieluvr on Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:23 pm

Following.  Maybe I could rig something cheap up to replace my large bulky T5 fixture of which I only use actinics off of for my NPS tank.
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Re: DIY LED stunner strip

Post by GoodToGo on Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:53 pm

Well, here it is.  It went very well, no problems to speak of.  I already have brackets in the canopy, so it will go in this afternoon.

Parts list:
Aluminum heat sink/base - 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 1/16" - $9
16 ga wire red/black - 72" each - already had
(17) 3 watt leds on stars - $15/20 pcs
(15) 90 degree optical lenses -$9/50 pcs
2.5 grams thermal adhesive - $8
650 mA LED driver - $8
extension cord - already had
misc soldering/wiring supplies
Total project cost - $49

I had to buy excess of adhesive and optics, so if you could just buy what you need this strip could be done for about $45. Everything was bought on eBay.  Optics/leds/driver were shipped out of China, took about two weeks for everything to show up. We'll see what kind of life the components have, but so far I'd say this project was a success. The cheapest 48" stunner I found to buy was about $130 with the power supply, so this was far cheaper.  I don't think the stunners on line use 3 watt leds either.

Basic steps
1. Made a base for the leds out of aluminum angle.  This also serves as the heatsink.
2. Used thermally conductive adhesive to attach the led stars to the heatsink.
3. Connected the leds in series by soldering pre-tinned wire to connection points on stars.
4. Hooked up led leads to the driver, and connected a power cord to the driver.
5. Attached 90 degree optics to the star with a drop of glue.  I think I should have used 120 degree, we'll see.

Components


driver


heatsink detail


wired up


Works!


With the optics on

GoodToGo
Tang
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Location : Grand Rapids
Number of posts : 105
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Re: DIY LED stunner strip

Post by GoodToGo on Thu Jul 09, 2015 2:08 pm

Update: Installed the light and it looks great.

GoodToGo
Tang
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