an open ended discussion in Full Spectrum LED concepts

Discussion in 'DIY' started by HiFidelity, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Ultimately though you need to figure out what your goal is, to mimic a shallow reef visually? to color up corals? to grow corals as efficiently as possible? Each might have different spectrum requirements. Just because there's the full range of colors that hits the water does not mean the corals use them.
     
  2. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    the one thing I must admit is no matter what these measurements say there will be no red LEDs in my lights
     
  3. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Keep in mind that a lot of shallow corals in the wild are fairly brown and boring looking.
    Yet they can color up in our tanks.
     
  4. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    I can't help but wonder if that spike in blue/green, cyan & green would still remain at say maybe 8" depth!! I would imagine the peaks would shift to the actinic/blue range like that measured in tanks, you don't even need a spectrometer to visually notice that deeper the water the more blue light looks, I also wonder if the violet drop off becomes any steeper and that would indicate if using a lot of Violets or just a little in LED lights is of any use.
     
  5. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

  6. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    Made me want to bump up the green and red LED's on my tank, which were both set really low previously...
     
  7. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    yeah read that, very long read but good. Bottom line, just because those wavelengths are shining doesn't mean that they're useful for anything. The thing is the greens/yellows/reds are there just not as strong as the blue, as a result the blue colors tend to be more pronounced.
     
  8. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    +1

    It is a great article on how the issues reproducing real sunlight.
    But that does not mean real sunlight looks best to you, is best for your corals, or is worst for nuisance algae.
     
  9. Nano sapiens

    Nano sapiens Guest

    This is my favorite article on this subject of 'Full Spectrum' LED lighting in the reef tank: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2012/10/aafeature

    I've been up, down and through this topic for the last year and I still find it fascinating. It's really a challenge to find just the right LED light that is aesthetically pleasing and also stimulates coral growth and optimal pigment production. I'm not quite there, but I think I'm getting closer :)

    My small nano cube has been running for close to six years and I have used LEDs on it for nearly three years now. Due to it's small size of 12g, I have to be very selective regarding the LEDs since canopy space is limited. The setup is a simply dimmable single channel DIY strip (two OCWs, two HV, one WW, one RB) supplemented with a few different Stunner Strips. To my eye it simulates a 10-12000K look quite well and the corals seem to be okay with it, too:

    [​IMG]

    The only real challenge I've encountered seems to be rather common with LEDs...keeping red corals 'red'. I can manage an 'orange-red', but not that deep 'cherry' red that one of my Acans had when I first bought it. I have a second strip on order and will be experimenting with some different LED combos to see what combination might do the trick.
     
  10. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Thanks for reviving the thread :) glad to hear that LEDs are doing the job for you and I've been a quiet admirer of your tank for quite a while now.

    I'm just about ready to begin my experiment, so long overdue based on when I started this thread but never the less since the first post I've purchased hundreds of LEDs, everything from CREE, bridgelux, semiLEDs, Epistar, you name it I've been collecting a sample from almost everything available except for multichip, I'm actually expecting a package early next week with even more LEDs.

    To start with I'm going to play w/ OCW, 3 variations of blue, 3 variations of white, about 5 variations of UV and whatever else I'm not remembering. There is a total of 10 dimmable drivers at my disposal and a 36" long 45 gallon tank. My initial build that I've started putting together is going to be 2 tight big clusters on independent heat sinks & cooling with colors based on the charts & all the good stuff discussed earlier in this thread, from there I plan to sway in different directions over time to see how it affects different corals. I have softies, LPS & SPS and a small variety of each in my tank to observe, currently I have a basic temporary blue/white LED setup over my tank and since I ditched MH/T5 for these I've seen a good response from most of my corals so I assume I can only make it better (or slightly worse for brief moments along this adventure) over time and best of all have fun doing it :D
     
  11. Nano sapiens

    Nano sapiens Guest

    Looks like you are gong all-out with the LED chips! Hope you find that perfect (for you) lighting setup.

    What makes the LED lighting so interesting (and challenging) is that we now have a much greater choice of chips from many different manufacturers and the ability to adjust multiple channel intensities. Add to that all the other lighting factors (DLI, strips vs clusters, duration of full on lighting, etc.) and the situation can get quite complex.

    The effect of using lower power, closely spaced LEDs spread out across the canopy actually worked out nicely by providing a 'base' of background lighting which produces a more diffuse light spread (similar to T5s) and helps to mitigate the shadowing that is often encountered using centralized LEDs. Adding higher power LED chips in addition to the lower power LED base provides the intensity factor and additional spectra.

    If I were doing a larger tank I'd consider a similar approach.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
  12. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    I finally have functioning LEDs over my tank that beat my old MH/T5 configuration, I know it took me forever and lots of discussion went on before I even dipped my toes into LED, that was the plan all along.

    I am now running 56 LEDs over a little tank (overkill yes) just under 170w.
    For now the colors are as follows;

    12 Cool White
    4 Warm White
    28 Royal Blue
    4 UV 417-420nm
    4 UV 420-435nm
    4 UV (unknown color, came with a bunch of other LEDs I have but it is bellow 415nm

    The 420-435 is rather interesting, the numbers indicate that it's a blue "actinic" led and less UV but it has a pink coating that give the light a purplish pink hue, I like the effect it has on the tank, makes reds pop which is something that Red LEDs typically do but with this one you get the benefits of UV with the look of Red without the annoying side effects of Red LEDs.

    I know I said i wouldn't run Cool Whites but I have a ton of them and decided to experiment a little with cw/ww blends in contrast to 100% nw white leds and see how they look in each configuration.

    Now I get to move on to the fun part, I had to get something over my tank to keep my corals happy before stepping into experiments in color, I had to put something basic together that is known to sustain corals.
    I did go a little UV heavy on this setup but I personally like the "blacklight" effect UV LEDs have on corals and how they make the colors "pop" so what's the fun part you say?

    As already mentioned I have a box of several hundred LEDs in fact I have in my possession over 300 LED chips for experimenting and I'm still purchasing other colors to throw in the blender, next I'm going to be toying with a 6" Makers LED clustered fixture and some wild color configurations, naturally I'll continue to report results as things progress....

    I am having too much fun with LEDs hehe, they keep my soldering cravings satisfied (I actually enjoy soldering lol) and at the least this is keeping me from spending tons of money on building audio equipment, I keep having an itch to build a tube amp.

    Anywho, if I remember tonight I will get pics of the fixture described above :)

    cheers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
    rygh likes this.
  13. Nano sapiens

    Nano sapiens Guest

    I tried using on NW for the white light, but for my limited space array it was too 'warm/glaring'. The solution was to add a bit of CW and B to cool down the look. As they say "Whatever works".
     
  14. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    There is no specific formula so I must admit that I too ended up going with whatever works as well with this setup. Though I must admit eventually I will swap all CW for NW as I prefer the color output and find that dimming the white is something I do much more than the blues therefore once there is a controller running the lighting, the NWs will ramp up much slower than the blues and only peak at noon then dim back down. That way it looks slightly different every time I walk by it :D
    I thought maybe also to add an hour to my daytime cycle and have the UVs peak around sunset and time everything so that a blue/violet/pink sunset is extended... haha clearly I over think my lighting. It does definitely set the mood in our house, you can see it glowing through both floors' windows from the street and typically is the only light source in half the house so pure white high noon to violet sunset would become quite the mood influencer.
     
  15. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Visited RapidLED yesterday, it was awesome I got a little tour and some updates.

    They have some new products coming soon, so great to have a company like this locally, among others of course :)
     
  16. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Anything you can talk about?

    I like RapidLED for some things, other things not so much. Like the Aurora multiemitter puck, it's a blatant copy of the Radion puck, which isn't my problem, but the fact they really didn't change anything other than number of channels, could have fixed what ecotech did wrong (namely adding red LEDs to the puck). Also not sure what I think about their Borealis puck, it's got an obnoxious amount of LEDs, but the violet channel also has reds with it (bleh) and one channel is nothing but "lime" LEDs, WTH is a lime LED?

    Not quite sure where the DIY LED market is going, seems a bit of a push is being made for all in one solutions like these pucks, ledgroupbuy.com with their Lumia chip (the second one is better, with actual decent LEDs on there). Not quite sure how I feel about that, because the whole point of DIY is to make something you want, but here's what we'll give you.
     
  17. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Let me give them a courtesy call first & see if I can disclose what I saw (it's free marketing at the least), but what they have coming is nothing new really just products that are already available through other dealers but naturally I like supporting our local economy so I would always give RapidLED & Kessil a thumbs up before anyone else.

    Funny thing is, I was actually there initially to purchase UV and white LEDS so I can ditch the red & green LEDs they include in their kits, of course I did take a friendly jab at their color choices while I was there. Perhaps they can include our restless discussions and findings in their R&D efforts in the future.

    Very friendly people indeed.
     
  18. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Burlingame place across the street from the Lobster importers? (or at least it was lobster importers that time of the year). I've been to 3 separate locations, they keep moving every couple years it seems.

    But yeah, every time I've made an order for pickup they've had everything boxed and ready to go. Hell last time I ordered was around Thanksgiving (black friday/cyber monday sales IIRC) and they had a different sale every day, and they were more than happy to let me make one big order with all the different day's discounts applied to all. Yup it was around Thanksgiving hence the lobsters I saw :D
     
  19. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Yeah same location right across from the Lobster place.

    Tried calling today but no one answered... I will go ahead and say that soon we will be able to pick up LDD drivers locally ;) along with other little goodies that go with them... so if anyone is working on a digitally controlled DIY setup, hold off on your purchases and get all your parts from RapidLED soon when they have the new products in stock.

    That is pretty awesome that they let you combine that many discounts into one, very cool of them.

    I didn't mention that they sounded like they would most likely be interested in another BAR visit like the one they did last year for us, I forget who handles our events but perhaps the right person can get a hold of them if we have room on our calendar to host them again.
    I'm sure we would be able to work with them on what topics we want covered, last year it was a basic "this is how LEDs work" and a hands on workshop that taught folks how the kits are put together (solderless) I would be interested in more advanced topics this year, perhaps we can discuss colors and maybe they can share some insight on their new products, etc.
     
  20. Nano sapiens

    Nano sapiens Guest

    Lime (520-620nm)
    Lime is a very new LED color from philips. Imagine it as being a white LED without the blue peak. Peak luminous output is from 566-569nm, and the spectral half-width (how much spectrum it covers at 50% luminous output) is ~520-620nm, so it covers a very broad spectrum, meaning this LED can help to adjust overall light CCT and brightness while leaving all other colors at their current settings. The lime it not readily available mounted to a PCB at this time, but hopefully that will change in the future.

    * credit to 'Jedimasterben' for this explanation.
     

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