Looks like I need new lights ...

Discussion in 'DIY' started by molabecirovic, Jan 21, 2019.

  1. molabecirovic

    molabecirovic Supporting Member

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    For a while I noticed that one of the chanels in my DIY lighting was off but since I didn't have many corals in my tank any longer I never took it down to check on it.
    I finally decided to see what's going on and my 5year old lighting system and a bunch of the LED's look a little burned out so I need a solution.
    I started looking at what's out there and i like the Orphek Atlantik but not their prices as much as i would need 3 units for my 125G. Link
    I am thinking to make my own replica using RapidLed, dimmable and apex controllable.
    In my original lights I build 5 years ago I only used whites and blues and had very good coral growth, the Orphek uses lots of other colors in between and Rapid has most of them which Im guessing will cover a fairly wide range of the spectrum.
    Any thoughts on this?
     

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  2. rygh

    rygh BOD

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  3. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

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    Yeah if there's a fixture that is "easily" copyable the Atlantic one is as basic as it gets, at least with the layout of lights. I'm not sure how many channels, dimming, etc are in it, but I doubt they do anything that can't be DIYed.

    I've DIYed my fair share of LEDs, many with LEDs from RapidLED too (I think I still have a tray of unused LEDs I never got around to). A few things that I picked up, first don't go fancy with thermal compound, simple stuff right to the heatsink, and you're good to go. Second save yours sanity and use solderless diodes, sure it may be a bit clunkier but there are so many other problems that can go wrong with soldering wire to pads that it's just easier to have plugs for each of them.

    I stopped ordering stuff from RapidLED because they discontinued the heatsink that I liked, for an "easy" heatsink (t-slots, and quite a bit more expensive), they also seem to push more for the "herbal" side of making lights to grow "stuff". Not saying they're bad by any means, just not for me. I like the idea of that Lumia5.2 one that Rygh mentioned, but man it has not come down in price since it came out, and considering they're still using the same old LEDs on it, I'd think it'd be a bit cheaper by now... like a LOT cheaper, or at the very least use newer LEDs
     
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  4. rygh

    rygh BOD

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    The trick to cheaper Lumia is to buy them direct.
    https://www.cutter.com.au/product/lumia-5-2-planted-tank/

    Cutter has a lot of great engines. Check out the rest of the site.
    It does take an extra week to get here. (or more now if customs is impacted by shutdown)

    +1 on thermal epoxy directly to heat sink for normal star diodes, but perhaps not lumia.
     
  5. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

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    Oh wow at half the price of the LGB site I may have gone in that direction when I was doing my LEDs back in the day. Might have to bug you later if I forget this thread (cutter site) if I go that direction. I almost hate looking at those sites thought because I start thinking of different ways to do things and damnit if I don't have a problem with overthinking everything.

    Do you still have your Lumia? I know you swapped over to the AI pucks but might be curious in what the Lumia's actually look, what the spread actually is.
     
  6. rygh

    rygh BOD

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    I still use the Lumia in the fuge/frag tank, yes.
    Stop by when you are in town.
    I decided I did not have the time to do main tank DIY, so bought new lights there. (Sort of regret that)
     
  7. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

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    You regret it? What would you have done differently?
     
  8. molabecirovic

    molabecirovic Supporting Member

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    Hi Mark

    The Lumia looks interesting, thanks for the advice.
    They do seem to have many colors, you seem to have used the coral cool spectrum combo, how do you like the color? I am wondering how many I would need for my 6ft tank, I'm thinking 9 pieces in 3 heat sinks to spread them equally. Also wondering if I should mix them up, in each heat sink have two Cool spectrums and one Mixed spectrum. Also, did you try to use yours without the lens?
    I think I should still be ok to control them with the Apex by combining one or two channels as they seem to repeat patterns in some channels.
    I am guessing I can run them using Mean Well dimmable drivers.
     
  9. rygh

    rygh BOD

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    I wish I had spent the time and built my own lights.
    The AI-primes I bought are OK. I do like the colors and coral growth. But fans are noisy, and one fan died already.
     
  10. rygh

    rygh BOD

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    I like the color quite a bit. It is pretty adjustable, so you can mostly get what you want.
    If you really like the deep Kessil-blue though, it might be a bit white for you.
    The mixed one did not exist when I built mine.
    I would say the one I have is fairly white, so I don't think I would switch to mixed.

    The lenses are not totally required, but it does spread out a lot without them.
    I like how they are adjustable.
    They also protect the LEDs from moisture.

    I used an Arduino to control them (Actually Apex controls master level, and arduino controls each channel)
    But yes, two channels would probably be fine unless you really like to tweak colors.

    9 should be plenty. Perhaps even 7 or 8. depends on width/depth/placement.
    They do put out a ton of light.
     
  11. molabecirovic

    molabecirovic Supporting Member

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    I'm not too crazy about a deep blue color for my lights as it can look a bit fake (my opinion) once it goes too much in the blue color. I think I'll keep 9 as the total amount, I am worried that with the led clusters sometimes you get a spotlight effect versus an equally distributed light.
    My tank is 72'' long by 18'' wide by 23 deep and it has 2 black braces on top of the glass which separates the top in 3 equal openings, that's why I'm using 3 6''x20'' heatsinks, one over each opening so I either have to use 2 per heat sink or 3 so I'll probably go with 3.
    Do you by any chance have any wiring diagram for the Lumia? I couldn't find it online. I would prefer to wire them using the Meanwell drivers so Ill be able to control each channel separately with the apex, I don't like the potentiometer option much. My main question is since there are 5 channels of 5 led and there are 10 wire terminals I am wondering if the wiring is straightforward + in one side and - on the other side? if yes I should be fine to connect the channels I want in series and run it with a single dimmable driver, so 5 channels = 5 drivers.
    or would I have to use a Makersdriver?
     
  12. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

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    You don't have to use any of those potentiometer/maker things unless you want to. Meanwell drivers work just fine. And yeah wiring is straight forward as their are 5 channels, however each has 5 LEDs, so need to do the math to see how many you can run in series. I seem to recall the Meanwell LDD drivers can only do 12 or 13 LEDs at a time (It's been a while since I wired up my old ones/did math on it), so you'd need 5 drivers for every 2 Lumias. Now if you're using using different Meanwell drivers, it depends what the output voltage is, voltage / 3.3V = # of LEDs max, I think.
     
  13. molabecirovic

    molabecirovic Supporting Member

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    This is my calculations.
     

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  14. rygh

    rygh BOD

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    You need to wire LEDS in both series and parallel to match the driver.

    Add up forward voltages in the series you want, and make sure it is less than meanwell voltage spec.
    In general, that means a single channel of 2 Lumia in series on a 48V driver.
    You can use 36V on most channels, but check pricing, since 48V is often cheaper.

    You can also match IDENTICAL channels in parallel, adding current to match meanwell current spec.
    For example, if current is 3A, you can put two 1500mA channels in parallel.
    Doing that has risk though.

    ** I used HALF current on each channel **
    Like you, I added more LEDs than needed for better coverage, so it was overkill to drive at 1500/700.
    So I used 700 / 350, and still turned them down.
    Doing that makes the LEDs last way longer.

    Reminder that Apex outputs 0-10V analog, not PWM.
     
  15. molabecirovic

    molabecirovic Supporting Member

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    Now I am a little confused.

    The drivers I picked have different voltage ranges, my understanding was that as long as my string of LEDs total voltage is in between the drivers operating voltage I should be fine, also some LEDs run at different amps, some at 700ma some at 1500ma so making sure the driver has a higher output current I thought I will be fine.

    Example:
    One driver will run Ch1 from my list, Ch1 consists of 5Led or one row from each Lumia, in this case requiring 18v at 700ma. Now multiply that by 9 since there will be 9 Lumias connected in series I get 162V.
    The Meanwell HLG-185H-C1050B has an operating voltage between 95-190V so figured 162V is right in between.
    I believe this driver does support 0-10V analog.

    Am I completely off?
     

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  16. rygh

    rygh BOD

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    Sorry, I guess I did not read your drawing that carefully.
    I assumed you were using one of the more common smaller drivers.
    You are the first I have ever seen using the new big ones.

    Yes, your voltage calculations are correct.

    Yes, the B type will support 0-10V analog, as well as PWM.

    It is a little unclear what the driver will do if you are outside the working range.
    On the high end, I am sure it will just clip at 190V, so no big issue.
    But on the low end, for example if you hooked up too few Lumia, it might have
    a higher than expected voltage, and push too much current.
    Just something to be careful of.
    Along with the dangerous voltages of course.
    That was one big advantage of the smaller ones. Generally 48V or less will not hurt you.
     
  17. molabecirovic

    molabecirovic Supporting Member

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    I never thought of the high voltage issue as I will be starting from 99V to close to 200V but its still a very low current, even if I would end up touching the live wires by mistake should not be that bad even in the 1500ma or 1.5A.

    Do you think I should glue the chips using thermal adhesive or should I screw them in place with thermal grease?
     
  18. rygh

    rygh BOD

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    No, as low as 100mA can be fatal in the right conditions.
    If you touch 200V DC with dry hands and insulated shoes, no big deal.
    But a worst case of hands with salt water on them, touching each side of the circuit, and you are in big trouble.
    That said, it is lower voltage than MH and T5 starting voltages, and people DIY that all the time.
    And DC is far safer than AC. So just be careful.

    Tough call on installation.
    When I did standard stars, I glued them. Way to many to bother to screw them in.
    When I did the Lumias, I went to the effort of tap/screw, in case I wanted to move them
    or needed to replace one.

    Tip: It is much harder to solder LEDs when they are glued to a heat sink. Heat dissipates so fast.
    So if you do glue, make the connections first.
     
  19. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

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    The problem with gluing them depends on two factors... 1) are you doing it right and 2) are the connecting wires too stiff and adding any additional torque on them that can separate them. I just put my heatsink on the drill press drilled all the places I marked, that said they have those t-slot heatsinks now that make it really easy to attach with screws and nuts so might as well do that, however I still ma not a fan of those because the star is not in contact with much of the heatsink physically.

    That said for get soldering if you can get away with it, spend the extra 5-10 cents per and get solderless versions and just plug them together :D
     
  20. molabecirovic

    molabecirovic Supporting Member

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    I'll probably end up screwing them down especially if I end up using the Lumia LEDs, just in case I make any changes in the future.
    I'm still debating on the number of LEDs, my tank is 72'' long and have 3 24'' sections, I will make 3 fixtures to go over each section and wondering if I should use 2 or 3 Lumias per fixture? They recommend 1-2 Lumias per 24'' section but I was planning oversizing it to 3 Lumias per heatsink and dim them down some, Is it worth doing that? Cost wise its about a $300-$400 difference between using 2 per heatsink vs 3 per heatsink. Also if I do use 3 per heatsink I can combine the Lumias and use 2 of the cool spectrum and 1 mixed spectrum Lumia which will give me a little whiter light as the cool spectrum is blue dominated and the mixed spectrum is a white dominated.
     

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