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Hpimichael02
05-02-2011, 01:44 PM
Hey guys I want more light with less electricity, I want to go LED , I want to use 5mm super bright white led 3v 20ma bulbs , I'm looking to hook up about 20-30, would it be best to run in series or parallel ? And do I use 1 resistor at a higher wattage or do I put a resistor per LED?

labnjab
05-02-2011, 04:52 PM
Do you have a link to the lights your using and the ballast as well? Wiring depends on what your using

I have a 10 gallon reef which has 16 cree xr-e 3 watt bulbs and 8 cool whites are on a meanwell ELN60-48D dimmable ballast, and 8 royal blue are on a meanwell lpc 35-700 ballast. All bulbs are wired in a series. If you wire in a series no resistors are needed but you have to be sure to use the minimum number of leds that the ballast requires to work or you'll fry the ballast.

Hpimichael02
05-02-2011, 05:20 PM
im doing it in a freshwater tank with fake plants- ive been googleing videos and such and some folks have just used the ebay japan cheap LED's from ebay lol- ive seen it done on youtube and what not- i was gonna pick up a balast but i dont know what balast to get - but is a balast needed if each led has a resistor?

dbosman
05-02-2011, 09:42 PM
It would be simpler to use a couple of 3 watt emitters and an LED driver designed to run them. 20 to 30 individual LEDs are going to be a lot more work to mount.

Hpimichael02
05-03-2011, 04:37 PM
Would u happen to have a link to those emitters I can't seem to find them

dbosman
05-04-2011, 10:02 PM
http://www.satistronics.com
They are in China. From order to delivery usually takes three weeks or so.

3W High Power LED Pure White 110-130LM
* item#: SS-3WW $1.99 each in lots of 5
3W High Power LED Warm white 80-100LM
* item#: SS-3WWW $1.99 each in lots of 5

Power Driver for 1pcs 3 Watt 1x3 Power LED, AC 80V-260V, E26, E27, GU10
* item#: AD-A3X1W $5.99

Unfortunately, they aren't currently listing the drivers for three to five or nine to twelve 3w emitters. Prices vary as well. 3 watt LEDs were $1.39 a couple of weeks ago.
They do list bare drivers, but you'd need to mount them in an electrical enclosure of some kind.
************************************************** ***
http://www.ledgroupbuy.com/
is where you get in on group pricing for the real deal. Cree emitters.

http://www.rapidled.com/
has good products and reasonable prices.

TazManiac
05-05-2011, 01:30 AM
Sounds like they are a cheaper option than I thought they were. I will have to look into this for moon lights.

dbosman
05-05-2011, 02:05 AM
If you can spare some money, order at least one extra driver and extra LED emitters in white. This type of DIY project is one of the more addictive ones.

The cheapest Aluminum piece I've found for mounting and heat sink is a 1/8" thick, 2" wide, 4 foot aluminum "yard stick". $8.00 at Home Depot.

Hpimichael02
05-06-2011, 01:12 AM
I'm still lost on the driver, when I was a kid I had hooked up 4 in parrelle and used an old cd player ac charger to power them since it was only a 3 watt out put and little amps, so what's does the driver do ? And for S&G's if I got 10x3watt led I would get a 30w driver correct ??

labnjab
05-06-2011, 11:17 AM
You need the driver to convert ac to dc, most leds run on dc, unless it is internally regulated, then it will run on ac.

Before I went to the crees on my 10 gallon I did run internally regulated LED's. They fit in a gu-10 socket and you just wired them to straight 110 ac in a parallel with no resistors. They also had built in heat sinks and optics

These were the bulbs
http://cgi.ebay.com/1pc-GU10-3W-Warm-White-Energy-Saving-Bulb-3-1Watt-LED-/160580349444?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item256355ae04#ht_1578wt_1165

and these were the sockets

http://cgi.ebay.com/GU10-LED-Halogen-Bulb-Lamp-Light-Socket-Base-Holder-/160575700370?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item25630ebd92

These would be your cheapest and easiest way to do it. If you shop around you can find different color temperatures and prices. Warm white is like 3500K and cool while is close to 6500K. They worked out pretty good but I wasn't happy with the color for a reef application

dbosman
05-06-2011, 08:25 PM
I'm still lost on the driver, when I was a kid I had hooked up 4 in parrelle and used an old cd player ac charger to power them since it was only a 3 watt out put and little amps, so what's does the driver do ? And for S&G's if I got 10x3watt led I would get a 30w driver correct ??

A driver is a constant current or constant voltage device that converts the power to something usable by the LED emitter or string of emitters.
Some convert from 110 VAC - 220 VAC and some convert from far lower voltage (24 VDC nominal usually) to constant current or constant voltage.

labnjab
05-06-2011, 10:25 PM
One thing to remember with drivers is most have a minimum and a maximum load requirement which it should tell you on its spec sheet. My meanwell eln 60-48D has a 8, 3 watt cree xr-e minimum wired in a series or it will destroy the ballast. I found out the hard way trying to run 6 bulbs and it killed the driver in a few seconds, but luckily rapid led warrantied it for me.

Its also a good idea to wire in fast acting fuses on the led side of the driver. I run a 1 amp fuse on each driver on our set-up which will save our leds should there be a surge