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Thread: DIY moonlight

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Default DIY moonlight


    0 Not allowed!
    As I was discussing with a fellow aquarist the other day (who is also a member here). If you're the DIY kind, there's a niffy project you could do:

    an aluminum U-channel with LEDs installed inside of it. Details are a bit blurry atm but I might do one in no long if I can find a bit of time.

    Basically, in a general step-by-step:
    -take an aluminum U-channel
    -Get some white/blue (at choice) LEDs (probably 1 each 2"-4")
    -Then, Drill in the Aluminum channel just the perfect size of the smaller LED part (you know, LEDs have that larger part near the bottom of the LED) (theses holes should be on one side of the U, not the middle).
    -Drill 2 more holes on the other side (not center again) to be able to screw in the channel to the top somewhere. (location at discretion of the user)
    -Wire each LED on the cathode and anode (just enough wire to hook every LEDs together on one side of the channel) (We're going to use Parallel circuit mode).
    -Use some heat-shrink tubing to seal the LEDs wiring & pins.
    -Slip each LEDs in their respective hole in the U-channel
    -Drop a tiny bit of glue (or silicone or hot glue or any other bonding method) to hold the led at the wanted place (inside the drilled hole)
    -Figure out where in your hood the U-channel mounting holes arrive and drill the top at this location.
    -Screw in place the U-channel with 2 (or more, but 2 should be way enough) mounting screws.
    -Hook every wires at the desired location (anode wire with other anode wires, same for cathode) and start a new single wire from there. (new wire is long enough to end up in a control box (connexion box) at a desired external location).
    -Put some heat-shrink tubing on that new wire too (should overlap the others wires to seal everything up).
    -Run the new wire to the control box.
    -(optionally) Install a switch in the control box (if you don't feel plugging/unplugging the PSU each time) (no need of it if you're going to be hooked to a timer, but should still be recommended)
    -hook a power supply to that control box / connexion box. (PSU required will depend on what LEDs you got in the first place. not all LEDs have same requirements.
    -Plug-in / power on the system.
    -Enjoy!

    Credits to user : stephane.savard for thinking initially of the design.

    If I've miss something of I'm not clear about something, let me know. Any improvement or suggestion are welcome as always!

    Also, if you happen to do it. take some pictures of the making-of. I'm sure it could help some peoples! :)

    Also, a bunch of tweak can be done to this project. Especially, if you don't feel using a U-channel, you can use a L-channel and bend it at the desired angle (all length) so it would fit better under your top. Or, you could also install a LED controller/timer and simulate the moon raising (would be much much much harder tho and would require a bunch more LEDs than this). Possibility are infinite and sky is the limit ;)

  2. #2

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Very nice write up! I just may attempt this one as I have been thinking of putting some on one of my tanks to see how it is.
    20g long 84w, fluorite, planted, 5 Habrosus Corys, MTS, pair of Clown Pleco (L104)
    20gal tall: home to 10 brevis. Letting them pair off then will put the rest into the 55.
    55g empty

  3. #3

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Well here is a website (good one) to desing your moonlight

    Code:
    http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz
    Im making my own moonlight base on the following diagram



    Solution 1: 2 x 10 array uses 20 LEDs exactly
    +12V
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms

    The wizard says: In solution 1:

    * each 270 ohm resistor dissipates 108 mW
    * the wizard says the color code for 270 is red violet brown
    * the wizard thinks 1/4W resistors are fine for your application Help
    * together, all resistors dissipate 1080 mW
    * together, the diodes dissipate 1400 mW
    * total power dissipated by the array is 2480 mW
    * the array draws current of 200 mA from the source.

    I hope you can understand all. (if u do congrats cause i DON'T)
    Code:
    http://www.merida.gob.mx
    Code:
    http://www.mayayucatan.com.mx
    A Great View Of My City, We´re Very Different From The Rest Of The Mexican Republic. We Are The Yucatan Republic

  4. #4

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    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by calix10
    Well here is a website (good one) to desing your moonlight

    Code:
    http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz
    Im making my own moonlight base on the following diagram



    Solution 1: 2 x 10 array uses 20 LEDs exactly
    +12V
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms
    + -|>|- -|>|- -/\/\/\- + R = 270 ohms

    The wizard says: In solution 1:

    * each 270 ohm resistor dissipates 108 mW
    * the wizard says the color code for 270 is red violet brown
    * the wizard thinks 1/4W resistors are fine for your application Help
    * together, all resistors dissipate 1080 mW
    * together, the diodes dissipate 1400 mW
    * total power dissipated by the array is 2480 mW
    * the array draws current of 200 mA from the source.

    I hope you can understand all. (if u do congrats cause i DON'T)

    Well, I ... DO... understand it but that wizard take in considerations stuff that you don't really need to know like the wattage dissipated by the resistors and the total energy deployed. In fact, you only need to take the diagram (which didn't got out pretty well but with a bit of electronic knowledge, it's pretty easy to figure it out.

    the -|>|- is a light emitting diode (LED)
    the -/\/\/\- is a resistor
    and the source is 12V... (could probably operate on 9v too, my guess)

    So, if you have 2 LED and the resistor in serie, and all theses 10 sets (total 20 leds, 10 resistors) in parallels, you'll end up with that circuit. I'll try to draw a small drawing when I'll have a few minutes to explain it more :P

    by itself, it's a very (but very very very) easy circuit. you could even port it to add more LEDs or use high-power leds ( and more than 20 total) and hook a controller to it and tada ! you got one of theses Nifty high-cost LEDs lightning system. But, it ain't cheap to build... and the controller might cost a fortune and require programming/electronics knowledge (which i'm not sure you want to get into).

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