So there are hundreds of LED builds on the web but every one is somewhat different. I took information from almost every thread I visited before deciding how I wanted to do my build so I thought I should share mine as well!!
I've kicked around the idea of switching to LED for years and since I'm currently building a new acrylic tank I thought this would be the best time. New display tank is 48x19x30...somewhere around 115 gallons.
Here were the key factors for my build...
- Dawn to dusk capability
- Variable moonlighting
- Maintain full control of the color blend.
- Get rid of the metal halide heat!
Obviously I'm looking at controllers so I can fully program my lighting and what I put together should work well with the Profilux II Light...the only thing left to order!
My LED's and drivers came from RapidLED (quite quickly I might add!):
- 48 Cree XP-E Royal Blue w/ 55 deg optics
- 24 Cree XP-G R5 Cool White w/ 65 deg optics
- 12 Osram Red LED's
- 4 Mean Well ELN-60-48D drivers
- Wire in multiple colors to help me keep sense of things
Heatsinks were ordered from HeatsinkUSA:
2 - 8.46"x18"
Cooling fans from NewEgg:
2 - 170 mm
Many misc parts including stainless screws, aluminum angle and straps, aluminum rivets, shield spacers, etc...were picked up from my local hardware store.
The biggest debate I found was when it came to the number of LED's per Mean Well driver. There is plenty of discussion around whether or not parallel strings should be used and the pros and cons are abundant for both sides. I chose to use parallel circuits to reduce the number of drivers I would need to buy since I shouldn't need to run my setup at full power anyway.
Driver 1 - 24 Royal blues, rear strings of 12 on each panel wired in parallel
Driver 2 - 24 Royal blues, front strings of 12 on each panel wired in parallel
Driver 3 - 24 Cool whites, each panel contains 12...again wired in parallel
Driver 4 - 12 red LED's for blending in at dusk/dawn times and creating interesting moonlighting during parties
I wired the blue strings together across the tank rather than by panel so that if I do ever have a falure on one circuit (a bad LED will take them down) I will still have the other providing blue spectrum across the entire tank. I put each string that is part of a parallel circuit on a fuse to protect is should the other half fail leaving the good string alone to handle the full power of the driver. You can see this in pictures of the fuse box I put together with parts from Radio Shack.
There are very good tutorials on setting the Mean Well drivers and I followed those. I set mine as follows:
Each blue or white driver set to 1300mA per parallel series. I did read that the power balance between the 2 may not be a perfect 50/50 but each loop should get close to 650mA. As I mentioned earlier I fuse protected each loop...the blue LED's are rated for 1000mA so should an LED fail all 1300mA would go through the other string and damage my precious lights. The whites really don't need fused because one string of 12 can handle the 1300mA but I fused them anyway for my own piece of mind and to protect them from a freak power surge.
So here are some pics...more in a profile album. I will add more pics and maybe a couple vids when everything is up and programmed.
Everything unpacked from newegg and rapidLED:
This is the fuse/wiring box...wired what I could, ready for the wiring from the fixture and controller:
Test driving the cooling fans...didn't even have the mounting straps on yet!
Here you can see the LED layout, color coded wiring to reduce my confusion!
The finished fixture mounted in my hood...drivers and fuse box are mounted to the top:
Close-up shows the wiring coming together in the middle as well as the plexi covers I made:
Everything tested perfectly one string at a time...I will add more when the controller is up and running. Comments, feedback and questions are appreciated!!