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Thread: Building an aquarium LED light

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016

    Default Building an aquarium LED light

    Whats up guys,

    Long time viewer, first time poster

    I'm going to be tackling an LED build for my fish tank. It is a planted freshwater tank, which is the equivalent of a reef tank, but for freshwater. Some plants are very demanding and need lots of light. High end LED lights in the planted tank world are either don't exist, or are crazy expensive, so I decided to make my own!

    I am planning on using around 70 Cree XPE 1W~3W LEDs from ebay.

    50x 6500k
    10x red 660nm
    5x green
    5x 3000k

    I plan on doing one channel in series. Estimating that the LEDs will need 240ish volts and can draw up to 210W and can vari between 350ma - 1000ma. Controlling the current to dim the entire fixture.

    So after a lot of research, I came across this Mean Well LED Driver, the HLG-320H-C1050A, which has a built in potentiometer for the current, which will allow me to dial in the brightness and then leave it be once I have it where I want it. It has a input voltage between 110-220, output wattage up to 320W, output voltage up to 311 volts and 1050ma current, with that built in current potentiometer to adjust the brightness. Through my calculations, I think im going to land running the LED array around 800ma, I think that is going to give me the brightness I need.

    MakersLED is going to be sponsoring this build with one of their 48" Slim Heatsink housings, and a hanging kit. So I have a solution for a housing/heatsink, I'll probably put three 120mm 1,000rpm fans on top for good measure.

    And this is how I plan on laying out the LEDs in the fixture:

    I plan on using 14ga wire from the driver to the LED array, then either 16ga or 18ga to wire the LEDs in series...

    So yea... Thats my plan, just looking for any thoughts. Mostly on the Ebay LEDs, I have been warned about using ebay LEDs, but the alternative is to buy from superbrightleds where my order would be over $900, compared to less than $100 on ebay...

    For those that are interested, this is my fish tank I am building this for:

  2. #2

    Default Re: Building an aquarium LED light

    Neat power supply. One thing that occurred to me is the mix of different LEDs all being fed the same current. Is 800mA too much for some of them? I'm thinking of the red ones particularly. Buy more than you need - of course that doesn't help if they're all duds but saves you grief if one or two blow up the first week or are just plain off-spec. Always a good idea to run cheap LEDs cool, so maybe use more units at a lower current?

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* lucca brassi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Kocevje , Slovenia, Europe

    Default Re: Building an aquarium LED light

    different leds , different Vf , different current means same type uses in series their own power supply.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Building an aquarium LED light

    Quote Originally Posted by Seanmmvi View Post
    I'm going to be tackling an LED build for my fish tank.
    I completely misunderstood the title of your thread, only clicked because I thought a flashlight with an internal aquarium would be absolutely amazing, a real conversation starter. "I like to take my neon tetras for walks in the evenings."

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