LED DIY and

Discussion in 'Equipment Reviews' started by Darryl Putter Photography, Mar 7, 2017.

Voter count: 1
?

What lights work best for bringing out colour in fish?

  1. Florescent brands?

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Florescent Tubes?

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
  3. Florescent bulbs?

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Other?

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Darryl Putter Photography

    Darryl Putter Photography

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2017
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Kenilworth - Cape Town
    Company called Future Light in Cape Town - waterproof LED Strips

    5m Grow light R599 though I only used 2.5m in this 1m tank - this has 4 red lights to every 1 blue and is set at spectrum's ideal for plant growth.
    Cool White 5M R224 used 2.5m - this adds some power and gives natural colour. It also seems to counteract/hide the brown tannin colours of the water.
    These combined I estimate I get 1.55 Watts per gallon and that is recommended for tanks without CO2 diffusers. So perfect :)

    Manual Dimmer 179 - put on the cool white strip so I can simulate a sunset and fade in light through the day.
    2x AC/DC converters 598 - one for each tank i have. They run a max of 5m of LED strip in DC.

    I wired everything myself with relative ease (needed soldering and silicone sealing), simply stuck the strips to the glass inside the tank with it's sticky back and silicone.
    The Adapters I put in an ice cream tub with cut holes for ventilation and wire access. I hid this outside the tank.

    Total cost for a 100x39cm and 60x30cm tank with 4m lights to spare = R1600

    Nice thing is they use min power, let of min heat (most of that heat is released off the back of the strip, out the tank). They can't rust, I'm told the bulb life is something like 15 years, they are light and easy to position.
    So far the plants are loving it. Growing fast.
    Fish under the light look okay but the light being close to the water surface means a fish swimming beneath and past it will appear bright and translucent one second and duller the next if they're on the surface. Also the grow lights make the fish look red at times.
    The light is rather directional and doesn't spread evenly. This means the fish duller at times when theyre swimming around, It's hard to sit and study their colour.
    This also means you should place lights and plants carefully so plants that need the most light get it.
    I'd give the set up 7.5/10 for color. Have seen other lights that bring out more color on surfaces. But the pictures posted are pretty accurate to the color I see with my eyes, not bad at all.

    I may get a florescent light designed particularly to bring out good colour, with an even spread for when I'm viewing or displaying the aquarium. Any suggestions?
    I also want to play with lighting from different directions not just overhead.

    Future Light also have:
    UV LED strips 5M (not bought) R 600 but not sure I need that. They work in the 385-405nm wavelength and the safe range is 380-400nm..
    They won't aid Photosynthesis but will kill all bacteria it comes into contact with. Not sure I want that. But it would enhance colour and promotes antioxidants in plants.

    _RL_9761.jpg

    _RL_9766.jpg

    _RL_9777.jpg

    _RL_9749.jpg
     
  2. Guest




  3. f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    9,294
    Likes Received:
    1,871
    Location:
    JHB - Randburg
    Sounds interesting, few questions.

    1)What is your total current draw, I am assuming you are running 12 volt dc.
    2) Have pictures of the mounting of the LED strips? Keen see if this is water proof and how if it is.
    3) Max life is probably more like 2 years, but still that is OK - just add more
    4) If you are running https://www.futurelight.co.za/produ...-led-striplight-5-1-ratio?variant=18161030471 I hope you mounted them on aluminium, I prefer H- bar - 5050's are not that efficient and do generate loads of heat.
    5) The 3528's are more efficient than any 5050 strip and tend to run cooler - so I assume you are running https://www.futurelight.co.za/produ...rproof-ultra-bright-5m-roll?variant=319082871 and not the 5050's the 3014's are way more light than either of the other two. If you can get them in a water proof housing.
    6) Welcome to LEDs - they are loads of fun, but they lend more to experimentation so in the end might really cost a truck load more as DIY lighting.


    Later Ferdie

    BTW the lucky bamboo in your tanks is not aquatic - it will pollute the tank badly when is starts to die.
     
  4. OP
    Darryl Putter Photography

    Darryl Putter Photography

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2017
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Kenilworth - Cape Town
    1) I'm not sure of the draw, packaging just says cool whites are 14.4W per meter and I have 2.5 M of cool white and 2.5 M of Grow. They are running 12V dc.
    2) I don't have pics but as you can see in the pic of my tank there is a space on top. In that space are ledges of glass that support a lid and a platform for a fluorescent light. I simply stuck the LED strips to the glass with their sticky back that is standard and siliconed it on every 40cm for extra support.
    2.2) it is completely waterproof, the LED chips are sealed with a thick layer of clear flexible silicone type plastic. I wouldn't run them underwater although occasionally when my sump filter misbehaves and the tank fills up too much part of the light goes underwater with no adverse effects. The shrimp in my tank at that time were unaffected. Areas where I cut the LED strip I simply silicone sealed again.
    3) Ok thanks where did you find that info? I believe they hold their wavelength accuracy for 15 years come to think of it.. may die before that depending on how long they're on for..
    4) I am, I mounted straight to glass which I tested before hand and it dissipates the heat decently, I didn't want any metal near my water.. What are H- bar?
    5) I am running 5050 cool whites they really aren't that hot.. the link says the 3528's only have 4.8W pm that's not enough for the plants and then the grow lights would probably have overpowered them leaving my tank looking red..
    6) Ya I figured it's the way to go based on this article: https://www.maximumyield.com/on-the-dawn-of-a-grow-light-revolution-seeing-light-differently/2/1427 and others.. also mostly wanted to avoid rust.

    Thanks I have been warned about that plant and will watch it. It's the one behind the log right? Lasted a month so far..??

    Any advice on what lights I can get to solve my problem with viewing the fish?
     
  5. f-fish

    f-fish #unspecified

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    9,294
    Likes Received:
    1,871
    Location:
    JHB - Randburg
    He he he, is is all about the detail.

    4) Here is some posts about h-bar https://www.tropicalaquarium.co.za/threads/36-degrees-900x580x450.22875/page-3#post-300548 maybe you get lucky - all strips that I have ever mounted on glass overheated and had a reduced life.

    2.2) - yeah they "die" at about 30 months - shorter if you run them over 11.2 volts. It eventually yellows.
    3) - experience - I have played with loads of theses in tanks.
    5) you looking at the wrong thing - you need to look at lm/watt, but yes the cheap strips run a lower led count.

    I suspect you need overall more light in your tank.

    Later Ferdie
     
  6. BoelderBeestie

    BoelderBeestie

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2016
    Messages:
    2,261
    Likes Received:
    1,005
    Location:
    Cape Town
    For viewing the true colour of your fish a 6500K white light is best, mount the light in the top front of the tank so it shines onto the fish. To bring out their colour I use a aqua glo combined with a white tube. The white tube counters the excessive purple the aqua glo produces. The discus pic in my avatar was taken under a 6500k spot light.
     

Recent Posts

Share This Page