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Discussion Starter #1
Well.. I am relatively a new reefer (around 7 months) with a small simple 14 gallon biocube. Just like every other reefer, I too wanted to get into LED to get better color, lower power consumption, long life and better control. This is the summary of my LED build.

Plan....
  • 3 Cool White Cree XP-G
  • 2 Natural White Cree XP-G
  • 5 Royal Blue XP-E
  • 1000mA dimmable buckpucks with PWM input.
  • 5.75"x9" Heat sink with longitudinal fins
  • Cooled by Stock fans
  • Dawn to dusk light control with Arduino
  • Entire system turned on with a simple wall timer
  • Use power supplies hanging around. Laptop charger for LED, small 9v power supplies to arduino, and 12v power supply to fans.

Basic logic is that timer will turn on arduino and fans simultaneously. Arduino will start internal clock and take control of the lights until until dusk followed by system shut off by the timer. Future plan to replace the timer with RTC module.

Schematic...


Got my LEDs from ledgroupbuy real cheap. Around $5 for whites and $4 for RB. Arduino from eBay. Buckpucks from rapidLED. Thermal paste also from ledgroupbuy. Screws and nylon washers from Ace hardware.



Drilled and tapped the heat sink for #4-40 screws. I wanted to keep the white and blue as pairs to reduce color shadowing. Drilling and tapping is real easy and you dont really need a bench drill. My handheld drill did the job without breaking a single drill bit.


Soldered the LEDs into two circuits. Bought a aluminum strip from LOWES to make two simple brackets to attach the heatsink to the hood. Here is the finished product mounted in the BC14 hood. What you see below the heat sink is a little plastic baffle to force air through the fins instead of taking a short cut.


Sorry couldnt snap photos in between. Next is to program the arduino. I had little trouble getting the driver installed. Everything else is super easy if you have little background in C programming.

Hooked up everything to test the setup.


Worked like a charm.. I can ramp up and down blues and whites independently. Blue light made my clowns go blonkers and finally settled with both white and blue ramp up and down together. Will fine tune later. This is my current schedule.

  • 30 mins lights ramp up to 2%. This happens around 1 pm
  • Next 2 hrs lights ramp up to 50%
  • Continue 50% intensity for 6.5 hrs (day time)
  • Ramp down to 2% over 2 hrs
  • Ramp down to 0% over last 30 mins

And this is the final product..


Now I am ready for SPS. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Total cost around $150 which include Arduino controller and shipping. Of course I didnt have to buy power supplies. I might buy 24V x 2A switching power supply for $14 from eBay.

Future plan is to add an LCD display to show the reef clock, light intensity and perhaps tank temperature.

Comments and questions welcome. :)
 

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buld

hey what would be the chances of you bulding one for me to put on my 15gal reef ill pay for all the equipment and i will also give you some cash
 

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Discussion Starter #6
reefdr:

My hourly rate is way too high for an LED build and not worth it. :) In case if I help out, it would be absolutely free.

But, I am willing to help with advice, programing arduino etc.
 

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What's the part number for the LED's? I have been interested in a little project like this. Need to start researching
 

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reefdr:

My hourly rate is way too high for an LED build and not worth it. :) In case if I help out, it would be absolutely free.

But, I am willing to help with advice, programing arduino etc.
maybe if and when i upgrade my light we can get together and you can give me a lesson on led stuff
 

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I currently have leds but am intrigued by your use of the arduino. My plans would be different than yours in a few ways, the main one being size. Does the number of leds matter as to which arduino you purchase? If I wanted to run my fuge and DT on opposing cycles would I need two separate units? Since I would be running the leds (at least a percentage of them) 24 hours a day would I need a timer, or could the arduino be used as the timer? Also how detailed can the programing be, could I set it to alter the length of days for the seasons and set the brightness of the lunar lights to simulate the phases of the moon?

Thanks in advance, I might even have to pick your brain when it comes to the programming, I am fairly confident I can work my way through that though.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wuton:

I currently have leds but am intrigued by your use of the arduino.
I wanted to control blues and whites separately. People usually do it with two power supplies and separate timers etc. Instead of investing on additional power supply, I thought of using Arduino micro controller to do the job with one power supply and you get ramping up down feature for free. Arduino gives you multiple PWM outputs which can be fed to buckpucks to control current output on each circuit. That was my logic. I paid around $20 for Arduino (eBay from Hongkong).

Does the number of leds matter as to which arduino you purchase?
Nope. I used Arduino Dueminalove. I believe it has 6 PWM pins which will give you ability to control 6 different circuits. Of course you can use do many other things with Arduino such as turning on equipment via relays etc.

If I wanted to run my fuge and DT on opposing cycles would I need two separate units? Since I would be running the leds (at least a percentage of them) 24 hours a day would I need a timer, or could the arduino be used as the timer? Also how detailed can the programing be, could I set it to alter the length of days for the seasons and set the brightness of the lunar lights to simulate the phases of the moon?
Yes you can use just one Arduino unit for all of that. But, you may have to use a relay to turn on sump lights. I suggest using an RTC (real time clock) module if you use the system continuously. Arduino clock gets reset when there is a power failure.

Thanks in advance, I might even have to pick your brain when it comes to the programming, I am fairly confident I can work my way through that though.
Certainly. I can give you my program if you want. You can see my logic and build on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
pacej:

I used Cree XP-G Natural White and Cool White. XP-E for Royal Blue. I did not use any optics and I am not sure if there are any optics for XP-G due to it's small form factor. I wasnt using any optics anyways. If you have bigger system and if the lights are fairly high above the surface, you have to use optics to direct the light to reduce wastage. Evil is the guru on this subject.
 

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ledgroupbuy does offer optics for the xp series leds, they come in 40-60-80 degrees I ordered mine in the 40 degree option because of the depth of my tank.

Dewey I would love to take a gander at your programming that would at least give me an idea of the thought process needed. I was looking at ordering the real time clock and maybe even the expanded memory depending on the size of the programming needed for what I would like it to do.

If I can get it to mimic the day lengths with each day being different, I would imagine it would be rather large and extensive. Not to mention the different phases of the moon.

The reason I am interested is that I currently use a single power supply that I made to run all my DC equipment and the timers for the 24vDC are not cost effective. I was thinking of beginning to build a PLC to control everything but again the cost and the time it would take to acquire the equipment from work would take over a year.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wuton:

Have you downloaded arduino programing environment? I will send you the program which you can open in arduino environment.

Thanks for the tip on optics. I will go with 60 or 80 degree.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wuton:

Couldnt figure out how to attach a file in PM. I can perhaps email it to you if you could PM me your email address.
 

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I got your email, thanks alot. I am now currently waiting for my arduino to arrive via slow boat from china.

1)I am curious did you also order a lcd shield?
2)What about transistors or resistors?
3)Did you hardwire everything to the arduino or did you use a breadboard?
4)Isn't the arduino's output +5vDC, and doesn't the led driver require 10vDC for full power ramp up and down, or did you just supply the additional 5vDC from a different source?

Sorry for all the questions just trying to make sure I have all the parts before hand.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wuton:

1. I haven't added any LCD shield yet. Plan to do it in the future.
2. I didnt have to use any transistors or resistors.
3. I hardwired and used twist connectors. I haven't cleaned up the project box yet. I ordered toggle switches and pots. Plan to toggle between arduino control and manual with going through the pots.
4. I used buckpucks which use 0-5v control voltage. Didnt have to step up.
 
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