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Old 07-07-2015, 09:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default lazy lighting

I've been in the hobby for a few years, but wasn't able to do anything substantial. I finally set up my "75 gal dream tank" complete with ADA aquasoil, two eheims 2215, CO2, and an underwater waterfall (it's the main attraction!). Things were growing pretty good. Except...

I used the stock T8 plant light to supplement the background plants but for the main light I had bought an aquatraders 4x54 T5HO light. Cheap stuff. You get what you pay for and I'm pretty much fed up. So I'm trying to do my research on the forums and I haven't come to any real conclusions on what I should do. Basically I want to carpet the foreground with dwarf baby tears (wasn't ever able to get enough light down there). I was thinking of doing LED but when I looked at all the options for DIY, light spectrum, angles, and PARS my head started spinning.

If I was going to redo my lighting, to grow those dwarf baby tears and do high tech - what do I need to get? I don't mind spending the money, if I can set it and quit it. I need to move on this pretty quick... Unfortunately, my life doesn't allow for daily care and monitoring of my tank - I just don't have the time. Is there a quick fix that is quality and won't break down on me? Thanks in advance
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Old 07-08-2015, 12:45 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: lazy lighting

Check out buildmyled.com I wish I had before I got the Leds I have now.

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Old 07-08-2015, 07:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I did and that's when my head started spinning. It looked totally awesome to be able to customize but I don't know enough about wavelengths and what kind of bulb is suited to which plants. I didn't want to pick things just 'cause it looked purdy!
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Old 07-08-2015, 07:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: lazy lighting

Dutch xb for high par dutch for just a bit less 90 to 120 degree lens then from there you and get a dimmer,timer,etc.

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Old 07-08-2015, 02:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've also seen Finnex and Current LEDs. How are these for planted tanks? Since they are much cheaper, I'm assuming you get what you pay for?
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Old 07-11-2015, 02:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: lazy lighting

Geez!

I will never understand why so many people even look at commercial LED fixtures. Other than the sleek look and maybe an application where these fixtures will actually work just fine (shallower tanks) all of them are at least 50% more expensive and dimming is a rare feature. I'm comparing to a DIY LED fixture that is not only cheaper, but has way (WAY!) higher PAR, dimming, and uses solderless LED so you don't even need to solder anything.

How hard is it? Here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7fwVP61kiM

That is all. Give or take 15 minutes. Adding dimming is an additional $30 and requires no soldering either. And you can add 2 extra strips of LED to the same dimming controller if you decide you want more light in the future.

Here, I just got some more LED parts and will be making another 6 ft. long rail. Will document it all, hopefully this will amount to something. From what I see threads that show LED DIY builds tend to get too technical because nowadays most of this hobby is not about the beauty of nature anyway. Things have gotten so simplified that you can literally build a 6 ft long fixture in 30 minutes (most of the time is used to drill 2 holes to secure each individual LED). It is freaking simple indeed. Nerdy techie clowns make it sound complicated. Bottom line is - the plants will grow if the light is strong enough, forget the extreme obsession about wavelengths and what not.
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Old 07-11-2015, 02:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: lazy lighting

http://www.buildmyled.com/dutch-plan...00k-xb-series/

Wow. $325 for a 48" single strip. For what PAR and coverage? PAR110 at 18" depth. If there is no air between the water and the light.
http://www.buildmyled.com/dutch-plan...00k-xb-series/

Mount the fixture 8" above the tank so you can have your hands in the tank without much trouble. The PAR will be about 70. Right under the light... About 50 at best 6" from the center. So one strip is not going to illuminate the entire 75 gallon tank even with the 90 degree lenses. Look at one happy user that got two of these fixtures ($650)... My 6 ft long fixture with dimming that illuminates a 6x2x2 ft tank now costs me $370. PAR 110 with fixture 8" above the water.

Not trying to appear smart here. I can barely even pronounce the phrase "forward voltage" which is very important when using LED. It's al just common sense.
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Old 07-13-2015, 09:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: lazy lighting

for your application EggOkay I see only two options that is having a fixture custom built for you (at premium cost) or building it yourself (for less than most commercial fixtures cost.

Spectrum is simple with the best results I found being a 50/50 split between cool white and neutral white LEDs. As fart as total wattage goes I would say for low tech most people can get away with about 25 Watts on a 75 gllon but with your desires of height light plants at the substrate 75 watts would work much better for you.

I'm not a bit user of LEnses however in your situation where you will have about 22" between the 'LED and the substrate with high light demanding foreground plants I would recommend lenses in the foreground to boost the penetration.

Using 40 degree lenses will cast he beam about 14" wide at the substrate so I'd recommend a spacing of under 7" between LED's. For even better penetration 20 degree Lenses would give you an 8" beam and work great for max penetration with 4" spacing between the LED's.

I would only use the narrow lenses over the area that require that high light concentration and either have no lenses or very wide lenses on the other LED's.

If you need any help on DIY building please feel free to send me a PM.

Dennis
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: lazy lighting

@niko I have no problems with DIY, but I just don't have the time to do the research of what I need. It's no problem for me to put the parts together - in fact that youtube video is a little too easy. I just need a good kit that has all the parts.

Are you buying from rapidled or should be looking somewhere else?
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Old 08-01-2015, 07:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: lazy lighting

Niko is correct. Diy can be simple. My first light I built, I over complicated things and failed miserably. Learned my lesson, reduilt a new light and very happy.

Not to get to far off topic, but I see a lot of people recommend the buildmyled, Sat and Fennix. I have not heard of anyone using or recommending Orphek.

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