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Poll: DIY vs Mass Produced LED units

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Thread: Battle of LED's-DIY vs Mass produced

  1. #1
    Cleaner Shrimp
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    Battle of LED's-DIY vs Mass produced

    Curious to see if people favor one or the other.

    Also, please post what setup you have and how its been working for you. As well as any other information you might find useful, I.e. cost, intensity, bad and the good. Debating which way to go for a new system I'm designing so this will definitely help me and other people that might be interested in getting LED's in the future.

  2. #2
    Reef Keeper
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    I thought you already had a LED setup??

    ANyway I voted DIY. For me the pricing for the manufactured lights are just still to high. You can get like 3 times the amount of light for the same price, but you got a little work to do. That and I find the manufactured lights dont have the options that you get with diy. Yes I know you dont get the warrantee but I have seen a bunch of folks that had them and didnt get thier money back either.

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  3. #3
    Cleaner Shrimp
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    I have Radions over my current setup, however im designing a larger system for when i move into my new house. i don't think using Radions would be efficient over this size of a system lol

  4. #4
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    Well if you decide to go Led, let me know we can design a system for it no problem.

    Mike
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  5. #5
    Cleaner Shrimp
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    Awesome! I will be starting a new build thread for it today at some point. Thanks Mike!

  6. #6
    Clownfish
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    Quote Originally Posted by mojoreef View Post
    I thought you already had a LED setup??

    ANyway I voted DIY. For me the pricing for the manufactured lights are just still to high. You can get like 3 times the amount of light for the same price, but you got a little work to do. That and I find the manufactured lights dont have the options that you get with diy. Yes I know you dont get the warrantee but I have seen a bunch of folks that had them and didnt get thier money back either.

    mike
    What Mike Says!!!

    I have been running my LED's (Pacific Sun) for almost 2 years now and they have been good, I would however, and plan to do it here in the near future is do my own DIY! I like the fact that if something goes wrong with it, I can repair it myself, also, you would definitely get more bang for your buck!
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  7. #7
    tat2z_21

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    Well I believe this question to be up to what the person wants in the long run, and the persons ability to DIY. If you are going for a sleek enclosed design that does not need to be placed in a hood, then sometimes to get what you want you may have to pay the extra and go with a store bought, but if you are good at building, or have someone that will build it for you then DIY is always better. More satisfaction from building it yourself, the fact that you understand the schematics of it, and well you get more bang for your buck. But if you are hiding this away in a hood then I feel that DIY is always the best way
    Olduvai Theory - This is a one-shot affair. If we fail, this planetary system fails so far as intelligence is concerned. The same will be true of other planetary systems. On each of them there will be one chance, and one chance only.

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    copod
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    Absolutely agree with all ^above^ DIY all the way. I researched the heck out of LED's for past 2+ years and the commercially available fixtures don't even come close to what I built for a fraction of the price. My main dislike of the commercial units besides pricing is thier lack of or narrow spectral outputs. For my 125g 60"x24"x20" I designed/chose my individual emitters (92 @3w for 276 watts total) to match a Phoenix 14K lamp by mixing 3 Whites (6500K, 8000K, 10K) 3 Royal Blues/Blues (450/460/480nm peaks)then added Red (625nm) and Green/Cyan (510nm) to achieve a full spectrum and allow fluorescing of most all coral colors. I tuned my drivers to 700ma or about 70% for most of the LED's rated for 1050ma and am currently only pushing them to 60% of that without any optics. My total expenses so far are approx $1300 with $650+ going towards my Apex Lite and accessories including thier PM-1, VDM and 5-LED Lunar Module kit. So 1/2 to 1/4 the price of a lesser unit and have a controller that does eveyrthing else on the system as well. I do have some value not counted as already had the Aluminum stock that I incorporated into my frame/heatsink build. Your also welcome to check it out if ever in the area Tyson.

    Cheers, Todd


    P.S. I did have alot of help from Floyd (tat2z) above

  9. #9
    Seahorse
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    Quote Originally Posted by DolphinLVR View Post

    I have been running my LED's (Pacific Sun) for almost 2 years now and they have been good,
    You must be HIGH! OR, congratulations!, you are the only person who hasn't had problems with your Pacific Sun unit. Next time I want to piss away three grand I'll donate it to FEMA.

  10. #10
    Clownfish
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCT182 View Post
    You must be HIGH! OR, congratulations!, you are the only person who hasn't had problems with your Pacific Sun unit. Next time I want to piss away three grand I'll donate it to FEMA.
    Sorry to hear of your troubles Brett! I am not saying mine have been trouble free, however, they are still currently running and If I have any power/Driver issues, I can easily resolve those I believe.

    Like I said in my previous post, I will be building my own LED units here shortly.
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  11. #11
    Goby
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    DIY if you have the ambition!

  12. #12
    Goby


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    I just ordered a 36" DIY Dimmable LED Kit/Aquastyleonline.com to replace a 150w 14k MH, 18w flourescent and 3w lunar leds running 171w's. My new LEDs will run close to a quarter of that in electricity. Although I must say that S&H from Hong Kong was expensive... it will pay itself off in electrical bill savings within 6 months if i had to guess. The kit comes with a couple options for colors. I chose the 18 White, 14 Blue, 2 Red and 2 UV for my tank. A big benefit is that I can continue to add these DIY LEDs onto any system when I decide to get a larger tank.

    DIY LED Kit w/ optional Heatsink: $126.00 ($99 w/o heatsink)

    Shipping: $48.00 to Massachusetts (from Hong Kong)

    Total: $174.00

    Details direct from Aquastyleonline website my 36" DIY Dimmable Kit:

    Bridgelux LED:

    Kit includes:
    •36 x 3 watts Bridgelux LED
    •36 x 60 degree optics
    •2 x constant current dimmable LED driver (100V-240V)
    •2 x potentiometer (control dimming)
    •2 x heatsink plaster
    •1 meter wire
    •8 x wire connector
    •2 x power cord

    Optional:
    •Heatsink


    White 10000K x18
    -Bridgelux 3W LED White 10000K
    -Color temperature: 10000K
    -Forward voltage: 3.7V @700mA
    -Lumens: 180-200
    -Max. current: 700mA
    -Lens beam angle: 120-140 degree
    -Operational temperature: -20C ~ +70C

    Royal Blue 452-455nm x14
    -Bridgelux 3W LED Royal Blue
    -Wavelength: 452-455nm
    -Forward voltage: 3.6V @700mA
    -Lumens: 30-40
    -Max. current: 700mA
    -Beam angle: 120-140 degree
    -Operational temperature: -20C ~ +70C

    Red x2
    -Epileds 3W LED Red
    -Peak Wavelength: 660nm
    -Forward voltage: 2.5V @700mA
    -Lumens: 70-80
    -Max. current: 700mA
    -Beam angle: 120-140 degree
    -Operational temperature: -20C ~ +70C

    UV x2
    -Epileds 3W LED UltraViolet(UV)
    -Max. wavelength: 398nm
    -Forward voltage: 3.8V @700mA
    -Lumens: 10-15
    -Max. current: 700mA
    -Beam angle: 120-140 degree
    -Operational temperature: -20C ~ +70C
    Last edited by 07FocusST; 02-08-2012 at 06:44 AM.
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  13. #13
    tat2z_21

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    Just a couple things about that set up. Understand that the LED's are only as good as their drivers. I have messed with those drivers and none of them are regulated. I mean one will put out 22vdc rather then therated 48vdc. So just read them out before you completely hook them up. Next when you get your heatsink find an area that is not seen and give it ascratch with something. If it flakes off or scrapes off then it is painted and painted heatsinks do not transfer heat as well and you will end up with burnt out LED's. Which if they are it is an easy fix. Just remove the paint.
    Olduvai Theory - This is a one-shot affair. If we fail, this planetary system fails so far as intelligence is concerned. The same will be true of other planetary systems. On each of them there will be one chance, and one chance only.

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  14. #14
    Goby


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    Tat2z_21: I understand that some of these "No-Name" brands may have their faults but the price you pay just can't be beat. The way I see it is now I have a place to start from and build up from there. I can expand the LED's over time to a larger tank, upgrade drivers, add LEDs, add fans, better heatsinks and such.... Also I understand about painted heatsinks.... I burned out a few LED's in the past with "Heat Transferring Paint"... Bunch of B.S. Thanks for the heads up!
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  15. #15
    tat2z_21

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    I agree with you 100 percent. I believe that even though Cree is the Ferrari of LED's, I find that other Manufacturer's meet the requirements and will work just fine. I was only mentioning that the drivers were not 100 percent dependable. Right now I am using 56 Phillips Luxeon 3w and 3x 100w multi chip EPILEDS on my tank andit doesexactly what I need it to do.
    Olduvai Theory - This is a one-shot affair. If we fail, this planetary system fails so far as intelligence is concerned. The same will be true of other planetary systems. On each of them there will be one chance, and one chance only.

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