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Thread: Phasezero's DIY Led Fixture Cluster Redesign (radion inspired)

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    Copepod

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    Phasezero's DIY Led Fixture Cluster Redesign (radion inspired)

    It's been 1 year since I've built the 14RB/8NW fixture and it's time to redo this fixture to address many issues. All parts have already been ordered, so i will update this thread with pictures as i go along with before and after pictures. The goal for this redesign is to address the following:


    1. Disco fever - The very second i put this fixture over the tank i was not pleased with the disco dance floor all over the tank. This may have been magnified by how i arranged the LED's. I used 3 rows of led's, 2 RB rows and 1 for the neutrals. If they were alternating it might have reduced it, but i have no doubt the disco effect would still exist.


    Solution:
    -I will arrange the led's to create 2 major clusters with led's packed tight as possible.
    -Removing the 60 degree lens and just run without optics .
    -Will be using a diffusion filter on an acrylic shield.


    2. Lack of color - A year ago cool whites were standard and neutrals were just starting to become recommended. It didn't take long to see that NW/RB is still lacking in the color department.


    Solution:
    -Adding the following colors: True Violet, Deep Red, Turquoise, Cool Blue, Cool White


    3. Cleaner Installation - The wiring was a jumbled mess with too much slack. The look of the bare heatsink and led's is pretty ugly and takes away from the tank imo.


    Solution:
    -Use DC jacks and plugs
    -Use wire loom and sleeving
    -Screw all drivers and dimmer box onto a wood board
    -Create an acrylic enclosure for the LED Fixture


    After messing around with Photoshop I've come up with the following layout. Just for reference, the pinkish color are the TV's and the Purplish colors are the RB. Each center has a single Cool blue.
    Layout - 8 NW / 6 CW / 14 RB / 4 Red / 14 TV / 4 Turquoise / 2 Cool Blue

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    tat2z_21

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    I think that the clusters are a cool idea but how do they work in practice. I know that the Ecorays are lacking spread (still a really good light), but do have a high par level directly under the lights. I currently am running a setup something similar but have a 100w multichip LED in the middle of the two clusters.
    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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    Copepod

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    Quote Originally Posted by tat2z_21 View Post
    I think that the clusters are a cool idea but how do they work in practice. I know that the Ecorays are lacking spread (still a really good light), but do have a high par level directly under the lights. I currently am running a setup something similar but have a 100w multichip LED in the middle of the two clusters.
    I believe the theory is to cluster differing colors together to improve color blending. With the traditional checker board style of light such as the ecoray or almost all DIY led fixtures, it seems like the even spacing of multiple point sources will hit surfaces differently after being transmitted through water, resulting in a disco dance floor. The idea is to imitate a single point source of light. Ideally I would just have a multi chip LED containing all of these colors in a small footprint. I do think multichip LED's will start becoming the new standard in led lighting. I have seen a thread on RC using a 100w white/rb multichip. Do you have any pictures of your setup? I'd be interested to see what you've done with the multichip led's.

    An example of perfect blending is my Kessil A150W on my nano. The tank shows absolutely no signs of color separation.
    Last edited by phasezero; 03-17-2012 at 12:31 AM.

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    tat2z_21

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    I understand the blending, but with LED's being such a point and shoot light source as soon as you ad optics you only get the specified lens degrees from that light. With the most intensity in the middle of the LED light you will see that your light intensity drops off towards the sides of the cluster. With the Kessil all of the chips are in the same housing and collimnator. Which means that the light gets blended in the lens itself. I am not stating facts on the set up you are looking to build because I have not personally tested something like that. It looks interesting and would love to see it in practice.
    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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    tat2z_21

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    I do have to say that you are going to like the different colors in the set up you have. The only color I do not have is a 3W TV. I do have a string of TV's that I was using but not enough strength behind them.
    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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    Copepod

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    Quote Originally Posted by tat2z_21 View Post
    I understand the blending, but with LED's being such a point and shoot light source as soon as you ad optics you only get the specified lens degrees from that light. With the most intensity in the middle of the LED light you will see that your light intensity drops off towards the sides of the cluster. With the Kessil all of the chips are in the same housing and collimnator. Which means that the light gets blended in the lens itself. I am not stating facts on the set up you are looking to build because I have not personally tested something like that. It looks interesting and would love to see it in practice.
    I will be borrowing a PAR meter from Western washington university and check my drop off as i leave the centers. If it's bad i might put my 60 degree lenses back on the Cree's. I'm excited to see some new colors to play around with. Not too excited about how much i spent this time around for whats considered an upgrade hahaa. It always seems like the misc cost of items other than the LED's always get me.

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    tat2z_21

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    I agree. Let me know how the outcome of the par test. I think you have something great going and maybe you could put some 60 deg optics on the outside of the cluster. Just to spread it out a little more.
    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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    Copepod

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    Here are some pictures of the upgrade process. I'm pretty much finished and tested the lights. I hung it over the tank and am impressed with the amount of pop the true violets give when they are on by themselves or with the blues. With all lights on full blast the violets are hard to notice. Currently I'm still waiting for my cheapo drill to charge so i can actually mount the shield with the diffusion filter.





    The carnage in my living room.






    I changed the layout a tad as i found that i could not re use some of the old LED's because the superglue i had used to mount the optics had trashed the base lens. I'm also dealing with an issue with the 4 Red/ 4 Turquoise string, when turned up even slightly the whole string blinks on and off. I think it might have something to do with running 8 LED's as it happened in my previous setup when i had 8 whites. The wierd thing is that this only happens at this particular AC socket, because when i move to a different part of the house it doesn't happen. I don't believe the socket is getting overloaded because it's just the lights and a few small accessories like pumps.

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    Blenny
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    That outlet might have a short.

    Sent from my MB525 using Tapatalk
    180g display; 55g seahorse tank; 25g sump

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    tat2z_21

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    I believe that the blinking LEDs might have something to do with the driver. Do you have the driver tuned down to the recommended mA's for the LEDs, if not tune the driver down and try it again. The Driver has a overcurrent function for the safety of the driver, this may be caused by the fact that the reds and cyans are working at a lower resistance. So current is inversely proportional to resistance. meaning that if the resistance is low then the current is high. I know that this is a constant current driver but it might be saying that the circuit is having a hard time keeping it stable.
    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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    tat2z_21

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    If the outlet had a short it would pop the circuit, if it was an overload it would pop the circuit, so I doubt that it is the outlet.
    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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    Copepod

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    I had it tuned down to 500 mA from the rated 700. Should idrop it more?. Would adding 2 more leds to increase the resistance possibly help?

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    tat2z_21

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    It could if you can temporarily add two more in then check it. Are you running them in P or S.
    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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    tat2z_21

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    If you had it at 500mA then I would say that you are right where you are supposed to be.
    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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    Copepod

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    Finally here are a ton of pictures of the new setup and some before pictures. I'll start off with some tank progression. Here's a shot when this particular tank when it was about 6 mo old with a 2 bulb aquatic life T5 fixture.




    Here is a side by side of the old setup on the right.




    Another shot with the old NW/RB fixture




    The new gloss acrylic housing. I copied the look from another build i saw on RC and used glossy black instead. It was a bit pricey for what it is but it was definitely worth it to get rid of the typical DIY look. I was surprised how well i actually estimated the exact dimensions i needed along with some tolerance room. I normally would screw something like this up.





    Here's a shot of the acrylic shield + sand diffusion filter




    All colors BUT white. This is a good example of how all the different colors come together to create somewhat of a white. Makes the corals pop like crazy.





    Whites still not turned on. Left is with blues around 50% and right is with them at 100%




    All colors at 100%. It's no surprise the whites are overpowering to give a daylight look. This was expected considering how many i installed.



    All 100%. I thought this was a good picture because to me it shows that my fixture can display all the different colors accurately where none of the colors are misrepresented. Don't mind the bleached coral on the right. That was an already bleached freebee from the LFS that is slowly recovering.




    This is probably how we'll run the tank for now. Whites ~30% / Blues ~ 75% / Turquoise + Red ~ 40% / True Violet ~ 100%

    Last edited by phasezero; 03-29-2012 at 01:58 AM.

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