Quantcast

DIY Moonlighting

Help Support Reef Frontiers:

jlehigh

Hermit D Crab
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
1,208
Location
Kirkland/Juanita
Whoohoo!

I had fun this evening putting together moonlighting from "scratch" :) Honorable mention to my cuz Stan for cool ideas and moral support ;)

I could'nt believe LED Moonlights are going for 30-85 bucks per light!!! I made a 5 light set for under fifty that is customized for my needs. It can be done for under 20 bucks if you already have the right AC adapter laying around like most of us do..

SUPPLIES:
5v Blue LED bulbs (Radio Shack) 1.99ea
LED bulb mounts (Radio Shack) 1.19 for 5
Black plastic Carpet to laminate transition strip (HD) 6.00
AC adapter (I bought an adjustable to determine desired output)
24 Gauge Wire

TOOLS:
Soldering Iron and solder
Drill
Screw Driver

Here are some pictures though I was unable to get them in action on the tank because of the low (BEAUTIFUL) lighting.
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
jlehigh - pick the pictures you want to display and right click on them. Then, select "open image to new window". Copy the url address. Come back to the site and post reply. Click on the IMG tag....and paste the url address in the little box. Make sure you don't have 2 https
 

Reno Guy

New member
Joined
Jan 26, 2004
Messages
3
Location
Alberta, Canada
Great idea, and very cost effective. I will be keeping this project in mind for the future.

Do the LED's come in brighter intensities?

Just curious.
 

jlehigh

Hermit D Crab
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
1,208
Location
Kirkland/Juanita
Thanks Reno Guy ;) Yes LED's do come in a wide range of intencity. It used to be the various colors were an indicator of intencity but given the popular use LEDs have had in the last few years that has changed. I buy LED's with a max rating of 5V. With resistors you can effectively run up to 12v power supplies though.

I initially bought the LED's at radio shack however that was a mistake. They wanted 2-3 bux per bulb where I just placed an order online today from an oversees manufacturer for 150 bulbs and it cost 15 bux including the shipping... live and learn...
 

jlehigh

Hermit D Crab
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
1,208
Location
Kirkland/Juanita
Not a problem Reno Guy. Glad to have ya! Let me know if you have any questions. I am happy to share what I know as many of the others at ReefFrontiers are as well.
 

Mushroom Boy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
251
That's sweet John! I'm a total moron when it comes to electrical stuff. What kind of AC adapter are you using with that? Do you have it plugged into a timer?
 

jlehigh

Hermit D Crab
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
1,208
Location
Kirkland/Juanita
Thanks! I used an ajustable AC adapter (3.5v-12v) from Radio Shack. Yes it is plugged into a regular light timer. Mine are on from 11pm-3am.
 

Mushroom Boy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2003
Messages
251
Well, I know what I'm doing tonight :D. Thanks!!!

One more question, why the variable adapter? Is it so it would be compatible with other voltage lights?
 

The R/C Man

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2004
Messages
423
Location
Spokane WA
I am just curious why everyone seems to be using blue LED's for their moon lighting.... Is this just for the effect? I would think if you want a natural look or are attempting to get the critters to spawn you would want a more natural light, such as white. Any thoughts?
 

jlehigh

Hermit D Crab
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
1,208
Location
Kirkland/Juanita
I used the adjustable simply to determine how bright I wanted the lights to burn at.

Also keep in mind the current regulators on AC's are terrible and if the load on the power supply is low (which it will be) the adapter puts out higher current then the printed rating (potentially frying your lights)

I haven't tried week white led's or lights but the concentrated blue effect is definately cool!
 

kevinpo

Expert
Joined
Jul 1, 2003
Messages
2,287
Location
Spokane Valley, WA
jlehigh said:
I just placed an order online today from an oversees manufacturer for 150 bulbs and it cost 15 bux including the shipping... live and learn...
Hey I was curious as to where you bought those bulbs from. I spent an hour or two trying to find some place online but I never really found what I was looking for. Also, do you think you could send some sort of schematic, as I don't trust myself to figure it out.

Thanks,
Kevinpo
 

sirrahcd

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
10
Location
Liberty Lake, WA
Kevin,

I just bought some from www.autolumination.com. They are listed in the "LED light fixtures and strobes" catagory. The ones i got where a little over six dollars each and contain eight LED bulbs in a water proof fixture. The only other component you need is a 12v power supply from Radio Shack.

I installed them temporarily last night and liked them a lot. They even produced a ripple effect across the sand and many corals did fluoresce.

Dave
 

johnehr

Ignorant and Oblivious
Joined
Sep 19, 2004
Messages
210
Location
Seattle
I got my moonlight from ebay for $50. It had two different "fixtures" with 5-6 blue leds in each giving a horizontal spotlight effect (they are angled to provide light in different directions). It was really easy to mount. I put it directly on top of the acrylic on the top of my tank. Im too lazy to DIY when I might only save $20. I'll hunt down my ebay history if anyone wants the seller. They make them custom (with 1-3 fixtures with variable spacing) and it seems like a good deal.
 

The R/C Man

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 20, 2004
Messages
423
Location
Spokane WA
Has anyone thought of just using the low watt fresh water bulbs. The come in blue, red, white I believe. They only cost $1.50 each and you can use a standard socket to install them.....
 
Your email address will not be publicly visible. We will only use it to contact you to confirm your post.
Top