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[APD] Re: LED Lighting

Andy Lavery is apparently building one, and others
have/are trying to identify parts and do the same
thing (including me).  It would be nice if we could
share results.

My results - LEDs arrived on friday. Very unhappy with output! Lots of light, but its VERY blue, a good surprise however, they were supposed to be 20degree viewing angle - turn out to be 45ish. Thats a small spot on the bottom of the tank, but it doesn't help that my lights are 8" above the substrate (planted 2g hex is the test-bed). Waiting on the wife to get out of bed so I can go get some bits and pieces to put something more than a duct-tape test version together.

What I've learned about LEDs is this, most of the whites have a very 'Cool white' output, very blue biased. It seems as though a full spectrum or warm white LED is impossible to find - or is very expensive (Luxeon stars come to mind - I can buy 1000 ultra bright white leds for what one of those luxeon stars sell for). I'm going to add a few red LEDs on a separate array likely with a variable resistor so I can dial red in/out as needed. Easier than spending the next 12 weeks looking for a LED that has the perfect output.

I'm using an old computer AT power supply to power mine, current duct-tape test bed uses 3 LEDs in series running off 12v. This puts roughly 4v to each LED (Vmax is 4.5). The output is amazing, Hemmianthus Callitrichoides is pearling like mad tho I can't attribute that solely to the 3 LEDs being added - I did remove one of the 13w PC fixtures, the other I changed from 6500k to 4100k bulbs. Was trying to come up with some nice white overall light.

I've spent a lot of time on the computer researching LEDs and spectrum outputs, and honestly there aren't many that fit the bill - I'm really testing the theory as to whether it CAN be done cost effectively - There will be newer and better LEDs that will be available in the near future - I'm sure once the basics are known it will be easier to build a really good system.


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