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Re: [APD] re light fixture

>I'm building an 8emitter setup of Cree XM-L's for a 95-gallon
Tanganyika tank.  Trying to dream up a >way to cool it with tank water
by passing tubing up from the tank and across the top of an aluminum
>channel or inside an aluminum tube & running a circulation pump.  The
hangup is finding a tubing >material that doesn't insulate too much yet
is also inert & won't leach into the tank.  For instance, >copper?  I
don't think so. 

>Maybe a thin-wall vinyl tube against the channel?


Clever! More efficient too as you could use the "waste heat" from the
LEDs to heat your tank that way (assuming you need heat...). I'm not
quite clear if you're trying to find a material to use as a thermal
interface between the LEDs and the aluminum water tube, or if you're
concerned about aluminum leaching into the water as the water passes
through the tube. If the former, I'd suggest using some kapton sheet or
tape between the LEDs and the tube. Kapton can take a lot of heat, can
be acquired from places like Ebay at reasonable cost, and is thin and a
relatively good conductor of heat (it's commonly used as an
insulator/interface material between heatsinks and semiconductors, for


If the latter, and you need a water tube that is pretty much inert, you
might try stainless steel tubing. Stainless tubing with a thin wall is
frequently available cheaper than copper tubing of an equivalent size
(and it's cheaper than some sizes of aluminum as well, surprisingly).
I'd try either alloy 304 or 316. The downside is that you'll need a
welded or brazed joint with the stainless tubing since it is not
solderable like copper is. Personally, I'd probably just machine a
plastic fitting for the ends to use as a connector for some tubing since
it would be easier to make and could either be a press-in or
caulk/glue-in fitting that way.


>Anyway, it's a bit of a fun experiment.  I may abandon the water
cooling entirely.  Planning to run >it at 1.7 amps = 40 watts total,
which should be great for a non-planted aquarium.  But because the
>XM-L's can be pushed to 3+ amps, one could imagine doubling the power
on this little rig and getting >enough lighting for a medium-level 55 or
a high-light 29.  But expensive.  Think $200 just for all >the parts.


If you build this LED setup I'd be curious what you think of the
appearance of the lighting. It has been my experience that while the
newer high-power LEDs have good light intensity and even distribution
over area, the color balance isn't yet at the level of the better
fluorescents. I'd be interested to hear about your experience if the
LEDs end up working well for you and having a good appearance in your




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