Thursday, October 11, 2012

Robert's DIY LED Light Fixture, Part 2

Robert's DIY LED Light Fixture v2.0
Since I made the big switch to LED, I have been pretty pleased with the results.

Temperatures have become much more stable in my aquarium and I saved about $30 on my electricity bill the first month. For those of you who followed my DIY LED fixture post I figured I would share a few changes that I made to fixture which resulted in a bit better color spectrum as well as more efficient heat dissipation.

I found too much white light resulted in a color closer to 10K white and it washed out my colors a bit, only from an aesthetic standpoint. I figured by adding more blue colored LEDs I might be able to get a better color spectrum.

I got a hold of two more Ecoxotic Panorama Pro LED Modules, one of them in the 24” length and one in the 12” length. I chose the 12k/445 nm blue color to preserve some white daylight while getting a bit more blue color.

I began brainstorming how to get the strips into the fixture while keeping it looking sleek. After removing the existing Diamond White True Lumen Pro Striplights, I found the 24” Panorama Pro fit nicely down the center channel.

Ecoxotic Panorama Pro LED Module
Ecoxotic Panorama Pro LED Module
I was able to attach the 24” strip by screwing through the top side of the fixture housing with a ½” self tapping metal screw. The screw was just large enough to fit between the heat sink fins on the back of the LED strip holding it place. Being flush with the aluminum fixture housing, I figured heat dissipation will not be a problem. I attached a reflector to blend the light and gett a more even 14K color spectrum.

Now the 12” strip needed to be mounted. I knew I would need this extra strip to keep up the PAR values. I noticed one of my Palythoa colonies on the sand bed was not happy with my original DIY setup so I moved it closer to the surface which was all it needed to come back around.

The 12” strip aligned perfectly with yet another existing channel in the fixture housing. I screwed it into the channel using the mounting holes on the end of the Panorama Pro Strip. A couple of the leftover screws from the original build worked out perfectly to fit right into the channel.

Once I wired up the power, it shone a much nicer 14K look and all the corals are looking great now. It has been a full 8 weeks since I made the switch and I am really pleased with the results.

Did you miss Robert's DIY LED Light Fixture, Part1? Click here to read the original blog post.