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Aquarium Starter Kit LED Light Mod

Discussion in 'Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Section' started by J Art, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Not sure if anyone has done this before, but this seems to work pretty great if you have a light hood that came as a kit with your tank.

    Will probably work with other sizes, but I have a standard 10 gallon light hood for my aquarium that came with the 'starter kit.' The one with the 2 incandescent bulb fixtures inside.

    Well wouldn't you know, If you pull out the reflectors and the old wiring, two 10 watt LED 6000K flood lights fit right into that puppy almost perfectly. And since you pulled out the original wiring, you have 2 holes in the back of the hood that the LED wires fit right through and ventilation slits right above the lights.

    All you need to do is drill 4 holes (2 for each LED) through the light hood and attach it with the LED's supplied screws. The reflectors and old unit come right out with just a couple screws.

    I still have to get a waterproof junction box and attach it to the back or top, connect the LED's to a grounded plug and seal it up. If you wanted to, you can even set it up with a switch on the outside of the junction box.

    Haven't decided yet if I want to hang the fixture over open water or sit it on top of the glass hood. But since the LED's are rated for outdoor use, you can go either way.

    I'll also be plugging it into a GFCI outlet anyway for added protection.

    Any other ideas are welcome. So far this seems like a pretty great way to upgrade that light hood.

    The LED's do stick out just a bit below the original hood, but I don't mind it.

    I'll post more pics when I complete it. (By the way, I've already wired it to the grounded plug and tested it, works great).
     

    Attached Files:

  2. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    J Art

    Having two Sons both Electrical Contractors both would say DIY Electrical is dangerous work unless you know what you are doing.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  3. mevanpl

    mevanpl Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Will it effect tank water temp??


    Sent from my iPhone 6 using Tapatalk
     
  4. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Agreed, Keith.
    @mevanpl , it will likely not alter water temp. These get slightly warm at best. LED's are bright but don't put out much heat. I'd say this is somewhere around the same output as the Finnex planted + lights, but don't quote me on that.
     
  5. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    mevanpl

    That is the last thing I would be concerned with I would be far more concerned with moisture and electricity.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  6. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    The original stock light hood fixture wires were only attached to the plug via a wire nut and was inside the light fixture. I was kind of surprised by that. By doing this mod, the electrical junction is outside of the lighthood in a waterproof junction box. I definitely wouldn't just try putting this together if you have no idea about electrical stuff, but it isn't a difficult setup. But as a disclaimer, do at your own risk...
     
  7. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    J Art

    One little tip about doing any electrical work, you can only make one mistake and it could be the last mistake you every make.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  8. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    By the way @mevanpl , I've been running these for about 6 hours now just to test them out. Work great, it is giving off a very low warmth. Not enough to effect water temperature at all. Far less than the original incandescent, by miles...
     
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  9. mevanpl

    mevanpl Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I guess all of your environment temp lower than mine.

    My tank average temp goes to 27c


    Sent from my iPhone 6 using Tapatalk
     
  10. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Ok update...

    After looking at the light hood for a few days, I noticed that I could use the feeding door of the original canopy as the support piece. So I mounted it this way instead and added some eye bolts to hang from 50lb rated wire. Some cosmetic things left to do, but this is working nicely at the moment. I can raise and lower the lights with the bolts above and below the hanging wire. The lights also can tilt forward or back for adjustments. All weather proof components and plugged into a GFCI outlet for added safety. I guess I have to say that I'm not advocating anyone else does this, do at your own risk (but it works...)

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    J Art
    A very good point.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  12. atriz

    atriz New Member

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    There really isnt any type of fishtank light that is going to effect your water temperature
     
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  13. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    atriz

    The problem is some are using lights today that are not designed for Aquariums.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
  14. J Art

    J Art Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Just an update on these DIY LED lights. They worked great on the first scape, and now on the new one, I've added 1 more light to the rig. So there are a total of THREE 10 Watt LED lights, wired into a junction box to a grounded wire, plugged into a GFCI outlet (with timer).

    A benefit to using them is that you can turn and point them individually if you want one area to have more light than another.

    The whole unit, as is, cost about $35 in parts. Not the prettiest or most streamlined LED, but for build-it-yourself-ers it's an easy and effective build.

    For anyone interested, here is the link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Equivalent-W..._60_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=ECB8Q5R2TWD91AZWZCRJ

    PAR READINGS:
    Lights are 6 inches above the water and 16 inches above the substrate at the lowest level of the aquarium

    Just below the surface of the water: 165
    At substrate level: 80

    Levels go up as you drop the lights closer to the waters surface of course.

    7Q7B2335.jpg

    7Q7B2343-Edit.jpg
     
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  15. Orlandog7

    Orlandog7 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Very resourceful and creative.
     
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  16. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    J Art

    The most important point is do they work if so who cares if they are not latest aquarium lights that cost a fortune to do the same job.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     
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  17. Zerofighterx101

    Zerofighterx101 New Member

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    front pics of the tank please...
     
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  18. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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  19. BigAL777

    BigAL777 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    That's pretty cool. I'm thinking of doing a grow tank and was going to pick up the finnex ray2 but I'm a diy-er and making a light fixture seems right up my alley. I did a diy light using the elive LED lights that are supposed to fit in place of t5 and t8's. It's just a flat piece piece of wood with (supplied) brackets holding the light on. The transformer (if that's what it's called) can power up to three strips at a time, and are pretty luminescent. I have a 12" one over my 10g (non planted) tank and it's pretty bright. Mounting three side by side @ 12" is about $50 US ($15 for transformer, $12 each light) and three LED strips would be more than plenty of light for a 10g.
    http://elivepet.com/fish/products/led-lighting/elite-led-tube-light-high-def/
    I might have to try out your floodlight fixture idea, you mention it in your podcast often and it seems to work well for you!
     
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  20. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    BigAL777

    If you are capable of doing the DIY every thing should be all OK.

    Keith:cat::cat:
     

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