Having A Crack At Making My Own Led Light

Discussion in 'Saltwater Aquarium Lighting' started by Taylorbudd, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. TaylorbuddValued MemberMember

    So i was on amazon looking at stuff to waste my money on and i came across lots of 10 3watt leds attached to heat sinks. They had a bunch of colours.
    Ill link them here,

    So i got 10 of the soft white 10000k leds and 10 royal blue leds.
    I have a load of scrap aluminum i am going to make a heat sink from and there are piles of old computers at work i am going to snake a few fans from.
    My plan is to glue the leds in a equal pattern to my heat sink with the heat sink glue i also ordered.
    Then solder them all together and wire them to the ballast.
    The ballast i have is 60watts and comes with a dimmer switch and remote so i can turn them on and off.
    Hopefully i can get some aluminum track offcuts from the store front windows weve been installing to use as heatsink then it will look all nice and enclosed and i can cut holes for the fans and hide all the wires.

    Ill keep posting my progress on here if i can remember.

  2. TaylorbuddValued MemberMember

    Everything has shipped. Build soon..

  3. TexasGuppyWell Known MemberMember

    Make sure how you glue/epoxy them to the aluminum has a high heat conductivity. Some are much much better than others. Also, not all LED's support dimming.

  4. TaylorbuddValued MemberMember

    The glue i ordered is specifically for glueing leds down. Not sure how good it is compared to the rest of them but well see.
    Im hoping these leds are dimmable lol

    Says they are dimmable with pulse modulation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2018
  5. BabaWell Known MemberMember

    That means you need a controller to get the PWM, right?
  6. TaylorbuddValued MemberMember

    So i made a rough box/heatsink for the led light on my break at work.
    Heres a picture.
    There is a track that pops in and out of the larger piece or aluminium that i am going to attach the led chips to. Then im going to mount the ballast inside the bigger portion and it should snap in nice.

    Im also contemplating attaching the silver piece of aluminum to the inside or outside. Pref. Inside as i wanted the whole fixture to remain black

    I have a home depot 12v 60watt led driver.
    Think its made by GE.
    Its for running their led strips they sell but their leds are absolute

    Does anyone want to chime in with how much heat sink you really need for 3w leds?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2018
  7. BabaWell Known MemberMember

    I can't really help. Sorry.
  8. TaylorbuddValued MemberMember

    I guess i can always add more fans later if what i use isnt enough. I plan on capping one end of the box with 2 pc fans and having the other end open for exhaust
  9. BabaWell Known MemberMember

    The DIY I came across always used a thick block of Al. Mass has an influence of how much heat the sink can draw away from the LED's
  10. TaylorbuddValued MemberMember

    Yeah i have a general idea about heatsinks as ive used them with my rc stuff (planes and cars) as the motors need them sometimes.

    The more mass and surface area the better but im not trying to spend a hundred on a half in thick aluminum plate with heat fins.
    I have 1/8-1/4inch thick aluminum extrusion material and if needed ill bolt the thicker piece onto it so it can transfer more heat
  11. BabaWell Known MemberMember

    I belief (though I don't know) that with your idea of running the fans on the open end of the profile you will get good heat transfer through convection. That might be enough.
  12. TaylorbuddValued MemberMember

    Trial and error. We can only test it out lol.
    Im only doing 20 leds right now so it shouldnt get too hot. I have another ballast on the way that will run 50 3w leds so i may combine it all together after some test runs.
    I have a larger piece of aluminum to use that is about 4 feet long and 8 inches wide.
    If all goes well ill have 70 leds in there with 4 fans on one end.
    I may see what else i have at work.
    I love diy lol

    Those led chips are super cheap too i may do 40 blue and 30 10000k white

    Alright i got 30 of the 10000k leds and 20 of the blue leds . Were going full whack from the start screw it.

    10 full spectrum 3w led chips
    20 royal blue 3w led chips
    20 soft white 10000k 3w led chips.

    Sticking with 50.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2018
  13. stella1979ModeratorModerator Member

    I can't help at all with this kind of stuff, but I'll be watching. :D Good luck!
  14. TaylorbuddValued MemberMember

    Its my first proper attempt at a legit fixture.
    I know i can get a 165watt dimmable led fixture for around 90 cus i bought one a week ago but i just want to try to make one that will emit more light, cost me less in total and still look good.
    Right now im at about $55 spent.
    To really make this worth my time i should probably get another 150w ballast and just make its 300watt with 100 3watt leds. Plus the extra 50 led chips that would put me at about $90 for materials which is about half the price of most half decent led lights on amazon.
    Im not counting the time it takes me to build as its a prototype and its fun so what ever.
  15. TaylorbuddValued MemberMember

    Alright so the first batch of parts showed up today.
    I got some heat sinks, the 10 soft white 10000k LEDs and some heatsink glue.

    I glued the leds to the heatsinks and then glued them to their spots on the main heat sink.
    Ps. I changed the design a little bit.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  16. TaylorbuddValued MemberMember

    I cut a hole a installed a pair of 350cfm fans.
    They are 3 speed but i set them to max and may just hide the switches inside the fixture.

    Attached Files:

  17. TaylorbuddValued MemberMember

    Took a break from this while waiting for all the parts and will be getting back to it very soon..
  18. BabaWell Known MemberMember

    Did you already soldered the wires? Might be cumbersome with the stars already on the heat sink. My research lead me to the conclusion one should solder wires before glueing the stars on the heat sink.
  19. TaylorbuddValued MemberMember

    Yeh i cocked it up and gave up sorry people lol.
    I was hoping for a decent light but these amazon led lights are so cheap i cant be bothered to try again.
    For now its all under my bed lol
  20. BabaWell Known MemberMember

    Too bad, I would have liked to see it working out great for you.

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