Modding My Old Marineland Single Bright 24-36" LED Hood


I started this a little later than I should. I haven't been around the forum much for a couple years now, but I thought I would share the mod I'm working on for my LED hood.

I have had this hood for over three years now, and I must say that it works great (or worked great). My current tank doesn't have a cover, so any splashes or water at all would end up on the hood. With regular cleaning this wasn't an issue for over two years, but at about two and a half years corrosion inside the threeway switch (to switch between day light, moon light, and off) and power connector began to affect performance. I took the hood apart and cleaned out what corrosion I could, and it worked fine for another three months or so. That brings us up to about three months ago. Since then, I've been making due with a strip florescent over the tank while I've been figuring out this mod and waiting to have some free time.

While planning what to do to fix the hood, I started by thinking about what I disliked about it. I really like the moon light feature, but they are nearly impossible to use if the hood is attached to a standard 120v passthrough timer. This is all I really have to say bad about the hood. This is where I started thinking about how to fix this. First, the way this particular hood works is that there is a big circuit board covered in white LEDs, blue LEDs, and resistors. Coming off this board there are three leads - one common ground, one lead that lights up all the LEDs, and one lead that only lights up the blue LEDs. The switch controls which lead the power goes to for day light or moon light. I could get into more technical detail on the circuit, but I don't want to bore anyone. So the first issue here for controlling this is that two different timers would be needed to control the LEDs. The second is that the LEDs need 12v DC, while most timers available at hardware stores, LFS, etc. are only for 120v AC. If you were to use these AC timers, two separate power supplied would be needed for the board. That didn't seem like a good option to me, so I went in search of 12v DC timers. It took a while, and I toyed with the idea of building a custom timing circuit, but I found these on Amazon. These will allow me to use two of these timers to control the the two lighting circuits. I actually ended up getting three of these timers and a project box to house them in. I only need two for the hood, but I am planning to move to a 45gallon tank soon and will likely be adding more lighting. I will explain that more later.

How I am setting this system up is to use the original power supply to go into the project box to power the timer and then go out to the hood. The timers basically act as switches, but need to be powered for the electronics. I am still waiting on delivery of the timers and box. I am using standard DC power jacks and plugs, but it gets tricky again when trying to get three leads from the box to the hood. Most DC power connectors are designed for two leads. To solve this I spec'd out some professional quality 3.5mm TRS connectors, these are type of connectors used on mp3 players and headphones. Most of these aren't rated for the 500mA that the power supply puts out, but I was able to find cables and connectors rated up to 1A at a local electronics component store, but have to wait for them to come back in stock. From here the next issue was the two holes left in the side of the hood and how to mount the 3.5mm TRS jack. I am lucky enough to have a local 3D printing shop near me, so I was able to get a cover for the switch hole printed that I will be mounting the jack in. Because of the size, and the time I walked into the shop, I was able to get them to print the cover I designed for free. Only downside to that is I had to settle for orange plastic. I then used a 1/4-20 machine screw, rubber washer, and locking nut to seal off the power connector hole in the hood. I have added a picture of this.

printed cover.JPG

I will add more as this progress, and I will be happy to answer any questions that anyone has.


Wouldnt it be easier to just purchase a dual timer? I currently am building my own LED fixture. I use 35 LEDs with a dimmer and 3 power source for 3 different outlets for the timer () which would allow me to adjust the brightness of the colors I want and adjust which turns on which day/night/dusk/dawn.


Yes that would be easier especially if I were building a custom fixture as you are. I could have put this on a dual power supply, instead of the custom timer box. For me, I am interested in the cleaner look of the single box and I already own a perfectly good GFCI 6 outlet power strip.

I suppose I can explain the choice a little better. I am thinking about upgrading to a 47g column aquarium when I move in about a month. I also want to go to planted. With the Single Bright, I could get some decent growth of low light plants with its 400 lumens. On the 47, I plan on adding two white/blue hidden LED strips on the side rims and one of their red accent hidden LED strip on the front rim. The three timers will easily allow me to start the moon lights on the hood and the two white/blue strips, then turn on the white in the hood a bit later, then finally add the white strips and the red strip. It will also be easy to reverse this cycle for an evening simulation.

In that scenario if I weren't to use this system, it would take 3 AC timers and 7 power supplies. Two of which would need to run 3 supplies and the third will run the last supply. Does that add a bit to why I went down the more complicated path?


Interested to see how this turns out.

This is similar to how I had originally planned my custom led setup but went a slightly different route.
Ended up with 3 AC timers and 3 power supplies in project box.
1 AC line in the box, 3 sets of dc lines out to the light fixture.

Hope to see progress soon,


I hope to see progress soon as well. I am still waiting on the timers. The company that sells then on Amazon ships them from China. I ordered them last Wednesday and they are already in the hands of USPS. They should've left San Francisco last night according to the tracking. I'm expecting them the end of this week or Monday. All my other connectors should be in about the same time. I will make sure to get pictures up as things happen.


I got the timers in yesterday. I was busy prepping the tank stand I'm building for stain and actually staining it, so I didn't get a chance to show them off yet. Here they are sitting on top of my project box.

timers on box.JPG

They are nice little timers. They have battery back-up to keep from loosing the time and program when there is no power. They are a bit under 2-1/2" across. I want to be able to keep the box sealed but still be able to program the timers, so I have cut three holes in the top of the box that the round timer faces will stick through. I will be mounting this inside my tank stand out of the way.

timers in box.JPG

In this configuration, I will still be able to add a fourth timer if I want. It has also given me enough room that I will be able to put a circuit board in the box either behind the timers or under them. I have been looking at some possible ideas for a circuit that will slowly fade my LEDs on when the timer clicks on, and then slowly fade them off when the timer clicks off. I'm only having trouble with the off part of the circuit at this point, but I'm still looking.

I will probably do some of the wiring this afternoon or tomorrow morning.


Nice. Any pics of the hood process too?

Also, of you are looking for sunrise/set fade, look at arduino setups. Some of it can get pricey but would eliminate the need for timers as it would do it all.

Nice job so far and keep the updates coming. Lol


No real improvement on the hood yet. I tried soldering up the connections from the board in the hood to the 3.5mm jack, but I really need four hands to get it done right. I'm waiting till monday so I can go to the electronics store on my campus to pick up a helping hands and a new tip for my iron. My old one is loosing it's tinning. I also think I will be cutting a couple inches off the hood plastic. Its a bit longer than the board and the board will just perfectly fit across the top of the 47gal column tank that I want to get when I move.

[EDIT] I forgot to say anything about this when I originally wrote the post. I have looked at going with an Arduino, but since I have already spent the money on the timers I was thinking building a fader from discrete components might be a little cheaper for me. While I would prefer the faders for my personal aesthetics, I'm not entirely sure there would be any difference in quality of life of my fish or plants. Mostly I'm looking into the faders as something fun to putter around with after work.


lol. I know your pain for the soldering. Had the same issues with my .I do not recommend these for anybody looking at this.

I was able to get a little bit of solder to "stick" to the iron tip and was able to maneuver the wire on the connector with one hand and solder with the other. lol

Can't wait to see more pics.

Sounds like you have a pretty good plan set. Can't wait to see it finished with your fader. I may have to steal your work to build one.



Well I was able to pick up the rest of my supplies this afternoon. I'm a little too busy to put in any actual work on it tonight, but I am hoping to solder everything together tomorrow and get it up and running. Well, running without the fader.


Well, I apparently need to get my eyes checks (or just look better) because I accidentally bought 3.5mm switched mono jacks instead of stereo jacks (they have the same number of leads). So I do not have the hood finished, but I will be picking up the proper jacks tomorrow so I should get it finished.

I was able to go ahead and get most of the internal wiring done in the box.

Timer wiring.JPG

It's not the best looking wiring I've ever done, but it is all there and hooked up properly. I attached it to my power supply and the indicator LEDs on the timers light up as they should when the switches are on.

Timers on.JPG

They are lit up in that picture, but it isn't very easy to tell.

I don't know if there is a way to change it, but I can't figure out how to actually post a picture in portrait orientation. They import to my computer in portrait, but once I upload them on here they get rotated landscape.


Looking good!

A little bit of extra wire is good. Saves the hassle if you have to remove something and need the slack. Can't wait for the finished product pics.

For the pictures, when you view them on your computer, do you use a specific software? I know when I use windows picture viewer, it shows them in the orientation of which I was holding the camera. I have to rotate and save, which can be done from the picture viewer. Once saved, the upload should be in the same orientation. Otherwise, I can't say I've had this issue.



I'll look at that. But weird thing. I just opened the thread in the browser on my phone and they display properly.


That is weird. I just pulled up in IE and Chrome on my phone, both view turned. If I pull up just the , it is properly oriented. But, i'm Ok with the s as-is provided you post more of them . lol Might need to ask one of the mods to take a look.



I'm a Mac and iPhone user so that might be my "problem". I will definitely see about rotating them manually before I upload next. Hopefully I will get those connectors today, so I can show how it works with the hood I have. It might be a week or two till I order the other lights.


Alright, I got the box done. Still complemplating the fader board, but the lights by themselves work.

Here are the internals.

Wire pigtails.JPG

open box.JPG

And here it is on and with my canopy plugged in.


I forgot to take pictures of the internal wiring of the hood, but it's basically a single jack like I show the four in the box. I'm excited for getting more lights. I might have to splurge a bit early.

I also figured out the rotating. It seems like there is an issue with the auto-rotate on my camera.


Looking good. Nice work.

Looking at this now, I wish I had gone with the DC timers.

Glad to hear you found the source of your picture dilemma.

Can't wait to see the finished product.


Thank you. I really like how clean it looks. I might be changing up the internal wiring a bit. I'm going to run by Radio Shack and maybe an auto parts store because I want to pick up a couple terminal blocks, that way I can change up the wiring much easier if need be. It will also make adding a fader board much simpler.


Any updates?


Yes and no, but thank you for checking up outlaw. I've been busy moving since my last update. The move is still not over. I have about two weeks of overlap and I'm only moving in town, which has worked well particularly for upgrading my tank and moving my fish.

I got in my 3 Marineland 17" Hidden LED strips. I haven't got them changed over to work on my box, but they look good.

I'm going to start a thread for my new tank. I think I'm going to post the lighting pictures there, but once I start it I will get a link here. I will definitely keep posting picture of any progression I make on getting the LEDs modded.


No problem.. It's a good diy build.

I know how moves go, take your time on the build, it will be worth it in the end. Once you start the new thread, please link it here.

Can't wait to see progress pics,


I had a little extra time tonight so I started my tank thread. Here is my .


I really haven't had time to do anything else with a fader board, so there isn't much that is picture worthy. Here are the connectors I stuck on the Marineland Hidden LED strips.

New Connectors.jpg

I added these in my tank thread but I thought they would also be appropriate here.


Daylight Test.jpg


Twight Test.jpg


Moonlight Test.jpg

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