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Led build questions

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    Posted: February 17 2017 at 8:58am
I want to use my old full specrum led black box to turn into some stunner strips. Anyone have some input on how to go about doing this? I haven't ripped them apart yet but plan to do that tonight! Then I'll place an order for new diodes and whatever else is advised to get. Any advice will help greatly
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 17 2017 at 9:54am
Let me make sure I have this correct. You basically want to take the led you have and pull all of the white, green, red, and any other fancy color or if them and make them just blues of different spectrum, right?

I just want to make sure I understand before I add a bunch info.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 17 2017 at 10:29am
Yes. That is correct. I also have to make it thinner somehow. Going to add it Back with the t5 fixture
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 17 2017 at 7:27pm

Going to try to split the board in half. As is will not fit with the t5. There is almost no room in the hood so it should be fun!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2017 at 9:00am
In my experience, imported, black box LED lights are just not the right spectrum. Some seem to grow hair algae better than anything. For sure, coral just don't grow well under them. If it were me, before wasting one more minute on it, I'd toss it in the trash. Then I'd save up and get some decent LED's like the models of the last few years made by Aqua Illumination, Kessil and Radion.

Recently came across a Red Sea 250 where the hobbyist removed two of the six t5's and put a LED light strip in their place. They said it was to get more shimmer. As I looked at those LED's there was no brilliance to them. I asked but the hobbyist had no idea what wattage LED they were. Unhappy In my opinion, they were putting out less light energy than useless 1 watt LED's. It was clear to me that the hobbyist had compromised the effectiveness of their light fixture. The tank was under illuminated. No wonder they'd had issues with algae overgrowth and coral survival, the remaining four t5 lights had not been replaced in over two years. Shocked

The next meeting is going to be excellent on this very topic. It will be a discussion led by a person extremely familiar with the physics of light. I'm imagine there will be much discussion regarding which LED's are effective, which should be tossed in the trash and why.

Good luck and Aloha,
Mark  Hug


Edited by Mark Peterson - February 18 2017 at 9:03am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2017 at 9:08am
The lights them selves were able to grow coral for 6 months while in use. Now I have my 8 bulb ati fixture and want to add leds to it for the color that they can add to the tank. The diodes will be new 3 watt diodes. All in all I wall have 99 3 watt diodes in the blue ranges. I will also be leaving the uv bulbs in to add that to the tank as well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 18 2017 at 9:09am
And by grow I mean actually grow all the sps I had in the tank
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote phys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2017 at 2:48am
Really the only thing you need to worry about is getting the wiring right and making sure you're not over/under powering them. If you have to split the board, make sure you keep track of the connections across it and wire them back in properly. If it has multiple switches for the colors, just make sure you use the same power supply for that section.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2017 at 7:26am
Splitting that board in half probably isn't the best idea for two reasons. First the drivers for those lights are designed to be driving all of those LEDs on the light not half of them. Second by cutting the board you are also cutting the "wires" (board traces) that are running under that white painted surface. That means you will have to figure out where to jumper wires and how to solder them onto the traces in order to get the lights to work again after you cut it. It also means that you won't be able to have the unit in the housing anymore which will expose the electronics to splashes and salt spray that they will not survive long in.

These are not you typical Chinese LED's at the diodes are arranged into small puck like areas and not just running rows of diodes. In my experience these fixtures use the Phillips bridgelux LED's and not the cheap Chinese ones found in other units.

I think if it were me working with this setup I would sell these working lights as is andturn that money around in some Reefbright strips, SB Reeflight strips or stunner strips in the blue color that you are looking for.

Hope that helps.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2017 at 7:50am
As per your warning I cut one tracer. Lost a channel due to it. I have tried selling them in the past and no one wanted them because they were a "black box" over $50. As for the housing part I'll post pics of what I did to help that issue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2017 at 7:51am
Also the blues currently on the board have what looks like burn marks. It was noticeable before the customization.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2017 at 8:20am
The browning or discoloration is pretty common on the lower end LED's it is due to the plastic that is used over the diode not being UV safe and the closer the blue color gets to UV the more the plastic discolors. Some of the newer lights have changed the plastic to prevent this. It does reduce the light output of the LEDs as it blocks light. Those LEDs should be replaced even if nothing else is done to the lights.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2017 at 8:44am
I will do that! And hopefully learn how to fix my mistake if not I'll strip it and try again lol
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2017 at 9:23am
You should be able to carefully scrape the white paint off the trace on both sides of the cut and then solder a wire across the cut to get the channel working again. If you hold the board at an angle to a light you will be able to see the slight bump of the traces under the paint so you know where to scrape. I use a sharp exacto to scrap slowly through the paint until you get to the copper.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2017 at 10:05am
I'm known locally by some as the "king of DIY". As such, I'm following this thread with great interest. Would love to see progress pics too.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2017 at 11:35am

Here is a picture of the rough split. Still have some rewiring to do so they can be more spread. And going to add a sheet of metal to the open sides and mount fans to that to pull heat out. I will be doing all of this once new leds arrive. So I can solder it all in one go .
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2017 at 11:38am
The only trace I found to be damaged was the channel for the 3 moonlights (didn't want to use them anyways). The other was a box looking think that I nicked the end of. But on the same channel I have a lose diode. Could that be the issue with the channel?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2017 at 12:18pm
A loose diode will stop a channel from working. These LED's are wired in Series like Christmas lights so if one light goes out they all go out.

Without seeing a picture or something of the black box I can't tell you if that is part of the problem or not.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2017 at 12:26pm
The diode is not connected on the positive side can move it so it's touching but made no difference. I'll get more pictures tonight
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2017 at 12:37pm
Even if the diode is touching both sides if it's damaged internally then it will make it not work. If you want to quickly test things then take a wire and touch from the negative to the positive for just that diode. DONT HOLD IT ON THERE FOR MORE THAN A COUPLE SECONDS. That should turn the rest of the channel on. If not then there is more than one issue.

A couple seconds won't hurt anything but if you keep it on there longer you could damage the other LEDs
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