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Wayne
10-06-2013, 11:17 PM
Ok its time to replace my PC bulbs again in my 29G Biocube... They are never cheap so I think its time to upgrade to LED's. With the birth of my baby girl and needing to buy a house I can't afford to buy a $600 LED fixture and a $1000 aquarium controller to drive it :)

I have been on Rapid LED's website and they make a retrofit kit to setup me up with LEDs, fans, drivers, wiring, ect. but it requires a controller or a dimmable driver... I would prefer a controller with an auto top off function (since my Tunze just crapped out) and maybe a few other functions but I am not looking for every bell and whistle. What are my options?

brizzo
10-07-2013, 02:36 AM
Neptune Jr + RapidLED Retrofit is a great solution.

I am very very happy with mine :mrgreen:

kien
10-07-2013, 02:58 AM
Do you need a controller with those LEDs? Couldn't you just put them on a timer for on/off cycle? No bells and whistles there :-)

Wayne
10-07-2013, 03:08 AM
What all is required to connect the Apex Jr to the LED's? Did you get the pwm version or the 1-10V analog?

Wayne
10-07-2013, 03:14 AM
Do you need a controller with those LEDs? Couldn't you just put them on a timer for on/off cycle? No bells and whistles there :-)

I just noticed that the non-dimmable version mentions no controller and the dimmable version requires controller and 10V adaptor. So my next question is with the dimmable can you modify the colour/brightness? Will the Apex Jr allow sunrise/sunset?

brizzo
10-07-2013, 04:58 AM
apex jr controller $230, apex vdm module $105

the vdm module has 4 variable outputs that use 0-10vdc. ie; you could control 2 or 3 led drivers and a tunze pump.

Yes you can create fading sunrise and sunset by defining a 'ramp profile' in the apex web interface. It uses a scripting language to define the logic of each port or outlet, it's really fun.

It all adds up, but at the end of the day a controller is a really nice luxury to have. Temp control (can do seasonal tables), feeding mode, ato, data logging, and one and on it goes.

banditpowdercoat
10-07-2013, 06:37 AM
Ya, I LOVE my Apex!! And you can log in remotely, I can access via my phone in town, or when I'm in camp and check temps etc, It also emails alarms and txt them to you

Wayne
10-07-2013, 03:48 PM
How does it compare to the Reef Keeper Lite?

brizzo
10-07-2013, 05:02 PM
How does it compare to the Reef Keeper Lite?

Personally I don't think they are in the same league to compare.

There is also a major update being released for all apex controllers, which was announced at MACNA -- http://reefbuilders.com/2013/08/30/apex-fusion-introduces-level-controlling-integration/

Antrias
10-07-2013, 07:31 PM
Based on your cost I recommend:

http://shop.stevesleds.com/Biocube-29-LED-Light-System-Extreme-SPS-Biocube-29-Gallon-retrofit-kit.htm

I bought StevesLEDs for my 30 Gallon setup and they are top notch quality .

This package will give you an option to do it all from scratch yourself - if you are up to the work or pay $80 extra and have all the hard work done for you. I built my own from scratch and if I wouldn't do it again - was just a pain in my ass haha. Depends on how much work you are willing to do...

This system doesn't require a controller - comes with potentiometer for adjustments which is all I use.

However if you want your controller for doing ATO stuff then I don't have much of a recommendation as I have't tried one yet. I basically went the the highest quality LED route while trying to save as much money as possible so I haven't done ATO.

Something for a controller - if I was to buy one - I'd get Reef Angel: http://www.reefangel.com/order.aspx

I like it because I am a computer guy and can program it to do whatever I want and it's expandable to do anything you want. So you can start cheap and eventually expand it to be expensive / extensive.

Wayne
10-07-2013, 08:28 PM
I think I will be going this route instead, even with there controller for sunrise/sunset its still under $350. I can always get Apex Jr later on for more control anyways.

Based on your cost I recommend:

http://shop.stevesleds.com/Biocube-29-LED-Light-System-Extreme-SPS-Biocube-29-Gallon-retrofit-kit.htm

I bought StevesLEDs for my 30 Gallon setup and they are top notch quality .

This package will give you an option to do it all from scratch yourself - if you are up to the work or pay $80 extra and have all the hard work done for you. I built my own from scratch and if I wouldn't do it again - was just a pain in my ass haha. Depends on how much work you are willing to do...

This system doesn't require a controller - comes with potentiometer for adjustments which is all I use.

However if you want your controller for doing ATO stuff then I don't have much of a recommendation as I have't tried one yet. I basically went the the highest quality LED route while trying to save as much money as possible so I haven't done ATO.

Something for a controller - if I was to buy one - I'd get Reef Angel: http://www.reefangel.com/order.aspx

I like it because I am a computer guy and can program it to do whatever I want and it's expandable to do anything you want. So you can start cheap and eventually expand it to be expensive / extensive.

Antrias
10-07-2013, 08:50 PM
Good to hear I was of some help!

Wayne
02-15-2014, 11:58 PM
Ok well I have been kinda lazy about this whole lighting situation but I am long overdue for a bulb change and the algae is loving it! So I went to order the Steves LED's but it was $85 for shipping which I think is way to much anyone know what the rapid leds are to ship?

Dez
02-16-2014, 12:56 AM
I bought my DIY LEDs from rapidled shipped to Edmonton and it wasn't too bad. This was a few years ago though.

mike31154
02-16-2014, 02:20 AM
There are plenty of options out there these days, including simple PAR38 LED bulbs that will fit into a normal lighting socket.

Don't have a controller. Keeping it fairly simple, I chose to use 10 watt multichip LEDs with standard 12 Volt DC power supplies & dimmers for my build. Most of the components are from online auction site. Free shipping, takes a while but no brokerage or customs fees so far. Aluminum stock sourced locally. Been running fine for almost 2 years. I'm in the process of modifying it slightly, with different heat sinks & building a proper cover. Link to build is below.

Wayne
02-16-2014, 04:06 AM
I just sent them an email for a quote to Rapid with a few more questions :)

Wayne
02-16-2014, 02:32 PM
That is a fantastic build Mike, to design and buid my own at this time in my life is just way too much effort. I am definatly going that route for my next big tank when the actual cost savings would justify it.

Wayne
02-16-2014, 11:20 PM
Just ordered from Rapid Led the shipping was $40usd which was where I thought should have been. I will have pictures up as soon as its all assembled and running!

Polscot
03-26-2015, 03:26 PM
i bought a LED kit from rapid, 2 kits actually abut 4 years ago b4 you could get these new fangled awesome retro fit kits for the biocube lol, i paid prolly around 500 for both mine, but looking at their prices now you could always consider getting a kessil and going rimless, I've been debating on it for a while