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View Full Version : Such a thing as too much light?


Enigma
08-30-2012, 07:56 PM
I'm going to upgrade the lights on my Nano Cube 12. I would like the system to be able to support SPS, and maybe even a clam. :)

I had asked Martin if it would be possible to get his BC14 kit (http://www.modularled.ca/14g-biocube/) with two drivers. The answer was no: there aren't enough LEDs to support two drivers.

Okay. I want two drivers. I really want two drivers (one for whites, and one for blues). I also really want to get my hands into one of Martin's modular kits, as I've got a bigger 36" lighting build coming. He did make a suggestion for another lighting solution, but I want HIS lights.

So, could I use his BC29 kit? http://www.modularled.ca/29g-biocube/

I've measured, and the heatsink will fit (I'll just have to tuck the drivers underneath in the stand, which I'm fine with) if I pretty much gut the hood (perfectly happy to do that). It will also give me better lighting coverage towards the back of the tank.

So, 14 LEDs versus 22 LEDs. The drivers are dimmable. Would the BC29 kit nuke my tank if it was cranked down? Any possibility that I would be able to crank it all the way up? The lights will be controlled by an Apex.

I'd ask Martin, but he's on vacation and should be relaxing and not dealing with business. I'd like to have my order all put together for him by the time he gets back.

reefwars
08-30-2012, 08:13 PM
I'm going to upgrade the lights on my Nano Cube 12. I would like the system to be able to support SPS, and maybe even a clam. :)

I had asked Martin if it would be possible to get his BC14 kit (http://www.modularled.ca/14g-biocube/) with two drivers. The answer was no: there aren't enough LEDs to support two drivers.

Okay. I want two drivers. I really want two drivers (one for whites, and one for blues). I also really want to get my hands into one of Martin's modular kits, as I've got a bigger 36" lighting build coming. He did make a suggestion for another lighting solution, but I want HIS lights.

So, could I use his BC29 kit? http://www.modularled.ca/29g-biocube/

I've measured, and the heatsink will fit (I'll just have to tuck the drivers underneath in the stand, which I'm fine with) if I pretty much gut the hood (perfectly happy to do that). It will also give me better lighting coverage towards the back of the tank.

So, 14 LEDs versus 22 LEDs. The drivers are dimmable. Would the BC29 kit nuke my tank if it was cranked down? Any possibility that I would be able to crank it all the way up? The lights will be controlled by an Apex.

I'd ask Martin, but he's on vacation and should be relaxing and not dealing with business. I'd like to have my order all put together for him by the time he gets back.


im def no retrofit led expert but if you have the ability to dim them then i cant see why not, as for cranking them to 100% at some time, i guess it depends on your livestock. corals that are high intensity lighting could stay in the open while you tuck lesser light corals in places the light isnt so strong?? thats what id do :P i imagine your rock scape will have alot to do with it as well:P

Enigma
08-30-2012, 08:36 PM
im def no retrofit led expert but if you have the ability to dim them then i cant see why not, as for cranking them to 100% at some time, i guess it depends on your livestock. corals that are high intensity lighting could stay in the open while you tuck lesser light corals in places the light isnt so strong?? thats what id do :P i imagine your rock scape will have alot to do with it as well:P

You just want to see me cook all of my livestock and be flunked out of the contest. ;)

I'm thinking it should be fine. I just know that LEDs don't dim down to zero . . . I think most go to 10% or something like that . . . maybe even not that far down.

The details on the driver indicate that it will run 8-14 single LEDs, so I could use fewer LEDs than what are included in the kit (spares are good): as long as I had a minimum of eight on a driver.

lorenz0
09-01-2012, 06:29 AM
I have that kit on my bc14.... lets just say i have it dialed all the way down due to problems with bleaching. If I were to do it again I would go with less LEDS

lpsreefer
09-01-2012, 06:36 AM
i run the 29 kit on my 29 and i still havent been able to crack them up to 100% yet.
i run them at about 75%
so for a 14 i would say have them way down. have teh white at say 20% and the blues at 40% but do it over the coarse of a a few week you should be fine.

Enigma
09-01-2012, 07:31 AM
Thanks, guys :)

I'm not going to add all of the LEDs out of the kit. I think I'm going to add 16. I'm going to play around with it a bit to figure out what works best. I've ordered some additional LEDs too: so I can play around with different colour combinations. I'll have some left over, but there's nothing wrong with that. :)

sphelps
09-01-2012, 03:28 PM
Have you considered other options?

For solderless kits I personally like this:
http://www.rapidled.com/8-x-solderless-triple-puck-kit-with-dimmable-drivers/
Basically a sol blue for half the price. Plus these can be screwed on instead of glued for easier replacement, and the heatsink has built in splash guard.

Enigma
09-01-2012, 03:33 PM
If I were to remove the hood, I would absolutely go with something like what you've posted, Steve. I can't remove the hood in my house, though: especially since this tank will be quite low and at a three-year-olds eye level.

Those are very interesting lights, however.

sphelps
09-01-2012, 04:02 PM
well there are lots of other kits out there, if you need help soldering I can help out so don't limit yourself.

I've been using stuff from http://shop.stevesleds.com/main.sc
Personally I like it better than other alternatives, especially the drivers but they are PWM so you'll need 0-10V interface for APEX, but you can get three drivers that do 7 LEDs a piece so you could potentially have three colors with independent control.

Enigma
09-01-2012, 04:19 PM
I considered one of the Steve's LED kits. He's got an actual NC12 retrofit kit, and the price is good. He's also got some great LED colours (particularly violet), that I would like to try.

As this is for my contest tank, I want to be sure I can do it myself (though your offer of assistance is greatly appreciated and I'm sure some day I will request it . . . For LEDs or fixing my skimmer plumbing. :)).

Enigma
09-01-2012, 04:32 PM
I have that kit on my bc14.... lets just say i have it dialed all the way down due to problems with bleaching. If I were to do it again I would go with less LEDS

Just had an idea. Can you just remove some of the LEDs from the circuit? Just remove the wires from them: probably the ones to the extreme left and right on the heat sink, but making sure that you still have at least eight LEDs on each string? I can't think of any reason why that wouldn't work. Then you could ramp the LEDs up a little too: if you want to.

The only real benefit I can see is if you use a controller, and would like to run a "high noon" type program. I've read that LEDs have a longer life if they're dialed down, so that could be an advantage to leaving things as they are.

sphelps
09-02-2012, 11:25 PM
I considered one of the Steve's LED kits. He's got an actual NC12 retrofit kit, and the price is good. He's also got some great LED colours (particularly violet), that I would like to try.

As this is for my contest tank, I want to be sure I can do it myself (though your offer of assistance is greatly appreciated and I'm sure some day I will request it . . . For LEDs or fixing my skimmer plumbing. :)).


I have pretty much all the colors if you wanted to see them, I also have extra hardware and LEDs if you're interested. Actually I have 2 0-10V conversion kits I'll never use... Just saying.

Enigma
09-05-2012, 03:00 PM
I have pretty much all the colors if you wanted to see them, I also have extra hardware and LEDs if you're interested. Actually I have 2 0-10V conversion kits I'll never use... Just saying.

I just realized something . . . I have no idea what a 0-10V conversion kit is, or why I should need/use them. :o

If I do need them, I'll happily purchase yours instead of ordering any for the 36" build. I'm pretty sure I've got everything coming from Martin that I require for the NC12 build (and then some).

sphelps
09-05-2012, 03:04 PM
You only need it if you're using drivers that use PWM signal for dimming rather than 0-10v.

Enigma
09-05-2012, 03:05 PM
You only need it if you're using drivers that use PWM signal for dimming rather than 0-10v.

Oh. I don't know what I'm using or how it works. :lol: I'll get back to you on that!

Edit: They're the Mean Well ELN-60-48D drivers. I believe they are 0-10V. That is very good info to have. It will give me additional options when shopping for drivers for the 36".