View Full Version : LED lighting for scrubbers

11-03-2009, 05:31 AM
Had a look through previous threads and can't see anything dedicated to this recently so thought I'd start a new thread.

So... cool, low energy consumption, slim-line lighting whose components have dropped hugely in price... it's gotta be worth consideration.

Ebay has grow panels for hydroponics use - 12" squares for about 40 GBP. They're 225 leds per panel and can be bought with a mixture of blue (60 leds) and red (165 leds). Total power consumption is 14W and they look like they use 5 or 10mm leds. These panels are too big for many of us I am sure so I have looked into how to maufacture smaller units.

'Superflux' leds seem to be well recommended - more output than the traditional style leds, wider beam, easier to seat flat and yet don't require heatsinks like the power leds. They also have the benefit of being cheaper per unit than the power leds so if you fry one when soldering you're not kicking yourself so much!! Also, there's a guys here in the UK selling pre-done circuit boards designed to fit into 150W floodlight casings (or 2 into a 500W casing) with full instructions on his website.

So, with his instructions (including photos) and a bit of skill with a soldering iron and some diy capability it would seem to be reasonably easy to build a smaller version of the ebay grow panel but, from what I read, the superflux leds would be higher output so hopefully more effective.

The wavelengths are 620nm for the red and 465nm for the blue so they seem to tie in well with the photosynthesis peaks. Costwise for the 150W floodlight version I would allow:
Housing 5
Circuit board (space for 54 leds) 3
60 superflux leds (20 blue, 40 red) 9
So 17, round up to 22 for resistors, wire, 12V power adaptor and any unforeseen costs (I may be being too generous).

For a slimline version, I'm sure a simple box with acrylic front could be improvised for very little money and replace the 5 floodlight housing.

I'm tempted to give it a go and make one or two up and maybe try on one side of my screen. The components also get cheaper if bought in bulk (down to 14 for 100 of the same colour) and 14.25 posted for 5 of the circuit boards.

Any thoughts as to whether I'd be wasting my precious time and money? Any experience, components, volunteers to help out etc truly welcomed :D.

11-03-2009, 10:04 AM
if it works will wont one as well let me now how it goes ;)

11-03-2009, 10:54 AM
Brilliant idea and if the new LED luminaires are anything to go by they may work, have a look on Kcress' threads though as he built an LED panel with various LEDs but I dont think the results were worthwhile.

Could you PM me the url for the guy you have been looking at as I fancied building a luminaire!

Cheers :D

11-03-2009, 01:21 PM
Actually Route I think the results would be good. Once I got the color and brightness correct it worked well. I took it out of service only because I changed around the scrubber.

When I do it again I will use HIghBrightness LEDs and a diffuser panel. It would be much thinner and lower heat than CFLs and without the mercury!

In my build I used SuperFlux LEDs but I actually think they're over priced for what you get.

BTW that was:http://www.algaescrubber.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=98&start=10

Note you have to drop down to my second incarnation to see the Superflux build.

11-03-2009, 02:40 PM
Thanks for the feedback folks.

Kcress - thanks for the link to your thread - I hadn't noticed it before. CNC and machine soldering.... dream land for me!!! The box around my screen is 2mm hand cut acrylic drilled for cable ties to hold it together :lol:. Doesn't look pretty but seems to do the job for now.

I think the leds I am looking at are different. Here's a link to the site - if you are able to look over and give your opinion that would be great.

http://www.phenoptix.com/shop/ultra-bri ... -p-81.html (http://www.phenoptix.com/shop/ultra-bright-blue-superflux-piranha-leds-2500mcd-p-81.html)

This is the link for the pre-done PCBs


Hope I'm not breaking any forum rules posting these links :)

I am a bit concerned that these aren't going to be bright enough but they seem to kick out 5 times the light than the traditional style ultra bright leds because of the increased viewing angle. Clearly that also helps with getting the panel really close. Looking at the PCB again I'm guessing the dimensions at only about 3" by 4". Whilst that means 54 leds in a good compact space it also means I probably need 4 per side if they're up reasonably close. The convertors say 2500 mcd with 100 viewing angle is 5.6 lumens. 216 per side = 1210 lumens. I seem to recall a 24W T5HO is 1200 lumens so that seems to stack up. Maybe the very specific wavelengths will mean the led is more effective but I might be getting a bit hopeful there :D . So it'll be about 40 per side in boards and leds. Power supplies and housings to be added. It's getting kinda cost prohibitive. :(

Gonna have to rethink - screen is pretty much twice teh size it needs to be so I could potentially go vertical single sided... hmmmm

11-03-2009, 10:08 PM
Hi ChrisD. I can say that those will NOT work. They are not really very superfluxy.. They only use a max of 30mA. You need LEDs that require far more.

Here's the ones I used on REV2 that worked:
http://cgi.ebay.com/10-PCS-0-5W-StrawHa ... 334a0588ae (http://cgi.ebay.com/10-PCS-0-5W-StrawHat-8mm-140-High-Power-Red-LED-90Kmcd_W0QQitemZ220285208750QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_ DefaultDomain_0?hash=item334a0588ae)

Note they use 100mA and are 90,000mcd not 2,500mcd like the ones you linked me to.

Keep in mind that you mostly want red with just a weeee bit of blue for the algae to be happiest.

When I build my next LED fixture I will use HBLEDs that use about 700mA. Then you can use off-the-shelf drivers and only a few LEDs. This makes it a lot easier to actually build.

11-04-2009, 01:22 AM
Thanks Kcress. I think that's a project I'm gonna have to forget as I just can't justify the money and time. Shame

01-01-2010, 11:21 PM
I guys I'm new to this and looking into led google alibaba.com then search for grow lights you should find something there. I bought a 120w led for my dt from a company on this site and very happy with results so I want to use them on my scrubber as you can be very specific with light spectrums.

Question I have thou is what sort of par should we be aiming at? Watts don't mean much as my 120w is equivelent to par readings of a 250w halide. Meaning that 50w cfl not the same out put of 50w led??

I also like the idea of how long led last for I've seen that cfl only last 3 months compaired to 5 years for led?

Any coments would be magic!