Nano LED Wiring Project: Can this be done?

Shallow Reef

New member
Hi I am seriously up for this project may not be huge but I think enough in there to call it a real project.. lol

My nano project consists of a tank with a ready made hood with 2 ready built in lights. They are a brand called 15w interpet lights, nothing else written on bulb that would help identify them. The hood has 2 separate switches spaced apart to turn on the individual bulbs. I want to purchase the 12 LED Dimmable Retrokit from Rapidled HERE. Wire them up to two dimming nozzles (which would dim the whites and blues separate) and wire them both up to the separate switches, so that I can switch them off at the same time. The wire from the switches come out and are black and red for each switch.

I will put on pictures in the next post.

Can this be done?
 

Shallow Reef

New member
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theatrus

100-mile-commuter
What type of socket are those bulbs? I'm assuming, somewhere in the fixture, is a ballast for them, which would have to be removed. I doubt there is enough space to install the Meanwell driver however, so it would be a remote located item and you would be running DC wiring up to the hood.
 

Shallow Reef

New member
What type of socket are those bulbs? I'm assuming, somewhere in the fixture, is a ballast for them, which would have to be removed. I doubt there is enough space to install the Meanwell driver however, so it would be a remote located item and you would be running DC wiring up to the hood.

They are e27. I hooked up my 12* 36w PAr38 on them and they were just as powerful on my original holder.

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Shallow Reef

New member
Since I am new to the components in terms of what they do and the differences between a fluorescent lighting system and Led lighting system. I had to do a bit of reading as I was quite confused in terms of why the ballast needed to be removed (after flicking through 5 or 6 pages on google lol), seen that the drivers are more compatible with led's and will replace the ballast which are used for fluorescent lighting. It's better that I know that now than later and that goes for anything else so please bare with me.. lol

My next step would be to check for a ballast and remove it from the nano. I didn't have a real look for screws to open up that part of the hood, if I find a way around to get inside I will try opening it up, however, if not I'm thinking of calling the manufactures up to make sure. I would rather open it up and be sure and if it does I could keep the driver in the same place if it fits in good.

Thanks for helping me out theatrus :thumbsup:
 

theatrus

100-mile-commuter
If you have a standard base, these are ballast-in-bulb compact fluorescents (i.e., like the ones you buy for incandescent replacements from anywhere). There won't be a ballast in the hood then.
 

Shallow Reef

New member
If you have a standard base, these are ballast-in-bulb compact fluorescents (i.e., like the ones you buy for incandescent replacements from anywhere). There won't be a ballast in the hood then.

I've taken a quick look and there are two 10 x 10 cm boxes around 1" deep under the hood. I'm sure that's where they'll be but its late and I don't want to disturb the acei cichlid in there (she has a whole brood of babies in her mouth) so I'll take a good look at them tomorrow.

Thanks for the heads up, good night :fish2:
 

perkint

New member
I would think they are mains power bulbs so they will not be using a ballast in the hood, as suggested above.

Best bet would be to make your own kit. Depending on what you find in the two 10x10 boxes, you may be able to do a simple LED, arduino nano, 2 pots for dimming and 2 LDDs, all in the hood. No need for the two switches that way, but there are various ways you could set it up so they were still in use. Or just stick in a RTC and let the arduino turn your lights on and off for you :)

Tim
 

Shallow Reef

New member
I would think they are mains power bulbs so they will not be using a ballast in the hood, as suggested above.

Best bet would be to make your own kit. Depending on what you find in the two 10x10 boxes, you may be able to do a simple LED, arduino nano, 2 pots for dimming and 2 LDDs, all in the hood. No need for the two switches that way, but there are various ways you could set it up so they were still in use. Or just stick in a RTC and let the arduino turn your lights on and off for you :)

Tim

If they are not then I'm interested to know what's actually in there lol. It would be nice if I can fit the drivers in them spots.

I will be totally honest with you Tim, I have no idea of what arduino nano's are and RTC's, but after my search on google images I'm guessing they are both circuit boards used to wire up LED's? It sounded pretty cool and I bet it's not so bad to set up. I'm very sorry I'm very new to diy LED's. :hmm2:

I'm on my late shift right now and early shift tomorrow, so it'll be later on tomorrow before I can see what's under the hood.

Thanks.
 

perkint

New member
Have a read of this thread which has just gone thru a similar (not the same) conversation:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2477108

An arduino is a very simple programmable controller. It can read inputs (from joysticks, sensors, potentiometers, touch screens, etc) and control outputs (eg LED power levels via PWM, switch relays, etc). And an RTC is simply a Real Time Clock that allows an arduino to know the time! Both can be had for less than $5 total. Add in a couple of LDDs (constant current drivers for the LEDs) at about $7 each, then all you need are the LEDs themselves, heat sink and power supply. Well, fans would be good too, but your hood may already have them?

Tim
 

Shallow Reef

New member
Have a read of this thread which has just gone thru a similar (not the same) conversation:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2477108

An arduino is a very simple programmable controller. It can read inputs (from joysticks, sensors, potentiometers, touch screens, etc) and control outputs (eg LED power levels via PWM, switch relays, etc). And an RTC is simply a Real Time Clock that allows an arduino to know the time! Both can be had for less than $5 total. Add in a couple of LDDs (constant current drivers for the LEDs) at about $7 each, then all you need are the LEDs themselves, heat sink and power supply. Well, fans would be good too, but your hood may already have them?

Tim

Oh I see that sounds good. Tomorrow I'll let you know what that box is when I get in. Thanks for explaining that to me and I'll have a read of that link.
 

Shallow Reef

New member
Hmm - enough length and width, but not sure if you have enough depth for LDDs :(

Tim

Hmm well I don't know how much space is required but the depth of that that box is a little over 2". I'm thinking I could possibly fit in a meanwell driver? If I can't I'll just wire it outside the hood.

I'm thinking what my next step is other than to buy the kit and 2 questions came to mind; one of them is a fan to cool the heatsink but how big of a fan size will I need, secondly how big of a heat sink will I need?

For the heat sink shall I make it just big enough to fit on all the Led's or longer and also the longer the blades and more blade's on the other side of the heat sink, will that reduce the heat from the LEDs?
 

Webmanny

New member
I would only put the LEDs in the hood and the driver outside behind the tank or something like that. You should not try to accommodate it in the hood.
 

perkint

New member
If it's 2" in height that should be plenty :)

I would fit a fan on the existing mounting point. Modify the hood so that is one enclosure including the existing 2 boxes and drill a few holes in the sides of those boxes (so all mods are under the hood and don't need to be neat or even completely water tight) so the fan cools the arduino and LDDs.

I'd go for as big a heat sink as i could fit into the existing light cover. As to whether you need a fan there or not depends what LEDs you're thinking of putting in there! What's the lid like above the lighting section?

Tim
 

perkint

New member
So what's the cover like that goes here:
eb78cac727e58ecf2addac2a01aa5263_zpsfnvsetzn.png


And I'd put a fan on the existing mounting (green), drill a few holes thru the sides where marked in red and then just fix a piece of acrylic or even silicon sheet where marked in blue.
cf06e3fad120addea612e998e642c606_zpsx6oqa7cq.png


Tim
 

Shallow Reef

New member
I would only put the LEDs in the hood and the driver outside behind the tank or something like that. You should not try to accommodate it in the hood.

Okay. I was hoping to hide everything but is it to do with water getting to the driver or that it needs to be kept cool? I'll definitely keep it out of the hood if its a danger for the component to be inside.

If it's 2" in height that should be plenty :)

I would fit a fan on the existing mounting point. Modify the hood so that is one enclosure including the existing 2 boxes and drill a few holes in the sides of those boxes (so all mods are under the hood and don't need to be neat or even completely water tight) so the fan cools the arduino and LDDs.

I'd go for as big a heat sink as i could fit into the existing light cover. As to whether you need a fan there or not depends what LEDs you're thinking of putting in there! What's the lid like above the lighting section?

Tim

Like in my first post I mentioned I was going for the Rapid led retrofit kits, as linked below. They come with these LEDs:
6 Cool White Cree XP-G2 R5 LEDs
6 Royal Blue Cree XT-E LEDs

http://www.rapidled.com/12-ultra-premium-led-diy-kit-with-dimmable-drivers/

This is the cover that goes over the lighting area.

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Shallow Reef

New member
Thanks for all the help and info Tim :)

I thought about doing the arduino way but still a lot for me to look into so I thought about going for a beginner route with it being my first time and seeing if I have success with the retrokit's first. Hopefully when I get a hang of wiring LEDs I can then go a step further and try out the arduino setup.
 
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