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Thread: DIY LED Lighting Using Individual LED Bulbs

  1. #1
    DIYFK member Alex2's Avatar

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    Nov 2018
    Peachtree City, GA.
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    DIY LED Lighting Using Individual LED Bulbs

    Hello everyone!! My first post, please be merciful (LOL). I have been using high output LED bulbs on my 180 gallon, CO2 enriched, planted aquarium, with some very positive results. But I'm looking for better growth, with bulbs of more output, number. An individual named Kevin Novak has started me on my quest, with a utube video he has, and I'm going further with it for my purposes. He suggested cutting/removing the diffuser portion of the bulb and using it in this manner to gain additional power. I've done this, using my own fixture to protect the bulb from damage. Very positive results. I've been doing some of my own research on LED bulbs, and have come up with 3 different options: Lagpous LED 70 watt, 6000K, 6300 lumens; Greous LED 65 watt, 6500K, 6500 lumens; and, one I presently utilize, HQCHAN LED 50 watt, 6500K, 5000 lumens. A little description of my setup. The tank is 6' long, 2' deep, 2' wide. I have 3 lighting "bays", 2' x 2'. The experimental bay of the setup has 2 ea HQCHAN bulbs (5000 lumens each), and a lower powered 3rd bulb of 2400 lumens, giving me a total of 12,400 lumens for that 2 ft square area. I've found vastly improved overall growth, but my ground cover, repens, does not seem to be responding as well as I'd like. I'm thinking of using 4-6 bulbs in each 2 ft square area. But is this overkill? The 5000K bulb doesn't seem to be powerful enough to penetrate the 24" water column for the ground cover. These bulbs are in the 6000K to 6500K range. I'm wondering if I would be better off to vary my K range with 5000K? Whole light spectrum is my thought. I use the PPS PRO water column fert system, with Seachem Black (gravel, NOT sand), with substrate fert tabs (Ortho +). I'm in the process of preparing MGOPM dirt for a replacement substrate shortly. My swords are not responding as well as I'd like, and I feel that the substrate may also be an issue. OK, please respond to my post, I need all the help I can get (LOL).

  2. #2
    DIYFK member FLDave's Avatar

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    Jan 2016
    Punta Gorda, FL
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    Hi and welcome....Click here to enlarge

    I'll leave the advice on lighting to those more successful with plants than I.....Click here to enlarge

  3. #3
    DIYFK member Meep's Avatar

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    Oct 2013
    Planet Earth
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    I don't have much time now, but IMO too much light is never a problem as you can always cut back... To get more light deeper, can you mount lights in the back and sides of the tank? The lights in the back/side don't have to be on the same duration as the top lights but because they are coming from the back/side they don't need to penetrate the top canopy... An option for back and side lighting is to do it when you are still sleeping, at work, school or whatever so that it's not a visual distraction when you are around the house, if you can get a combined 4+ hours of light coming in from the back and sides you will probably see a significant change in the growth of the lower plants... I have been slacking off on my indoor plant growing lately but when I want plants to thrive, I have been known to drop pendant light bulbs in between the plants bellow the tops of the plants (LEDs have made this so much easier due to their lower heat) that way all the leaves that were shadowed from the light above get their own light from bellow and the side, it can make a huge difference and better simulates the sun that moves and isn't always directly overhead, same principle as side and back lighting a tank...

    Also I have little opinion on the bulbs, but varying the temperature does have an effect depending on the plants, so mixing some different temps can improve growth... The give or take 6500K is a great general purpose but mixing down to as 3000K can improve flowering or spur plants that thrive in early spring or late fall not summer... Also as I said too much is not a problem you can always remove bulbs or replace them with lower power ones or differnet color ones easier then adding many times...

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