The first test version of powerful lighting is now complete. The aquarium is itself quite ugly and as such is not supposed to be of any aesthetic value but only a place to provide humidity and light amounts for winter tree growing.
According to video the cheap LED chips are errors in production which I am sure these are also of that kind. Nevertheless, the tests didn’t show so big problems like depicted in the video. Below are some photos from tests with it:
The driver is rated at 50W, just like the LED chip. All 3 used in this project were the same, 30W, 1A on 30V. Considering this is the constant current driver the LED chip also consumes 30W so I didn’t test the LED’s under max 50W conditions. The driver is nice and small, priced at 11€, received 3€ refund after complaints that is is not rated 50W.
The project uses 3x LED chips so I considered 3x 30W will be more than enough for a small aquarium.
The cooler is rated at 100W cooling power. It does cool very efficiently. The 8cm 12V fan on the top of it is silent but not any sleeping-room silent. Considering I received the lens (60 degrees) and the installation bracket I am very satisfied with the price. I got it at 9€ a piece.
3x 30W + 3x ~2W (fans) makes it just under 97W of electric energy 🙂
15 cm under the LED lens surface makes it almost all over the space 80-90 klux. This means that most of the trees have sun strength around their middle to upper part. Light strength wise this is very good.
Looks like this:
Am I satisfied? Yes, not extremely though 🙂
Several mistakes are present:
- The lamps should have been set more to the edges of the cover so that they are even more to the sides of the tree if I have already thought of doing that kind of setting
- Air drying is still present to some extent as any kind of hole between the cover and aquarium sides produces draft due to fans above
- Concentrating light into 1 (or several) strong light sources is not the best idea. It is easy to install, easy to handle it but the tree is not covered as good as it could have been with several lower strength spot lights I use in the living room shelf, for an example. Because of this I doubt I will continue thinking of building any other indoor lighting based on a few string light sources. The wider area, less powerful light source seems to me a better idea.
I will write updates on the trees growing there to see if/how the trees develop under these conditions.