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    More LED Talk...Need Opinions for LED light fixtures. Included some of my DIY jobs for fun...

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    ericpkeith

    Posts : 99
    Join date : 2013-05-07
    Location : Thousand Oaks

    More LED Talk...Need Opinions for LED light fixtures. Included some of my DIY jobs for fun...

    Post by ericpkeith on Thu May 23, 2013 3:59 pm

    I'm getting the feeling that I may be boring people with all this LED talk but perhaps I can still get some opinions to help me in my research. So here are some questions I hope people will answer...

    1) How many of you care about brand names of LED manufacturers? That is like, CREE, Philips Luxeon, Osram Dragon, Bridgelux, Epistar, SemiLED, etc?
    2) How many of you would actually pay more for brand name LEDs?
    3) If you'd pay more, which of the listed brands above do you think is the best? I know I'm going to get a lot of CREE answers...please please tell me why
    4) What is the crossover price for you between DIY and a finished (retail) fixture? That is, would you attempt DIY if the price was 20% cheaper, 30%, 40%, 50%, etc?
    5) Would you pay somewhere between (between retail and crude DIY) for an refined DIY fixture, that is, a fixture made out of readily available heatsinks, drivers, power supplies, and LEDS?
    6) Are dimmable fixtures necessary? If so, how much extra would you pay, 10%, 20%, 30%, etc?

    I'm asking these questions because I get the feeling there is a lot of confusion and mismatched expectations. I used to be a business development manager for a fortune 500 company and can't help but do market research.

    Here's the pictures of the DIY fixtures I threw together in my garage...they work very good and better than most of the retail products out there.

    9-watt Hang on the back Fixture that I grow my Chaeto with. I have to run a cooling fan on this as Epistars can't get above 140F without rapid failure. The fan speed is controlled with a PTC Thermistor so it is whisper quiet. It also speeds up when it gets warmer...so self-adjusting. (2x Cool White, 1x Warm White, Epistars and Osram Dragon):
    Front



    Back



    10 Gallon Planted Beta Tank (6x Epistars, 1x Luxeon...all running a 3x watt each...for a total of 21 Watts. 2x Blue, 2x Cool White, 2x Warm White, 1x Neutral. This produces a nice color with lots of PAR)


    21 Watt Fixture (have two low-speed cooling fans that run at constant speed. This fixture can handle a lot more watts than what I currently am using..but why bother for a small, planted tank. Also, I could cleanly fit it into the stock fixture...but I got lazy..for now).




    1 Gallon Beta Tank (Sorry, still cycling and dirty. In a few more months it will look much better. I built the LEDs into the stock fixture, including AC to DC LED Driver ($5 on Ebay).



    Fixture view (I'm using 4x Epistars, 2x warm white/2x cool white, all driven 1 watt each, e.g. 300mA. At lower currents, cooling is not needed, especially since fixture temp never gets over 120F)


    Blue/Actinic Spot light for my 28 Gallon JBJ Nano. Fixes some of the washed out color of the stock lights. (2x SemiLED ultraviolet, 1x Luxeon Royal Blue...all running at 1x Watt each. I repurposed an aluminum fence post cap into a waterproof spot-light enclosure. Easy-peasy)


    Alt view (acrylic lense, silicone gasket)


    Out of all of these, I'm thinking the hang on the back unit may be something most of us could use. What you you guys pay for a 9 Watt HOB? How about an 18 watt unit?





    loafmonger

    Posts : 16
    Join date : 2013-05-11

    Re: More LED Talk...Need Opinions for LED light fixtures. Included some of my DIY jobs for fun...

    Post by loafmonger on Fri May 24, 2013 2:55 am

    There is a thread on rc about using 10,20,50,100 watt multichip leds of ebay to build a fixture. They run preatty cheap but I haven't read the whole thread to see how they turn out. From what I've read so far they are lookin/working surprisingly good. I was going to use some 10s and 20s for the 65 tall that I have up for sale, but ovbiously plans have changed. Im probably going to gets some for my indoor garden and a uv exposure unit for my screen printing.

    Ace25

    Posts : 45
    Join date : 2013-02-05
    Location : https://www.facebook.com/groups/CentralCaliforniaCoastReefers/

    Re: More LED Talk...Need Opinions for LED light fixtures. Included some of my DIY jobs for fun...

    Post by Ace25 on Fri May 24, 2013 11:23 am

    ericpkeith wrote:I'm getting the feeling that I may be boring people with all this LED talk but perhaps I can still get some opinions to help me in my research. So here are some questions I hope people will answer...

    1) How many of you care about brand names of LED manufacturers? That is like, CREE, Philips Luxeon, Osram Dragon, Bridgelux, Epistar, SemiLED, etc?
    2) How many of you would actually pay more for brand name LEDs?
    3) If you'd pay more, which of the listed brands above do you think is the best? I know I'm going to get a lot of CREE answers...please please tell me why
    4) What is the crossover price for you between DIY and a finished (retail) fixture? That is, would you attempt DIY if the price was 20% cheaper, 30%, 40%, 50%, etc?
    5) Would you pay somewhere between (between retail and crude DIY) for an refined DIY fixture, that is, a fixture made out of readily available heatsinks, drivers, power supplies, and LEDS?
    6) Are dimmable fixtures necessary? If so, how much extra would you pay, 10%, 20%, 30%, etc?

    My opinion:
    1. Extremely High importance. I have ordered well over 500 'China' LEDs in the past. They are terrible. Incorrect spectrum out of most of them and well over 50% failure rate within 30 days from the ones I have ordered.
    2. No question, I will gladly pay $3-$4 per LED vs $1 for a china LED because I know the more expensive ones will have a correct spectrum and last years longer.
    3. Cree for Royal Blue and Cool whites due to the high efficiency. Philips and OSRAM for the spectrums that are not covered by Cree. I have been running all 3 brands for over 4 years now.
    4. Depends on installation. If the light is visible (no canopy), 25% cheaper, if you have a canopy to hide the lights, 50% cheaper. This is because the light that would be visible will require more work/parts to make it look visually appealing where as one hidden by a canopy doesn't need a nice enclosure.
    5. Personally, no. At that point the cost is becoming negligible, so I would probably go with a retail fixture.
    6. Depends on if you have the ability to easily raise/lower the light. If you don't, then a dimmer is pretty much a requirement. If you can raise/lower the light that can have the same effect as a dimmer as far as intensity, although you still miss out on being able to fine tune the colors to your personal preference. I wouldn't make a display light without a dimmer myself, but for other things like a frag tank, refugium, algae scrubber, etc I do not use dimmers.

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    Re: More LED Talk...Need Opinions for LED light fixtures. Included some of my DIY jobs for fun...

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