DIY Night Lights
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Thread: DIY Night Lights

  1. #1
    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    DIY Night Lights

    Hi,
    For my 40ltr betta tank, I might consider making some DIY LED Night Lights for the tank. I would need to find a mains transformer so I could us a timer to create a night/day cycle. For insulating, I will cover the live/neutral wires of the LED with a thick blob of epoxy. What does everyone think?

    Thanks,
    Chris

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  3. #2
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    Might find something amongst that lot http://www.tropicalfish.site5.com/tf...ad.php?t=68034

  4. #3
    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    Ah yes, I'd looked on those sights before, but not for night lights. However, I did find a very good article which just have resurrected my want to build a sump.

    Thanks,
    Chris

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    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    Right, well I now have:

    1) 1 Plastic box
    2) 20mtrs of wire
    3) about 7 green LED's
    4) 1 red LED switch (has an LED at the top which lights when power's applied! )
    5) Various assorted resistors
    6) 2 2AA battery holders

    I plan to use the plastic box as a battery case, and have another plastic box with all the switches/nobs built into it which I'll leave by my bed. The Night Lights will not be on a timer, merely for viewing purposes.

    In the switch box I will have the red LED switch as the master power switch, 1 master reostat for dimming the lights and 7 toggle switches to control each of the lights on/off seperately. All of the wires will be fed from the switch box to the main battery box.

    The battery box will, well, contain batterys (duh... ). 2 2AA holders wired in parrallel gives me 3V and about 4A. The voltage needs to be reduced to 2V for the LED's. The reason why I have 4AA's is merely so that I won't have to (ever) change the batteys. I might just use 2 though for simplicity as the current drain on LED's is miniscule.

    When all wired up, I should be able to control the lights in bed, with controls to turn them all on or off both independantly and all at once, and also dim them.

    Thanks,
    Chris

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    ^^ control freak tbh

    seriously sounds good you should do a diary, oh and isn't moon light blue not green?

  8. #6
    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claude
    ^^ control freak tbh
    lol, my original idea was to have 8 dimmers....

    seriously sounds good you should do a diary, oh and isn't moon light blue not green?
    Diary sounds good, but progress is probably going to be quite slow as I have to wait till we go back to school to get some of the components (otherwise I would end up paying something like £10 just in toggle switches!

    At the moment I've just finished off the circuit diagram and have just covered an LED in gooey aquarium sealant mess. I'll test to see if it works in a couple of days. Luckily I have my breadboard from school at home which makes testing things so much easier.

    Oh yeah and moonlight is blue, but school doesn't have blue LED's and they're something rediculous like £2 each from Maplins or Rapid.

    Thanks,
    Chris

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    Registered User 2manytanks's Avatar
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    and to think this is the same chrisc that was worried about the price of test kits.
    i see you have come far with an empty wallet just like the rest of us
    2manytanks, doesn`t post enough to be a mod

  10. #8
    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manytanks
    i see you have come far with an empty wallet just like the rest of us
    lol thanks!

    (Actually, at the moment, I have a little bit of money lying around, but I'm no doubt going to spend that on planty stuff for my 40ltr... )

    Does anybody know how circuit breakers work? They sound like resettable fuses.

    Heres a list of stuff from Maplins which I can't beg/borrow/steal from school:

    2x 31mm fuse clips
    10 31mm 500ma fuses
    1 1A autoreset circuit breaker
    8 superbright 5mm green LED's.

    TOTAL = £4.47

    Not too bad, when I get back to school I can scavenge 8 mini toggle switches and a reostat with a knob although I can still build it without those and just add those in later. I've also scrapped the idea of using two boxes and am now just using one as otherwise it would require about 80mtrs of wire!

    Thanks,
    Chris

  11. #9
    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    I just tested the green LED from school in the sink (I know it says to wait 48 hours, but I'm impatient ) and it worked! So, I dunked it in the tank and I'm INCREDIBLY inpressed with the results. Because the 24C water acts as a huge heatsink, I ran it straight from 3V with no problems. It gives off a slightly yellowish colour. So, I won't need to buy the superbright green LED's, I'll just use the school ones. And, I think I might decide to run 10 LEDs... and have 3 on reostats maybe. Either way, I'm going to need ALOT of wire so I'm going to buy a 100mtr roll of it.

    Thanks,
    Chris

    p.s: It's interesting that the khuli loachs, which will usually swim around madly if caught in light, are actually attracted to the LED. So are all the other fish. Maybe their just curious...

  12. #10
    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    OK, I've created a quick MS paint mock up circuit diagram. Heres what I think I'll do:

    I'll have 10 LED's. I'll have 3 green ones on potentiometers to dim them, I'll have 2 fixed yellow LED's mounted outside the tank to give ambient light. I'll then have 5 green LED's with toggle switches.

    I'm also starting to think about safety, and what I should fit to prevent electrocuting all my fish if something goes wrong. So far I've just thought of putting a 500ma fuse on the live, but I would like to take other preventitive action just incase. Would it be possible to fit an earth wire to the actual tank water?

    Thanks,
    Chris
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    Registered User 2manytanks's Avatar
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    no if you earth the tank it will work as a current if something goes wrong.
    is it not worth getting some form of plastic cover and putting it in that?
    ill talk to my old man hes a sparky
    2manytanks, doesn`t post enough to be a mod

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    Big stick operator Paul_fox's Avatar
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    I dont think you need to worry about giving the fish a shock with a few batteries...

  15. #13
    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_fox
    I dont think you need to worry about giving the fish a shock with a few batteries...
    Yes, 3V is just a tingle to me but I wondered whether it might affect fish alot more. Anyway, I've stuck in a 630ma fuse my dad had lying around.

    I've decided to scrap all the ideas about fancy individual dimmers etc. Instead of having 2 or 3 superbright 'spotilights' I'm instead using lots of LED's to create soft, ambient light using green and yellow. I might mount some in the hood, as well as a few in the tank. To get a good effect though you need lots of LEDs - I'm talking at least 15+.

    Thanks,
    Chris

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    Why not just buy a set of LED moonlights from Ebay, £9.99 + delivery, and save yourself some work.

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/AQUARIUM-MOONL...QQcmdZViewItem

    David

  17. #15
    Why aren't you laughing? ChrisC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidT
    Why not just buy a set of LED moonlights from Ebay, £9.99 + delivery, and save yourself some work.
    No thanks, I like a challenge and am úber short on cash (well, that's a lie, but I would be if I bought everything that I could make). Plus, you don't get any of the satisfaction and, frankly, they don't look as nice.

    Thanks,
    Chris

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