In this episode, I make an aquarium LED Light using LED RGB Strips. You can follow along in this easy How To Make an LED Aquarium Light.
Step 1: Cutting UPVC Panel
My old aquarium light is a worn down piece of styrofoam with some LED strips stuck to it. It was time for an upgrade.
I am using this UPVC window sill as the body of the light. I begin by cutting it to length and squaring it. I mark where I will cut a groove into the UPVC.
Step 2: Gluing Extra Edge
I then cut some grooves on one side so that I can bend it over and have a second edge.
A few days later, I unclamp the work piece and notice the bend is not sufficient. I
Step 3: Bondo
I tape the edge of the gap where the contact cement was. I prepare some car body filler, some people might know it as Bondo. I fill the gap with as much body filler as possible. I then clamp the work piece again and finish with the body filler.I begin bending the new edge as much as possible. I use some contact glue as an adhesive. I then clamp it using wood clamps
Step 4: Aluminium Tape
A few days later and now the work piece is solid and the edge will hold. I clean the surface with acetone and prepare it for some aluminium tape. I cut aluminium tape to size. It will be used as the surface to which the LED strips will stick to. Being aluminium it will act as a somewhat better heat sink than the UPVC sheet alone.
Step 5: Flattening the Tape
I stick the aluminium tape down and flatten it as much as possible. I then cut the LED strips to length. I add some double sided tape to the strips that required it.
Step 6: Testing Current
I test the current draw of the strips to find out how many strips I can fit on the light. It turns out I can use 10 strips.. I stick the LED strips to the aluminium surface and space them out evenly.
Step 7: Removing Silicone From Pads
With the strips in place, it was time to remove the silicone on the edges of the contacts using a hobby knife. I then tin solder the contact points. Afterwards, I solder wires to all of the strips. With the wires soldered I test the LED strips to see if the work.
Step 8: Silicone to Protect Wires
I then hot glue some of the wires down. A transparent silicone is used to permanently glue the strips to the board and to protect the wiring from water. I am using an RGB LED controller with a remote control. I remove it from its housing and proceed to glue it in place. The controller is wired to both the RGB strips and the white LED strips
Step 9: Final LED Test
A last check of the LEDs. I ran into a problem with the RED LEDs but this was fixed at a later date. Finally, the LED Aquarium light is installed on top of the aquarium. I really like the powerful light it puts out. And it only uses a little over 30 watts of electricity.