I was looking for a cheap LED light for my shrimp tank (54 liter/15 gallons). I decided to start a very simple DIY project to save money and to share it on instructables.
Stuff you need:
- 1 or more waterproof rigid LED strips; you'll find them all over the internet. I bought 2 of them at banggood (9$). The 12V rigid LED strips consume 9W each.
- I do not trust the description which states 1400 lumen. Therefore, I bought 2 of them to be on the safe side. If the strips provide half the lumen as stated in the description, I will get around 25lumen per liter. I chose cold white (5500-6500K) which improves the green color of the plants.
- 1x Glue to waterproof the ends of the strips. I used UHU.
- 1x LED driver. In order to save money I used an old 12V RGB LED controller. You can use any 12V LED driver which is capable of providing 18W.
- 2x wooden/aluminum bars and 4x screws to install the light on top of the tank. I used small wooden bars and screws which I had at home. Aluminum bars are better, as the will help to give off heat from the LED strips.
So the overall costs of my project were only 9$. However, I didn't have to buy a LED driver.
Step 1: Waterproof the Ends of the Rigid LED Strips
- Remove the end cap
- Put glue on the end of the rigid strip
- Put the end cap back on the strip
You have to this on both ends!
Step 2: Connect the LED Controller
Step 3: Build a Mount
6. Screw the LED strip on both ends on the middle of a wooden or aluminum bar
7. Put the mount on top of the tank as shown in the picture
Step 4: Finished!
You are now finished. Here is a comparison to my old 15W T8 fluorescent lamp.
- The picture with the yellow light is the old fluorescent lamp. You can hardly see the shrimps on the dark soil.
- The picture with the colder blue light is with the new 2x 9W LED strips. You can clearly see the the red shrimps on the dark soil.