Introduction: Interactive Aquarium LED Lighting
Hello, if you are reading this than you must be interested in installing LED's inside your aquarium. Below you will find some rather simple instructions on how to accomplish a beautiful, dynamic, and interactive look for the lights in your fish tank.
When I say "inside your fish tank", I mean just that. Most lighting systems that I have found online for aquariums involve lighting from outside of the tank. This fish tank has light coinciding peacefully within the tank with its occupants!
It should be noted that exposure to salt water can discolor and deteriorate the silicone on the waterproof LED strip light, so this type of installation is recommended for fresh water tanks ONLY.
Step 1: Components
First, a list of components that I used to achieve this.
Tank: I purchased a basic 20 gallon starter fish tank for this project + a bunch of cool fish tank scenery that would look cool with lights in them. All purchased at Petsmart.
Glass Skull: http://crystalheadvodka.com/welcome
High Density Waterproof RGB LED Strip Light by the foot (2 feet)
Waterproof RGB LED Strip Light by the foot (3 feet)
High Density Flexible LED Strip Light by the foot (2 feet)
Apollo Jammer LED Music Controller
Analog LED Color Controller (2)
Waterproof RGB Extension Cables (4)
Waterproof RGB Solder Connector Pair (4)
Waterproof LED Strip Light Sealant Kit
12V Adapter - 60 watt
DC Splitter Plugs (3-way)
(1) Hot Glue Gun + Glue
Step 2: Installation
This was actually much easier than I thought it would be. The first thing that you must do is watch this brief video on cutting and re-soldering waterproof strip lights.
How to Solder Waterproof LED Strip Light
Cut the Waterproof RGB Strip Light to the lengths of your choosing, and connect a Waterproof RGB Solder Connector to the end of each section. Use a sealant cap to seal up the other end as well to keep the strip completely water tight.
Then you can connect each section to a Waterproof RGB Extension Cable to run back to a color controller. Using the other end of the Waterproof RGB Solder Connector, the extension cable can be easily connected to the color controller of your choosing.
Each of these strips can easily be installed within a fish tank decoration using a little hot glue.
Step 3: Installation Specifics + Diagram
I put a 3" section of High Density RGB Waterproof Strip underneath the waterfall fixture, a 1.5" section inside the "Spirit House" in front of the waterfall, and a 3" section underneath the glass skull. The waterfall light, and spirit house are both wired up to one of the analog color controllers. The skull light is wired to the Apollo Jammer.
I put a 1' section of the waterproof RGB Strip light on the underside of the fish tank lid, and a 2' section behind the waterfall. These two strips are wired back to the second Analog color controller.
The (2) 1' sections of High Density Flexible Strip Light (Neutral White) are both installed behind a water resistant piece of plastic in the lid, and are both wired to the Apollo Jammer. One is wired to the "red" channel, and one is wired to the "green" channel. The Apollo Jammer is connected to my computer which will play a "Thunderstorm" sound track. Whenever the thunder gets loud enough, the lights will flash like lightning! This excites the fish though, so I don't do it too often.
The two analog color controllers can adjust the rest of the color lights in dynamic ways.
Step 4: Final Look
I hope that this project may have inspired you to try creating a dynamically lit aquarium yourself!