Aquarium LED Ramp for the Idiots





Introduction: Aquarium LED Ramp for the Idiots


There are few high light aquarium LED lights. The reason is that if you use high power LED, you have to use radiators to cool them and also drivers to  power them. I propose to assemble a high power LED lighting without radiator and drivers. The lamp is in use above my aquarium of 55 Gallons (200 liters) for about 4 months. The power is 120 Watts (40 LED of 3 Watts) . The output is 10,800 Lumens (40 LED of 270 Lumens). It is very bright and should be used in conjunction with carbon dioxide pressurized system if you do not want to end-up with an algae culture.  English is not my mother tongue, so please forgive my language mistakes.

Step 1:

List of material

1.  30 LED bulbs MR 16 12 Volts 3 Watts, 270 Lumens, color white 6000 Kelvin angle 60°           source : E-Bay
2.  10 LED bulbs MR 16 12 Volts 3 Watts, 270 Lumens, color warm white 3000 Kelvin angle 60°     source : E-Bay
3    2 meter of electric plastic gutter white
4   1 Power supply 12 Volts (power supply from a personnal computer XT or AT
5    Wire 1,5 mm soft
6:   Six computer 12 Volt fans (not mandatory )
7:   1 hole saw bit 48mm
8    40X GU5.3 MR16 MR11 LED bulb Wire Connector Socket

Step 2:

Cut the gutter in two 1  meter parts
Drill holes of 48mm in the gutter. You can drill 20 holes per meter. Glue the LED lamps into the holes using cyanoacrylate glue. Connect the bulbs with the connectors.

Step 3:

Connect all the bulbs in parallel on the 12 volts power supply.  You have to search on E-Bay to have the lowest prices for the bulbs, because the range of price is from 25 to 4 USD per bulb. You will get them cheaper from the chinese sellers. I have tried very cheap ones and did not find any difference on quality with the more expensive ones. Any 12 volts power supply will do as long as it can produce 120 Watts. The light is very bright and is you have low light plants, you can reduce the amount of bulbs by two.
Here below is the picture of the main plug of the PC power supply (20 Connection). You have to connect the green wire (PS_ON)  to the black (COM) and use the yellow (12 VDC) and the black (COM)



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    10 Discussions


    8 months ago

    "they are 220 (or 110) volts and I prefer to be safe with 12 volts and the water of the aquarium"

    That is the reason for the tittle:

    for the Idiots

    Yes, but the problem is that they are 220 (or 110) volts and I prefer to be safe with 12 volts and the water of the aquarium. Before the LED I had a cheap chinese T5 suspension and every time i was touching it with my wet hands, i received an electric choc. That why I did change for LED. Regards

    Have you thought about using gu10 led bulbs? They can be powered off the wall power and don't need a transformer.

    it provides plenty for my amazon sword, wisteria and numerous other plants i have in my planted malawi tank "what is in your tank in particular that you dont think 16 feet of led strips could keep healthy?". And for $22 i get 16 feet or waterproof rgb strip, a rgb IR controller and a power supply...which is nice to have to switch to blue "moon" lights at night without any fussing with cords or switches.

    I did put a dimmer on the fans and they run very slowly, so the noise is not so high. I am afraid that aluminium will react with water and release some oxide in the tank and kill my fishes.

    might as well do as i did and get the led strip lights, available in blue also for night lighting....much easier to work with and power, no over heating issues and come in weather proof versions....all for roughly $6-$25 "depending on the type" for a 16 foot roll, it involves a little soldering, and some wires, along with a power supply which run fpr $10-$40 depending on what you choose.....

    1 reply

    To get an output of 10,800 Lumens, you need some Kilometers of strip lights. The aim of my light is to maintain hight light demanding plants. The strip light are excellent for a malawi tank with no plants but not for a densely planted tank.

    These lights don't run all that hot but, if it were me building this, I'd have made the light from aluminium and mounted it such that it dangled in the water. Save some power on the tank heater and you wouldn't have to put up with the noise of 6 fans.

    You have to search a little bit on E-Bay for the best prices. I did find my leds for 4 USD pieces at a chinese shop. You can also buy the 4 watts model which is the same price and produce 360 Lumens. You need to reduce the amount by 1/3 to have the same output. I do not know if I am allowed to give the link, but if you are interrested, PM me and I will give it ti you.