Recently, my aquariums fluorescent light died, so naturally I tried to switch the bulb only to find that didn't work either. Later I found out that the ballast had died after years of use. Instead of buying a new bulky fluorescent light, I decided to convert the lights to LED! The process is quite simple, extremely cheap and is much brighter. Compared to the old fluorescent lights, the new LED lights have saved me money on electricity while looking better at the same time!
The LED Lights even come with a remote making it easier to change the color, tune the brightness or even turn off the lights!
So Lets build it!
* Before you comment the rgb will stress out the fish, just know that I only turned on the rgb flash to demonstrate the LED strips for the video, any other time and the light is set to white *
Step 1: You Will Need
Step 2: Testing the Lights
Before I set everything up, I wanted to test the lights to see if they worked. The setup is quite easy; Plug the power supply into the remote reciever (White Box), Plug the receiver into the lights (Matching both arrows to each other), then plug the power supply into the wall! Using the remote you can turn the lights on and off to test them out. Dont leave them on too long by themselves or it will overheat!
Step 3: Surgery of the Old Light
Now its time to dissect the old fluorescent light. After unscrewing the underside you should see a fluorescent ballast and a switch attached to the power cable with a couple wire nuts. Just unscrew the wire nuts and twist the two wires apart, leaving you with a plastic shell of a light and two bare wires going to the wall outlet and the switch. Next its time to give the light a heart transplant by switching the old fluorescent driver with the led strip driver. Cut and strip the power supply cord that goes to the led strip driver and reusing the wires nuts, connect the mains power supply to the recently cut and stripped cord. If this seems to advanced for you, just use an extension cord and connect the LED driver's power supply to the wall, the only reason I made it more complicated then it needed to be was because I wanted it to look neater and to reuse the switch inside the light.
Step 4: Cut, Strip, Solder
Now its time to hook up the led strips! I used a scrap piece of 90 degree aluminum to act as a heat sink, because the led strips heat up quite a bit when left on for a long time. After using some epoxy to set it in place, I measured the length of led trip I would need to line the aluminum. Then I cut along the dotted line and cut a second piece just as long. Next I peeled off the adhesive backing and stuck the two strips to the aluminum. The next step was just a matter of reconnecting the led strips back together by soldering 4 wires from led strip to led strip, connect positive to positive, negative to negative, and so on.
Step 5: Done!
And that's about it! I placed the new and improved lights back onto the aquarium and it looked great! One thing I forgot to mention was to make sure that the remote receiver sticks out a bit, I just used a drill and made a small hole then stuck the receiver through.
I really hope you had fun building these lights, and if so, don't forget to follow me to stay updated on new projects!
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