How to make aquarium lighting with LEDs
LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting is an excellent option for a saltwater or freshwater aquarium. LED lamps do not consume much electricity. Differ in long and rather easy operation. These features allow you to reduce operating costs for a long time. Environmentally friendly LED lighting does not contain harmful chemicals such as mercury or phosphorus, unlike fluorescent lamps. You have the opportunity to install LED lighting aquarium with your own hands, if you use the instructions.
Advantages and disadvantages of LED lighting
- LED aquarium lighting is initially expensive, but standard LED lamps currently work up to 50,000 hours, and are cheaper if you count on their long-term perspective.
- LED lighting also emits less heat, so it does not always require fans and cooling systems (depending on the number of lamps installed).
- Determine what type of LED light will best suit your needs for lighting a fish tank. If you have a salt water aquarium, more powerful LED lights will be required. Large and deep tanks also require strong lighting.
- This is ideal for a tank with relatively small plants. Tanks with lively underwater reefs require more light, and buying LED aquarium lamps with higher power ratings is highly recommended.
- Electricity and water in the interaction form a charge that can be deadly. The human body works as a channel between them, and with improper maintenance of the lamps, injury from electric shock may occur. Turn off all electronics, wiring systems and lighting when installing LED lamps, and drain the water from the aquarium. It will protect your life.
Look at the LED backlit aquarium.
How to install LED aquarium lighting by yourself
The first method, how to make LED lighting aquarium do it yourself is the simplest. Here you can use the cover with a special backlight. It is recommended to attach white LED stripes around the perimeter of the lid, which will provide a variety of spectrum and provide uniform illumination of the upper tank perimeter.
The second method is to make a small "chandelier". Above the tank it is necessary to make a block of square, round or diamond shape, in which you can put all the equipment and LED strip. Lighting capacity of 120 watts is enough for a spacious tank with a capacity of 250-300 liters, where many fish and plants live. Such a "chandelier" may contain about 40 LED lamps with a luminous flux of 270 lm (lumen), 3 watts each. The brightness of the illumination will be more than 10,000 lm, which will provide a bright light spectrum in an aquarium of such a volume. The main thing is to constantly monitor the balance of the ecosystem: an excess of green light contributes to the reproduction of microbes.
How much does it cost to assemble such a lamp? The cost may be different, depending on the seller. It is advisable to buy LED lamps from trusted manufacturers, so that they last for a long time and do not create installation difficulties. Reliable imported LED lamps: Osram, Cree, Philips, Lumileds. Russian manufacturers of LED dump: "Feron", "Camelion", "Jazzway", "Gauss", "Navigator", "Era".
To mount the lighting with such bulbs yourself, you need:
- Buy a lot of LED bulbs, LED strip;
- Plastic trench 10 cm wide and 2 meters long;
- Power supply 12 V, can be carried out from a stationary computer;
- Take the soft wire 1.5 mm;
- Get air conditioning at 6-12 V;
- No LED connectors are needed for the LED strip; 40 lamps are required for the lamps;
- Cutter for holes 48 mm.
See how to make LED lighting for the aquarium with your own hands.
After all materials have been prepared, two grooves should be cut along the plastic construction, and about 20 pieces should be drilled in the lower part. at 1 meter, you can staggered. Then in the holes you need to put the LEDs, and fix them. All lamps must be connected to the power supply. If you do not know how to properly handle the wiring, contact an electrician who can perform the procedure correctly.
The cooler or fan should be placed in the place of evaporation or heating of the lighting coating. For decorative purposes, you can make a night light, which will become an imitation of moonlight. It is needed for tropical sea fish and sea anemones. For night light, you can use a blue LED ribbon, which can be installed on the back wall. An electric lighting timer or automatic switching on / off of the backlight must also be connected in order to regulate the amount of daylight required.
The lighting of the aquarium should come from its upper part - this is how soft and diffused light is formed. It is better to use an ICE lamp with a power of 1 W, however, for different aquariums the appropriate power is chosen. A LED strip of 30-40 light bulbs with a total power of 3 watts may be enough for a 200-liter tank. The main thing that the light was not too bright, and not harm the slaves and plants. The optimal calculation is 0.5 watts per 1 liter of water, but for a deep and spacious aquarium in the formula, all indicators must be multiplied by two.
It is also important to take into account the thickness of the bottom - visually the water and all bottom plants should receive enough light in the lower layers of the tank. Bottom fishes and snails require a little light, but the plants will still grow and require more light. In the process of photosynthesis, plants will require a lot of light, because of its deficiency will emit less oxygen. To avoid problems, you need to adjust the amount of daylight, and create a uniform lighting in the pond, which will receive every inhabitant.
DIY Aquarium Lighting
Experienced owners know that extra light is needed for beautiful fish coloring and healthy plant growth. It helps to recreate habitual conditions for inhabitants. In addition, proper lighting will help maintain the internal balance of the aquatic environment. And this affects the development and reproduction of the inhabitants of the aquarium.
In a specialized pet store, you can purchase a cover of the desired size along with the aquarium. It already has a built-in lighting system. However, it is not suitable for every aquarium.
Types of lighting for the aquarium?
The most budget lighting option. Most often used in small pools and ponds for fish.
The advantage of such lamps is the required color spectrum - up to 3000 K. It is the most favorable for the process of photosynthesis and algae growth.There is also a big minus - this is a very low efficiency (only 5%). A lot of energy goes into heat.
Therefore, incandescent lamps are most often used for aquariums with cold-blooded inhabitants (frogs, turtles, newts and others).
There are two types: specialized and fluorescent lamps. The first type is best suited for lighting containers with plants. They emit red and blue color spectrum, which accelerates the growth and development of algae.
Specialized lamps have their drawbacks: high price and short lifetime (up to a year).
The fluorescent lamp is cheaper and lasts about 2 years. At the same time there is a significant drawback - the growth of algae and the process of photosynthesis slow down.
The brightest light source for aquarium. Their power ranges from 70 to 1000 watts. It has a point orientation and illuminates a specific area.
Light penetrates into the depths, reflecting from the walls and creating a contrast of colors and play with deep shadows. Such lamps are most popular among fans of the aquatic environment.However, there is a minus in such a light source: it requires cooling for at least an hour a day, because it can burn out due to overheating.
They are the most economical light source. In addition, there are ribbons of different colors and shades, and therefore the color spectrum can be recreated independently by combining blue, yellow, white and red. Also, using the switch, tapes of the required color are turned on. But the main advantage is water resistance.
There is a variety of LED strips that are coated with silicone. Without any fear they can be lowered into the water.
Installation of LED strips is very simple - just stick them to the inside of the cover and connect to the power supply. However, it will require a transformer, because the tapes consume only 12V.
How to install lighting for the aquarium yourself?
First of all, you need a frame or a finished cover. The frame itself is best made of wood or OSB-plates. You can take plastic and plexiglass, but it is undesirable, because these materials are easily deformed when heated (depending on the type of lamp being installed, heat transfer can be quite large). The cover can be made by hand.
Inside the lid is pasted with a light-reflecting foil - so all the light will be directed at the aquarium itself. For fluorescent and halogen lamps, special mounts are used, with the help of which they are fastened tightly to the inner surface of the cover. You will only have to connect the wires and isolate the open areas with special tape.
More information on AquariumGuide.ru:
Details of the use of LED lamps for the aquarium here.
What is a UV sterilizer for underwater inhabitants?
LED strip is much easier to install. They connect to a 12V power supply. Then the protective cover on the back side is torn off, and the LEDs are glued to the cover.
We should not forget that a lot of moisture evaporates from the aquarium. It settles on the lid and can lead to burnout of the LEDs. Therefore, you need to choose a waterproof tape.
After installation is completed, it is necessary to glue the junction of the wires of the LEDs and the stabilizer with silicone sealant.
Backlight in the aquarium is very important for the healthy growth of fish and plants. She is involved in regulating the balance of the aquatic environment. It is easiest to buy a ready-made cover with lighting, but it will be more expensive and not a fact that it will fit every aquarium. Indeed, depending on the size of the aquarium, the types of its inhabitants (fish, toads, tritons or turtles) and plants need different intensity and color spectrum of the backlight.