Learning Basics About My custom LED's (Second Hand)

What type of lights are these? Where from?

  • RapidLed

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Steve's Leds's

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0

incloud design

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
312
Reaction score
175
Location
Worcester
Hey Reefers, I've been putting together my Reefer 450 that I bought second hand from someone on Craigslist. It came with a ton of upgrades, custom work, and custom LED's. I just recently got it up and running and built a nice custom floating canopy out of PVC boards and now have the lights that came with it up and running with a BlueFish LED Controller. Now I'm interested in how my lights work and what exactly I have. All I know as of now is that it has 4 Meanwell Drivers and Channel 1/2 and 3/4 work with the controller but not 5/6. The colors do not seem to be all independent but that's what I'm aiming for. I've never built an LED system before and now have one with no clue how it works. I am pretty good with electronics and build all my computers and home theater setups so I'd imagine after getting an understanding of the terminology and what does what I'll be on my way. Getting started carefully without breaking what I have is where I'm at now. First thing I've not been able to figure out is what settings to use on my controller which has different options at setup. I had it on 0-10v and just tonight switched it to PWM and it dimmed it down quite a bit. I'd really appreciate some feedback on what PWM, 0-10v and other settings are for and which to use. Thanks in advance for your time and support!

These are the lights. (Don't know what type or where they are from) I believe their from RapidLed.

Full tank pic.jpg


Canopy Build Final (8).jpg


Canopy Build Final (5).jpg


I built the canopy to accommodate the lights.
 

oreo5457

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
1,330
Reaction score
858
Well for starters the numbers on the drivers would help. Pictures ect..


A primer on LED's is a bit long but I'll begin w/ the dimming since you asked.
for the most part you have basic types of DC dimming
0-10V (or 1-10V) analog dimming which basically sullies a control signal by changing voltage..like using a 10V power supply and a pot to change the voltage out.
Pot dimming.. related to the above but no seperate power supply
10V PWM.. basically either the signal is 10V or 0Vs.. no in between. The dimming is by changing the duty cycle.. Think of it as 10V "pulses" per second (since it is frequency controlled that's anothe parameter like 500Hz to 1000MHz but that isn't crucial ATM)
5V PWM same as 10V but 5 V ;)

now consider that JUST a CONTROL signal.. Output could be totally different i.e 10V PWM produces a decrease in Ma output.. or could "pulse" the output

That leads to the 2 methods of "OUTPUT" dimming.. either PWM or current control..See PWM always has the same current just on/off

Now the 2 main drive systems are constant current or constant voltage w/ constant current (barring current dimming) being the most used w/ larger leds
constant voltage example is any of those strip lights w/ a power supply that is JUST 12V or other SET voltage.

Constant current drivers (all in 1 AC/DC units) or power supplies w/ constant current drivers (Meanwell -LDD series) will vary the voltage to the LED's to MATCH the current set point..
That variable point voltage is based on number and type of LEDs in a string (or singly like w/ COB's)

start there..
LED string voltages add..
 
OP
incloud design

incloud design

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
312
Reaction score
175
Location
Worcester
Well for starters the numbers on the drivers would help. Pictures ect..


A primer on LED's is a bit long but I'll begin w/ the dimming since you asked.
for the most part you have basic types of DC dimming
0-10V (or 1-10V) analog dimming which basically sullies a control signal by changing voltage..like using a 10V power supply and a pot to change the voltage out.
Pot dimming.. related to the above but no seperate power supply
10V PWM.. basically either the signal is 10V or 0Vs.. no in between. The dimming is by changing the duty cycle.. Think of it as 10V "pulses" per second (since it is frequency controlled that's anothe parameter like 500Hz to 1000MHz but that isn't crucial ATM)
5V PWM same as 10V but 5 V ;)

now consider that JUST a CONTROL signal.. Output could be totally different i.e 10V PWM produces a decrease in Ma output.. or could "pulse" the output

That leads to the 2 methods of "OUTPUT" dimming.. either PWM or current control..See PWM always has the same current just on/off

Now the 2 main drive systems are constant current or constant voltage w/ constant current (barring current dimming) being the most used w/ larger leds
constant voltage example is any of those strip lights w/ a power supply that is JUST 12V or other SET voltage.

Constant current drivers (all in 1 AC/DC units) or power supplies w/ constant current drivers (Meanwell -LDD series) will vary the voltage to the LED's to MATCH the current set point..
That variable point voltage is based on number and type of LEDs in a string (or singly like w/ COB's)

start there..
LED string voltages add..
Well Thanks for the in depth explanation I'll do my best to try and get the most from it. Below is my drivers Meanwell HLG-120H-36B. The little digital readouts I believe show voltage and have something to do with a potentiometer.

20181105_190512_HDR.jpg
 

oreo5457

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
1,330
Reaction score
858
So .. 3.4A (non-adj. in "B" version) drivers w/ an operating voltage range of 18-36 volts..
Dim protocols:
Output constant current level can be adjusted by applying one of the three methodologies between DIM+ and DIM-:
1 ~ 10VDC, or 10V PWM signal or resistance
10k-100K would be the pots for simple manual resistance dimming.
so w/ the Bluefish 10V analog or 10V PWM works as it should 5V PWM should not be used..
Basically you would be choking the light off at 1/2 output if it worked at all.
Just for reference since I mentioned frequency earlier:
Applying additive 10V PWM signal (frequency range 100Hz ~ 3KHz):
And the tricky part...

Most likely you only have 4 channels (1 per driver ) so 5/6 are just extra...

The now tricky part is, considering the drive current rating your LED stings are probably series/parallel arranged..or it's really , really, really dimmed but
even that would be way out of diode spec since current would "pulse" at 3.4A jolting the diodes at every turn on.

Have no idea about the indicators..well nothing obvious.
Best to dim, observe, and note output #'s.
At first I thought they might be the analog voltage to the drivers but 19.8 is "out of range" and some Meanwell drivers would fry the dim circuit if that high of voltage.

but a bit back to the LED strings..
@ 36V max the max amount of LED's is about 10 per series string (or less as long as the added voltages don't go below 18, more if lots of red or low V(f) LEd's)
aND the tricky part and where I say good luck..
hlg120.JPG


How one would "normally" use the HLG..
Voltage would add in series so in the above assuming ALL the same type diodes would be like 3.6x4 = 14.4v and the current would be divided by #
of "columns"...
So lets just pretend the driver outputs 2A so each branch "sees" 2A/6 =333mA per series string @ whatever voltage = 333mA in the range of the driver..

Catch is each branch should be similar in electrical characteristics so.. changing diodes is an issue if not done right.

DISCLAIMER: I don't build or am completely familiar w/ series/parallel high power arrays and it's usually never considered "best practice" so ..any suggestions are limited at this point..
There are some issues that un-necessarily complicate the design.
 
OP
incloud design

incloud design

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
312
Reaction score
175
Location
Worcester
So .. 3.4A (non-adj. in "B" version) drivers w/ an operating voltage range of 18-36 volts..
Dim protocols:

10k-100K would be the pots for simple manual resistance dimming.
so w/ the Bluefish 10V analog or 10V PWM works as it should 5V PWM should not be used..
Basically you would be choking the light off at 1/2 output if it worked at all.
Just for reference since I mentioned frequency earlier:

And the tricky part...

Most likely you only have 4 channels (1 per driver ) so 5/6 are just extra...

The now tricky part is, considering the drive current rating your LED stings are probably series/parallel arranged..or it's really , really, really dimmed but
even that would be way out of diode spec since current would "pulse" at 3.4A jolting the diodes at every turn on.

Have no idea about the indicators..well nothing obvious.
Best to dim, observe, and note output #'s.
At first I thought they might be the analog voltage to the drivers but 19.8 is "out of range" and some Meanwell drivers would fry the dim circuit if that high of voltage.

but a bit back to the LED strings..
@ 36V max the max amount of LED's is about 10 per series string (or less as long as the added voltages don't go below 18, more if lots of red or low V(f) LEd's)
aND the tricky part and where I say good luck..
hlg120.JPG


How one would "normally" use the HLG..
Voltage would add in series so in the above assuming ALL the same type diodes would be like 3.6x4 = 14.4v and the current would be divided by #
of "columns"...
So lets just pretend the driver outputs 2A so each branch "sees" 2A/6 =333mA per series string @ whatever voltage = 333mA in the range of the driver..

Catch is each branch should be similar in electrical characteristics so.. changing diodes is an issue if not done right.

DISCLAIMER: I don't build or am completely familiar w/ series/parallel high power arrays and it's usually never considered "best practice" so ..any suggestions are limited at this point..
There are some issues that un-necessarily complicate the design.
Lol, back to school I think. Or just leave them plugged in and hope for the best. I'll just figure out how to get the controller set up the best it can be with what i have. Thanks for the help!
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

oreo5457

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
1,330
Reaction score
858
Actually it's pretty simple.. ;)
In your case though, re-cofiguring the strings by either separating them or re-dioding them is more complicated than simple 1 series string of diodes per driver..
It's, sadly, fairly standard to mix wavelengths (colors) in, personally, bizarre fashion.. ;)

The indicators are cool.. wish I knew what they were indicating..
 
OP
incloud design

incloud design

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
312
Reaction score
175
Location
Worcester
Actually it's pretty simple.. ;)
In your case though, re-cofiguring the strings by either separating them or re-dioding them is more complicated than simple 1 series string of diodes per driver..
It's, sadly, fairly standard to mix wavelengths (colors) in, personally, bizarre fashion.. ;)

The indicators are cool.. wish I knew what they were indicating..
I'm aiming to get the lights to have all 6 channels with independent colors as I believe they are intended to do. I prefer a more purple tank than blue and with whites a more tint of yellow like natural sunlight. I'd imagine adding another driver or two would accomplish this but how to rewire it all is what has me anxious and hesitant. I'll most likely take them apart once the newness wears off and see what I'm dealing with. I don't even know if the setup is solder or solderless at this point or how to go about swapping out LED's. I wish I knew where the kit came from. I believe Rapid LED but can't confirm. I've called them and sent pictures and because they are painted I haven't got a solid answer.
 

dantimdad

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 24, 2009
Messages
7,537
Reaction score
31,646
Location
North Alabama
Those aren't from Steve's or RapidLED as far as I have ever seen.

Whoever built them built a nice looking setup.

Your best bet is to get someone who has built before and get them to help you.

Once false move and you could fry the whole thing.

Built a bunch of them and have seen some really jacked up attempts at building that didn't work and I had to rewire them completely to get channel separation.

I personally don't like parallel/series configs but they are used quite often.
 
OP
incloud design

incloud design

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
312
Reaction score
175
Location
Worcester
Those aren't from Steve's or RapidLED as far as I have ever seen.

Whoever built them built a nice looking setup.

Your best bet is to get someone who has built before and get them to help you.

Once false move and you could fry the whole thing.

Built a bunch of them and have seen some really jacked up attempts at building that didn't work and I had to rewire them completely to get channel separation.

I personally don't like parallel/series configs but they are used quite often.
Thanks, I'll keep researching until I have a better understanding. As of now they are better than any lights I've owned and the colors look great. We'll see how my corals respond as after all they are the ones living under them, lol.
 

dantimdad

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 24, 2009
Messages
7,537
Reaction score
31,646
Location
North Alabama
Thanks, I'll keep researching until I have a better understanding. As of now they are better than any lights I've owned and the colors look great. We'll see how my corals respond as after all they are the ones living under them, lol.
Good call!
 
OP
incloud design

incloud design

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
312
Reaction score
175
Location
Worcester
The latest after looking through all the stuff that came with my tank is that I have a Kessil A360W E Tuna Controllable LED (Pendant). The light has two extra ports for stereo cables like my lights have and the BlueFish controller has one more port for channels 5/6. I'm trying to figure the best way to integrate this Kessil with my controller and imagine it is possible. But there is one open port on the controller and two on the light. I also need a power supply for the Kessil as it is nowhere to be found. The power supplies list for $40 on Amazon but other supplies are only $12 with the same output. The problem I'm having there is getting the compatible plug type and I can not find anything online confirming the plug type. The plugs for these differ in slight ways and will not work if not matched. Any suggestions?

Here's the supply I'm looking to order.

My Choice

Replacement
 

dantimdad

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 24, 2009
Messages
7,537
Reaction score
31,646
Location
North Alabama
I say buy the one that says it will work for sure.

If the light ends up not working, send it back.

I have been messing with retrofitting kessils with other pucks. They look stock when done. Just a fun project for a dead kessil.
 
OP
incloud design

incloud design

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
312
Reaction score
175
Location
Worcester
I say buy the one that says it will work for sure.

If the light ends up not working, send it back.

I have been messing with retrofitting kessils with other pucks. They look stock when done. Just a fun project for a dead kessil.
Any idea how I should run the Kessil off my controller? I'd have to use a splitter (3.5mm) in order to utilize both ports on the Kessil from the Controller. Not sure of that is recommended.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

dantimdad

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 24, 2009
Messages
7,537
Reaction score
31,646
Location
North Alabama
No. Its one port in and one port out for daisy chaining.

It is basically a 0-10v port so just about any controller can control the dimming. I would think.

What controller is it?
 
OP
incloud design

incloud design

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 17, 2018
Messages
312
Reaction score
175
Location
Worcester
It's explained above but BlueFish. I have my lights hooked up with 2 3.5mm into cannels 1/2 and 3/4 on the controller. The controller has 5/6 ready for 2 channels. The Kessil has 2 ports but the controller has one. Get it?
 

What's better food for you fish. A High Quality Frozen or High Quality Dry Food?

  • High Quality Frozen

    Votes: 116 77.3%
  • High Quality Dry

    Votes: 22 14.7%
  • Other (please post in the thread)

    Votes: 12 8.0%

Online statistics

Members online
2,011
Guests online
5,273
Total visitors
7,284
https://amongthereef.com/
Top