Diy led part 3

Today the rest of the MeanWell LDD-700h drivers arrived. Its now time to start planning to make driver board. I will use proto board since I have few pieces already (there is very nice fabricated PCB’s available from Coralux and diy images and files can be found from e.g Reef Central forum thread). Let me know if anybody has them on ebay with reasonable price and shipping cost.

I will use dip headers for LDD drivers for easy replacement if needed. I will also use big enough wires in perf board to handle current and not to rely on perf board copper lines. I hope to get everything working soon.

Here is the placement for LDD’s and terminals which will be used.


My controller unit includes Arduino Mini Pro (few bucks from, 2×16 characters display, DS3231based realtime clock, and few DS1820 temperature sensors. First I used small OLED display (similar to Adafruits oled displays). It broken down after few days of development so I replaced it with HD44780 display with i2c adapter. Both units sourced from ebay. Now the controller have also 3.3v regulated power output (it was needed by oled display).

The current state of development has these features : 

  • Sunrise and sunset times calculated by location (barrier reef is used as location at the moment and adjusted to our current timezone). Moon phase is also added for controlling Adafruit Neopixel string. Neopixel string will be used as moon lights and the code can emulate moon rise (code is ready in another project and not yet implement in the reef controller code). These calculations are made by Timelord arduino library.
  • Sunrise and Sunset light level ramps (linear at the moment for each channel). I have to research this little bit more.
  • Temperature sensor readings for light cabinet and water
  • Clock
  • State of the control cycle (night,sunrise,day,sunset)
  • Led channel power control (max output level can be chosen between 0 and 100%). I have 4 channels at the moment.
  • 3 button easy control
  • Quick presets for different lightning (photography, full moon, mid day, etc)

I will add these features if necessary and have enough time to complete project.

  • More configuration options 
  • morning, mid-day, evening and clouds for light levels. I have to research this little bit since I have not yet information how light levels change during a day in reef locations.
  • Average temperature calculations
  • ATO device control
  • Ethernet connectivity? (do we really need this, not yet decided)
  • Something more… Not sure yet.

I will build this unit in a some kind of a box and use ethernet wire to connect it to drivers unit which will be located inside the Fluval Edge closure.

After I started to build this system I found out that there is lots of similar projects and products at the market (like Coralux Storm-x device or Reef Angel). I think it will be wiser to buy one of these options than build your own since you get professional made PCB and pre-made software which you can alter yourself if needed (the source codes are open sourced). But it was fun to make one:). I will post messy source code and final image when ready. 



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