Building the new WIFI & IOS controlled led light

For the new nano reef tank I decided to build new led light. The led light idea is based what I build for Fluval Edge diy led but instead of using led chips on star I ordered few Nanobox reef V3 arrays. I ordered two since I similar led chips on stars as well.

First I had to find good heatsink for the led. After spending few hour searching from ebay and other sites I ordered one from The heatsink dimension were 600mm x 140mm x 20mm. Fluval Edge heatsink was only 160mm x 90mm so there is plenty more cooling capacity in this heatsink. After a while I got an idea how to make enclosure to heatsink. I visited in painting/photo framing company and ordered empty frame with exact heatsink dimensions. I also ordered few plexiglass (white and transparent) with frame dimensions.

After ordering the enclosure items I started drawing the actual leds. I had chosen to make new tank aquascape with “two island” approach. That approach helped me with Nanobox Arrays placement. I wanted some shadows in the tank as well so that is why I have only 3 light sources with 4 channels of controllability.


Initial design of actual leds and spare holes.

After a drilling and tapping the heatsink I started the building process.



Nanobox reef V3 arrays are very nice. 


Arctic silver Ceramique 2 for heat trasfer between leds and heatsink.


Stainless steel bolts with nylon washers is used to secure leds on the heatsink


Led chips on star screwed in.

After some hours every led was in place and the heatsink was ready for soldering and wiring. The problem with soldering leds already attached to heatsink is the amount of heat needed to solder wires. So I cranked up my soldering station near to its limit and started soldering. I double checked every wire to ensure good quality attachment with the leds.


Wiring 4 channels of leds on star.

I also used wire covering tube much as I could.


Wires are covered with nylon tubes.

The Plexiglasses needed some drilling so I made drilling template. Next time I will not try to make holes by myself and order plexiglass from laser cut house.


Top plexiglass drilling template

The build uses 120mm cooling fan. I bought  Coolink SWiF2-120 fan and screwed it on the white plexiglass with metallic grill.


Cooling swift 120mm fan with fan speed control.


Rubber spacers were used to minimize vibration noise.

After some hours of soldering everything was in place. I used a bit modified version of my own electric imp based controller for driving leds. The led system uses 48v meanwell dc converter and only 4 channels is used (controller pcb have option for 5 drivers, but I will use it to different things in the future). I also placed one thermistor in the heatsink to measure enclosure temperature.


My diy electric imp based led controller/driver board.

The electric imp based controller needed little bit code changes as well the IOS app I have written to control whole thing. After few hours of tweaking the code the system was ready for testing.


Diy led enclosure without wires and hanging kit.



Diy led with WIFI and IOS app, first tests.

The led is very bright. I have to measure PAR’s in the future, but I think it will be enough for growing some nice corals. Light is quite even and I did not notice disco effect at all. Nanobox V3 arrays are awesome. Led chips on 20mm stars working quite nicely between these arrays and there is no noticeable difference between the coloration of the light.

Led light is secured by light hanging kit I got from a friend and the leds position can be changed easily.

After a few days of running led I can say the overall build is very good and the temperatures keep around 40c / 104f. The enclosure fan is dead silent.

Only thing I might replace is that top plexiglass with laser cut one to make light even more prettier. Also some wire covering need to be added since I run out of it when I was routing DC power to led controller.

And maybe some day I will replace leds on star with another Nanobox reef array or two (they are awesome and easy to install).



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