Thursday, November 10, 2011

DIY LED Set for 2ft tank

It has been a while for me wanted to try LED light but it always been turn off due to the price as well as the fact that not all LED light set in the market can grow plant. Most of them just bright enough for us to see but not for plant to grow. It may not designed for planted tank. The one that design for planted tank cost very-very expensive. So I decided to DIY my self.

My target is to replace my 2x55W PL light set with LED. I choose to use CREE 3W led because I read from forum and some people said that those small LED does not have enough PAR. This project total cost is about S$30 for each row, my plan to make 2 rows for better coverage.

By the way, I found this light calculator to calculate PAR for different type of light.

1. Two 62x5cm aluminum plate, used as a heat sink
2. CREE XR-E Q5 LED x6
- 3.7V typical driving voltage
- Manufacturer Rated 228 Lumens at 1000mA input current:
350mA: 107~114lm
700mA: 171.2~182.4lm
1000mA: 214 ~ 228lm
3. Two 900mA 10W Constant Curent Source LED Driver
- 10 watt high power LED driver
- Input voltage: AC 85~265V
- Output voltage: DC 9~11V
- Output current: 900mA
4. Miscelaneous items: thermal paste, screw and bolt, cable and small container

Drill some holes on the Aluminum plate to mount the LED

Drill some holes also on both edge. This is more for safety, to prevent the module from droping into the fish tank

Drill holes for LED mounting
LED is screwed to the aluminium plate
Finished module


  1. Do you plan to connect all 3 LEDs sequentially to avoid making resistor balance?

  2. Yes all 3 LED will be in series.

  3. Hey!
    Nice project. In the next week I will start doing 2 LED Light Sets for my tanks as well :P
    I still wondering if it is enough light to my plants... Keep posting!


  4. Unfortunately the current design 2 rows of 3xCREE XR-E is not enough for 2ft tank. Curently I'm working with 2nd generation with 6 LEDs per row. Total 12 LEDs, hopefully enough for 2ft tank.

  5. Yoz!
    Cool man. Btw, what about using CREE XP-G RG or CREE XM-L?
    It does have higher lumens and more efficient.
    Those can be bought from

    Where did you bought your aluminium plate and CREE LED in Singapore. How much does it cost too?

  6. I bought the LED and driver from deal extreme. Why not using XP-G or XM-L? Its the price... haha... also I wonder to have even lighting. Thus require more LED. I was thinking to use 1W LED and double or triple the quantity but then I'm too lazy to do the soldering ... hahaha

    I bought the Aluminium plate from hardware shop.

  7. Hi. Which hardware shop did you buy your aluminium from? Am looking for some to do a channel/housing for my LED lights as well.

    1. The shop is near old Green Chapter shop location, clementi. Do not know the shop name but you can see rack full of different type of metal pipe.

  8. This is very nice blog and it gives useful information to us