Help with T5 and led combination

Discussion in 'Red Sea Max Owners Club' started by GobyWanKenobie, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. GobyWanKenobie

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    I need advice on creating a T5 with led combination retrofit for my RSM 250. Ideally, I would like to have two T5 bulbs and the rest of my lighting as leds. Currently my hood is retrofitted with a DIY led kit, but I miss the T5's. I have the parts that were removed and would like to use them with supplemental led strips. Has anyone done this type of conversion?
     
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  2. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    You sort of defeat the whole reason for going with LEDs by going back to T5s and LEDs.

    I think you'd do better by upgrading the LEDs with different or additional LEDs.

    Before we get into that, what exactly did you like about the T5s that your not getting with the LEDs?
    Also, what are the LEDs your using currently? (number, wattage, and color)
     
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  3. FishinBob

    FishinBob Member

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    I currently run custom diy led fixtures 240 3w leds split between 2 fixtures. But wasn't happy with the spectrum originally... I added several colors red,green,uv,violet,cyan,lime,and warm whites and it's helped a ton with color rendition to the eyes.
    I also run 2 t5 lamps, and turned the leds down a bit. In my opinion the t5 fills in the "shade" thrown by the down firing leds. It's an excellent upgrade in my opinion I run a coral plus and ATI atinic but I may switch to a ATI blue plus to minimize the purple look. uploadfromtaptalk1487293460674.jpg uploadfromtaptalk1487293363065.jpg

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  4. FishinBob

    FishinBob Member

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    I agree with dave in the sense my original reason for leds was overall wattage savings... but also the savings in bulb replacement over the course of the year. But replacing 2 bulbs compared to 8 is significant, and I can justify 30-40 every 1-1.5 years for what they add to the tank.

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  5. GobyWanKenobie

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    Very nice. Do you have a picture of the hood with the placement of the T5's and the leds? Do the T5's just fit on either side of the led fixture? My blue and white leds are old, at least 5 years. I can't decide if I want to upgrade the leds and try adding colors or do an led/T5 combination. I have never been happy with the coral colors I get with just blue/white. My softie tank is T5, and the colors are much nicer.
     
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  6. FishinBob

    FishinBob Member

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    I will get some pictures when I get home. I have rapidled diy with 6 1/2 heatsink with t5 retro fit on either side facing inward(towards center). my leds were old as well about 4 years I kept some replaced the blown ones and added a few my drivers. I can say I'm glad I replaced the cool whites with some warms and neutrals. And replaced some royals with uv/violets and added a completely new string with standard blues. I made my "colored" string red,green warm white,cyan,lime in retrospect I would have kept the
    green,lime,cyan on one channel
    And
    Red, warm white, orange on a seperate channel and made it more Controllable.
    But that's an extra 50$ in drivers and an extra vdm module which wasn't in the budget at the time, I may at one point adjust but it's working well now. I did have a hard time rebuilding my unit due to cost when I see new fixtures nearing the led cost... prices have dropped dramatically since the 4 years ago when I first built the fixture.


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  7. GobyWanKenobie

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    Thanks for your advice. I bought my RSM used and the leds were already installed. I have had the tank for at least five years so I'm guessing these are pretty old. I believe I have 3watt Cree leds and dimmable Meanwell drivers. I'm not even sure how to adjust my drivers since they were hardwired instead of put on a controller. I have decent sps growth, but the colors are boring. Reds and oranges tend to look more brown, etc. Corals "pop" with just the blues on, but that's not the look I want. I don't have any burned out leds yet, but I think it's time for an upgrade.
     
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  8. FishinBob

    FishinBob Member

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    I was in your exact situation, old outdated leds (spectrum change over time) you probably have constant current drivers (non adjustable) or has them plugged into a wall wart and is pushing 100%.
    Problem is time... you'll want your tank lit while you rebuild the fixture (which is just as expensive as a mid grade led fixture) but can be more rewarding and customizable aka pricey.
    They do make pucks which are multi led boards that attach to the heatsink and can be easily wired(comparable to radion pucks)
    If your serious about building your "perfect led fixture" I would add a t5 retrofit kit maybe 2 t5's mounted outside the current heatsink then when you rebuild you still have light to sustain life for the couple days of building and testing. Then you'll have way too much light and can tune color to your liking!

    Sorry for the long winded response but I really did enjoy rebuilding my fixture still not 100% perfect but it's gotten alot closer for me. uploadfromtaptalk1487379490798.jpg uploadfromtaptalk1487379513270.jpg uploadfromtaptalk1487379521053.jpg uploadfromtaptalk1487379545764.jpg uploadfromtaptalk1487379560717.jpg uploadfromtaptalk1487379585547.jpg [​IMG]

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  9. FishinBob

    FishinBob Member

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    Take a few pictures of your drivers and fixture like to see what you've got. What size tank? depth?

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  10. FishinBob

    FishinBob Member

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    uploadfromtaptalk1487379958859.jpg uploadfromtaptalk1487379958859.jpg

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  11. GobyWanKenobie

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    I will post pics soon. Its a RSM 250 so it's the 65 gallon size. I don't think I have as much room in my hood as you do.
     
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  12. GobyWanKenobie

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    I have the opportunity to buy two used AI Sols at a good price. That would be 48 leds total. It's not much more than I have now, but they would be newer. Currently, they are blue/white, but I believe I can easily replace the leds with some colors. Rapidled.com recommends 48 leds for a tank size slightly bigger than the RSM 250. So hard to decide.
     
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  13. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

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    The AI Sol is a very old fixture.Unless you got the "deal of the century", I'd pass them by. Much better arrangements, far beyond just blue and white, exist today. In addition, AI no longer lists a full set of replacement parts for them, so if an LED went on you, you would be stuck.

    As for replacing LEDs, AI surface mounts them on a "puck". Here is an example of one, but for a much newer fixture (offsite) - http://shop.aquaillumination.com/collections/hydra-fiftytwo/products/hydra-fiftytwo-led-puck Unless your skills soldering are just about "legendary" your not going to be replacing any LEDs.
     
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  14. GobyWanKenobie

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    Thanks for the advice. I passed on the AI Sols. It was two lights for $250, but they were both Super Blue. I think I might try to upgrade my existing leds, but keep the drivers I already have. If possible, I am going to try to add more leds. It is currently at 36, which doesn't seem like enough to me. My sps grows, but lacks color. I do have a couple of red dragons that grow pink at the top of the tank, but are nice and dark on the sandbed. It almost seems they are getting too much light at the top, but that baffles me. Maybe it's because the lights are so close to the water?
     
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