DIY planted aquarium LED light

DIY planted aquarium LED light


Hi, everybody Joey here again, and welcome back so in today’s video I’m going to show you how to build an led light for your aquarium. That’s both cheap and very easy to build however It’s extremely capable of also growing plants in your aquarium. Which is a highly requested project from you guys for me now it shouldn’t go without saying that I’ve already have a couple of light builds on this channel from the past that are also capable of growing plants in your aquarium [so] if you want to check those out as well and see which one best suits your capabilities and Budgets be sure to do so so in last week’s video is the final video to my planted tank build series and if you remember the setup or the equipment video I showed you all of the equipment that I purchased for the aquarium and a Lot of this equipment was things I’ve been wanting to try for a long while [what] I said in that video was most important though I was going to start with these products and then systematically replace them with do-it-yourself alternatives so today we’re starting from the top and replacing the light if you remember I started off with a castle a 360 w [II] Led light now. This is a fantastic light however it’s a $400 light five hundred dollars if you want the controller and almost close to $600 if you want the gooseneck and extender that adds up fast [the] light I’m going to show you only cost between [50] and [60] dollars and then Additional cost if you want to build a canopy or what-have-you [now] I’m not saying that this light is going to replace all of the castle lights I don’t know if it can I’ve only been able to test it on a few aquariums But what I am saying is that it has completely replaced the castle on my aquarium, so in this video I’m going to show you not only how to build it But how to size it to your tank show you what it’s capable of then I also want to try it on my goldfish Aquarium as well as my Asian Arowana tank because this type of light is so cheap and easy to make that it doesn’t have to [be] used on a Planted aquarium, you could use it on any aquarium before we begin though. Take a look at this which one Do you think is the castle light and which one is the do-it-yourself alternative interesting right? Well what I wanted to do for this video is simple I wanted to be able to show you what this light is Potentially capable of on your aquariums and to do so I got to show you plant growth with the light installed However, I’ve been testing this specific light Sporadically on my planted aquarium meaning that for a couple weeks I [would] run it in them so back to the castle and then for a few more weeks I would run it and switch it back to the castle [but] for this video I decided I’m going to cut out all [of] the plants and Shrink it down to only about [two] inches of plants toss The new do-it-yourself light on it and then in a few weeks come back and show you the progression However, you guys have been hounding me to do this light But these builds take a lot of time especially if I want to be able to show you these Comparisons and results with that said though the new Nano aquarium build that you guys are going to see [shortly] has been running this do-it-yourself Light exclusively just on a much smaller size and the growth has been stunning [the] plants are growing much faster And I have no problems with [that] tank at all. That is a build that is completely do it yourself though However like I said you’ll [see] that shortly so as mentioned I want to be able to chop out all the plants and show you comparison But we’re going to air this video a lot sooner than before But what I discovered and what I thought was happening with this rotala that I chopped down is that when I cut it [down] I? Exposed a ton of plants that were dying nothing, but stems and roots left after I cut it away So when we eventually do an update [on] this tank? It’ll be extremely interesting to see what happens, so let’s just jump right into the light I decided that I could build almost any kind of light [that] I want But there’s a lot of things that come into play when I have to decide on which videos I want to show you one it has to be cost-effective. I know a lot [of] you guys want to save money I can’t do these extremely large builds that put them way out of reality and touch for you guys I also have to make sure that it’s not that difficult because I truly want many of you to be able to take advantage [of] a lot of these do-it-yourself Projects, which in turn probably keep you in the hobby a lot longer [so] for this build I decided we’re going to repurpose some existing Lights now apparently flood lights have been used in the planted aquarium Hobby for some time now unbeknownst to me because the planted aquarium Hobby is something that I wasn’t into until recently with that said there’s [been] mixed reviews a lot of people are having [success] and some Are not today, I’m going to share my success story. [I] jumped on Amazon, and I noticed that there was these really nice-looking Led Flood lights that came with brackets and Led chips that are very similar to the Kessel they came in [6,000] Kelvins Which is the color temperature of the light meaning that it’s really close to sunlight and it has a waterproof rating of IP65 meaning that you can splash water all over these and it’s going to have no impact on its performance [it] doesn’t make it waterproof, but it certainly adds a massive layer of protection when putting something like this above your tank [I] also chose these because it gives me a spotlight effect or more of a pendant look Basically a small light that can hang directly over your tank I also notice that they came in many different wattages 60 Watt 30 watt and 15 watt the 60 watt only costing 52 dollars The 30 watt only costing 28 dollars and finally the 15 watt only costing 18 dollars at this price It’s really hard not [to] want to try them out the ones I got were made by Golson But there’s a tremendous amount of brands out there and not all of them are going to give you the same results that I got With that said you don’t have to get the same brand I got the thing with these though is they don’t come with a plug, so this is where the do-it-yourself comes into play We’re not only repurposing this floodlight to be an aquarium light, but we also need to incorporate some do-it-yourself [so] I picked up some cheap grounded extension cords for only [$1] each on Amazon as well and chopped off the Receptacle portion use a razor [and] some wire strippers To expose the wire and then connected them to the led light as needed Now the led lights will typically tell you which wire is which And you’ll be able to match those up to the extension Cord [I] then took [some] shrink tape and cleaned up the wires to make it a little bit prettier now The light was ready to go however. [I] have to admit that before I actually wired this up I installed the light into the canopy that I built for the tank and then ran the wires through the canopy Followed by wiring it so we need to take a step back and talk [about] the canopy Now of course if you don’t want to build a canopy for your aquarium You can just mount these over your tank somehow with something like a gooseneck For example the castle light does come with a gooseneck And this is kind of what it [looks] like if you were to put a 30 watt led on it however You can also jump on Amazon and pick up goose necks for as little as five or six bucks for me I wanted to build a canopy system and have the light built into it I also wanted it suspended from the ceiling and have a pulley system on it But I didn’t have time for all of that because I’m putting this video out three weeks than it was supposed to come out So I cut some spare plywood up that I had in fact it was the wood that I had left over from the office aquarium shelf and I built a small box out of it now the size of the box was the dimensions of the actual stand and if you remember on the stand the stand is actually slightly bigger than The aquarium itself, and I did this on purpose because I knew that one day I’m gonna want to build a canopy and I want the canopy to also be slightly bigger than the aquarium And it would be look more uniform if the stand was as well once I built the wooden box I stained it a few times to match the color of the stand with stain that I had left over from the stand and then Moved on to installing the light now the canopy Technically didn’t really cost me anything because it was scrap wood and you don’t have to do this You can install this however you want, but if you [already] have an existing canopy on your aquarium This will be really [easy] to install now again this video is coming out a few weeks earlier than I had anticipated And I didn’t have a lot [of] mounting equipment What I decided to do was take some spares nuts and bolts that I had and mount the light Directly into the center of the canopy if you notice it has a little swing arm And I can direct the light wherever I wanted to go as for hanging it ahead a few spare brackets And then I had some garage door wires and connection pieces that I use to kind of hold up the light Now this actually looks pretty horrible, but it’s what I had at the time I do plan on upgrading all of this in the near future, but just for the sake of getting this video out This is all temporary. [I] then ran the wire up [through] my ceiling and Drill the hole directly through my floor support and ran the wire through it the light is now suspended exactly the same height as the Castle light is now before I built this and suspended Obviously, I just took the led light out and clipped it [onto] the [gooseneck] of the castle light So I was able to test it and take it off easily with the light Suspended though it now makes it more difficult to get in and out of your aquarium Or so it might look I can easily take this off or I can just push it out [of] the way again Just a temporary solution to get it done so now let’s talk [about] the light itself as I said this light isn’t necessarily going to Replace the castle as a whole but it certainly did the same thing the castle could on This tank and as I already said I’m getting amazing results with my nano aquarium [again] You’ll see all of this progression in the week to come so how bright is this light and what is it capable of well? I don’t have a power meter however We can kind of measure it with a cheap Lux meter which Lux means basically How much visible light is coming out of it or how bright is it and to be honest? They are actually pretty similar this 60 watt led is on par with the castle light turned up to 70 percent which is what I ran it over this tank anyway the next thing you’ll notice is that the do-it-yourself version doesn’t shimmer or create as much shimmer as the castle does why well it’s because of the way the Floodlights are designed the floodlights are designed to light up as much light in front of it as possible [so] the light is spread out a lot more. Which is kind of beneficial to light up more [of] your aquarium But as for penetration the castle is designed to penetrate deeper water, so you get less shimmer But I also am not sure how deep of an aquarium this will be able to handle With water 20 inches deep it’s no problem at all so I can’t see it being too much more of a problem in Regularly sized tanks that are 24 inches tall you also can’t dim this light like you can on the castle however Just because you can’t Dim It doesn’t mean you can’t add some sort of a diffuser which brings up the next point Is that [you] can’t change the color of the light like you can on the castle so like I said this light is at 6000 Kelvin rating Whereas the Castle has a lot more flexibility in what color spectrum? You can have although the castle was set to 6,000 anyway the benefit to the alternative the do-it-yourself version here Is that [it’s] really cheap and really easy to build obviously Just find a floodlight you like and that’s going to be the color spectrum You need and the wattage you require and wire up an extension cord to it is really that [simple] so anybody can do this Now to size lighting a lot of the times watts per gallon doesn’t work But I’m running it at two watts per gallon and same with the Nano aquarium And I’m getting fantastic results also on the 60 watt version It’s going to light up a 2×2 area with ease, [so] basically for every 2 feet of aquarium you have you’ll need one of these now obviously this is an [Anneli] D light that’s going to work on everybody Situation and especially if you have a massively long tank, and you thought you’re going to be able to light it for 50 bucks This video is to show you what I’ve [been] able to replace on this aquarium now Maybe you just want a nice bright Solution for your aquariums using an led light that is kind of like a pendant style and is cheap and easy to set up So let’s take a look of what this will look like if it were to replace the lighting on this tank [now] I was trying out different lights on this tank and right now. It has a 40 watt Led strip on it That’s 4 feet long [now] [when] we switch it over to a 15 watt [version] You can see with [just] a single 15 watt version of this can do now Let’s take a look at the Asian, Arowana aquarium if you remember we also have Do-it-yourself lighting above that in pendant style and each one of them have led bulbs and they evenly light up the tank But if we put a 15 watt version over this tank [it] looks pretty great as well Now because I’m not growing plants in these I’m not going to need a lot of these leds on this tank Maybe just two on this tank and two on that tank now this isn’t the end-all of do-it-yourself Aquarium lights that are grow quarian plants. I do have a lot of plans to do future builds on more Methods of building your own lights for your plants at aquarium however since that light is now replaced it’s now time to move on to something else and the next thing that I want to replace on the planted aquarium is a Diffuser so as mentioned in the weeks to come you’re gonna see a lot of different videos for planted aquariums however I will [be] mixing in some other do-it-yourself projects, especially this do-it-yourself filter that I’m working on that I’m really excited to show you and you’ll see that in the coming weeks as well. Anyways hope that you guys enjoyed [today’s] video I’d also like to thank you for watching and if you join me next Sunday. I’ll have a new do [yourself] project for you

100 thoughts on “DIY planted aquarium LED light

  1. Im airing this video a few weeks early for you guys! I rushed to get this done in time, but will revisit it with results. With that said, the fully DIY nano tank build will be out first showcasing this same light and the growth i get with it.

  2. Hey Joey, Can you provide a link for the particular lights you're using? I would love to use this kind of lighting (and the LED Strip lights you made in previous videos) for my Fishroom racks. Thanks again!

  3. i think i'll try this. how do you recommend using two or more lights? each on their on power cord or is it permissible to put multiple on one cable?

  4. This video was great. I'm currently looking for DIY lighting for a new tank. And you gave me some great ideas. As alwas you channel is the best.

  5. A warning about those styles of LED lights: Many of the cheaper ones from ebay and amazon aren't correctly wired. Before you used them you should always take the back off and check that the earth wire is connected to the chassis.

  6. How many videos do you do in a week because I just started watching your videos.Any way I like how you do all thing because it is very interesting how you can do it your self thank you

  7. do you have any issues with heat? i got mine on ebay brand name Solla 30W and looks excactly like yours, mine is just sitting on top on some glass and i went to move it so i could work on the tank and it was pretty hot to the touch, a lil too hot and i had the bracket folded down so had to wait a few minutes for it to cool down to be able to touch without burning myself

  8. do you think 2 15w ones would work for a 22in tall 37gal? a corner dose get natural sunlight so more light hungry plants go there. its a low tech tank.

  9. QUESTIONS : Why my light getting HOT? (I have a 15 watt flood light with 110 volt. I used a 300 volt extension cord and I ran it for only 10 mins. Is this why my light getting hot? )

  10. Um, you chopped out top growth but already had strong root systems. May be a great light, but this isn't a convincing way to test it.

  11. what would be the par rating on these lights? I have a 125 that I'm setting up and thought about getting these.

  12. I know this is an older video but hopefully someone sees this. Does the housing on these flood lights get hot? Im wondering if i could mount it inside the stock hood of my 12 gallon all in one nano.

  13. You can add to your diy light some extra LED lights for growth, the red-pink light, by selecting specific nm led diode, that way you can get best results for growth. Also since you're only using that aquarium for plant growths, transform it to be extra food source for your fish. Grow Daphnia, ghost shrimp, cyclops. Bring some of the brine shrimp… add some live daphnia and they'll start breeding…

  14. I know this is an older video, Joey, but I just wanted to chime in on how inspirational your videos really are. I’m setting up a planted 5.5 gallon for a male betta and I purchased this exact light (15w version) based solely on your recommendation. $20 on Amazon and it is amazingly bright and I am absolutely in love with it. Thanks for everything you do, Joey. ❤️

  15. I have a 39 gallon l 36, h 15, w 16…..I'm planning to use led flood light….can u please tell me what watt led to use for my tank….I have java moss and anubias plants….with co2

  16. I have a custom 6" high and a 37" long tank and 5 and a half inch wide tank how much watts I need in a flourscent light my light bulb is 18" I have live plants in my tank i wanna grow mostly I have is neon tetras and other very small fishes n shrimps the light I brought it used it's like purplish when it's turned up side down lite up and it's 19watts 60hz

  17. I understand this post is a year too late. You can get cheap color correction gels used for hot lights at online photography stores line Adorama. 24×21" gels cost less than $7.

  18. These LEDs die too much to be reliable; got 4 dead ones already and it hasn't been half a year. They get too hot and they can't probably handle it.

  19. Any suggestions for a diy solution to hang them above the tank in a rented vintage house? I can't drill holes and I'm afraid to rest anymore weight on my 125 gallon as it is (very old wood floor from 1915) . If someone doesn't have a better idea I was thinking of maybe one of those work site tripods that holds lamps and just painting the ugly yellow frame black.

  20. Are these full spectrum leds? Plants need red and green primarily to grow. LEDs usually are on the blue side of the spectrum and not suited for plants.

  21. I have been using flood lights on my planted tanks for a long time and they grow plants like crazy. I have to trim a aquarium full of plants every month

  22. Looks like he used the 100W flood light. Not the 60W. The LED pattern matches the 100W on Amazon, not the 60W I may be wrong though. Be nice to know which one to order.

  23. constructive criticism
    sometimes he leans a little too close into the camera and stares too intensely and it scares me

  24. I came here hoping to find experiments for fish growth using only led lights for a moon base. I just wonder in a completely sealed system could you not create a system where you could grow fish for consumption using only led lights deeply underground?

  25. Just a small tip from a DIY "maximum efficiency" nerd… a very simple way to make sure you're getting the most out of your lights is to make sure they're heatsinked effectively. It looks like the rear of those lights is already a massive heatsink. If you grab some really efficient thermal compound (I think I found 25g of 5+ w/mk for $6 on amazon) and slap it between the light and heatsink, it will transmit the heat MUCH better (most cheap solutions like that use awful thermal compound, if they use it at all. And often they don't even attach the heat-generating component to the heatsink, defeating the purpose entirely). You can also get a cheap light dimmer (or motor control knob) for it to adjust the brightness easily. Even possibly getting one that gives you a little room over 100% to really max out the brightness. And since it's now heatsinked properly, itwill last longer @ 110% than if you left it stock.

    (sorry that was so long. Just wanted to properly explain myself)

  26. I realize this vid is from 2016 but I love the fact you keep such a diverse collection of fish. I mean you keep a exotic next to your basic fancy goldfish and it just has a harmony. 🙂

  27. can someone explain to me why the big fish on the right tank does not have anything in there ….no sand, stones, plants or fishes … ? thanks

  28. I went with plastic plants because I'm not home a lot and I don't want an extra fire hazard. All the plant lights I looked at had either a short life span or were fire hazards.

  29. Jesus, your videos (at least this one) are superhectic so i can easily use already the first second as a jump scare 😀

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