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Guest thefishman65

DIY LED Questions Answered Here

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An update for your section on mounting LEDs. There are two additional non-solder options of which I am aware:

 

http://www.rapidled.com/servlet/the-121/Solderless-Connector-for-CREE/Detail

 

http://www.shapeways.com/shops/awesome_stuff

 

I have not yet used the one in the top link, but full disclosure: I designed the one in the later link. I actually came up with it before I knew about the RapidLED model, and I'll be comparing the two for my upcoming build 'cuz I hate soldering these things. :-)

 

Two questions:

 

First, any results from your comparison? I haven't seen a post (although I could have missed it). Second, the RapidLED model says it's incompatible with optics ("Cannot be used with lenses") - how about the shapeways version?

 

I'm also unclear as to how critical optics are or aren't, especially in terms of spread/spillover, for a small (on the order of 12 LEDs) unit hanging probably 12-18 inches over a tank. Do someone have information on that? Thanks!

Edited by LCDRDATA

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Guest thefishman65

The Rapid link is broken, but the shapeways says

This model is speciall designed for CREE XP series LEDs and is compatible with CREE XP Optics!

but at almost $7 a piece I don't think it is a bargain. The $1.50 didn't say, but since they went to version 3 probably not.

The one I found on RL is cor XR-E only and not compatible with lenses.

 

IMHO at 12-18 inches you want lenses. The spread on LED is about 130 (ok maybe only 110) degrees. At 18 inches up and if it was 90 degrees it would spread over 36 inches so a lot would miss the tank. You will probably want 60 and maybe 40s.

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The Rapid link is broken, but the shapeways says

 

but at almost $7 a piece I don't think it is a bargain. The $1.50 didn't say, but since they went to version 3 probably not.

The one I found on RL is cor XR-E only and not compatible with lenses.

 

IMHO at 12-18 inches you want lenses. The spread on LED is about 130 (ok maybe only 110) degrees. At 18 inches up and if it was 90 degrees it would spread over 36 inches so a lot would miss the tank. You will probably want 60 and maybe 40s.

 

Taking the second point first, I was originally figuring on getting 60 degree optics and playing with the height for the right coverage - which would apparently be about 3" with no optics at all. So you've confirmed that I definitely want to go with optics - thanks.

 

On the solderless connectors, here's the functioning link for the Rapid Solderless Connector for CREE XR-E LEDs. Under "detailed description" are the following bullets:

 

  • Compatible with CREE XR-E LEDs
  • Screws directly into our drilled/tapped heatsinks
  • Requires Solid Core Wire (20 AWG recommended, 18AWG max)
  • Comes with 2" of 20 AWG solid core wire per connector purchased
  • Connections are meant to be permanent
  • Cannot be used with lenses

I was also taking another look at the Shapeways because I remembered the price being lower. While the Shapeways page for the v3 does show a price of $6.71, as I looked more closely there's a drop-down menu for different materials/finishes. For "white detail" or "black detail" the price is $1.45, and for "transparent detail" it's only $1.16. [For the conspicuous consumption crowd, the "silver glossy" is $50.24 :excl: but then why anyone willing to pay that much would be going the DIY route in the first place is a complete mystery to me]. The page also states, "This model is speciall designed for CREE XP series LEDs and is compatible with CREE XP Optics!" (their typo, not mine :tongue:)

 

I noticed there's a $25 minimum order (22 of the "transparent detail") and while I don't know shipping costs ostensibly if ordered today they'd arrive not later than 21 July. So it seems the lower-priced ones might be a viable option - what do you think?

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Guest thefishman65

You probably don't want XR-E. They are not as efficient. You might consider LEDGROUPBUY.COM they have some holder also.

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I used the solderless connections from rapidled. They DO NOT work with optics from my understanding. Also, you have to have the tapped heatsink rapid sells so the holes line up. I guess you could try to do it yourself, but there is a very small margin of error allowed.

 

I liked them for a small diy setup, but would solder if I was doing a larger build. They are not a good value, but they do work good. I didn't want to mess with solder...

 

Going with heatsink usa and solder connections WILL be cheaper. Tapped heatsink with the solderless connections was a breeze though.

 

Here is a photo of half the "solderless connections" done. Note, the other screws had to be unscrewed to get the other set of connections on...

 

 

5912726941_301969dd67_b.jpg

2010-11-10 15.23.35 by mteske1, on Flickr

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I know a lot of builds are in progress so I wanted to throw this data point out there. I just added 12 XPG Warm White 90 CRIs to my AI Sol Blue setup. I am really pleased with the result. Don't be afraid of adding Warm Whites. They mix in beautifully. Cutter has the special high-CRI LEDs.

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