DIY Aquarium LED Light with RGB LED Strips

In this episode, I make an aquarium LED Light using LED RGB Strips. You can follow along in this easy How To Make an LED Aquarium Light.

Aquarium LED Light

My old aquarium light is a worn down piece of styrofoam with some LED strips stuck to it. It was time for an upgrade

Cutting UPVC Panel to size

I am using this UPVC window sill as the body of the light. I begin by cutting it to length and squaring it. I mark where I will cut a groove into the UPVC. I then cut some grooves on one side so that I can bend it over and have a second edge.

Allowing adhesive to cure

A few days later, I unclamp the work piece and notice the bend is not sufficient. I tape the edge of the gap where the contact cement was. I prepare some car body filler, some people might know it as Bondo. I fill the gap with as much body filler as possible. I then clamp the work piece again and finish with the body filler.

Applying Bondo

I begin bending the new edge as much as possible. I use some contact glue as an adhesive. I then clamp it using wood clamps

Aluminium Tape

A few days later and now the work piece is solid and the edge will hold. I clean the surface with acetone and prepare it for some aluminium tape. I cut aluminium tape to size. It will be used as the surface to which the LED strips will stick to. Being aluminium it will act as a somewhat better heat sink than the UPVC sheet alone.

Applying Aluminium Tape

I stick the aluminium tape down and flatten it as much as possible. I then cut the LED strips to length. I add some double sided tape to the strips that required it.

Testing current

I test the current draw of the strips to find out how many strips I can fit on the light. It turns out I can use 10 strips.. I stick the LED strips to the aluminium surface and space them out evenly.

Removing insulation

With the strips in place, it was time to remove the silicone on the edges of the contacts using a hobby knife. I then tin solder the contact points. Afterwards, I solder wires to all of the strips. With the wires soldered I test the LED strips to see if the work.

I then hot glue some of the wires down. A transparent silicone is used to permanently glue the strips to the board and to protect the wiring from water. I am using an RGB LED controller with a remote control. I remove it from its housing and proceed to glue it in place. The controller is wired to both the RGB strips and the white LED strips

Silicone on the wires

A last check of the LEDs. I ran into a problem with the RED LEDs but this was fixed at a later date. Finally, the LED Aquarium light is installed on top of the aquarium. I really like the powerful light it puts out. And it only uses a little over 30 watts of electricity.

Testing LEDs

Tags:

diy, electronics, how-to, LED

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