Tall Vivariums and Hot Lights

Tall Vivariums and Hot Lights

Anyone with a tall vivarium (I define that as anything 36" or higher) knows that getting enough light down to the bottom involves some issues.  A powerful light(s) is needed, which of course is going to produce a lot of heat.  So now we've got to deal with fans and that also can create unwanted noise. Fans also have a limited lifespan.

I've been using this heatsink with a built in fan that is generally very quiet to cool down 10, 20, 30 and 50 watt large diode LED chips. 

It generally works quite well, but there's no guarantee that after shipping and getting my package kicked around by the delivery people that it will be as quiet as it was when it left my shop.  I've also had noisy fans here on my tanks inexplicably become nice and quiet, so there's some sort of strange magic in there somewhere.

Here's where it gets even weirder ... I've tried the following design on multiple lights and it generally is quieter and often runs cooler; by removing the fan from the heatsink and placing it next to the hot running diode.  So the point of this blog post is that I'm going to be using this new design both here on my tanks and on all orders from today forward unless you request otherwise.

The old design (below) is cleaner looking, but seems to have a few more issues.  I just never know when a fan will suddenly and inexplicably make noise.

I highly encourage everyone with a light that has these large diodes, with a heatsink and fan, to routinely clean them by blasting them with a pressurized can of air that is used to clean the dust out of PCs.  All the fans in my house seem to collect a lot of dust.

Also, do not expose these large diodes and heatsink/fan units to direct misting on a tank with a screen top*.  Exposure to high humidity is not a problem, but mist can and will lead to fans that fail, which leads to a burnt up diode.  I'm currently working on economical ways to make these large diode units easily replaceable when they have aged or failed.

Many thanks to my numerous loyal customers for their ongoing support, without you I could not keep doing this.  I wish you all a happy and prosperous year, lit up and blessed by happy plants and critters.


* If you run a light with a large diode over a screen top viv, just place a small piece of glass directly under the diode and heatsink/fan so that it does not get directly misted.