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    Where Are the Ikea LED Hacks?

    Aquarium DIYers are no slouches–especially when it comes to LEDs. For that reason I’m amazed that more LED lighting hacks have not been done, converting home lighting into aquarium lighting. The low wattage and small form factor of LEDs makes them ideal for turning your significant other’s table lamp into an attractive swing arm Nano […]

    arco floor lamp

    Aquarium DIYers are no slouches–especially when it comes to LEDs. For that reason I’m amazed that more LED lighting hacks have not been done, converting home lighting into aquarium lighting. The low wattage and small form factor of LEDs makes them ideal for turning your significant other’s table lamp into an attractive swing arm Nano Reef light.

    There are a handful of modern classics begging to be turned into aquarium lights (e.g. Arco Floor Lamp). Unfortunately many of these are extremely expensive (again, e.g. Arco Floor Lamp). But what about the Ikeas, CB2s and West Elms of the world?

    The Swedish assemble-your-own-furniture hus and its ilk, have a wide array of affordable home lights that can easily be retrofitted with your favorite 3w emitter. And they look better than the majority of aquarium lighting fixtures on the market. Here are three models we found that are worthy of your consideration.

    ikea aquarium led hack

    At 20″ in diameter, the Kulla pendant would best be used on medium to large aquariums. Include some tight optics on your LED array and this luminaire can sit a good 24″ above your reef, disguising that wire laden heatsink with something a bit easier on the eyes. ($70)

    ikea led hack

    LEDs and Nano Reefs are like PB & J. Unfortunately there are not many attractive, small LED lights on the market at this point. We know the DIY regulars on RC or Nano-Reef could quickly turn this adjustable work lamp into a contemporary and industrial LED PAR monster. Keep the light head, or toss it in favor of a more robust heatsink. ($24)

    diy aquarium LED

    Going with the screw in LED spotlights? Some LED lamps offer contemporary clean lines through their integrated heatsinks, but need a proper fixture to be shown off. This red wired socket from CB2 does just that. A trio of these fire red utility lights at tiered heights would be a beautiful addition. ($40)

    4 Comments

    1. Graywhitebrown
      October 20, 2010 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

      there are tons of nice looking LED lamps and fixtures out there, but the problem with most made for home lighting is the color temp of the LED. Unless you’re a LED savvy engineer with some tools and parts you’re stuck with a yellowish 3500K color. The only ones I’ve found that use a 5 or 10K bulb or are combos of blue and white are labeled for “aquarium use” so the price goes up significantly.

    2. clive@nanocustoms
      October 20, 2010 at 7:42 PM | Permalink

      Well, I think the point wasn’t to necessarily mod LED lamps, but mod standard incandescant and halogen fixtures into something LED powered, and a little more pleasing to the eye. That’s a lot easier to do than modding LED lamps, as some of them have proprietary chip-on-board LEDs that cannot be changed.

      Eric, there certainly have been some done on forums like Nano-Reef. Most of them are PC or T5 aquarium fixtures retro’d to LED, but I have seen a few unique ones. I’ll have to try and find them. There have been a lot of people using all manner of lamp fixtures to mount PAR3X type lamps though, and some look really good. I don’t think many have gone to the extent of ceiling mounting some of them as many people are still not savvy to the look they offer, and the height requirements of the lamps, but it’s getting there. One big hurdle that they have had to overcome is the shear weight of the lamps. Ours weigh in at just under a pound, and can be a challenge for some flexible fixtures to hold still.

    3. October 21, 2010 at 12:23 AM | Permalink

      @Clive,

      I’ve seen many aquarium light retrofits, but non-aquarium hacks seem few and far between. (If anyone has any, feel free to post some links here.)

      I’d really like to see people venture outside the aquarium realm… with LEDs the options are endless. As you touched on, people are still savvy or comfortable with the tech. With time, this will (hopefully) change.

    4. Wayne
      October 21, 2010 at 7:32 AM | Permalink

      IKEA are particularly ripe for this sort of modding as the standard large light fitting in Europe is an E27 screw in. You just get a standard IKEA fixture, get one of the screw in LED units and enjoy. They make single and 3 bulb units and I tihnk I’ve seen a 5, but they might have stopped that….
      I might drop by this lunchtime…

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