How to DIY LED

Click Here to view our PDF on putting together a Phoenix kit.


How TO DIY LED by Reef LED Lights


There are numerous patents on LED Reef Lights. Some companies have gone out of business simply because of legal costs associated with a new product and conflicting interpretations of patent law. Our mission is to provide you with the best possible reef lighting options while respecting the patents of every LED manufacturer. Our Kits are designed to be simple, easy and very cost effective.

Phoenix DIY Solderless Build


Our Phoenix DIY Kits were engineered with only the best most advanced solderless components. As newer more efficient LEDs come out we update the Kits with these components. We prefer the BJB solderless connector over any other solderless option as at any time you can swap out any individual LED as long as mounted on a 20mm Star. Our kits include everything except a Fan. Splash Shields and Housings are available. If you choose to remote mount your drivers extra wire and expandable sheathing is recommended as well.

This is the finished Phoenix 45 with the optional splash shield.  The following is a step by step build.

Our Phoenix Kits are geared for the ambitious and only offer the best most cost effective state of the art components. This Instructional is based on the Phoenix 45 DIY Kit with reference to the 25 and 55 DIY Kits.

Performance: All of our products are tested over Live Animals.

That said sometimes we cut them up into little pieces and then glue them to rocks..Sorry PETA this is coral propagation aka aquaculture.

-The Phoenix 25 is the rough equivalent to a 175-250 watt MH

-The Phoenix 45 is the rough equivalent to a 250-400  watt MH

-The Phoenix 55 is the rough equivalent to a 400+ watt MH

The PAR for this comparison is based on a direct reading using an Apogee PAR Meter and Radium MH in a ReefLux Reflector. It has been noted that the the actual PAR of LEDs is greater than measured. Please acclimate your corals to the new light slowly.

The following is a parts list subject to improvement.

24 Feb 2012

1- 18 Drilled and Tapped Heatsink  (24″ DAT Optional) or Choice of numerous

3-  700mA Dimmable Drivers w Plugs

1- 25ft 20 Ga Solid Wire. (More Optional)

1- Thermal Paste

2- Euro Style Wiring Harnesses (Medusa)

45- BJB Solderless Connectors

45- BJB Optic Holders

45- Carclo Ripple Wide Optics

90- Allen Head Screws

15- Cree XP-G R5 Cool White (7.5K)

24- Cree XT-E Royal Blue (D36/7)

6- Cree XP-E Blue

The first step in the assembly is to evenly space the 6 XP-E Blue LEDs.

Once the LEDs are positioned apply just a little thermal paste to the back of the LED. The thermal paste fills in the small micro gaps in the metal and allows for a more efficient heat transfer.


The next step is to arrange the 9 XT-E LEDs evenly on the heatsink. These will be driven by the same driver that drives the 6 XP-E Blue. When you arrange the LEDs consider your wiring and have the + end towards the – end of the next LED. Also when securing the LED ensure the + terminal of the BJB Connector is over the + pad of the LED Star. The most common error during assembly is the proper terminal of the BJB is not in contact with the proper pad on the LED Star.

When you strip your wire ¼” of bare wire is perfect too much is bad. When you inspect the BJB Connector ensure that the contact tab is extended. After you slide the wire in, pull on it to ensure it is locked. This is very important as a loose wire can cause you driver to surge which can damage the LEDs. Also it is important to have at least one 90 degree bend in the wire. I personally prefer at least two.

Connecting the driver is simple. Just connect the red wire to the first + and the Black wire to the last -. The small prong on the plug connects to the black AC wire. The White AC wire connects to the large prong.  No need to connect the control wires at this time. Once everything is secure plug in the driver to test your LEDs

Now evenly space the Cool Whites and connect + to –

Next do your last string of XT-E Royal Blue.


After everything is connected and working snap on the optics.

The Phoenix Line of DIY LED Kits allows ultimate flexibility and upgradability.

The 18″ DAT Heatsink allows for 66 total LEDs. This is recommendation for the addition of High Noon Cool White LEDs (HN) or Moon Light LEDs (M). One also has plenty of room to add a couple Reds or Greens or even UV. The overall result of a Phoenix 45 is 118 Watts 460 PAR a 400 watt Radium MH is 434 PAR.


Note: UV/Violet, Reds and Greens are for looks and do not significantly affect growth. The 10 High Noon XT-E LEDs are for growth and will give a PAR and look similar to a 10K XM… We have our High Noon on Max for only 4 hours a day with a 120 min Ramp Up and Ramp Down using an APEX Controller.

Carbon Fiber Housings are available for all our Phoenix Kits. This adds a level of professionalism to your build and has been the ire of numerous Importers and LED Manufacturers.

If you have any questions please post them on our sponsor forums or contact us.



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