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StopSpazzing's Projects - UV LED Floodlights

uv led floodlight project 365nm 395nm blacklight

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#1 Offline StopSpazzing - Posted April 1 2018 - 12:07 AM

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Been talking about this for some time in chat but wanted to post about it to get people's opinions or if they have any expertise in the matter. 

 

I recently purchased a 10watt: 365nm & 395nm LED's to be used it blacklight trapping. According to some limited research done by a university, 350nm light spectrum is the most likely to attract all insects. Regarding, ants, not too sure. Anywho, thinking about making custom floodlights using these LED's to test which is better at attracting insects, and more specifically ant queens. I will be modding existing LED lights you can buy online and replace the LED's which are typically cool/warm white with these LED's. Hoping to keep their runtime high, to around 3-5 hours (on the 10 watts). I will then test them myself and/or maybe give them off to someone to test in good areas to see if they are better or worse that fluorescent blacklights. Using this information, I will build a more powerful LED UV light with higher wattage to get the best possible outcome. I may then, if people are interested in buying, sell them for reasonable price @ different wattage's, with or without batteries.

 

If anyone has any input or support for this, let me know. :)


Have you been to the Ant Keeping Wiki?
 
Legality of shipping & transporting ants in US

 

It is illegal on a boat. It is illegal in your coat.
It is illegal in a plane, car, and train. Why must you be such a pain?
I do not care if it is in your hair. Do not put your queen ants there!


#2 Offline AntsMaryland - Posted April 1 2018 - 5:46 AM

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Been talking about this for some time in chat but wanted to post about it to get people's opinions or if they have any expertise in the matter. 

 

I recently purchased a 10watt: 365nm & 395nm LED's to be used it blacklight trapping. According to some limited research done by a university, 350nm light spectrum is the most likely to attract all insects. Regarding, ants, not too sure. Anywho, thinking about making custom floodlights using these LED's to test which is better at attracting insects, and more specifically ant queens. I will be modding existing LED lights you can buy online and replace the LED's which are typically cool/warm white with these LED's. Hoping to keep their runtime high, to around 3-5 hours (on the 10 watts). I will then test them myself and/or maybe give them off to someone to test in good areas to see if they are better or worse that fluorescent blacklights. Using this information, I will build a more powerful LED UV light with higher wattage to get the best possible outcome. I may then, if people are interested in buying, sell them for reasonable price @ different wattage's, with or without batteries.

 

If anyone has any input or support for this, let me know. :)

I'm very interested to see how you do. Please keep us updated!

 

Thanks.



#3 Offline 123LordOfAnts123 - Posted April 1 2018 - 6:48 AM

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I’ve had far better luck utilizing high wattage mercury vapor bulbs than standard fluorescent black light tubes. They emit UV light in the correct spectrum for attracting ants, but more importantly they put out a LOT of light. This seems to attract ants (and a plethora of other insects) from a far larger range. In a flat landscape dense with tree cover such as often found in Florida, a high lumen output has proven incredibly effective for bringing alates in, even from species occurring in biotopes far away from the collection site.

The startup cost for a basic setup runs a bit on the high side, with important items being a proper ballast (some lower wattage MV lights are self-ballasted) for the bulb and a portable power source with decent capacity, as these bulbs suck up a fair bit. They also need housing to protect from moisture (and prevent insects from being immediately cooked when they fly into the light, these bulbs run HOT) which would cause the bulbs to shatter. Eye protection is important too, UVA is particularly damaging to eyes.

Edited by 123LordOfAnts123, April 1 2018 - 6:50 AM.

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#4 Offline StopSpazzing - Posted April 1 2018 - 10:18 AM

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I’ve had far better luck utilizing high wattage mercury vapor bulbs than standard fluorescent black light tubes. They emit UV light in the correct spectrum for attracting ants, but more importantly they put out a LOT of light. This seems to attract ants (and a plethora of other insects) from a far larger range. In a flat landscape dense with tree cover such as often found in Florida, a high lumen output has proven incredibly effective for bringing alates in, even from species occurring in biotopes far away from the collection site.

The startup cost for a basic setup runs a bit on the high side, with important items being a proper ballast (some lower wattage MV lights are self-ballasted) for the bulb and a portable power source with decent capacity, as these bulbs suck up a fair bit. They also need housing to protect from moisture (and prevent insects from being immediately cooked when they fly into the light, these bulbs run HOT) which would cause the bulbs to shatter. Eye protection is important too, UVA is particularly damaging to eyes.

Thanks you for the information :) . I have already fully researched MV bulbs and while I understand they are the "best" they as you mentioned are, HOT, display light in all wavelengths, and are costly. You literally just provided all the reasons why I started this project. Issue I have other than the MASSIVE power consumption, they are typically 300+ watts, is they produce light in the visible spectrum. As mentioned according to a university small research study, 350nm is the prime spot. This is the issue, because MV DOES emit this wavelength, while UV fluorescent tubes do not. So, as you see, you aren't comparing apples to apples. I want to hit that sweet spot and only that sweet spot with the best wavelength without the wasted energy.

 

Maybe, you could do an objective comparison once this has finished?


Edited by StopSpazzing, April 1 2018 - 10:19 AM.

Have you been to the Ant Keeping Wiki?
 
Legality of shipping & transporting ants in US

 

It is illegal on a boat. It is illegal in your coat.
It is illegal in a plane, car, and train. Why must you be such a pain?
I do not care if it is in your hair. Do not put your queen ants there!


#5 Offline 123LordOfAnts123 - Posted April 1 2018 - 11:44 AM

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I’ve had far better luck utilizing high wattage mercury vapor bulbs than standard fluorescent black light tubes. They emit UV light in the correct spectrum for attracting ants, but more importantly they put out a LOT of light. This seems to attract ants (and a plethora of other insects) from a far larger range. In a flat landscape dense with tree cover such as often found in Florida, a high lumen output has proven incredibly effective for bringing alates in, even from species occurring in biotopes far away from the collection site.
The startup cost for a basic setup runs a bit on the high side, with important items being a proper ballast (some lower wattage MV lights are self-ballasted) for the bulb and a portable power source with decent capacity, as these bulbs suck up a fair bit. They also need housing to protect from moisture (and prevent insects from being immediately cooked when they fly into the light, these bulbs run HOT) which would cause the bulbs to shatter. Eye protection is important too, UVA is particularly damaging to eyes.

Thanks you for the information :) . I have already fully researched MV bulbs and while I understand they are the "best" they as you mentioned are, HOT, display light in all wavelengths, and are costly. You literally just provided all the reasons why I started this project. Issue I have other than the MASSIVE power consumption, they are typically 300+ watts, is they produce light in the visible spectrum. As mentioned according to a university small research study, 350nm is the prime spot. This is the issue, because MV DOES emit this wavelength, while UV fluorescent tubes do not. So, as you see, you aren't comparing apples to apples. I want to hit that sweet spot and only that sweet spot with the best wavelength without the wasted energy.
 
Maybe, you could do an objective comparison once this has finished?

Sound ideas and I’ll be watching closely.

As for just what wavelength attracts queens, I will say that I’ve had a surprising number of Neviamyrmex males appear around MV, while the other options yielded zero, though this could be an anomaly. I did have clear observations of one male clearly preferring the MV as opossed to a full spectrum fluorescent bulb I was running at the same time. So perhaps they emit something in their wavelength that attracts a species not normally brought in by other lights. Obviously, more testing is required.

#6 Offline StopSpazzing - Posted April 2 2018 - 7:00 AM

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I’ve had far better luck utilizing high wattage mercury vapor bulbs than standard fluorescent black light tubes. They emit UV light in the correct spectrum for attracting ants, but more importantly they put out a LOT of light. This seems to attract ants (and a plethora of other insects) from a far larger range. In a flat landscape dense with tree cover such as often found in Florida, a high lumen output has proven incredibly effective for bringing alates in, even from species occurring in biotopes far away from the collection site.
The startup cost for a basic setup runs a bit on the high side, with important items being a proper ballast (some lower wattage MV lights are self-ballasted) for the bulb and a portable power source with decent capacity, as these bulbs suck up a fair bit. They also need housing to protect from moisture (and prevent insects from being immediately cooked when they fly into the light, these bulbs run HOT) which would cause the bulbs to shatter. Eye protection is important too, UVA is particularly damaging to eyes.

Thanks you for the information  :) . I have already fully researched MV bulbs and while I understand they are the "best" they as you mentioned are, HOT, display light in all wavelengths, and are costly. You literally just provided all the reasons why I started this project. Issue I have other than the MASSIVE power consumption, they are typically 300+ watts, is they produce light in the visible spectrum. As mentioned according to a university small research study, 350nm is the prime spot. This is the issue, because MV DOES emit this wavelength, while UV fluorescent tubes do not. So, as you see, you aren't comparing apples to apples. I want to hit that sweet spot and only that sweet spot with the best wavelength without the wasted energy.
 
Maybe, you could do an objective comparison once this has finished?

 


Sound ideas and I’ll be watching closely.

As for just what wavelength attracts queens, I will say that I’ve had a surprising number of Neviamyrmex males appear around MV, while the other options yielded zero, though this could be an anomaly. I did have clear observations of one male clearly preferring the MV as opossed to a full spectrum fluorescent bulb I was running at the same time. So perhaps they emit something in their wavelength that attracts a species not normally brought in by other lights. Obviously, more testing is required.

 

Originally, I was going to try using full spectrum also, even bought a 50w full spectrum LED, again, you are thankfully backing up research I done in which these do NOT go below ~380nm, which I know for a fact MV does go into. Meaning, may be more weight to this idea I have. The cost of a 100w 350nm LED is massive or even a 50w (for me), not to mention pain in a**  to find, which is why I am trying small scale first with slightly above 350nm. If I get more queens attracted to the lower wavelength, I'll buy the 350nm LED to compare against.

 
Another challenge that may come about is some queens may like higher wavelengths and others lower, so may have to make multi-LED solution to cover full range.
 
 
For kids/people that haven't done the research and are still lost:
 
 
 
nm = nanometers = As you should remember from science class, light is just a form of energy and we measure that light in nanometers. Visible light is ~380-780nm
 
MV = Mercury Vapor = 100+ watt light bulb most commonly used in scientific work since the light they emit is in a very large range: 250nm-750nm
 
 
 
What I am trying to do is test if ~350nm LED is BETTER than a MV since you will have less loss in power from wavelengths that are less likely to attract insects.
 
 
 
 
 
Easy to understand example:
 
 
 
1x 100w @ 350nm gives off roughly:
 
85 watts @ 350nm,
 
7.5 watts @ 345-349nm,
 
7.5 watts @ 351-355nm;
 
 
 
So 85 watts of supposibly sweetspot @ 350nm.
 
 
 
VS
 
 
 
1x 100w Mercury Vapor bulb, giving us:
 
20watts @ 365nm,
 
20watts @ 405nm,
 
20watts @ 436nm,
 
20watts @ 536nm,
 
20watts of combined 250-300nm, 304-313nm, and 579nm


Edited by StopSpazzing, April 2 2018 - 4:03 PM.

Have you been to the Ant Keeping Wiki?
 
Legality of shipping & transporting ants in US

 

It is illegal on a boat. It is illegal in your coat.
It is illegal in a plane, car, and train. Why must you be such a pain?
I do not care if it is in your hair. Do not put your queen ants there!


#7 Offline Barristan - Posted April 2 2018 - 10:21 AM

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nm = nanometers = As you should remember from science class, light is just a form of energy and we measure that energy in nanometers. Visible light is ~380-780nm


Unfortunately, I have to correct you. What is measured in nm is not the energy but the wavelength.
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#8 Offline StopSpazzing - Posted April 2 2018 - 4:02 PM

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nm = nanometers = As you should remember from science class, light is just a form of energy and we measure that energy in nanometers. Visible light is ~380-780nm


Unfortunately, I have to correct you. What is measured in nm is not the energy but the wavelength.

 

Funny you mention that, actually had it correct my first draft, then second guessed myself. Guess was just tired. Thanks!


Edited by StopSpazzing, April 2 2018 - 4:03 PM.

Have you been to the Ant Keeping Wiki?
 
Legality of shipping & transporting ants in US

 

It is illegal on a boat. It is illegal in your coat.
It is illegal in a plane, car, and train. Why must you be such a pain?
I do not care if it is in your hair. Do not put your queen ants there!


#9 Offline AntsCalifornia - Posted April 25 2018 - 4:59 PM

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Obviously many people have been blacklighting for a while and it seems to work for them without all this research, right? What type of blacklight should I get if I just want to attract queen ants without tons of research?



#10 Offline dspdrew - Posted April 25 2018 - 5:26 PM

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Obviously many people have been blacklighting for a while and it seems to work for them without all this research, right? What type of blacklight should I get if I just want to attract queen ants without tons of research?

 

He's trying to find the most optimized light. If you just want to attract insects, pretty much any florescent light will do it.


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#11 Offline StopSpazzing - Posted April 28 2018 - 8:41 PM

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I finally purchased the 2 flood lights, will be delivered by may 4th. Hoping will be a simple LED swap, however, kinda expecting having to gut the driver and replace it. Excited to start testing. :D 


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Have you been to the Ant Keeping Wiki?
 
Legality of shipping & transporting ants in US

 

It is illegal on a boat. It is illegal in your coat.
It is illegal in a plane, car, and train. Why must you be such a pain?
I do not care if it is in your hair. Do not put your queen ants there!


#12 Offline StopSpazzing - Posted June 12 2018 - 6:13 PM

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Ok, first floodlight finished:

 

https://photos.app.g...EnWox1V48sbnSG9

 

This is the 395nm LED. Takes 3x 18650 battery in a series. This is version one. To turn on you just put in batteries, will be fixed in next version.

 

Not sure if I want to add ability for it to be powered by cigarette lighter, which would be fine, since it takes about 12 volts which is perfect. Draws about .79 amps. I may also mod in another connection for plugging in 11.1V 3S 50C 3 Cell LiPo Battery Packs, by adding a XT60 female connector. Still needs circuitry for cutoff voltage so it won't kill any batteries. Also, the driver only outputs 800ma, when the LED's operate best @ 1050ma. This requires replacement of a resistor on the driver board and didn't really feel like doing that yet.


Have you been to the Ant Keeping Wiki?
 
Legality of shipping & transporting ants in US

 

It is illegal on a boat. It is illegal in your coat.
It is illegal in a plane, car, and train. Why must you be such a pain?
I do not care if it is in your hair. Do not put your queen ants there!


#13 Offline nurbs - Posted June 13 2018 - 3:39 AM

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What if you had to hike into the area and can't bring drive in? Doesn't look terribly portable, especially if you had to hike up an incline for a mile or two. You don't need to reinvent the wheel. While your research is commendable, it's not needed?

 

The biggest issue I have with blacklighting is portability, not what spectrum of light attracts what ants. Any UV light will work. I use an Amazon $25 UV flashlight, hang it on a random branch, and aim it at torn white tshirt. This all fits in my backpack. This is when I cannot setup the light using my truck's battery.

 

wQmEGwql.jpg

 

pn5SKoXl.jpg


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#14 Offline StopSpazzing - Posted June 13 2018 - 2:46 PM

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I see your point of portability. This is more portable than a florescent lamp, doesnt require car to be on and can be taken with you. The bottom easily comes off. It may be a little bit more bulk but instead of hanging something you can just set it on the ground and adjust angle. Also, those flashlights typically are 395nm<. So while this works for you, you MAY get better results with the 365nm I'm going to be testing next which is according to university research. This would let me confirm which nm is better. Time is money, and would rather spend 1 hour to get 100 ants instead of 1 hour to get 50.

 

After my testing, I agree would be using these as more of backups or extra lights. A portable design such as a flashlight would be preferred.


  • EnderzATwar411 likes this

Have you been to the Ant Keeping Wiki?
 
Legality of shipping & transporting ants in US

 

It is illegal on a boat. It is illegal in your coat.
It is illegal in a plane, car, and train. Why must you be such a pain?
I do not care if it is in your hair. Do not put your queen ants there!


#15 Offline nurbs - Posted June 13 2018 - 3:54 PM

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"Time is money", sure, but how many queens are you selling?! And who is buying?! Haha. I'm usually done with a dozen or two.

 

And what university are you referring to? Source? Not that I don't believe you, but I've never had an issue of getting more or less ants because I was using the wrong light. Key is waiting for the right temperature, humidity, location, and time for flights to trigger, not using the correct UV light. Once that happens, even regular lights can attract bugs. 

 

You can order a 365nm portable DC powered lights from Bioquip right now. Here is one of a few listed:

https://www.bioquip....t.asp?pid=2813C

 

 

 

I see your point of portability. This is more portable than a florescent lamp, doesnt require car to be on and can be taken with you. The bottom easily comes off. It may be a little bit more bulk but instead of hanging something you can just set it on the ground and adjust angle. Also, those flashlights typically are 395nm<. So while this works for you, you MAY get better results with the 365nm I'm going to be testing next which is according to university research. This would let me confirm which nm is better. Time is money, and would rather spend 1 hour to get 100 ants instead of 1 hour to get 50.

 

After my testing, I agree would be using these as more of backups or extra lights. A portable design such as a flashlight would be preferred.

 


  • EnderzATwar411 likes this

Los Angeles Antkeeper
YouTube

 

Instagram:

nurbsants

 

California Ants for Sale

 

Pencil Case and Test Tube Formicariums

http://www.formicult...m-and-outworld/

 

Bloodworm Soup

http://www.formicult...bloodworm-soup/


#16 Offline StopSpazzing - Posted July 12 2018 - 5:56 PM

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Sorry couldn't find link then got sidetracked and forgot about this post.

 

Where I found the info:

https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC4822069/

 

which @ "Light Output" links to papers from here:

 

 

 

...UV LEDs emit light centred on the boundary between UV and violet light which is not optimal in comparison to the 350nm peak sensitivity of insect vision (Briscoe and Chittka 2001).

 

Good read also:

https://www.ncbi.nlm...les/PMC2603179/

 

--

 

Another reason why I chose this specific light design... it's upgradable to the larger 100watt LED, and fits perfectly in the center of the light. So it's a win win. Also lets me add more connections such as to my cigarette lighter via the input plug if I am using my car as a "wall" for the sheet. The massive heatsink on the back should work passively to cool the 100watt without any fans needed, however, yet to test this.

 

 

Oh also tested the 395nm and works pretty well, attracted several ant species that were in the area. Need to finish the other one and compare side by side.


Edited by StopSpazzing, July 12 2018 - 6:05 PM.

Have you been to the Ant Keeping Wiki?
 
Legality of shipping & transporting ants in US

 

It is illegal on a boat. It is illegal in your coat.
It is illegal in a plane, car, and train. Why must you be such a pain?
I do not care if it is in your hair. Do not put your queen ants there!


#17 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 13 2018 - 10:15 AM

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I see your point of portability. This is more portable than a florescent lamp, doesnt require car to be on and can be taken with you. The bottom easily comes off. It may be a little bit more bulk but instead of hanging something you can just set it on the ground and adjust angle. Also, those flashlights typically are 395nm<. So while this works for you, you MAY get better results with the 365nm I'm going to be testing next which is according to university research. This would let me confirm which nm is better. Time is money, and would rather spend 1 hour to get 100 ants instead of 1 hour to get 50.

After my testing, I agree would be using these as more of backups or extra lights. A portable design such as a flashlight would be preferred.

I haven't looked for a couple of years but 365nm UV torches weren't hard to find on eBay, they are said to be the wavelength that make scorpions glow the brightest when looking for them so I bought a few.
Some prefer to use the more common 395 as it throws out more visible light for us eliminating the need for a "white" light torch when roaming through the bush.
Of course not many flashlights could compete with a floodlight for shear output I would assume.

#18 Offline StopSpazzing - Posted July 16 2018 - 1:43 PM

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I see your point of portability. This is more portable than a florescent lamp, doesnt require car to be on and can be taken with you. The bottom easily comes off. It may be a little bit more bulk but instead of hanging something you can just set it on the ground and adjust angle. Also, those flashlights typically are 395nm<. So while this works for you, you MAY get better results with the 365nm I'm going to be testing next which is according to university research. This would let me confirm which nm is better. Time is money, and would rather spend 1 hour to get 100 ants instead of 1 hour to get 50.

After my testing, I agree would be using these as more of backups or extra lights. A portable design such as a flashlight would be preferred.

I haven't looked for a couple of years but 365nm UV torches weren't hard to find on eBay, they are said to be the wavelength that make scorpions glow the brightest when looking for them so I bought a few.
Some prefer to use the more common 395 as it throws out more visible light for us eliminating the need for a "white" light torch when roaming through the bush.
Of course not many flashlights could compete with a floodlight for shear output I would assume.

 

Very true. ALso notice that since the price of 365nm is so costly, they typically only include a small amount of LED's at this range. the 100W going to buy if this works better than 395nm, is $100. that's $1 a watt.


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Have you been to the Ant Keeping Wiki?
 
Legality of shipping & transporting ants in US

 

It is illegal on a boat. It is illegal in your coat.
It is illegal in a plane, car, and train. Why must you be such a pain?
I do not care if it is in your hair. Do not put your queen ants there!






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