Tiny Led driver/controller for 3watt leds

Hello everyone.
I'm fairly new to arduino and programming, so i'd like some help and/or advice. I'd like to use the capabilities of arduino to make an led controller/driver for one 3 3 watt Cree Xt-e leds. This project would enhance my current lighting setup i have running over my "nano reef" aquarium (Dave's 4g pico. - Pico Reef Journals - Nano-Reef Community). What i wish to do is keep my current leds but add functionality that a simple outlet times cannot provide. i have been playing with my arduino starter kit for a while, but have never taken on a project of this level before.
My light currently consists of 2 royal blue and 1 neautral white Cree xt-e 3W leds on a single star board (know as 3-up). Current is coming out of a cheap ebay 9W 600ma driver(claims to be dimmable but i doubt it). The power supply to the driver is just a standard 12v ac-dc adapter (forget what current atm).

Here's what i would like to make.
-A controller that can allow me to have the lights run on a timer, without the use of an outlet timer.
-independent current control for each of the colors. I would like to have the ability to dim the white a bit than it is set for now. I'd also like to have the lights follow some sort of bell curve schedule throughout the day to somewhat simulate a day cycle.
-something as small as possible, perhaps with this arduino board: https://tiny-circuits.com/products/tinyduino/

  • not sure if i would need a different type of driver than i have now, or if arduino would be able to take care of current by itself for each of the leds.
    -having the option to manually dim each channel would also be nice. This doesn't sound too difficult, i guess 2 pots would work but i don't know how i would go from a preset "program" to manual control.
    -this doesn't have to have a physical interface or an lcd screen, i'm totally fine with making changes from usb if i have to.

My current driver
http://www.ebay.com/itm/121284931880?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649 ( 3X3W LED 600mA Power Driver 85-265V 110V)


I know there are commercial options available for me in the aquarium lightning market. I do use one of them (and love it), but with this tank i'd prefer to save as much $$ as possible and learn something while going along.

Perhaps this project is still far out of my league. Or perhaps there is an even easier solution than arduino. I hope someone can chime in and send me in the right direction.

Thanks for Looking

dave b

Ok, so upon further googling i found out that i do need separate drivers because the arduino cannot handle such high currents. I guess something like one of these MeanWell LDD-700 (Meanwell LDD-700H) should work, with this board to hold it together LDD-2 Driver Board | CORALUX. They are kind of the standard in the hobby anyways. Now to figure out the arduino side..

There are several 3-channel high power constant current LED drivers available at Tindie.com. Form the simple to the high tech High Power RGB LED Shield I2C - 12bit/ch. dimming from trippylighting on Tindie

the empty board that you need to supply the driver seems promising.
then 2 of the LLD-700's to suff the board.

need one channel for each color, for each LED.

and you should be able to use the tinyduino to power all of those parts.

the 6 channel board could do two channel of rgb ????
a second 6 channel for the 3rd rgb, and the 3 left over for white ????