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BML light spectrum

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by kleb, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. kleb

    kleb Junior Poster

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    Hi,


    I am planning to setup a planted non-CO2 community 450l tank (180cm x 50cm x 50cm), and I am looking for adequate light intensity and spectrum.


    After looking some websites and reading the threads here, I was impressed with the BML specs and it looks like the spectrum of their Dutch model (please see link below) is great for plants. So I am thinking on ordering only one fixture of 72", for my first aquarium after many years away from the hobby, a planted non-CO2 community 450l tank (180cm x 50cm x 50cm or aprox. 71in x 20in x 20in) to be setup.


    http://www.bmlcustom.com/custom-report-details?partNo=PS7290S201AAAAAAAASSMOPRT


    http://www.buildmyled.com/dutch-planted-6300k/


    1. I am wondering whether part of this spectrum, specially between 480 and 630 is more beneficial to algae than plants. Is this a valid concern?


    2. I am planning to get a 90 degree beam angle mounted on the aquarium (2" to 3" away from the water surface), thus getting around 55 par on top of the substrate. Is this ok for planted non-CO2? Will there be many restrictions on plants to grow?


    3. I am also thinking on using a dimmer. Should I? If so, at what percentage should I keep it?


    4. If I later add CO2, would this fixture suffice?


    5. I don't like the yellowish look of this spectrum on their website picture, but I want to do what is best for the plants. I may not even have red plants. If I can accomplish that with a higher CRI, for better color rendering would be great. Any thoughts? Maybe dropping a red led for a white one...


    I have been reading the threads in this forum and this is the best forum I found on aquarism. So this is my first post seeking help from this knowledgeable community.


    PS.: I replicated the dutch build on the custom fixture to see all the dutch data.


    Thank you!
     
  2. Solcielo lawrencia

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    The light will be sufficient and a dimmer may not be needed.


    I recommend making your own custom spectrum which includes at least 1 cyan LED and 1 violet 420nm or 405nm (or both). You want a spectrum that is as even as possible for maximum CRI, with a mix of white LEDs (ww, nw, and cw). The stock fixtures provide poor CRI because the of the cyan spectral dip, thus making plants appear much more yellow.
     
  3. kleb

    kleb Junior Poster

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    Thank you Solcielo! So, even if I later add CO2, one fixture will be enough, that's great! A few more questions to pick your brain:


    I thought the blue and red spikes would be more beneficial for the plants, is this incorrect and/or not aesthetically pleasing?


    To build a custom set, does the sequence of leds in the fixture make a difference?


    I guess I shouldn't worry about spectrum and algae, right?
     
  4. Solcielo lawrencia

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    I don't know how plants utilize photons of specific wavelengths. I don't know if having huge spectral spikes are beneficial or if it's just wasted energy. I suspect that an even spectrum is actually much more important since there are many physiological processes that transfers the energy which requires having light energy across a broad spectra.


    The sequence does matter for even light distribution. The colored LEDs should be in the middle since there will be a more even spread across the fixture length.


    No need to worry about algae and spectrum.


    These are the LEDs I would use if I were to get a custom spectrum:


    660nm


    525nm


    505nm (ideally 490nm but this isn't offered)


    470nm


    420nm


    405nm


    3000K x 3


    3500K x 2


    4500K x 2 (or 4000K)


    5000K x 2 (or 4500K)
     
  5. Sukrol

    Sukrol Member

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    2. 55 PAR at the substrate is great! It's enough to carpet HC IF all the other parameters are right. I would say that 1 fixture would be enough for a non CO2 tank, but if you go with the MC Dutch (a very saturated spectrum) it might be visually dim. Check out the Nature spectrum or ask Cara at BML about the new Dutch 2.


    3. No need for dimmer if only using 1 fixture.


    4. 1 fixture won't be enough for high light on a tank this wide. I have several 18" wide tanks with 2 fixtures for high light. The new Dutch 2 Spectrum promises much higher PAR, so that might work, but I haven't tested it myself so I cannot be 100% certain.


    5. IMO It's more of a reddish/pinkish look. I like it. Again if you want to get away from that, take a look at the Nature Spectrum (remember they have a 30 day exchange policy if you don't like your spectrum). Red spectrum is good for ALL plants. I would focus on aesthetics (visually pleasing spectrum) & PAR before focusing on CRI.


    Hope this helps...
     
  6. kleb

    kleb Junior Poster

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    Thank you Solcielo and Sukrol! A few more questions...


    Is the Dutch spectrum better than the Nature Spectrum, or are they just as good for plant growth? The Dutch has a more intense radiometric flux, especially under water, than the Nature's. I will not plant as heavily as a dutch style.


    I like the aesthetics of the Nature Spectrum better and it also has more par (around 70) on top of the substrate, but with less intense flux.... Is it too much par for non-CO2? If so, I can dimmer it to 80%. Would it be okay for a medium light C02?


    Here is the Nature Spectrum replicated at the custom build to generate the report - pls disregard the led sequence position:


    http://www.bmlcustom.com/custom-report-details?partNo=PS7290S201CCCCCCCCCCLLMQS


    @ Solcielo,


    Below is the bml report for Solcielo's suggested build. It does look like an overall higher flux across the spectrum. Now I am wondering how it would actually look like... I shouldn't ignore aesthetics.


    http://www.bmlcustom.com/custom-report-details?partNo=PS7290S201CDFGGJKMOPTCDFG


    @ Sukrol,


    I guess the new Dutch 2 is the XB series, with 31% more light and around 70 par on top of the substrate.


    I prefer to avoid using their exchange policy, as I am in Brazil and it may take a while to receive the product.
     
  7. Solcielo lawrencia

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    That would look a lot like natural sunlight, but I'd mix the colors for a better spectrum distribution:


    http://www.bmlcustom.com/custom-report-details?partNo=PS1290S201CGDFGKOTMJPDGCF


    And consider raising the fixture to at least 10" above the surface for more even light blending.


    Re: stock fixtures: You should ignore all the different spectrum choices; they are primarily for aesthetic reasons.
     
  8. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    I have three BML Dutch xB 72" strips over my 72 x 24 x 24 plant tank.


    1. I don't think it is a concern.


    2. 55 PAR should be fine for most easy/medium plants. The PAR will not be evenly distributed. This will be your biggest issue and a classic LED issue. Tops of plants away from the center of the tank will be in the dark.


    3. Don't think you need a dimmer for just one strip. Since I have 3, I keep it dimmed to 50%.


    4. Yes. Adding CO2 does not make plants more light hungry.


    5. Yes, yellowness may be an issue. It is definitely a bit yellow…like traditional Dutch tanks from decades ago. If you are hesitant about it, get the Nature style or Iwagumi - they aren't yellow. If I were to do it all over, I'd go with Iwagumi or Nature. Having said that, my tank looks great with the Dutch xB and even better if I add a strip of 10K light to make it cooler temp…but that is way too much light.


    BMLs are not pretty like some of the cool new pendant LEDs. But as for strip LEDs, I'd never get anything else.


    I also have half dozen 180-gal tanks and several 60 gal tanks in my garage - they all have LEDs. Every make, model, and size you can imagine. Most are disappointing. Some are just downright crap. BML stands head and shoulders above most.
     
  9. jbs47

    jbs47 Lifetime Members
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    Good information, Pikez...been wanting a BML for a while now...this helps.
     
  10. kleb

    kleb Junior Poster

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    Thank you all very much!!!


    I will order (1) Nature today, and maybe raise it a bit as it has more PAR than the Dutch, but less that Dutch XB.


    @ Sukrol, I am not comfortable in custom making one without seen pictures or videos, I am afraid to make this bet. I still like the concept of even spectrum, but if we can succesfully grow the plants with either spectrum, I am more inclined to use a fixture which I can preview the end look.


    @ Pikez, right on the spot, thank you for sharing your experience with this product. It helped me seal the deal!
     
  11. tgenega

    tgenega Lifetime Members
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    FWIW - I've been using the 10000K BML for two years on my non-CO2 tank with pretty good results. I have it dimmed down to around 35%.
     
  12. kleb

    kleb Junior Poster

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    Beautiful healthy plants!
     
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