LED Lighting

Panda

Guru Class Expert
Jun 14, 2008
123
0
16
Puerto Rico
Hi Tom,

There's a few people trying some DIY LED lighting on their tanks, mostly smaller ones. Have you done some experiment with them? or are you planning on doing some experiments? Don't want to jump right in before I see some serious experimenting.

In my line of work that would be called "following a KOL" (key opinion leader :eek: )

Thanks for any help
 

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
5,623
20
38
South Florida
Panda,

I know there is a thread here on this subject where they retrofit their fixture with LEDs.

I am pretty sure it worked well. Do a search and you shoud find it.......

Can't remember the user off hand sorry.
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
3,011
94
48
85
Sacramento, CA
As a proud "KOL" wannabe, I am now in the process of building a LED light fixture for my 45 gallon tank. There are two very big problems: the cost is higher than with other lighting types, and it is extremely difficult to predict how much PAR you will get from any given configuration of LEDs. So, you could spend $200 pretty easily, and end up with the equivalent of a single 40 watt T12 bulb. Most of us would not be happy if that happened. Right now I am about $160 out of pocket for my parts, with a few dollars to go. I look forward to being happy.:p
 

shoggoth43

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 15, 2009
1,092
11
38
While not a KOL, I should have some photos of my retrofi soon. It's much easier to be successful with LEDs providing you can can use more of them. After several PMs with AC over in the UK it appears that uniform coverage with a single LED will lead to failure. You will need to have direct radiation from several LEDs in any given spot to have enough light. Meaning essentially you'll need to have overlapping circles of light to make it work well. It seems like a spacing of 3-5 inches is good but I don't have an idea of how deep a tank that would be good for. For a deeper tank you may need a smaller spacing, or collimating lenses.

-
S
 

VaughnH

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jan 24, 2005
3,011
94
48
85
Sacramento, CA
I will be using 3 inch spacing on mine, and the LEDs will be about 17 inches from the substrate. No lenses will be used. Oddly enough the air water interface acts as a weak lens to further focus the light, so you get more intensity than would be expected from just plotting the "cones" of light from the LED.
 

Philosophos

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 12, 2009
1,346
0
36
Well, I'm not the one being asked, but I've still got an opinion to throw out.

LED's are expensive, but their millimoles of PAR per watt is pretty impressive from everything that I've heard. LED's are known to last around 7-10 years, with minimal spectrum loss; something like being still at 70% when they burn out. Compare this to the cost of a 6-12 month replacement schedule on other lights. From what I've roughly worked out, expensive pre-made LED hoods are at their break-even point with comparable metal halide right now.

I have only heard one person complain about LED lighting so far. He was a hydroponics store owner who objected based purely on yields that he's seen. I found his reasoning involved little else, though.

-Philosophos