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LED lighting

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Tom Barr, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    As someone who has seem many lighting types go the way of the Dodo bird, I'm a bit timid when it comes to buying the newest most $$$$ lighting out there.

    Still, I have been thinking and pondering the LED DIY lighting for my tanks.
    One reason is the shimmer effect, I have always liked this but the HQI are way too intense and poor spread.

    2nd reason is cutting the lighting bill in 1/2 but getting the same PAR.

    3rd is being able to try out a few different color combos and adjustments

    4th is redoing the light bar to make it look discrete. I was thinking of using aluminum L square corner brackets to link 1" square hollow aluminum pipe. Then painting this to suit. I'd like to attach the light bar to rear of the stand, but have it come off the corns so you cannot see the bars from the front pane of the glass. I think I can do this and not have the bars get in the way or be ugly on the sides of the stands.

    Be nicest to simply suspend the fixtures from the ceiling, that will be a year or two off till I'll be in a situation to do that.
     
  2. JJ..Bequiet

    JJ..Bequiet Prolific Poster

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    The "shimmer" I love.. I really like the pro's to led's . I would'nt mind giving a diy similar to what you're describing as well, when i have some extra time/funding.
     
  3. pat w

    pat w Member

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    Easy to rig a dimmer on LED's as well. Wish I had the extra $$$.
     
  4. PaulB

    PaulB Subscriber

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    Got 10 Cree XP-E leds on order for a DIY fitting for my 17g tank to replace the 55w CF AHS fitting. I'm going to include a dimmer and then measure the light output with my PAR meter.
     
  5. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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    There was some banter going around about TPT, I think about the new Current LED setup, and how the PAR is not measuring to the t5 levels it was claiming. I've been looking for LED fixtures for my 12 g nano cube, but I haven't found anything worth buying. I also think someone brought up the fact that perhaps LED fixtures do not need as high a PAR value to be effective.

    Ultimately wound up upgrading the reflectors and am going to use tried and true 24W PC lighting.
     
  6. chopsticks

    chopsticks Prolific Poster

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    I think leds have better PUR than T5, T5 have better PAR. But I'm just speculating.
     
  7. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    that sounds like some of the info I have read. All LED's are not created equal, however. Some don't put out much of anything while others could burn down a tree (sarcastic exaggeration, of course).

    The dimming and color change options that come with them is very neat. Their flexibility is outstanding. these aqua illumination sol pendants are very sweet. very expensive too. DIY versions, I'm sure could be done for less. I'm not that handy.
     
  8. JJ..Bequiet

    JJ..Bequiet Prolific Poster

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    dudes use those cree led's on reef setups keeping sps, so i dont think there is anything to stress as far as light output
     
  9. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Even low driven at low wattage you may find you have all the light you'll ever need. 4 1W no name LEDs on a 4" grid and driven at 3/4 was more than enough to transform a 8 gallon cube into a tangled mess of plants and algae. CO2 would have helped. - S
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I bought a LED off a member here, then also got some nicer ones for my reef, seagrass, mangrove with a macro fuge.
    I'll likely DIY a LED for the other tanks little by little and at my leisure.
     
  11. greengreen

    greengreen Junior Poster

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    If your going to do DIY led's You can look up a company called BSLED also called bysen you can get a fixture made up for you almost the same price or less then DIY, I'm glad I took the risk but I read a thread on their fixtures with like 2000 posts on a Australian forum so i was pretty certain they would work well on the planted tank even if it was a thread for marine tanks but have a look.
     
  12. Lakehouse

    Lakehouse Prolific Poster

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  13. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    spectrum?

    What about the CRI for the LEDs?

    Has there been any sort of rule thumb for what/how many color LEDs are needed?

    i.e. in a grid of 4x4 LEDs you should have 2 red and 2 blue at 700mA and the rest would be neutral or warm white to add back in the missing colors you'd get from a Geismann?

    -
    S
     
  14. chopsticks

    chopsticks Prolific Poster

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    I was thinking about this the other day, natural white light is composed of red, green, and blue light.

    The thing is, green light is useless for plants, but they reflect it, so if you add green light the plants will look greener.

    Red light can be use for photosynthesis, but it is absorbed very easily by water so plants hardly will have enough of it, but it is used mostly to be reflected by the fishes (so you can see their red markings).

    Blue light can penetrate water better and is the one that plants actually use in photosynthesis, it is also reflected by the blue markings in the fishes.

    So I ideally have a fixture with neutral white and cool white as the main light source, then some blues and a couple of red and greens, also ideally I'll have a way to dial each color to taste.

    Here Costa Rica is very very sunny, and I have notice that people like their aquariums to have a cooler look, people find 6500 K to be too yellow sometimes.

    Geismann has a 5000 K (or so) bulb, I think nobody here will like a bulb with that warm light. So it seems to me that some of it is cultural preference.

    Regards,

    -Juan
     
  15. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Aesthetics can be taken to extremes though... http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=257054 I can applaud him for his "dedication" but I can't say this is even in the ball park of how far I'd be willing to take this. :) - S
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Water does not absorb much red in the upper 1 meter FYI.......deeper waters, yes, but since few have tanks deeper than 100cm....this is not an issue.

    I think the preferences have shifted to ther whiter colors and more blue hues.

    5000K use to be pretty white, then 6500, then 10,000K.
     
  17. chopsticks

    chopsticks Prolific Poster

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  18. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Both PAR and PUR on any reasonable DIY setup will be higher than any T5HO lighting however most claims are way off the mark.

    So if a manufacturer says they are double T5HO they may well be, maybe more, If they say 4x then I very much doubt it.

    However that depends on wether the LED array/ setup has been made with aesthetics in mind or whether it is the 'practical efficiency' that si thought about first.

    Most are of the former variety where they give the detail that 1W of LED is 3-4 x T5HO. Thta may be correct but that does not mean that their 30W unit = 120W T5HO. 1W of LED may well be as good as 4W of T5HO in pure output but then to make a 30W = 120W it means that you have to look at practical efficiency first and maybe ignore aesthetics completely.

    For example You could say that 30W of LED is as good as 400W of T5HO. It may well be in terms of PAR if you sticke them all side by side and then measure directly below it, however it may well be the reverse result where the LED is only a quarter PAR of the T5HO when you move to the end of the T5HO away from the LEDs bundles together.

    So the key to efficiency here is to try and equalise the spread over the footprint of the tan. That way you use less light to achieve a 'lowest' PAR target on the subtrate without having to settle for much higher PAR directly under a T5HO tube :)

    As above. W for W LED is far superior than T5HO. Its not even a close battle. 1 retailer's LED unit that they claim = xW T5HO may result in lower PAR higher PUR but that faults the manufacturer's claim. W for W the LED is still winning. Its just not satisfying the manufacturer's claim.

    If it is just a colour thing Tom. I would suggest that you concentrate on the main lighting being the 5500K pure daylight (or 6500K shaded daylight). That would be the actual lighting on the rig.

    If keeping the costs down but you want to play with colours you can buy the 30LED per metre or 60LED per metre waterproof strings with RGB LEDs in them. Then if you buy yourself the LED controller with 44 button IR remote you can choose all sorts of colours at the touch of a button.

    The chosen colour will then 'accenuate' the white 'useful' lighting.

    These are cheap. a 1m 30LED RGB strip with control box and remote on ebay would be less than $20 :) All you need then is to add power to it.

    Link below if anyone wants to investigate:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Waterproof-1M-SMD-5050-RGB-LED-Strip-44key-IR-Remote-/220805553329?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3369095cb1

    I use these for ambient lighting in my lounge :)

    AC
     
    #18 SuperColey1, Jun 28, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2011
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    ANYONE that claims Penac works, simply cannot be trusted.
    They claim that malarkey also:eyeroll:
    It says "promotional advertising" as well..........

    I take pictures of plants underwater and they still appear quite red for some reason:)
    If 90% or more of the red is removed, why can I still see red color then? Shouldn't it all appear blue or orange etc?
    I agree beyond say 15-20 ft, but not 1 meter. I see no methods, no citations of any sort for any of their advertising/claims.

    Kirk's authorative text on light and photsynthesis in the aquatic environment states that 35%, not over 90% as suggested by ADA, is aborbed in the 680 nm range at 1 meter.
    This is over 3X what ADA claims. Add this to the other light absorption curves and we see that there is minimal effect.

    Kirk cites, ADA does not.

    Just because say some is aborbed, this is not to say it does not help or that the plant does not easily adapt it's pigments.
    The total PAR is what really counts.
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I agree here. I just bought some decent LED's for my reef. I looked at the PAR and spread data(one of the few that even offered) and I own a PAR meter to boot.
    I might see about a radiospectrometer at some point.

    I think I can cut the energy by 1/2.

    4X?

    Naw.........

    I'll test and see. The set up uses Cree 3 with 40degree lens.

    I wanted something a bit pre made and nice looking.
    I'll take pics and post the results this wekend when I get a little time.

    I have the lights here, they are for my reef. But I'll hand them over my 60 Gal cube before breakign it down completely to see.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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