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LED Wholesalers Rig?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Philosophos, Jul 6, 2009.

  1. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    My fiance found this sitting around. Here's the product:
    www.LEDwholesalers.com - ALL WHITE LED Aquarium and Grow Light Panel 225 LED 110 Volt

    Any experience or comment on these lights, or the seller? They seem obscenely cheap for LED, just wondering if (or most likely what) there is a catch.

    I've already ordered the lights for my new tank, but if the current seller keeps slacking, I may cancel and look in to these more.

    -Philosophos
     
  2. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    These are likely "standard" LEDs and not tje high powered units. Typically you'll want the 1w or higher ones. However, since we don't need the intensity the reefers do this may work on some of the plants we have. Given the uniform coverage it may work very well. I would not really try it on any tank over 12" deep though. Or at least not without being prepared to supplement the lighting. It may work very wee though. I'd ask him if he's got any photos "in action" as it were.

    -
    S

     
  3. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    How are you coming to the conclusion of 12 inches and 1 watt or higher?

    Photos of the light at work are done in a rather stupid, artsy way trying to show contrast off the leaf, on an over sized terrestrial plant. :rolleyes:

    Maybe I should harass the guy for some PAR meter readings, if I'm lucky enough that he has one.

    -Philosophos
     
  4. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    I never heard good things r.e. the standard LEDs. i hear that penetration is a key issue whereas the high powered ones supposedly have better penetration than T5.

    Here is a thread to show what they would look like on a real tank. Its a DIY one and there are 400 LEDs in this but shows what you are looking for.

    I would guess that he wasn't that impressed with the result because he then went on to do a high power LED one instead.................missing out the current controllers and the LEDs fried:

    DIY LED Luminaire - prototype - Tropical Fish Centre

    AC
     
  5. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks for the heads up. His DIY system does look rather dim, though the reflector was plain white.

    Now how does penetration become an issue with the spectrum and wattage already known? Is this an issue of restrike and deflection? Too many photons going too many directions?

    -Philosophos
     
  6. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Mostly from other discussions with other LED DIY people. I've done some fiddling with the smaller LEDs vs the 3W ones as well. You CAN get some decent intensity with enough of the normal ones providing you A) blanket the hood with them and B) don't try to grow anything requiring high light on the substrate. Anything over 12" is going to need at least 1W and 3W would be better. I usually see mention of optics when you hit 18" of water depth or so. My guess is you probably want to do that when substrate is 24-30" away from the LEDs. Again, that's from the coral guys though with a 2" spacing or so. Usually I see 4" spacing bandied about when talking about plants. Rules of thumb though, no PAR readings.

    In general it will be cheaper to do 3W LEDs since you'll have more options. For example, you can get 3W stars for about 3 bucks or so. I got three drivers for less than 20 bucks and I already had a laptop power supply and an aluminum plate to use as a heatsink. So for roughly 45 bucks I have a 24W LED array that's good enough for a 5-10 gallon tank for plants or corals ( probably borderline for the high light ones though depending on the grid spacing and I could easily add another 12W of LEDs for roughly 15 bucks ). I wouldn't want to think about the cost for regular LEDs on that, nor would they work on coral. Just not enough intensity, but plenty bright to read by and give you spots in your vision. ;)

    -
    S


    QUOTE=Philosophos;38455]How are you coming to the conclusion of 12 inches and 1 watt or higher?

    Photos of the light at work are done in a rather stupid, artsy way trying to show contrast off the leaf, on an over sized terrestrial plant. :rolleyes:

    Maybe I should harass the guy for some PAR meter readings, if I'm lucky enough that he has one.

    -Philosophos[/QUOTE]
     
  7. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Major DIY is what I'm trying to avoid here. This tank has been enough work without trying to create more projects around it. It'll also end up costing me a fair amount more than dual T5's with good spacing if 2wpg is the requirement for LED. I was under the earlier impression of 1-1.5wpg but this seems to be changing.

    -Philosophos
     
  8. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    WPG w/LED is really not as relevent. LEDs as a general rule seem to have much higher PAR which is why the reefers were burning their corals when they first started using LEDs. More PAR but not so many visible lumens so more brightness = a lot more PAR than you would expect. Unfortunately LEDs are still pretty much DIY or $$$. Patent war stupidity isn't helping speed up LED product availability either. Do keep us posted on what you come up with though.

    -
    S
     
  9. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    WPG is relevant with any lighting system if you isolate the other variables that change average PAR at the leaf value of the watt, and then base the ratio around the watt. We're already dividing by around 1.5 for the T5's, and multiply by 5 or 6 for good ol' T10's. If the PAR per watt can be approximated between the high and low end of manageable K ratings within most systems, then the rest follows. It's a necessary evil when the makers of the lamp or fixture won't post a standardized PAR rating.

    I'll bite my tongue save a short rant on the business end of the issue. I can't stand how entrepreneurs or large companies are willing to abuse the customer to squeeze out every dime from the patent or snake oil pitch. I actually kind of despise some of the companies that I buy from for these reasons.

    *cough*adaseachemhagenrenafosterandsmithetc*cough*

    -Philosophos
     
  10. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    The problem with WPG is just that other than the most vague correlation with LEDs you can really mess with PAR ratings from bin to bin and manufacturer to manufacturer. i.e. Cree LEDs put out far more lumens per watt ( and likely PAR ) than others, sometimes dramatically so. Unfortunately without a PAR meter it's all guessing. You won't usually see a cheap T5HO bulb vs. a pricey T5HO bulb with a lumen spread of 2-300%. I'm sure you can find it if you look. LEDs can have that spread and there's no real way to know if you have the T12, T8, T5 , T5HO equivalent up front without paying serious attention.

    Assuming you figure out what LED "firepower" you have going in, the other problem seems to be that you can't just string 8 LEDs together in a line at 3" spacing and say you've got 24W of high PAR lighting on a 24" tank and expect decent results. You'll just fail miserably. To be effective LEDs really need overlap on some sort of pattern as has been shown by many of the DIY people. Two LED overlap doesn't seem to work reliably, but three or more seems to work OK. Then you can throw lenses into the mix to really mess with stuff which is similar to reflectors on lamps to that's at least got an analog.

    Maybe with LEDs we'll need a spacing guideline in addition to the wattage. i.e. 3W @2" or 3W @4" I'm definitely curious to see how the PAR #s come out. Maybe it really will end up being as simple as you suggest and we just need a simple "PAR multiplier". Given the DIY nature and rarity of LED lighting I think it'll be a while before a "standard fixture" emerges to make that workable. Time will tell.

    I fully agree on costs and sometimes dishonest marketing. It's one thing when they honestly don't know and have their theories, it's another matter entirely when they they're flat out wrong, or even selling a product that will cause harm if used in too high amounts.

    -
    S
     
  11. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    At the end of the day LED is going to cost more even when DIY'd BUT it will save the money it costs more in it's longevity.

    The DIY is complicated in comparison to flouro but I got it right first try albeit with 3 burnt out stars and 2 burnt out controllers. (3 x £2.50 and 2 x £5 = £17.50/$26 wasted)

    However even with the setup in situ if they last 7 years it is easy to replace the stars and they will probs be cheaper than fluoros in 7 years time. Flouro tubes haven't come down that rapidly in price in the last 2 decades. T5HO is still very expensive. You don't have to rebuy all the rest, maybe controllers Also they use less electricity.

    My 1.12WPG is far brighter than the 1.48WPG T5HO I had and much much brighter than the 2.5WPG I used to have prior!!!

    As to the PAR calculators as shown in the PAR sensor thread that is going at the moment my comments (as well as others) a year or more ago (Looking back it was 19 months+) saying overlapping and spread is the key not power/intensity etc is showing that with any kind of lighting the spacing is the aim. Even spread.

    A 4 tube luminaire stuck over the centre of the tank is not going to match 3 tubes spaced apart. Nor are 2 T5HO going to match 4 x T8/10/12 because of the evenness of spread

    Looking back at my old photobucket account I found these diagrams that I drew in MS Paint in December 2007 to try and explain what I meant to someone. No need to say I was then lampooned by the majority as I still do on most forums apart from this one and UKaps!!! which is why I long for the day when all the PAR readings confirm my/our theory. It will make the battering I and a few others have taken worthwhile. Its a pity I've never had the money or facility to get the equipment to test the theories. I have to rely on what comes from others.

    These were a little different because this was at a time when people defended their beloved PC/CF compacts The "AHsupply are the best units you can buy" crowd and would not accept any other tubes or setups were as good but these do show what I was trying to say about 'hot spots' and limitations of spread from less tubes. They are very basic diagrams:

    The first pair of diagrams were to show the idea of overlapping between 1 tube of equal wattage to 2 tubes. Namely T5HO linear versus T8:

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    The second pair were to show the idea of how limited the spacing is for CF and how much the intense light is differently spread. the pink in the CF one shows super intense nelow the tubes whereas the red under T5 linear shows a better spread and less intensity. these 2 would also be about the same wattage.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Although I was getting to what we are finding now I was lost in the theory at the time. It was still many theories coming together back then. It was actually a post by Tom on TFF in late 2007 talking about intensity that got me started on the idea at which point I started to rewind a little from my previous 'increase the light' ideas and started to 'descrease' but improve the spread.

    I don't agree with Shoggoth on 1 point. I don't think there is a problem with using 2 rows compared to 3. It all depends on the depth (not height) of the tank I suppose but if you have a smaller tank the 2 rows will work IMO.

    What I can say is that 1 row even on a small tank (mine is a 10Ltr) you do not get the 'better than flouro' PAR or at least thats what the plants say. Again spread. That being said it may be better to use 3 x as many 1W on a smaller tank to gain the spread.

    On deeper tanks maybe the same spacing but higher power LEDS to penetrate further while maintaining an even spread?? this is still up in the air. lol. Excuse the pun.

    What am I trying to say? That overlap and spread is key with all lighting including flouro and LED. LED gives the facility to get much more overlap, much better eveness etc due to the way you can space it much better. It is the same theory I was trying to imply back then with the CF versus linear argument. Just that it has all gotten a lot clearer over the past 6 months or so (at least to me. lol)

    AC
     
  12. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I get what both of you are saying, and I agree. Overlap and spread are vital to the efficiency of a bulb. I've been doodling charts as shown by supercoley for my own purposes with trying to get my new tank lit properly.

    At the same time, I have to continue to disagree on the issue of WPG's effectiveness, and labeling PAR on boxes.

    WPG equivalent won't fine tune your lighting. I won't deny that. I do think it'll help to narrow things down a very large amount though. Different formats can be articulated for WPG equivalency when it comes to LED placement. What we have now beats the days when most plant keepers cranked out 6-8wpg of T8 or T12 because they didn't know how much light they needed. I'm glad WPG put an end to the sink hole, defining the absolute highest level with most lights being 4wpg before most of us go insane.

    Standard PAR is the next step forward. Will it be perfect? Nope. Could it be useful? Of course. All you need is an optimum PAR distance rating with a distribution index. Two numbers. If you want to get fancy, a little PAR variance diagram to go along side the spectrum plot. Lights could even be adapted to create various reflectors and spacings for various tank dimensions. As it is, this "Hey, we can shove in an extra bulb nice and close to the first one, then charge 50% more" thing is kind of detrimental to planted tank keeping.

    -Philosophos

    *edit* Can this please be the start of another long debate? My last one over on AQ is winding down :D
     
  13. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    I'm not against PAR measurements being on any box even though it may sound that way. You do however point out what my worry is that the reflector would ideally need to be supplied with said box so that the user knows what they are getting otherwise we are still at the stage of her's a tube and then 1 user has a great reflector and says 1WPG is great another has a poor reflector but thinks it's great and rubbishes the claim. I am suggesting they both have the same tube and both think they have the top reflector (no-one can agree on the best reflectorstyle or type or surface etc!!!) and therefore the data becomes a non entity again.

    What they also cannot show is how that PAR will relate when using multiples of said tube when used together even with the same reflectors when overlap occurs.

    It would be pretty confusing to all if the box had a datasheet detailing the PAR of a single tube/reflector combo and then started talking about PAR with overlap at X distance.

    I don't think people understand too much the difference when you equal up the spread etc. All the standard tubes T12/T10/T8/T5 are pretty much the same wattage at the sameish lengths. T5HO is a different matter but then there is T12 and T8 VHO. The diameter makes better penetration we are told, The PAR show us that.........or does it? These are PAR readings from T5 with reflectors compared to other tubes with other reflectors. Are the reflectors better for T5? Are we measuring electronic ballast driven tubes and comparing them to magnetic/electric ballast driven tubes? We need to test this theory on a level playing field whixh as far as I can see has never ever been done, yet facts bandied around the web are T5 rules!!!

    If T5 indeed does provide better penetration does it also provide better intensities at angles from the tube or is it just directly below the tube? Someone needs to test all these as single tubes, both with electronic ballasts and either with identically (although different scale) reflectors or better still with no reflectors. Using no reflectors would remove another varuible that could be the difference between 1 reflector and another no matter how identically they are in proprtions to the tube or metal used etc.


    We are told that T5 penetrates better than T12 and each increment in diameter from T5 upward decreases in pentration potential but is it in all directions?

    I don't think reflectors can be brought into this equation. whilst I used to talk of restrike being less with T5, these days I ask myself why is that. Surely the larger the diameter of the tube the larger the diameter of the reflector. Therefore if the same design is made for a reflector for T12 as is for T5 although the amount of restrike measured by a area would be greater for the larger diameter tube would it still be the same % of tube diameter and therefore exactly the same % of lost light?

    Now this of course does assume that we can find electronic ballasts for T12 so that we could compare them. I think that'll be a failed search but you see what I am getting at.

    We can't say T5 are better because there are better reflectors available for them than T12, T8 etc. That is wrong because that does not mean T5 are better. Just that the setups available for T5 are better.

    On a level playing field with the same types of ballast, The same design of reflector just a different scale of proportion and identical K,CRI etc how much more light in all directions would the T5 give than the T12. Would it be any more?

    I admit that WPG is useless as it just says this light is going to consume 'X'W. But then a PAR number would say this tube emits 'X' PAR at 'X' level. 1 person achieves great results using 2 tubes and thinks he has the PAR on the box. Maybe he has used 2 tubes which should mean 'X' PAR x 2 when in fact because of the overlap it was 'X' PAR x 3!!!! He has a medium light tank I will suggest for arguments sake. For the sake of argument lets say its 2WPG

    Another person assumes he can use half as much as his friend and have a low light tank so he gets 1 tube. Same setup for the 1 tube and asks himself why it is so much poorer than his friends. After all his friend has twice as much. The PAR label says so. His light is medium so half should be 1WPG and fine for most 'low light plants'. what is going wrong?

    You see what I am getting at here? The PAR says 1 tube = X and therefore someone with 2 tubes says X x 2 when in fact improving the spread (probably) changes the PAR.

    We are now back to having a label that needs measuring by the end user to trully know where we are and cannot be calculated from the box label statement.

    I think plant keepers used to push 6-8WPG because they knew no better just as you say. Tubes may not have been so good back then too. I;ve said a few times that even existing technolgies like T12 and T8 will have improved through the years and therefore today's T12 may also blast the original calculations out of the water.

    The WPG rules didn't put an end to the sink hole though. Just look at some of the APC peeps who proudly state they have 6WPG even these days!!!! Some never learn, Some refuse to learn and some just don't care. You tell them different and its like a personal attack on them. they defend their beloved super power compact as if it is family. lol.

    I totally agree with you r.e. the luminaires where they shove as many tubes as they can in there. They miss the point. they give you the optimum light and then fit it into a beautiful slimline unit rather than look at reality where a wide unit with the tubes spaced would be much better. They already make the luminaires to standard lengths of tank so they can also go for standard depths to be able to do this. I don't agree they shove another tube in and think we can charge more for it though. I think they shove more tubes in and charge more because the foolish customer WANTS it. Supply and demand.

    BUT 2 things.

    1 - They make slimline units because they are more aesthetically pleasing to a world that wants ever smaller technology. Smaller phones, smaller mp3 players, smaller everything so it satisfies their eyes. MARKETING SPEAK - 'We make these smaller for you the consumer to make them look perfect in your house'

    2 - Also larger units use more materials, take more room, need larger packaging, require more area for storage, less units per shipment etc. Therefore they cost the manufacturer more to make. Would the consumer pay that extra? No. BUSINESS SPEAK - 'Make them smaller so that it's cheaper for the consumer and we don't need 3 more factories, 3 more warehouses and more containers on the ships but don't cut the retail price as much as it saves'

    Satisfies both sides here. lol. Customer gets their sleek unit at a price they like. the manufacturer needs less of everything whilst gaining a little bit more on their margin.

    So in summary give us the PAR a tube puts out without reflector. Give us measurements detailing severla differnt reflectors and tell us exactly which make and model reflectors they were. Same for the ballasts. Then give us the readings that detail different spacings and how much the PAR rises when the effect of overlapping comes into play with the different spacing. When you've finished printing the book we aren't paying an extra a,punt for it, we want it as part of the package.

    What is detrimental to plantkeeping is the hobby itself because for every one of us that tries to explain the reality of light etc there are 1000 out there ready to shout back that we know nothing. I didn't go on APC for a long long time due to the hammering I used to get but these days I do again. I tend to read more than write though unless something takes my fancy.

    We jokingly talk about the 'light obsessed americans' on the UK forums because of the number that protect their 6WPG setups against anyone who dares to suggest they don't need them and there are loads. CF is still the most used lighting in the US whereas in the UK we seem to have skipped CF (although for a short spell we did use it including me for 3 months) and gone straight for T5/T5HO. Not through choice I might add. CFs seemed to die out in the retailers!!!

    Philosophos - You know me from APC and you know I use exaggeration a lot to explain my points. This may be a fault but then thats just how I explain things. lol so take all of the above with a pinch of salt. In the main it is what I believe but I may ecaggerate situations to show differences a little better. lol. I can be a little pedantic as well but then why not :)

    One things for sure. It would cost the companies to do thorough testing. Even if they published the info on the internet rather than having to print datasheets to put with the tubes (It wouldn't fit on the package. lol) They would charge for it and that I'm afraid would send me over to the tubes with no info on them!!!


    Yes it can. lol

    If you haven't read enough here are some interesting links on LED comparison to MH. They talk in our language :) Info that many reefer MH lovers do not believe!!!! p.s. this unit usees the same Luxeon 3W LEDs that I have although they use a combination of K where I use just 5500K. The argument here is another one I don't know really. Should we be using PAR? Should we not be using PUR. The first article compares a 75W LED fixture to a 250W MH and the LED has 89% of the PAR of the MH. Much better per watt of course. However The LED fixture produces much much more PUR.

    Guest Article: A New Horizon in Lighting: PFO's Solaris LED System

    The LED Solaris Lamp PAR Comparison by PFO - 3reef Forums

    AC
     
  14. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    It's not as if companies are pumping out tons of different lights. Usually a new technology comes out, everyone makes their version, then they play with pricing for a couple years.

    If people are commonly using multiple fixtures, then clearly the companies aren't offering the right product for the demand. Not that this is anything new; most companies put out the most light they can for the lowest price. Making it work seems to be an afterthought.

    I don't think most people keeping planted tanks understand much about them in general. You'll notice it's the methods that require less knowledge and effort, rather than the ones that get the best results that people use. This is why I advocate just slapping the par rating and distribution ratio on the box, and letting people judge by this.

    My daily frustration with this issue comes from fert dosing. I've had more and more people ask me to do their dosing work for them. Not checking; I don't mind that. I mean I've been asked for complete routines tailored to their water supply. I don't think trying to teach people about most of the lighting is worth while unless they're driven enough to start asking the questions them selves.

    Light should output evenly all the way around the tube fairly much. I can't see why it wouldn't; fluorescence works on an even mixture.

    Reflectors with bulb changes would be a separate issue. Still if both the fixtures (with standard lamps, plus the values for the lamps) offered their rating, and bulbs offered a default rating of PAR at various distances, it would be possible to rank one lamp or fixture combination over another.

    Why people keep talking about intensity so vaguely is beyond me. Electronic radiation can be measured, it has units to do so with. PAR has been aproximated, so there's no mystery there. Where people start talking about intensity, rather than angle of deflection or PAR per watt is where I get confused. Nobody seems to talk about it in a concrete way, it seems to frequently be a scapegoat for not knowing why something's not working.

    I think reflectors can be compensated for. I don't think the loss rate would be the same precisely. I do think that ratio would stay in common for exactly the same design scaled up and down, but that's it. I think light loss from restrike within the lamp would keep with this ratio. Then again, this needs to be tested and not hypothesized on. The community really does have a lack of lighting experts; they're very few and far between.

    T5 and T12 may not be better than one another, but I do agree with moving to where the most optimum design is provided. More standardized measurements might help to expose this. I honestly blame the drive to mindlessly push the next generation of product for this. I'm getting T5HO's right now because of it. I didn't want T5HO's, I wanted T8's with good reflectors. Cost because of how these products are marketed changed the decision that I had to make.

    I think the false assumptions of people keeping their own tanks is their own problem. We're here to educate if they need it, but we shouldn't hold back a single thing because of the risk of misunderstanding. Some people still run around thinking that altering their pH with CO2 will change their KH, and we're still clarifying.

    I haven't seen many people who carry on with 6wpg after doing one tank, learning the principles, seeing tanks with a fraction the light level, then turning right around and halfing their own light level. Without WPG we'd never have established this as a possibility. If we didn't have WPG, we wouldn't even have a method by which to show them generally that they're over-watted.

    And yes, as I mentioned earlier before reading the next part of your post, artificial supply and demand sucks. I like that some systems have imp... just a minute, bug on my screen... roved by allowing a bit more space. Sunlight supply seems to offer mounting that at least space the lights out 4 inches or so.

    Marketing, IMO is the bane of productivity. Informing the customer is something a spec sheet should do. It has become a necessary evil, and I tend to see people working in marketing departments much the way David Ike sees politicians. Evil alien lizard overlords in suits.

    I just paid 2x as much for 1/2 the lighting in the configuration I want because of these reptilian SOB's, and I can't say I'm happy about it.

    I think the average person doesn't have an interest in learning much about aquariums either. They post, they read, and if their ideas are contradicted, they disagree. This consists of most people I have met throughout my life. Separating reason and debate from argument and emotion will always be an impossibility for them.

    I know exactly what you mean with the light fetish. I spend time talking new hobbyists down often enough. At the same time, the person who got me started recommended 2-3wpg, 3-4xT8 or T12 with good reflectors. He shows up at the King Ed Pet Center in Vancouver, BC (Canada) every Tuesday strictly to give advice and maintain tanks. I think education is the issue, I think it's important to tell people to ignore their average LFS salesman, to ignore the majority of forum banter, and to read the work of people who are moving the hobby.

    I'd rather have hyperbole from someone with good ideas than realistic speeches from the incompetent. In a brilliantly bad metaphor, I will say that it's easier to rinse the crap out of corn than to get a meal the other way around.

    Personally I don't think it'd take large companies much more effort to publish the info. I'm betting between reflector and bulb design, they've already got a lot of this worked out at some point along the line. They'd have to be brilliantly inefficient not to.

    Those links you sent are something I've scanned, but will have to get more into detail with tomorrow. I absolutely love the look of LED spectrum plots; they're almost ideal curves for matching up with PAR.

    I don't think we should be using PUR yet, or for a long time. There's no standard level of PUR for all levels of plants. If you google around a bit there's at least one rather lengthy paper on the issue.

    -Philosophos
     
  15. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    I think that apart from those who are not scared to experiment and learn (by that I mean learning to build something from scratch etc. risk a little money by soldering for the first time, learning how to put 6 wires into a ballast :p ) the other 99% including the experienced and knowledgable buy from what is available. Some are scared that they won't be able to put the 6 wires together. Some are scared they can't saw wood into 5 pieces. Some don't believe anyone who says what is available is not 'the best design' after all if it isn't the best why has someone not brought 'the best design' to the market? Others just aren't interested. Figures are not their game. They get results from what they have, they know what works and what doesn't and stick to these rules even if it means they learn 'from their experience' that you can't put certain plants at the edges of the tank. lol. The remainder don't want a DIY unit nor a large unit. they want the pretty sleek svelt unit.

    Personally I think that the manufacturers don't have a clue about the facts really. Not a case of ignoring the facts. they translate Lumens and power into a unit because they understand a total figure rather than how that total is delivered.

    I don't think they will ever put the 'real' readings on their equipment because to do so would mean that if someone found out that non aquarium tubes gave out the same results then noone would buy aquarium tubes anymore as they are twice the price. Oh I forget that is already happening!!! It is a case of protectionism. They are the light experts. they know what is suitable. Hobbysits have to believe them rather than Joe the Plumber who rubbishes their claims. They don't want to have to halve or third their retail because the customer suddenly knows the tubes are equal. In the same way Dennerle (check out their site) pushes thunderstorm theories as the reasoning behind the siesta. they want to show knowledge so people trust them but they don't understand it theirselves. They still sell Ph controllers as the most accurate way of maintaining consistent CO2 levels. They still push heater cables. They put their own thread on the disposable CO2 bottles so you can't buy cheapo welding cannister nor any other brand. There are swathes of Dennerle devotees who swallow it all and not only chose Dennerle over other products. they buy the whole setup heater cables, Ph controller and all. Marketing, Hype and reputation gets more sales than the truth and keeps the money rolling in.

    As is proven on every planted forum.

    I know it is like swearing foryou but I have no real interest in ferts. I am pretty happy to use EI and just make sure that nothing runs out. I have tried much leaner methods with success too but I don't really have any interest in nailing down exact amounts nor ratios etc :) We each have varied interests. This isn't one of them. lol

    I talk about intensity as I have no idea what all the science is about. What I mean is that directly under the tube the light is much higher than at an angle, even if it is fractional and only due to the longer travelling distance. Its also where the light output hits the water surface head on rather that an angle which mean the light 'bend' (no idea the correct terminolgy is minimal compare to the angle where the light changes angle when it hits the water.

    I would've gone onto argument about reflectors last night but I used up all 10000 characters, had to edit the original post to remove some of it and was tired so went to bed. lol

    I see on the other post you commented on the white 'reflector'. who tells us what the best reflector material is?

    People assume that a polished metal reflector 'mirrorlike' is the best. Is this the case? Why are many of the top performers actually a brushed white aluminium surface? Surely the smoother silver polished surface would be better than the rougher unpolished surface? I will take a couple of pictures to show you something later. Very unscientific and will proive nothing but good to see if I can get the right daylight on it. Could it be that plain white is better than just lighter metal and polished? Does it even need to be metal or metal like? Reflectors are just as protected by their owners as CFs are. Gullwing, Parabolic. statements bandied about but often not understood.

    Exactly what I mean by the first post. Not meaning to offend because I know you understand the problem.

    You would be surprised. Some are still increasing!!! Some are incredibly proud of their industrial lighting rig. Cannot tell them, they won't listen, they will also lampoon the likes of you and I if we suggest otherwise, then we get ignored because they have gained a reputation from 20 years of productivity and hundreds of pictures of their beautiful tanks, which they probably have to continuously clean algae from whilst stating they have none. Reputations can be broken but is pretty hard to do so sometimes. As Tom knows from a recent run in with a long standing 'reputable' planted tanker. Some gain their income from their 'knowledge' and questioning it in the public domain can lead to legal threats!!!

    Whatever rule we give them they will not believe it. After all the majority of reefers do not believe the LED figures even though they are shown the facts on the links I gave you in the last post. MH looks brighter so it is brighter. LED killed my corals so it must be lower light!!! No possibility it was actually 4 x the PUR per watt yet to the human eye looked a fraction duller lumenwise?

    Old beliefs are hard nuts to crack. Even facts struggle to break these barriers down. Open minds are few and far between even though we all like to think we are reasonably open minded we all have some areas in life where we believe something different to what is proven. Look how Darwin was lambasted!!! Look how many still must disagree to follow the paths they choose!!!

    Marketing is as much witholding info as it is providing it. Much like politics. Tell them the good points. Leave out the bad points. Try and look the part, Try and be the super knowledgable one.

    But you could have paid half as much (even if it may be longevity that would give the saving) for all the lighting you wanted via a DIY route and had the ideal setup.

    BC Canada? Are you a member of BCAquaria forum? I am. lol. That is one forum where what I say is seen as revolutionary!!! Many are still using T10/T12 VHO!!! The top tank are using the 6-8WPG etc I spoke of. Check it out . It should be your patch not mine. lol

    That is me. I talk a good talk. I make a good argument. I cannot prove anything :) All theory

    The thing Ilike about the Par and PUR diagrams is that they show the whole footprint of the tank. Where the light dimishes at the edges etc from many many many readings taken and then plotted onto the tank footprint to give the colours.

    I also like where they show that yes MH puts loads more 'visible light' BUT a lot of Ultra violet which is not what we or the plants want. That is why the LED puts out many times more PAR and PUR per watt as it produces light in a much narrower range with minimal UV. At least thats how I currently understand it.

    I have worn my keyboard out now so I am off to the poundstore again :)

    AC
     
  16. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    The same stuff happens with Home Theater and subwoofers. You want BIG bass, you need BIG space. You can get something resembling big sound in a small box if you're willing to drop tons of power into the box to do it. It won't be efficient and it still won't match what a bigger box can do when properly designed. You can get better sound out of a 250Watt big box sub, or you can get a small cube and drop 5-700Watts into it and try to work around the physical limitations. People like the small box since it's not in the way, but they pay for it all around.

    I forgot about the ACs little inline nano tank and the two LED overlap. How deep was that tank? As for deeper tanks and LEDs, you either go with the 3W ones, or you put on lenses. Of course then you've got little spotlight beams so you need to tighten up your spacing if you don't like that. So far on my little biocube 8 I just got around to tinkering with again, I'm having no problems growing lots of algae on the swords using only four 3W LEDs. I really need to get that on a proper dosing routine and throw in some cleaner shrimp until I can get it settled down....

    -
    S
     
  17. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Indeed. I live in a social housing area where you can see the 50" plasmas glowing through the windows. This is lounges that measure 14ft x 14ft!!!

    None of them wear glasses. they spent the money on the TVs. They all squint though ;)

    I settle for my 32" LCD. Perfect size for the distance it is viewed from.

    On the flip side I have a 240W pro logic hifi. My mates keep telling me it needs upgrading to a much higher wattage all singing all dancing etc. I ask them why do I need wattage. If I have this system on quarter volume it rattles the walls and is already on the limit of expecting the police knocking on my door!!! We maybe use it at 20% volume and mainly for TV/DVD as everything including the PC is plugged into it. Maybe it could do with updating as it is now 14 years old but it cost me £850 back then and still does the job superbly so I ask why? that is what I want to be saying r.e. the LEDs in 14 years . lol

    The Nano tank is 6" deep it is only 10litres. I removed the lenses and the lense holders. the LEDs are now flush with the luminaire and give a reasonable spread but there isn't the overlap from all directions. You can clearly see the corners are slightly darker. I now have Needle Fern, Crypt Parva and some Java Moss in it with Riccia on the top floating to soak up any slack. It is now an NPT non CO2 tank with a dash of the macro solution once a week and no water changes. No algae apart from diatoms on the glass and growth of the plants is pretty slow but more importantly they are all looking nice and healthy with minimal fuss. The inhabitants are Cherry shrimp and a lone Cory Fry:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There are other options with deeper tanks. Like those Solaris they get away with adding the lenses because there is almost zero spacing between the individual LEDS therefore the beams don't appear. They also use 'Batwing' dies to push all the light out of the front of the LED. I have Lambertians which give an even spread from each at 120º so they can be spaced much further apart. In planted we can't get away with Solaris style spacing with lenses etc or we would be talking in the realms of 10x the comparable Flouros (IMO) If they are bleaching corals then we have no chancewithout raising it 10ft above the tank. lol

    Is yours 8litres or 8 gallons? I work mine out at 3.25WPG which to most Nano enthusiasts is low light. I indeed think that due to them being in a line that is probably is low light.
     
  18. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    After reading your experiences, and those of others, I think it's time some one writes a book. Not a nice little planted aquaria book about how to do things right. I think there needs to be corporation gutting DIY manual that shows alternatives to everything used on the market, listing ingredients of major brand products. If not a book because of legal reasons, a well mirrored site with strictly on-topic articles, outside of a forum.


    You don't have to be interested in ferts. I just find it my point of interest. I'm chasing healthy growth with reduced effort, emphasis on reduced effort. So far it's paid off; i'll be down to two bottles once all the tanks are flipped over to ADA AS and tap. This beats the 4-5 bottles I started from.

    Fair enough. It looks like an area of things that needs a lot of blanks filled in. What sort of employment or fields would use these principles frequently? Perhaps it'd be worth going head hunting for someone who keeps aquariums and has a related job.

    What I've read on this forum seems to indicate otherwise. Some of Vaugn's posts mention parabolic reflectors compared to white ones, with full PAR data. Here's one that I found:
    http://www.barrreport.com/25293-post39.html

    Where are these forums? I'm kind of in a state of disbelief. That and I wouldn't mind prodding at these people a little for entertainment. I can't say I've seen it on APC, AQ or TPT much.


    Maybe after a couple years or more. Right now it looked about $100 cheaper to do a semi-DIY the way I have. This tank, like most, is burning a hole in my pocket. Hopefully I'll just be able to change some sockets and reflectors in the future.

    No, not a member. I got in to planted tanks and the local scene was no good, nearest meetings were 4 hours away. It wouldn't surprise me if they were over-watting severely; the knowledge base is pitiful in some ways. It's not at all like Seattle from what I understand.

    The minute someone starts talking about absolute truth and stops calling it theory, I get a little nervous. It shows a fundamental misunderstanding of science.

    I think it's amazing that some people are only vaguely aware that light is electromagnetic radiation, and that a light running hot is a light running inefficiently.

    Your understanding of spectrum is correct; LED has some nice humps that match amazingly with PAR. Most lamps match up fairly well anyhow though, so unless you're trying to push yellow or green light it's not worth paying a ton of attention to. Even when you are, I'm not sure it would alter things much more than 20% based on most plots and lighting choices I've seen. It may matter more with LED; I'd love to see PAR under a pure green 550nm LED.

    -Philosophos
     
  19. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    On the subject of books, if you took the Barrreport, UKaps and James Planted Tank (link below) we already have this. Over the 3 sites are breakdowns of ADA products, Tropica porducts, Analysis of cheaper versions of many many things and products.

    James' site uses standard tubes and although on my screen differences are hard to see I know he is right r.e. the word Aquarium costs a lot. The tubes are the same just the print different. The All in one dosing method on his site is based on as close as he can get to Tropica PN+ without it costing more than the actual product. lol (the N&P added version of MasterGrow.) On UKaps he has the analysis of the actual content but to make it cheaply at home it is cheaper to add trace as in an already premixed package that is as close to the original rather than buy all the different elements. The N, P, K is virtually identical. Tom has already given the breakdowns of virtually all the ADA products..

    I'm not sure how the legal aspect works. In some cases the manufacturers are happy enough to give us the breakdown. In other cases someone else analyses it. Can't be sued for releasing the results of analysis. I can only see it being a problem if you start selling it using statements containing the original products name like 'Exactly the same as X product'. Either way many are scared of mixing their own, after all some were even scared to add ferts to their fish tank in the first place. Some are too lazy or just don't trust it. they prefer to buy products and have the fallback of reassuring themselves that they are adding something that is safe much the same with equipment.

    James' Planted Tank - T5 Lighting On The Cheap

    Ferts are one of the aspects you are interested in and as I said we all have varied aspects of interest. I respect that you want to investigate that area. Doesn't really interest me. I never paid for the ferts because I worked there and got many years worth of supply for free. Even after that it would cost me to buy it in the region of $6 per year for the amounts I use.

    The aspects I tend to investigate are the technical/problem areas of light, filtration, circulation and CO2. I spent ages battling with the CO2 when most would've been happy to have a tank with the small amount of algae I had but I wasn't. I had to ignore quite a few people who said disc diffusers were the problem as bubbles gas off easily. They said a reactor would solve the problem. To my eyes a reactor produces unseable CO2...yes but it still gasses off, you just don't see the process of the CO2 rising to the surface. In the end I bought a high power Koralia (12x my tank volume in lph.) The problem was gone immediately. It wasn't CO2 at all it was circulation, distribution.

    Anyway I digress.

    The intensity thing is pretty simple to describe in my eyes. light hits the water head on and travels through in a straightish line. This is directly below the tube. Light leaving at an angle hits the water surface at angle and then deviates to another different angle through the water. It may simply be a distance thing in that head on the light travels direct to say a 14" below substrate wheras at the angle maybe it travels 16". I have no way of measuring this so it is a case of reading others tests for me here. lol. I can measure the actual distance with a ruler but have no way of seeing the angle unless I invest in a laser pen or something to see the effect for myself. Thats money for 2 minutes worth for me and I have zero money. lol

    On the reflector thing I agree with Vaughan there BUT they are all DIY reflectors. aluminium foil, Mylar and white painted paper. I am talking smooth mirrored alumuinum retail reflectors versus white brushed aluminium retail reflectors. The following post (I will run out of picture allowance on this one) will show an interesting result for you.

    If you look at many of the more common posters on APC they are all in the region of 4WPG T5HO or CF. APC can be terrible on lighting. Just look at the sticky articles. They are still pushing the arguments we have been dismissing on here for a long time. The 'full spectrum', K importance, Proper Wattage etc (The latter example sticky there is actually a decent early attempt at what you are suggesting.) More if they are MH users (6-8WPG+). I cant see why they use so much. I never saw the point of MH over planted tanks. Waste of electricity in my eyes. The BCAquaria average seems to be in the region of 5WPG, again more if it is MH. defeats the logic we are talking about on this site!!!

    Looking on the links to light retailers that the BCAquaria posters pass on to each other I see a lot of T12 setups for sale. These aren't seen over here at all!!! Over here its T8 or T5 or T5HO. Heres one such retailer which is quite popular with them. Here even though they sell LED their flourescent options are T5 or T12. No T8 at all, No CF at all. The major surprise is on retrofits there are 2 T12 options and 1 T5!!! T12 is still alive and kicking over there. lol. Is that such a bad thing?:

    Lighting - Fluorescent

    Onto a couple of meaningless pics really before I continue onto my next post.

    Here is my emersed setup. This is where I grow out my little pieces of rhizome and smaller plants like HC etc. Both lights are 18W T8. Each running off a dedicated 1 x 18W T8 electronic ballast. No old world magnetics here. lol. These are Arcadia 'Aquarium' tubes. The top is 4000K, The bottom 7500K. The top one under K theories should be the best for the plants. I see no difference really in plant growth, if anything the 7500K is better. The reflectors as you will see in the next post are standard curved cheap £6 smooth polished aluminium clip ons.

    the interesting part? They are both the same age bought in December 2006. the 7500K however has been running continuously since then. It was over an aquarium until I swapped to LED in January and since has been over this setup therefore it has probably now completed in the region of 8500 hours (31 months) whereas the 4000K was used for about a month so we can say about 280 hours. I hated the rank pink look it gave even with the 7500K mixing in there with it. That was the end of me using pink tubes. lol. What I am saying is..........replace tubes after 6 months, a year? The 7500K is equalling or beating the supposed better K lamp even though it is 3 x past where people say they should be replaced. It is the same brand, same manufacturer just different K so it isn't a better quality tube!!! They are both using electronic ballasts though. this suits my argument of supporting the 5% loss over 8000 hours although it doesn't prove anything. A case of I agree because I 'think' its right.

    You can clearly see the difference in colours here:
    [​IMG]

    Now a pointless but good comparison. The 7500K with reflector on and without reflector on:
    [​IMG]

    I'll continue with what I mean on reflectors on the next post.

    AC

    CONTINUES................
     
  20. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm running 8 gallons, not litres. Still not too bad. I'm actually thinking of upping the # of LEDs for a better spread and then using PWM to dim them back down to a reasonable light level. I'm thinking 6-8 LEDs.

    As for home theatre, I've got a stupidly powerful sub that goes below 12Hz. Because of that I never actually need to turn it up as the physical "impact" of the sub is more than enough to satisfy any desire for volume. It's usually at a level where you can't even hear it outside the room, but right in front of it you certainly know it's on. I can actually hit reference levels for bass, but then everything falls off the walls and the wiring and lights rattle in the walls. :D

    -
    S
     
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