New Lighting

inkslinger

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Dec 15, 2007
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I've been gone from this Hobby since 2013 and my tank is sitting in the basement collecting dust! These new LED lights that are out on the market now , how many would be needed for a 60x18x24 . Do they make retro's for t5 ho ? are they any better than a t5 ho , I know the watts would be way lower but do they come in on a full spectrum for planting needs? I see Pet-co sells some at the stores will they be any go in the long run.
 

VaughnH

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LED lights range from being a very poor substitute for fluorescent lights to being much better than fluorescent lights. The latest generation of LED lights use a variety of colors, from cool white to warm white to 660nm red to near UV. Those can be very good. But, the cheapest LED lights seem to have just one type of LED, and emit most of the light in a couple of peaks in the spectrum, usually mostly blues. If the maker of the lights provides a chart of the spectrum the light produces you can pick the "best" one by looking for a good amount of light around 660 nm, and some light over the whole 400-700 nm range, but most of them don't come with that chart.

I recently made my own LED light, using SMD LEDs, mounted on a narrow flexible adhesive tape. I used "natural white" mostly, with about 20 % a tape designed for horticultural use (probably growing weed), which is 80% 660 nm and 20% a dark blue. That is the best LED light I have ever had. If that interests you, see http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/.../136594-smd-led-tape-based-light-fixture.html It was a fun project! I should add that obtaining a PAR meter to use to be sure you are getting the amount of light you want is essential with this type of project. But that isn't a problem if you live in the USA - see https://barrreport.com/threads/apogee-par-meter-for-rent.14334/
 

VaughnH

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Those track lights look like a good idea, and the price is very good, but they give you no PAR readings, so I don't see a good way to evaluate them. Lumen output is one way to guess at how bright they are, but not a good way. If you decide to try them please let us know how well they work.
 

Greggz

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are they any better than a t5 ho , I know the watts would be way lower but do they come in on a full spectrum for planting needs?
I think you will find there are a fair amount of us still using T5HO. On a large tank, finding a good LED solution at a reasonable price is tough.

And good old T5HO still grows plants quite well, and personally I just find it "warmer" to my eyes. Not a fan of the dispersion or shimmer or LED's, but that is just personal opinion.

Good luck and look forward to hearing more about the tank.
 

inkslinger

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Dec 15, 2007
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Will my system has been sitting in the basement since we move to our new home in 2013 , my wife wants me to get rid of it because it's collecting dust. So I'm thinking of starting it up again in a unfinished basement {will get done some year} We have well water so it's going to be a change from my city water days. I had 6 t5ho's with 3 ballast's probably drop down to 4 or even 2 lights for a 110g tank {60x18x24}. I was looking more of the coast to run the lights an equipment in the long run {electric bill} We had all ways live in a apartment and ran my Eheim 2262,co2 set-up and all my lights.

DSC_0036.JPG
 
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Greggz

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Will my system has been sitting in the basement since we move to our new home in 2013 , my wife wants me to get rid of it because it's collecting dust. So I'm thinking of starting it up again in a unfinished basement {will get done some year} We have well water so it's going to be a change from my city water days. I had 6 t5ho's with 3 ballast's probably drop down to 4 or even 2 lights for a 110g tank {60x18x24}. I was looking more of the coast to run the lights an equipment in the long run {electric bill} We had all ways live in a apartment and ran my Eheim 2262,co2 set-up and all my lights.
If you go high tech with high light plants, that fixture with 6 bulbs would be perfect. I run something very similar over my 120G, which has the same dimension as yours just a little taller. And with three ballast, you have lots of room to play around with ramp up/ramp down and fine tuning your lighting. Burr740 here also runs six bulbs over a similar sized tank.

As to the costs of running the lights, in the scheme of things I doubt it's that much of a difference. To get high light out of LED's, you need plenty of watts as well, and a decent power draw (hence all the heat sinks needed with a powerful LED set up). I read a thread where someone ran the numbers once and it would take many lifetimes to make up the cost.
 
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VaughnH

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If you enjoy DIY projects, and your light suggests that you do, you may enjoy making a LED light. You get to learn about LEDs, and how they are used, how much light you get from how many LEDs, how to get the spectral distribution you want, etc. Today you can buy LEDs mounted on adhesive tape, powered with simple 12 VDC power supplies, and with cool white, natural white, warm white colors, or horticultural lights, which are mostly 660 nm red and some blue. No complicated heat sinks needed, just ordinary aluminum angle extrusions work great. See http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/.../136594-smd-led-tape-based-light-fixture.html for how I made the one I use now. It is the best light I have ever used!