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What LEDs are you using?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Kampi, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. Kampi

    Kampi Lifetime Charter Member
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    I am going to make the switch to LEDs from a fluorescent light system - I am interested to know what LED system you are using and your recommendations!


    I have been studying up on LED systems to change over from my fluorescent system. I am using a Compact Fluorescent and T5 HO Florescent fixture to light my 24 inch x 48 inch Amazon system with a water depth to the substrate of 24 inches. I have been looking at Tropical Marine Centre's AquaRay tiles: AquaGro 1500 Ultima: 30 Watt GroBeam and AquaGro 1500 Ultima: 30 watt Colour Plus as one option with a Storm X controller as well as the EcoTech Marine Radions XR15 Pro or XR15FW tiles.


    I like the AquaRays because they do not require a fan (30 Watts per tile) and are water proof with a 5 year guarantee. They do require a separate controller and are a bit pricey.

     


    The Radions have approximately twice the wattage as the AquaRays, so fewer tiles and hook up to the driver through an online system that looks appealing They do have a fan and are not water proof with a year warranty on the unit and 2 year warranty on the LEDs; this route will be less of an investment.



    Thanks - Joseph
     
  2. Kathy Yata

    Kathy Yata Junior Poster

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    I am using LEDzeal Malibu S, 5' unit with wired controller but there is a wireless and wifi controller available as well. 360 watts with 24 3 watt LEDs x 5 clusters. 4 channels and 8 time points. I liked the clean simple rectangle and that I could get it in aluminum finish rather than black. Warranty is only a year. Unit was made and shipped from China but support has been very good I needed and received a custom LED layout and extra long power cord.


    The fan on the power supply never turns off which is annoying but it does work great, unit never heats up. Fan on the lights is on once LED is at about 60% of maximum.


    I did not want individual units this time, too many power cords to hide!


    I really wanted ReefBreeders to work but my 72" long tank minus 5" for the peninsula overflow meant a 5' unit was perfect and at the time they didn't have such a beast, they do now that it is too late!
     
  3. Kampi

    Kampi Lifetime Charter Member
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    Kathy - thanks for sharing your set-up. How deep is your water column (water surface to substrate)?


    That is a huge LED fixture for a large aquarium. I have looked up LED Zeal as well as Reef Breaders and they both have impressive systems. I have a large brace in the middle of my aquarium (11 inches x 24 inches) and LEDs lose 25% of their light traveling through glass. Part of the cost of lighting my aquarium. I am looking forward to saving about $200 each year on electricity and not having to replace fluorescent tubes. My lights will be hidden by an Oak frame without a top (the frame top is at about 6 feet).
     
  4. Sukrol

    Sukrol Member

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    Kampi, the same thing happened to me when I was looking for LED's. Check out http://www.BuildMyLED.com they have the most PAR & even spread out there, and terrible marketing, that's why you didn't find them. They have a multi channel fixture where you can control each of the 3 channels with their proprietary SoLunar controller (while antiquated, It's fully programmable and will give you all the features that matter) or Apex or Reef Keeper. Like their name says they will also build you a custom LED if you're into specific spectrums, etc...


    The issue with tiles is that you always get a hotspot in the center. Decent manufacturers will give you par charts (measured IN WATER) and you will notice the difference.


    Let me know if I can answer any other questions, as I've done quite a bit of research on them...
     
  5. Kampi

    Kampi Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks Sukrol - I have looked at their site before; I took another look. I am leaning for a system in the 6500K range. Are you using LEDs from this company? What Kelvin range are you using and what controller?
     
  6. Solcielo lawrencia

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    The K does not really matter. A higher K may actually perform worse than a lower K because the red spectra attenuates rapidly under water. Since more red spectra causes shorter internode length, which creates the compact, bushy look of plants, it's better to have a light that has higher reds, but not so much that it's too red.
     
  7. Kampi

    Kampi Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks Solcielo - I agree about the higher Kelvin numbers salt water aquarists have vastly different needs (10,000K, 12,000K, etc.) . For me the Kelvin reference is valuable as a way of to visualize a chart. I want to try to emulate natural sunlight as much as possible; 6500K as I recall ... but maybe with some options. I am also seeing reference to Dutch Planted Tank at 6300K. Do you know anything about 6300K?


    I really appreciate the posts - I have already got several different options!
     
  8. Sukrol

    Sukrol Member

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    Kampi, I have 6 MC Dutch's 6300K with their SoLunar controller, I'm waiting for 2 more MC Nature spectrum 6500K (not on the website yet, right now they only offer the XB version). I'm really happy with them, I ordered the 6500K spectrum because I'm looking for more visual brightness, but their performance should be about the same as far as PAR & Growth results.


    The 6300K spectrum while it has great PAR (PAR & visual brightness are not necessarily co-related) It's so saturated that sometimes it makes you feel like the light is not bright enough, or even that the tank may need more light (which you will know it's not true from the results). I feel that the Nature Spectrum 6500K solves this issue...


    The SoLunar Controller like I said is very antiquated (only has 5 buttons), but It will allow you to create several photo-periods while allowing you to control the 3 channels independently at all times, that means the posibility of sunrise/sunset, moonlights & bursts of 1 or 2 channels (Red for example). It's not Wi-Fi capable, not remote controlled but at the end of the day it gets the job done...


    http://forum.buildmyled.com/index.ph...-profiles.788/


    If you choose to go with the XB series (they don't have the option of multi-channel control) all you have to do is buy the Dimmer, most people end up with algae problems if the lights are run at 100% for long periods of time.


    Check out their science section It's very informative, at the end of the day you're looking at one the most popular spectrums, which I like, but they also have a 30 Day return period if you don't like the spectrum or the light...


    If you have more technical questions talk to Cara Wade she handles customer service / support for the aquarium & horticulture divisions. She's very honest & pleasant to deal with...
     
    #8 Sukrol, Sep 30, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2015
  9. Sukrol

    Sukrol Member

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    Last thing, they are built to order, so they take 2-3 weeks to ship out, that annoys a lot of people but It's the price you pay for custom...


    The consumption of a 48" bar at 100% is 64 Watts... Pretty efficient if you ask me...
     
    #9 Sukrol, Sep 30, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 30, 2015
  10. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    BuildMyLED Dutch xB are my favorite. I have a few of them. Not cheap and takes a while to get it custom built and delivered. Worth it.


    I have Finnex too. Good but not as good as BML. Their product line is very confusing. There is one for every mood and season.


    I will never buy Marineland or Stark LEDs ever again. Bought several of them over the years - they are all dead.
     
  11. Solcielo lawrencia

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    Midday sun is around 5500K, but that doesn't translate well at all using artificial lighting sources, including LEDs. BML has a good write up on the reason why.


    Also, the K of sunlight at midday also changes depending on the latitude you are located. If you are in the very north, midday will appear much bluer than if you were near the equator.
     
  12. Kampi

    Kampi Lifetime Charter Member
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    That is what I am looking for - some of the wattage used for LEDs out there is huge. I am looking for something closer to the neighborhood of what you found.
     
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