6500k T5 Bulbs - Important Spectrums Missing in LEDs?

Rakie

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So I've had a lot of conversations with people regarding spectrums, T5 lights, what spectrums in T5 lights are responsible for making what colors pop, what spectrums in T5/MH fly under the radar. Also been reading threads from Dana Riddle where he claims Green spectrum is much more important than we realize...

Over the years we pick up on these subtle little clues that all end up as data points which could/should be connected..

For instance, I remember talking with gcarroll about some spectrums in the Radium 20k MH. I believe he had told me the 250w Radium had some slight peaks in Green/Red that he personally felt made it superior to the 400w, and offered improved coral growth/health. Seeing as he had quite a lot of experience in that area, I'm completely compelled to believe his personal experience.

And talking about Red/Green/Yellow spectrums, this brings up an old T5 trick MANY people have taken part in... Using the GE 6500k bulb. Some use the ATI AquaBlue Special bulb as a replacement for the 6500k as well. Looking through the FarmerTy build thread, I saw him say he's been using two 6500k bulbs -- I don't recall if they were Giesemann or GE bulbs though!

Looking at the GE 6500k Bulb Spectrum:



Looking at the Giesemann Tropic 6500k Bulb -- We see it's extremely similar, maybe a bit more Red/Green/Yellow/Orange spectrum:


And lastly, looking at the ATI AquaBlue Special, it looks again, almost the same. But with a little more blue mixed in to please the eye:


Looking at these bulbs, and seeing experienced SPS keepers who swear by the use of these spectrums, further adding in some of Dana Riddles research -- It makes me wonder;

With LED's, should we be adding in a little more Warm White / Red / Green spectrums? So let's look at the Radion G4 Pro's individual spectrums. And lastly all channels at max.

Radion G4 Pro -- Red LED Diode


Radion G4 Pro -- Green



Radion G4 Pro -- Warm White


Radion G4 Pro -- Cool White


Radion G4 Pro -- All Channels Max: You can see with the system running at about 10-12k, it's still low on the Yellow/Red/Green/Orange spectrums. Seeing this makes you wonder how much must be lacking when these diodes are at 24% or LESS, opposed to 100% as seen here.


This makes me wonder
-- could adding in a little more warm white, and cool white, significantly improve things for our SPS?

The warm white, and cool white, are clearly very broad spectrums, encompassing all of the missing spectrums our typical setups are lacking. Maybe the AB+ is a good basic lighting spectrum, but it is quite low in the green/red/yellow/orange spectrums.

The Easy Counter Argument -- WWC runs their own program, similar to the AB+ program but even less emphasis on Cool White, Warm White, Red, and Green led's. Moving them from 24% as seen in AB+, down to 20%.

_____________________________________________________

All thoughts and opinions are encouraged to promote a more open ended conversation!

So the questions so far;


  • Does anybody run elevated levels of Yellow/Red/Green/Orange spectrums on their Radion or other LED system? (I know Sanjay does according to his Reef Builders profile)
  • With LED's, should we be adding in a little more Yellow/Red/Green/Orange spectrums?
  • Do you think these Yellow/Red/Green/Orange spectrums are more important than we treat them?
  • Do you think Yellow/Red/Green/Orange spectrums are LESS important with LED's?
 
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Phelipe's Ocean

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Great read! Who knows this may be part of the reason a good chunk of corals grow slower under LED’s. My best guess on why most LED fixtures don’t have that much of those spectrums is because it makes the tank look very brown. People love 6500k for growth and its also very high in those spectrums your talking about. Im Trying out 10k halides to see how much improvement I get on growth I usually love to run my tanks very blue. In my opinion I do think they are more important than we treat them, and there is a great article on reef builders discussing how a full spectrum light source is required to being out certan colors. Right now im tunning my LED’s at about 14k and I have already seen a huge color improvement in everything, although the tank may look drab under 14k when the actinics come on the POP im getting is on a whole new level. My beach bum went from gold/yellow to having a redish rim and bright blue polyps. Same for other corals my Pink Floyd is turning to a really nice gold, and my Starburst monti cap looks amazing now I was never able to color it up under the spctrums I was running before. I personally think no matter what the light source the spectrum required is going to be the same. I am lighting a new system with 10k halides so I am excited to see how corals will color up and grow under them after its cycled.
 

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This looks like a great discussion! I'm moving this to our lighting forum to get some more eyes on it. :cool:
 
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Rakie

Rakie

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Thanks @Phelipe's Ocean I'm glad you've had some positive experience trying brighter spectrums with your LED lighting.

I've definitely considered raising my Warm White / Cool White LED's from the standard 24% to a higher 30% and seeing if there's a difference there myself.

With LED's I rarely like or suggest making big changes all at once. I advocate like 1% change per week. Maybe I'd increase the Warm White and Cool White by 1% every week for a bit, see how it looks at 30% visually..

I know of course Sanjay's tank looks great, and very colorful, he runs his radions all channels 100% and 100% intensity. Once your eyes adjust it's probably not that bad really.
 
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ca1ore

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Back in the 'good old days' of the late 1980's about the only acceptable reef lighting available was the Osram double ended neutral daylight bulb. I used a DuplaSun LI fixture with two 250 watt bulbs and the color temperature was very yellow (nominally 5500K). Soon after aquarium designed bulbs started to appear, Iwaskai 6500, then 10000k, then 20000K. It would be no small irony if all that 'innovation' served only to provide us with inferior options. I was in Florida a few months ago to do some diving, and it struck me that even at 20-30 feet, sunlight is much less blue than I see in my tank with radions. I do think there is still much progress to be made with reef tank lighting.
 
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dantimdad

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Back in the 'good old days' of the late 1980's about the only acceptable reef lighting available was the Osram double ended neutral daylight bulb. I used a DuplaSun LI fixture with two 250 watt bulbs and the color temperature was very yellow (nominally 5500K). Soon after aquarium designed bulbs started to appear, Iwaskai 6500, then 10000k, then 20000K. It would be no small irony if all that 'innovation' served only to provide us with inferior options. I was in Florida a few months ago to do some diving, and it struck me that even at 20-30 feet, sunlight is much less blue than I see in my tank with radions. I do think there is still much progress to be made with reef tank lighting.
I couldn't agree more. I keep wondering, lately, if we are going backwards in some arenas.

I remember explosive growth in the few SPS we had available to us in the early 90s running 4300K metal halide bulbs with a bunch of NO A03 fluorescent bulbs to try and bring in some more color other than pee. :)

So, if we could run these bulbs today along with the massive amounts of blue we have available, if we didn't bleach the corals, I would imagine growth would be unprecedented.

Thoughts?

I still say the prettiest coloration of fish I ever saw was under tritons, blue moons and GE aquarays mixed 1:2:1
 

WallyB

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Well Rakie.
You convinced me to try the ATI Aquablue Special a few days ago.
It's a Small change/add since I have 6x 54W Dimmable T5's that are x4 Blue Plus and x2 Coral Plus,
but I do have a center Channel also Dimmable T5 (39w) and that's where I put the ATI ABS. To gently introduce the ABS blub.

I will watch and see what happens on my New DT which is new start-up and just all Frags.
May swap out one of the Blue Plus 54W blubs for another ABS if I see improvement.
I'll do anything get the Frags to grow faster. The wait is painful. However I rather wait patiently then get speed bleaching going.
 

Dana Riddle

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I've got to get ready for MACNA, but will try to weigh in as I can. I've got some custom-built LED strip lights (thank you Orphek and Fluence Bioengineering!) and will look at rates of zooxanthellae photosynthesis under narrow bandwidths using a PAM fluorometer. I'll take a look at those wavelengths normally considered to be 'junk', photosynthetically speaking (green, yellow, infrared, etc.) With that said, I once grew corals using a Feit metal halide from Home Depot (4,000K, if I recall correctly.) I think I still have spectral data on a disk...
 
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Rakie

Rakie

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I've got to get ready for MACNA, but will try to weigh in as I can. I've got some custom-built LED strip lights (thank you Orphek and Fluence Bioengineering!) and will look at rates of zooxanthellae photosynthesis under narrow bandwidths using a PAM fluorometer. I'll take a look at those wavelengths normally considered to be 'junk', photosynthetically speaking (green, yellow, infrared, etc.) With that said, I once grew corals using a Feit metal halide from Home Depot (4,000K, if I recall correctly.) I think I still have spectral data on a disk...
I personally would LOVE to see the diode layout of your Orphek and Fluence LED bars. I'm going to be getting an orphek LED bar soon and will probably go the custom route.

I know it's crunch time for ya, so if you have too much going on don't worry, I'll remember after MACNA :D
 
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dantimdad

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I've got to get ready for MACNA, but will try to weigh in as I can. I've got some custom-built LED strip lights (thank you Orphek and Fluence Bioengineering!) and will look at rates of zooxanthellae photosynthesis under narrow bandwidths using a PAM fluorometer. I'll take a look at those wavelengths normally considered to be 'junk', photosynthetically speaking (green, yellow, infrared, etc.) With that said, I once grew corals using a Feit metal halide from Home Depot (4,000K, if I recall correctly.) I think I still have spectral data on a disk...
Yes, that is the bulb I am talking about. I might have been mistaken thinking it was 4300K. That may have been a Sylvania bulb that looked absolutely horrible. We couldn't put enough blue with it to even come close to balancing the color.

I hope you have the spectral data. It would be interesting to see. (Dusts off old tar ballast...)
 

dantimdad

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This also begs the question: Could we balance aesthetics and growth by running pure 5500K (or whatever spectrum we deem necessary for maximum growth) MH during the period when we can't see the tank (or are willing to put up with it looking like lemonade) and Run a separate setup purely for coloration/viewing pleasure for the couple/few hours we are home with the tank?

I think this would be very, very interesting to try.

My current LED setup allows for this to happen so I could try it. Although the spectrum only goes down to about 6500K with enough PAR to grow anything. That is why I suggested MH.

I might do this for a while on the 93 cube as it would be easy enough to run a cheap metal halide bulb on it with the ballastsd I have already. (Philips 150/175watt electronic and old tar ballast from sylvania) and run the A1P the rest of the time.
 

LobsterOfJustice

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I find it interesting that the old common MH wisdom was that lower kelvin spectrum lead to faster growth, and higher kelvin spectrum sacrificed growth for better color. Therefore most people ran some balance in the middle, like 10k, with additional actinic supplementation to help color. Now it seems like we have completely thrown that out the window and people run little to no white spectrum. I think part of it has to do with the direction of the hobby, more people are buying colorful little confetti flecks and there is much less focus on growing out colonies you can see from across the room.

I’m struggling because I don’t like the look of a blue tank, but I also would like to bring out the color in my corals. For me, it’s a balance of making the corals look good while still keeping the overall visual color of the tank desirable.

I’ve still got the VHO actinic retrofit from my old MH setup, I’m just trying to figure out how to fit it in my canopy with the current LEDs and T5s... I had been running 2x Tropic 6500k T5s and 2x Blue plus along with my Kessils (run at 80% color), but I think the frags in my frag tank have better growth and color under 1 BP and 1 ABS, so I recently swapped out my 6500k tubes with an ABS and a CP. I liked the look of the tank before but want to see if the coral colors themselves improve.
 
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jda

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If you all want to see real spectrum charts for MH bulbs, you can go to reefs.com/lighting. These are not smoothed over like LED manufacturer charts, but are pretty raw with some spikes and rough spots.

I think that everybody knows that I think that LED is missing "something," but I also think that it has too much of "something." Other than just spectrum, 6500k source will have SIGNIFICANTLY more PAR/output than most of today's lighting, yet corals thrive. I have a theory that coral can take all kinds of light as long as they are not overwhelmed in one particular area - think sunlight with it's massive output, yet spread out. Attached below is a chart comparing the 250w Iwasaki 6500K to the the famous HQI (330w) 20k Radium. The 131 PPFD of the Iwasaki is 54% more output than the Radium (with less wattage) yet corals thrive. If anybody turned their Radions, Hydras, RB V2, etc. up 54%, stuff would fry. I think that the problem with diodes is that they put too too many peaks in just a few areas and they burn coral - we all know that there are some white diodes that MUST be kept low or else corals will die.

If LED did not have too much of "something" then why will going from 350 to 500 PAR burn the tops of acropora under LED, but if you did the same thing with T5 or MH (any temp of bulb), they just thrive more.



I will admit that I run 14k MH bulbs so that I do not have to supplement with any tubes. I make this compromise. Fortunately, the 14k Phoenix and 20k Radium (really more like a 14k than a 20k) also get good growth. I absolutely would have better growth with Hamilton or XM 10k.

Do not forget that lights both have to render color in coral, but also illuminate them. The best color rendering happens under daylight. The best illumination (for today's standards) is in the bluer range. This is why corals that have a good amount of 6500k when getting their color look great when placed under bluer lighting - just ask anybody who has gotten stuff from Adam... however, that color can fade when the 6500k source is no longer provided.
 
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jda

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FWIW - if you were to match wattage between the Iwasaki 6500k and Radium 20k with the m80/HQI ballast, the output is well more than double at 122% increase. How come this would make coral thrive, yet LEDs burn coral with way less output? The answer is not that "they are more powerful" or "lenses," but I do not know what it is really.

 
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jda

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Rakie - did you read all of the posts on Emerson Effect? Although I do not think that there is any definite conclusion, you can make up your own mind with some ok indications on both sides. Personally, I have seen enough benefit from light sources with far-red (IR) that I believe it, or at least am leaning this way. This is why Orphek said that they added IR to their v4.

Lasse is also a huge supporter of green and has some research - he will probably chime in sooner or later.
 

Battlecorals

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I use mostly tropics in my t5 fixtures, and all my Leds run with warm /neutral whites at 100%. Still running 65k iwasakis as well lol I do believe that once corals adapt or "acclimate" they will thrive under high white light. or just about any "high" light for that matter, that provides what they need.

IMG_5637.jpg
 

Dana Riddle

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This also begs the question: Could we balance aesthetics and growth by running pure 5500K (or whatever spectrum we deem necessary for maximum growth) MH during the period when we can't see the tank (or are willing to put up with it looking like lemonade) and Run a separate setup purely for coloration/viewing pleasure for the couple/few hours we are home with the tank?

I think this would be very, very interesting to try.

My current LED setup allows for this to happen so I could try it. Although the spectrum only goes down to about 6500K with enough PAR to grow anything. That is why I suggested MH.

I might do this for a while on the 93 cube as it would be easy enough to run a cheap metal halide bulb on it with the ballastsd I have already. (Philips 150/175watt electronic and old tar ballast from sylvania) and run the A1P the rest of the time.
That very subject was the gist of a presentation Andy and I made to the Florida Marine Aquarium Society in 1998. As for LEDs, Shaq Dupree runs his Radions on full white spectrum for 3-4 hours each morning and then switches to violet/blue light when the store opens.
 
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