Anyone still using the black box leds?

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acperge

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Just like the title asks, anyone still using the Chinese black box LED lights? I've been away from the hobby a while, and just getting back into it. I have never tried them, but I recall them being quite the rage several years ago. Curious if they've withstood the test of time?

Anyone that's still using them?
 

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I am as well. marsaqua for me. Currently 4x300watt units. I will be adding 4 more here soon.

Getting great growth from my lps and Zoas. Sps were growing prior to alk issues
 
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I own a total of 9 black boxes and use 7 on my four tank 450G system. The blue emitters tend to darken and lose intensity at around 10,000 hours. I simply solder all new emitters onto the blue channel after two years and they are good to go.
 
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acperge

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I own a total of 9 black boxes and use 7 on my four tank 450G system. The blue emitters tend to darken and lose intensity at around 10,000 hours. I simply solder all new emitters onto the blue channel after two years and they are good to go.

Have you used any other lighting on the system before the LEDs? I've been a metal halide guy, and was curious on growth compared between the two. It seems like anymore MH is a dead tech and T5 or LED is where everyone landed.
 

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I used to have MH, VHO and T-5 over the tank. I grow SPS and use a lot of light and a lot of flow. My display used to have 3) 400w MH and 2) 160w VHO's for 13 hours a day for a total of 1420 watts along with over $500 in bulb replacement annually. Now I have a total of 550 watts with about $20 in emitter replacement every second year. My corals grow about 80% as fast as they used to but they grow fast enough that I supply a LFS with SPS full time and my hobby pays for itself.
 

jck3120

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Hey Tony, I switched from 250w Radiums to reefbreeders LED's over my 300DD and wouldn't ever go back. Had some issues with the sps transitioning in the beginning but once the corals are used to it I've had great luck with them. The lack of heat issues in the summer, along with the lower electric bill, and no $250 yearly bulb replacement fee is so much nicer. I'm now running 5 plus a reefbrite strip over the tank. I'm still in Flushing so you're welcome to come check them out before you buy if you want. There's a lot more expensive LEDs out there but for the money I've been very happy with the reefbreeders.
 

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The black boxes are still inferior to the high end ones in a lot of ways. Ie, better leds, better spectrum, better control with dimming and brightening through controller, better ballasts, etc. That being said, I still would get the black boxes over the other ones. They are way cheaper, and still offer good value. Yes, you may have to replace a ballast after a year or 2 sometimes, but it's an easy switch.
They will all grow corals.

MH I still believe to be the best for growth however we know there are lots of drawbacks with them.
If I had solar, my combo would be MH/T5 combination handsdown.
 
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acperge

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Hey Tony, I switched from 250w Radiums to reefbreeders LED's over my 300DD and wouldn't ever go back. Had some issues with the sps transitioning in the beginning but once the corals are used to it I've had great luck with them. The lack of heat issues in the summer, along with the lower electric bill, and no $250 yearly bulb replacement fee is so much nicer. I'm now running 5 plus a reefbrite strip over the tank. I'm still in Flushing so you're welcome to come check them out before you buy if you want. There's a lot more expensive LEDs out there but for the money I've been very happy with the reefbreeders.

Hey! I thought you were out of the hobby! Glad to know there's still a local around! I used to run 3 25ow pheonix bulbs on my 180 and loved the results, but I'm starting up a 120 for the living room and was hoping to save some heat and money! Do you think I should run 2 or 3 of the boxed over a 120? It's 48x24x24. I don't have any corals yet, trying to finalize lighting before I add any corals. I wonder if three is overkill on a 48 inch tank? I don't want a bunch of shadows and spotlighting either. I also found some wifi controllable boxes for a bit more, but not sure how reliable those are compared.
 
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acperge

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The black boxes are still inferior to the high end ones in a lot of ways. Ie, better leds, better spectrum, better control with dimming and brightening through controller, better ballasts, etc. That being said, I still would get the black boxes over the other ones. They are way cheaper, and still offer good value. Yes, you may have to replace a ballast after a year or 2 sometimes, but it's an easy switch.
They will all grow corals.

MH I still believe to be the best for growth however we know there are lots of drawbacks with them.
If I had solar, my combo would be MH/T5 combination handsdown.

I don't mind a little DIY work, so long as they're actually repairable. I know a lot of times the cheap Chinese stuff is one and done. So I was worried about longevity. Glad to hear they're repairable.
 
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acperge

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I used to have MH, VHO and T-5 over the tank. I grow SPS and use a lot of light and a lot of flow. My display used to have 3) 400w MH and 2) 160w VHO's for 13 hours a day for a total of 1420 watts along with over $500 in bulb replacement annually. Now I have a total of 550 watts with about $20 in emitter replacement every second year. My corals grow about 80% as fast as they used to but they grow fast enough that I supply a LFS with SPS full time and my hobby pays for itself.


Sounds like you have this hobby figured out! I'm jealous! I've only known it to be a money pit! LOL
 

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Sounds like you have this hobby figured out! I'm jealous! I've only known it to be a money pit! LOL
Its only taken over $20K+, and eleven years to realize that you do not need every new fancy coral that is new to the market. Also, in order to sell 30-50 frags a month you have to grow and make 30-50 frags a month. Its called a part time job at that point.
 

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IMG_1173.JPG


Just after I put them up back in October 2016.

Since have raised them up to 13" off water to eliminate some shadowing.

Channels roughly the same at 20% b-10%w.
 
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trido

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Just after I put them up back in October 2016.

Since have raised them up to 13" off water to eliminate some shadowing.

Channels roughly the same at 20% b-10%w.
Wow, you are only running them at 20%? I run mine at 75% over a 30" deep SPS tank and grow SPS almost on the bottom
 

Flippers4pups

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Wow, you are only running them at 20%? I run mine at 75% over a 30" deep SPS tank and grow SPS almost on the bottom

I started out at 20-10 and raised them up to 30-20 after several weeks and they started to lighten up in color. So I went back down to 20-10 and after a couple of weeks they regained their color. Been there ever since. They are very powerful lights! All my sps are higher up do to having them over T5's starting out.
 

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I used to have MH, VHO and T-5 over the tank. I grow SPS and use a lot of light and a lot of flow. My display used to have 3) 400w MH and 2) 160w VHO's for 13 hours a day for a total of 1420 watts along with over $500 in bulb replacement annually. Now I have a total of 550 watts with about $20 in emitter replacement every second year. My corals grow about 80% as fast as they used to but they grow fast enough that I supply a LFS with SPS full time and my hobby pays for itself.
Respect !!!!!:cool:
 
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