Best lighting on the market? Is there one?

A. grandis

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 15, 2012
Messages
3,449
Reaction score
1,987
The most unscientific verse ever uttered...

Every time I dance, it rains. Therefore my dancing makes it rain.




My experience is that dancing makes it rain...therefore that is a fact, and you cannot argue with it
You might have experiences dancing for rain. I don't.
Incorrect
We are talking about results from hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people for more than 3 decades. We are talking about facts of physics shared in this forum, and from serious hobbyists in the past years around the globe. Some serious coral farmers! The guy who introduced LEDs in this hobby brings lots of facts about the subject too! People that actually have experiences with all types of lighting, including LEDs, but care about their results, and not about saving electricity, for example. People who know better.
We are NOT talking about those who bought their LEDs and need to convince themselves they invested in the best lighting just because they spend so much money to get those and that has to be the best no matter what! Or those who never saw nor had any experiences with halides and want to defend their LED fixtures just because. Not talking about those newbies that had been told that if those "YouTube channels" and "the best stores" are using, then that is officially the best. Not to mention those who love to bring some graphics to prove others wrong, but never actually had any experiences with reef tanks at all. Yes, we have that here too!
Please do your search about the subject and find out yourself!
Science should be the way to prove what we see happening in the first place, not isolate PAR as the main lighting subject or definition of good/bad lighting.

Your comparison shows how much you want to know about facts.
I don't think anyone here wants to dance for rains. They just want to have the best reef tank they could and IMO halides + T5s will get them more than half way there!

If we just lay our opinions here and stop trying to prove stuff against each other this thread could be better. My opinion won't change. I just want share the truth, also shared by many others. Are we all wrong? Did you even try?

If you like your LEDs please keep them. I'm sure you must be very happy with your results. I'm fine with that. Enjoy your tank. If one day you change for halides, you can come back here and thank me for saying that. I'm humble enough to be very happy for you. Many did that before and we are all friends.

Post your opinions in this thread and just have fun, because that is what this thread should be actually for!
 
Last edited:
Maxout

vetteguy53081

Well known Member and monster tank lover
View Badges
Marketplace Rating
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
45,287
Reaction score
103,552
Location
Wisconsin-Florida in a year
Right now, The PAR and colr blends from Orphek OR3 light bars are hard to beat and affordable. Blue plus are excellent
 

mmorriso

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
80
Reaction score
53
It's quite rare for someone to truly want the "best" lighting.

What most people want is the "best" lighting that fits within a set of constraints that are particular to them.

Many people may have constraints around form factor and mounting. LED lamps generally occupy less space and are easier to mount.

Many people may have constraints around thermal output. LED lamps generally generate less heat (Both within and without) the tank, so most people can integrate LED lighting without also providing a chiller or other environmental controls.

Many people may have constraints around ongoing maintenance, spares and perishables. LED lamps generally require less maintenance over time. Excluding in service failures, LED lamps are designed to work until they fail. T5 and metal halide fixtures will require a periodic bulb swap to maintain their function and may require occasional ballast replacement. Owners need to track bulb lifecycle diligently, as performance may degrade without an impact that is discernible to the human eye.

It is possible to approach the light output characteristics of T5 and metal halide lamps using LED fixtures. It is not possible for T5 and metal halide fixtures to operate within the same constraints as an LED fixture.

If you are not constrained in any of the ways I have mentioned, a combination of metal halide and T5 lamps is likely (Perhaps conclusively) the "best" lighting, with supplemental LEDs for aesthetics if required.

Even in a commercial setting, you will find that the environment is constrained. It is uncommon to find metal halides still in use in a commercial setting, as the energy costs associated with powering the lamps and managing their heat output does not make them cost effective. From this you can see that even in an environment where there is a strong incentive to optimise purely for coral growth and coloration, the operating costs associated with metal halides have reduced their prevalence.
 
Last edited:

Mike konesky

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
155
Reaction score
145
It's quite rare for someone to truly want the "best" lighting.

What most people want is the "best" lighting that fits within a set of constraints that are particular to them.

Many people may have constraints around form factor and mounting. LED lamps generally occupy less space and are easier to mount.

Many people may have constraints around thermal output. LED lamps generally generate less heat (Both within and without) the tank, so most people can integrate LED lighting without also providing a chiller or other environmental controls.

Many people may have constraints around ongoing maintenance, spares and perishables. LED lamps generally require less maintenance over time. Excluding in service failures, LED lamps are designed to work until they fail. T5 and metal halide fixtures will require a periodic bulb swap to maintain their function and may require occasional ballast replacement. Owners need to track bulb lifecycle diligently, as performance may degrade without an impact that is discernible to the human eye.

It is possible to approach the light output characteristics of T5 and metal halide lamps using LED fixtures. It is not possible for T5 and metal halide fixtures to operate within the same constraints as an LED fixture.

If you are not constrained in any of the ways I have mentioned, a combination of metal halide and T5 lamps is likely (Perhaps conclusively) the "best" lighting, with supplemental LEDs for aesthetics if required.

Even in a commercial setting, you will find that the environment is constrained. It is uncommon to find metal halides still in use in a commercial setting, as the energy costs associated with powering the lamps and managing their heat output does not make them cost effective. From this you can see that even in an environment where there is a strong incentive to optimise purely for coral growth and coloration, the operating costs associated with metal halides have reduced their prevalence.
One reason companies are going to LEDs instead of halides is because they pretty much get them for free. Store use xr30 $420. Sell it next year for $450 and get a gen 6? Of course! Why make $100 off a customer buying a halide setup when you can make $300-$400 per light? Or $10 profit twice a year when people replace bulbs
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

oreo5457

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,719
Reaction score
1,645
No real proof besides me currently sitting in a room with 26 radions and knowing what they cost and sell for
Normal retail markup is 100%..Can be as high as 300%..usually for low cost items
Markets differ.
Buying in volume usually includes a discount..
No manuf is "giving them" away. It would be financial suicide.
 

CK00020

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
522
Reaction score
341
Location
Wisconsin
One reason companies are going to LEDs instead of halides is because they pretty much get them for free. Store use xr30 $420. Sell it next year for $450 and get a gen 6? Of course! Why make $100 off a customer buying a halide setup when you can make $300-$400 per light? Or $10 profit twice a year when people replace bulbs
I would say you are pretty much spot on with this comment, and they don’t have a huge power bill.
 

oreo5457

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,719
Reaction score
1,645
What's normal markup on halide bulbs? T5 bulbs? You know how little retail makes on those?
Better be good to make up for breakage..
Markup should be the same Cheap MH's cost what $15 meaning you can get them for $7 wholesale in large lots.
Techs the same as "fancy" salted Reef ones but manuf in small lots.. Wholesale on bulbs should be around $25 for a $50 bulb.
Can't cover overhead ect w/ less.. So yea selling bulbs at like $50 of wholesale (say bulb costs $35 and sold for $50 is really economic suicide for the retailer..unless you can sell HUGE volumes..
Not even worth the shelf space more of a public service..

Soo tell me if it's soo great why can't you sell a MH bulb for 100% of cost?
Someones screwing someone.. ;)
 

Mike konesky

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
155
Reaction score
145
So do you have actual numbers from a wholesale supplier, or are you just guessing? Here's an example:. I pay $70 for a 400 watt radium and it retails for $83. I pay $19 for a 4ft blue plus, it retails for $24. You sound like you are guessing, I am not.
 
Corals.com

mmorriso

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
80
Reaction score
53
One reason companies are going to LEDs instead of halides is because they pretty much get them for free. Store use xr30 $420. Sell it next year for $450 and get a gen 6? Of course! Why make $100 off a customer buying a halide setup when you can make $300-$400 per light? Or $10 profit twice a year when people replace bulbs

I was speaking more about aquaculture facilities, rather than LFS's.

I would have thought LFS's use LED's because that's what most of their customers have and what people want to see corals under.

I live in a country with very hot summers and I have not seen a halide in use for a number of years now in a commercial setting. It's actually only hobbyists that still seem to have them, as they are more willing to make the cost / benefit trade-off while having a lower number of fixtures, generally.
 

oreo5457

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,719
Reaction score
1,645
So do you have actual numbers from a wholesale supplier, or are you just guessing? Here's an example:. I pay $70 for a 400 watt radium and it retails for $83. I pay $19 for a 4ft blue plus, it retails for $24. You sound like you are guessing, I am not.
Going by averages .. Worked in Jewelry retail and manuf for 20 years.. These are sort of normal business
practices.
Keystone pricing is a pricing strategy retailers use as an easy rule of thumb. Essentially, it's when a retailer determines a retail price by simply doubling the wholesale cost they paid for a product.
And exceptions to the rules . There are always exceptions.. and different areas w/ "what the market will bear pricing".



I pay $70 for a 400 watt radium and it retails for $83.
you lose money with every sale..

If you accidentally break a bulb in the store you now lost the profit on 5 bulbs.
you use 10 bulbs in your store and you need to sell 50 to pay for them.

Like I said a public service. Best make a decent profit on the fixture.. If not you are doubling down your losses.
say bulb costs $35 and sold for $50.....I pay $70 for a 400 watt radium and it retails for $83.
Funny huh.

One reason companies are going to LEDs instead of halides is because they pretty much get them for free.
THAT's what I was asking proof of.
 
Last edited:

mmorriso

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
80
Reaction score
53
you lose money with every sale..

Well, to be fair, Keystone pricing is just one pricing strategy and it's not normally applied to commodity items like bulbs.

In fact, for commodities or staples, Loss Leading or Cost Plus is just as common a pricing strategy to get the customer into the store to buy more specialised items like coral and other livestock where there is not a standard market benchmark price.
 

oreo5457

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,719
Reaction score
1,645
Well, to be fair, Keystone pricing is just one pricing strategy and it's not normally applied to commodity items like bulbs.

In fact, for commodities or staples, Loss Leading is just as common a pricing strategy to get the customer into the store to buy more specialised items like coral and other livestock where there is not a standard market benchmark price.

$10.. and the exact same manuf technology goes into a $90 bulb..with added salts of course.

and we could argue marketing strategies all you want.. That loss leader bulb can lead to an LED sale .. ;)

Manf are price fixing in a lot of areas today.. Radion, Kessil, Apple, ect..ect..ect..Geisseman? ect.
Want to add a markup chain from manuf.. distributor..wholsaler..retailer..?

Loss leader generally implies selling under wholesale (def is flexible) . In some places/things it's still illegal I think.
Favors big box stores over ma and pa.
Even that strategy is complicated:

One reason companies are going to LEDs instead of halides is because they pretty much get them for free.
Again, my main question..

Though about this for a minute soo one strategy is to sell MH's and bulbs to insure return customers to buy regular or over priced merchandise.
Which you can't do w/ an LED sale since the light may last for up to 5 years or more..
so pushing MH's is more in the long run profitable for retailers..
Ahhh.. tricky.. (sorry my suspicious nature)
 
Last edited:
Fritz
Deltec
Top