How to Make T5/LED Combo Look like Metal Halides

sgrosenb

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Hi there,

I have a 165g tank that is 60x24x24. Currently I have a T5/LED combo which has 4x T5 and 4x EcoTech Radion XR15 G4 Pro's with diffusers. Par ranges from 150-200 at the bottom, up to 400+ at the very top of the water. My SPS are in roughly 250-350 throughout the tank.

About 10 years ago, I had an identical-sized tank with 3x 250W Metal Halide Radium 20k lights, 2x Super Actinic VHO's, and some blue LED's for night time. I absolutely LOVED that that look - the shimmer, the punch, etc was just perfect.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to emulate that same look with my T5/LED combo, but I'm hoping that @Dana Riddle or others can help me dial in my bulbs and LED settings to get it to be close.

My LED's settings are set to EcoTech's SPS AB+ setting, and as mentioned they have the diffusers. For my T5's I have 2x Blue+ and 2x Coral+. Here's the color % of the LED's:

1602870576518.png


I had talked with Joe @2Sunny and he mentioned that lower my reds might be a good start. I am open to getting new / different T5's if they would help my cause as well - maybe some blue actinics.

Any thoughts on how I can better mimic the look of a 20k MH Radion and super actinic would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

-Scott
 
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FishTruck

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Try the white slider bar adjusting up or down a little to have the most effect on what you are seeing - more blue or less blue.
I personally liked 20k MH and heavy blue LED supplementation when I was still using MH - and I found the AB+ minus a little white - to look similar.
 

Dana Riddle

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Hi there,

I have a 165g tank that is 60x24x24. Currently I have a T5/LED combo which has 4x T5 and 4x EcoTech Radion XR15 G4 Pro's with diffusers. Par ranges from 150-200 at the bottom, up to 400+ at the very top of the water. My SPS are in roughly 250-350 throughout the tank.

About 10 years ago, I had an identical-sized tank with 3x 250W Metal Halide Radium 20k lights, 2x Super Actinic VHO's, and some blue LED's for night time. I absolutely LOVED that that look - the shimmer, the punch, etc was just perfect.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to emulate that same look with my T5/LED combo, but I'm hoping that @Dana Riddle or others can help me dial in my bulbs and LED settings to get it to be close.
BuildMyLED built a LED strip light that mimicked the spectrum of a Radium 20K, and I wrote an article some years back that took a close look of its spectral qualities. That article is on reefs.com but I can't find it. Will continue searching.

My LED's settings are set to EcoTech's SPS AB+ setting, and as mentioned they have the diffusers. For my T5's I have 2x Blue+ and 2x Coral+. Here's the color % of the LED's:

1602870576518.png


I had talked with Joe @2Sunny and he mentioned that lower my reds might be a good start. I am open to getting new / different T5's if they would help my cause as well - maybe some blue actinics.

Any thoughts on how I can better mimic the look of a 20k MH Radion and super actinic would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

-Scott
 

oreo5457

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About 10 years ago, I had an identical-sized tank with 3x 250W Metal Halide Radium 20k lights, 2x Super Actinic VHO's, and some blue LED's for night time.

Lets start w/ a visualization.
What you had (w/ no accounting for power differences atm)

radium8.JPG


Most of the "heavy lifting was w/ 750W of the metal halides.
Notice it's fairly rich in "other than blue"..
And your LEDs are set to have less than that..
To make matters worse the LEd is short in >blue i.e cyan/blue green range
And that short spike at 540 is added to the radium output.

Well all a guess but "I'd" try
1) Going w/ a lower blue t5 i.e
Aquablue special..

Then cut the whites on the Radions down to possibly zero..
You'll get "white" w/ the Aquablue.

You may need to pair the aquablue w/ another deeper blue t5.

W/ the green and whites off and the rest set (t5's (all blue radion)
play w/ those sliders to see if anything helps..

So full "all blues" in the radions, add some 660nm red then adj G.whites to taste..
Shot in the dark but as I see it.. fairly cheap adjustment w/ using the aquablues.

I know aquablue is a lot like a coral plus but not quite..

anyways then you have 3 different t5's to play with.
Might as well get 2 true actinics as well.

My suggestion should make the tank whiter/blue which should match the "20000K" better.
Also won't rely on the led's for that white..
LED white is very different from t5 white....
If you think it's too "white" now then forget what I said above..



JUST a guess but as I see it.
 
BRS

Dana Riddle

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Not sure what happened to my previous post.... In any case, see here for spectral qualities of variouis LED combos. BuildMyLED (now Fluence Bioengineering) custom built the '20,000K LED strip light' - it mimicks the spectrum of a Radium 20,000K metal halide lamp.
 

oreo5457

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A couple if things
bml20000.JPG


And
It is not uncommon to find lamps rated as 6500K, 10000K, 11000K, 12000K, 12500K, 13000K, 14000K, 15000K, 18000K, 20000K and 50000K being sold in the hobby. As interpreted by reef aquarists, these numbers tend to convey the apparent "blueness" of the light emitted by the lamps. The aquarium lighting industry has used this color temperature interpretation as a way to label their lamps, and use it to signify how their lamps would appear in comparison to other lamps and as a selling point for their lamps. It has been my experience, however, that these numbers often seem to be rather arbitrarily created and often there is very little correlation between the scientifically defined term of color temperature and the label on the lamp, thereby making it more difficult for the aquarist to make choices based on color temperature ratings. In this article I will explain the concept of color temperature, its relationship to spectral power distribution, and the color temperature nuances of light sources.

bml20000.JPG
 
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2Wheelsonly

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Have you tried experimenting with the whites? I find the ab schedule to be overly white and dull but found that lowering green and red to 10% and dropping cool white down as low as 5% to off while leading warm white up to around 35 gives a good whiter shimmer. For some reason the Radion cool white really browns out the tank and the warm white mimics MH.

Too many T5 will hurt the shimmer effect too. Man I hate those things work so well for growing corals because T5 are just plain ugly and give no pop to corals.
 

jda

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The short answer is that you cannot do this. You can near the ballpark and you have a nice tank, but they are not the same.... nobody has figured this out in a the real world even though some think that everybody are idiots since it looks possible on paper.

The closest that I have ever seen are a few folks running their units up 2 feet above the water with all channels on/near 100%.
 
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Bpb

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The short answer is that you cannot do this. You can near the ballpark and you have a nice tank, but they are not the same.... nobody has figured this out in a the real world even though some think that everybody are idiots since it looks possible on paper.

The closest that I have ever seen are a few folks running their units up 2 feet above the water with all channels on/near 100%.

Agreed. The problem most people have with leds is they’re all being run too close to the water. The included mounting hardware is all just too short. And people don’t want a boat load of light pollution in their living rooms. Since the fixtures are so close they have to be dimmed down significantly. That’s the beauty of mounting them super high. You can crank the whites up to get in a comfortable par range and it looks more natural. Shimmer looks better too the higher up you get. Unfortunately everyone is so obsessed with how sleek their tanks look, and canopies are out of fashion. People want their little hockey puck sized lights directly over the water. With a out 1/2 to 1/4 the number of units they should be using. Perfect example of poor usage vs poor products
 

2Wheelsonly

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I have this dilemma with my hybrid setup, I have heard T5 really drop off when you start to get higher than 12 inches. I used to run my radions 16 inches off surface but now that I have T5 I have them at 13. Is my understanding of T5 height off?
 

A. grandis

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The short answer is that you cannot do this. You can near the ballpark and you have a nice tank, but they are not the same.... nobody has figured this out in a the real world even though some think that everybody are idiots since it looks possible on paper.

The closest that I have ever seen are a few folks running their units up 2 feet above the water with all channels on/near 100%.
I think I don't need to post anything else in regards to graphics. Thanks jda!
 
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A. grandis

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Not sure what happened to my previous post.... In any case, see here for spectral qualities of variouis LED combos. BuildMyLED (now Fluence Bioengineering) custom built the '20,000K LED strip light' - it mimicks the spectrum of a Radium 20,000K metal halide lamp.
Please note Dana used the word "mimic". That's all we can do when trying to replicate the look of a halide bulb with LEDs. It's going to be very hard to mimic the shimmer of halides though. Kessils maybe?
 
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oreo5457

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Please note Dana used the word "mimic". That's all we can do when trying to replicate the look of a halide bulb with LEDs. It's going to be very hard to mimic the shimmer of halides though. Kessils maybe?
Your MH starts out as a big point light source. That is then projected onto the facets of the big reflector
creating multiple point light sources..

Add surface agitation to various degrees and you get caustic lines (shimmer).

There is no magic here, just simple optics... fairly easily "mimic-ed"...

Then again, not everyone cares.. ;)
 
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FishTruck

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I am using T5 LED hybrid with Orpheks and ATI blue plus., all about 20 inches off the water.

The LEDS dominate the visible color for the 6 hours that they are on full power.

The T5s are enough to light the tank (visually) during the less intense parts of the light schedule and make a difference in the appearance of the tank and are also enough to light the tank (for viewing) without the LEDs on at all. So... you could just use the LEDs for the intense part of your photosynthesis and use the T5s to make the tank look pretty at the other parts of your light cycle... also also to fill in the shadows. I got this idea from the WWC 900 gallon tank video.

1603134892334.png
 

oreo5457

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Your MH starts out as a big point light source. That is then projected onto the facets of the big reflector
creating multiple point light sources..

Add surface agitation to various degrees and you get caustic lines (shimmer).

There is no magic here, just simple optics... fairly easily "mimic-ed"...

Then again, not everyone cares.. ;)

kona.JPG
 
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A. grandis

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regarding shimmer... the kessils make great shimmer lines. I have thought about adding a few of those just for the shimmer effect - maybe for Christmas.
Yeah, that is going to make it look great. That is the only LED fixture that could somehow mimic halides' shimmer. I think it looks great for a LED.
 

Perry

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And for this, I stick to ati to do heavy lifting, and reef bars to get that pop. I personally feel that led supplemented by t5 is not the same as t5 supplemented by led, just an opinion :) keep reefing on :)

Edit:
I speak this statement to availability of retro fit t5 fixtures, not to those who diy ati fixtures, that or use ati hybrid units. Tek and ati, both are up to the task for sps tanks. Led supplementation just adds the extra :)
 
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