How to Make T5/LED Combo Look like Metal Halides

oreo5457

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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.
Why Metal halides shimmer and why Kessils will look not quite like it..
Now think aboutall those point light sources coming from a 1" dia area ala Kessil.
DSC01537_edited.JPG


So shimmer is talked about like it's one thing, but it's not entirely. You have things like shimmer lines at the bottom of the tank which is what is being talked about here. With shimmer lines, yes the Kessils can totally be overwhelming at times -- but that can be mitigated with the diffusers, at least for the AP700. MH doesn't really have this problem since the reflectors create a huge area of light.

So, why is it that I tend to refer to a Kessil light as having more natural shimmer than even MH when it requires diffusion to be calmed down? Well, that comes down to another aspect of shimmer that is often overlooked: rays of light. The one thing that you get with Kessil more so than any other light I've personally seen (and I'm not claiming to have seen anywhere near close to them all) is the appearance of the rays of light breaking through the surface and shining down to the bottom of the tank. I believe generally they are referred to as "god rays". This is something that absolutely appears on real reefs that you don't get with most other lighting sources.

So while the Kessils absolutely do benefit from either diffusion or reducing surface agitation, that is somewhat offset by the fact that they offer this additional aspect of "shimmer" that even MH doesn't really provide. When I look into my tank I don't just notice the shimmer because of the ripples appearing on the surfaces inside the tank, but because of the dancing rays of light that you get as well. I found that once I added the diffusion lenses I got the benefit of reduced shimmer lines on the bottom while still keeping the appearance of sun rays coming through the water. I actually think the most natural look you can probably get is by using a small amount of T5s just to get cover along with an AP700 (without diffusers). That way the Ap700 drives the majority of the light and provides the shimmer and god rays, but the T5s help balance out some of the extreme dancing you get at the bottom of the tank. I haven't tried it yet though.

Anyway, that's where I was coming from. I now realize I've spent way too much time and energy thinking about this lol.

EDIT: I also want to add that I think people under estimate how extreme shimmer can be on a real reef. I don't know if you are a diver or not, but I've absolutely been in shallow reefs that have shimmer right up there with a Kessil light. It's just that, again, in a small box it tends feel amplified because you focus on it. Out in a real reef, you don't tend to focus on it as much because you're not staring at like 8sq feet of reef at a time lol.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2620992&page=2

Keep in mind that surface agitation controls all of this...
 
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sgrosenb

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Thanks all this is extremely helpful. I played with a bunch of my settings and, as stated here, couldn't seem to come close to replicating the MH shimmer.

One thing I noticed - no one mentioned the diffusers I'm using. Do you think those could be making a difference? I really, really disliked the disco ball effect that my Radions produced without them, but I'm wondering if maybe that will help. I could certainly lift my lights up much higher if I removed the diffusers; as it stands now I run my LED's at 100% (well, it ends up being ~65% in total because reds, whites, etc are lower) at about 9" but without diffusers I'd guess I could bump up the lights to 12"+ above the water. Think that would help?
 

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Raising the lights higher will improve the shimmer. Is it the shimmer you’re trying to replicate more closely or the color? I know it’s both but what seems to be the most disappointing? Truth be told, with my MH I had very little shimmer. Sometimes I couldn’t even notice it. But I use gyre pumps and they tend to create a fast moving but otherwise fairly uniform “sheet” of water moving across the surface. Not exactly ripples. Have you tried running 4 true actinic t5 bulbs and raising your white and green diode intensities? I can’t comment on your specific combo you’re trying to emulate, from experience, but I’m fairly easily able to nail the look of Hamilton 14k and 20k bulbs by just manipulating the white, green, and to a lesser extent red intensities. Shimmer is about the same.
 
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sgrosenb

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Thanks @Bpb to be honest its tough for me to say exactly what I'm aiming for the most. Maybe a better word for it would be "pop". And not pop of the corals (although thats always good) but pop of the tank in general. I just remember my old tank (we're talking 10+ years ago so memory fades) was absolutely beautiful whenever I looked at it. Bright, shimmering, pop. With my LEDs /T5 I remember being so disappointed the second I turned them on. Almost like "wait this cant be right".
 

Bpb

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Thanks @Bpb to be honest its tough for me to say exactly what I'm aiming for the most. Maybe a better word for it would be "pop". And not pop of the corals (although thats always good) but pop of the tank in general. I just remember my old tank (we're talking 10+ years ago so memory fades) was absolutely beautiful whenever I looked at it. Bright, shimmering, pop. With my LEDs /T5 I remember being so disappointed the second I turned them on. Almost like "wait this cant be right".

I suppose you’ve already considered it, but have you maybe given any thought to returning to metal halides?
 

shred5

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About the closest I have come is using Kessil and T-5.
They give the look with the shimmer lines, you have to play a little with the surface agitation. The shimmer of the Kessil is pretty aggressive.
Will I get the exact spectrum and exact look no, but it looks close.

One issue is allot of the corals out there are for oversaturated blue lighting and the dayglo black light look.
It could partly be the corals you have.

Then again I am seriously thinking of getting halides for this tank yet.
 
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sgrosenb

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I suppose you’ve already considered it, but have you maybe given any thought to returning to metal halides?
Funny you should ask @Bpb ! I am seriously considering it, so long as I can convince my wife! I've started my search and I'm considering the following (but I'm wide open to suggestions and recommendations):

  • Tank dimensions are 60x24x24
  • 3x 250W Metal Halide 20k Radium with Lumen Bright Mini Reflectors
  • 3x Reef Brite Digital Dimmable ballasts
  • 4x T5 ATI True Actinic
  • 1x or 2x Reef Brite Blue XHO LED Strip

I think that will closely mirror what I had before. I'm not 100% sure on the 20k Radium... I could be convinced of other bulbs but I think that is what I had.

Anyone have any thoughts? I was going to start another thread asking if I need the T5 actinics and the Reef Brite LED's but I think I do. I don't want the tank to be too blue though....
 

Bpb

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I can tell you that you won’t be able to fit all of those. I’d forego the T5’s. The metal halides will do 100% of the heavy lifting. The leds will just be for some evening flavor to extend the photoperiod. The halides are 16.5” in diameter. Which leaves less than 8” total depth to use. You just aren’t going to be doing much besides wasting watts by having light strips pointed too hard inward, or straight down at the glass. Most t5 retro’s will take up 2” per bulb which will max you out entirely space wise
 

90's reefer

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You could get by with 2 250 watt de 14k phoenix bulbs in mini reflectors.
I run 2 on my 120 with no additional light.
They have the spread to cover a 5' tank at 14" off the water, imo.
20201009_194958.jpg
 
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sgrosenb

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Cool thanks @90's reefer . And absolutely great point @Bpb I didn't think of that... On my old tank I just looked up the build thread and it looks like I did 3x 250W MH and then 2x VHO Super Actinics which gave more space. However I didn't have an LED strip; I just had a few small LED's for night time viewing. So you'd take the Reef Brite's over the fluorescent actinics?
 

rgulrich

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I've been using ViparSpectra for the broad-brush PAR support, and Kessils for a bit more punch during the middle of the day - with the added benefit (to my eyes) of glitter lines and very high CRI. I've always liked the Iwasaki Eye Clean Ace (about 5500K) appearance, and this current LED setup reminds me a lot of that "look" while still providing more than enough support for the reef photosynthesis.
I removed the 90' lenses from the ViparSpectra to improve blending and placed a diffraction lens on each fixture to further enhance color blending. They pretty much produce a solid band of color with no separation this way. While I drive the Kessils at 100%, the ViparSpectra are at 40% Blue and 25% White channels, and the power consumption as well as resultant temperature is pretty low. This easily supports acropora down to the bottom of my 300.

I ran a comparison between two PAR meters for the club with this setup, and here's the results with at 40% Blue and 20% White, and the Kessil A360WEs at 100% and White end of the spectrum:
B8yNBmh.jpg


Read: MQ-510 ViparSpectra, Viparspectra + Kessil / BTM3000 ViparSpectra, Viparspectra + Kessil
cneMWp8.jpg


Power consumption (note, the ViparS are in banks of two each, and the Kessils in banks of three):
jOS73WX.jpg


And I guess what it looks like from the doorway:
Eq8L70X.jpg


...and up close:
LrhIPNj.jpg

sA9eTo5.jpg

CGVdYsJ.jpg

Ni6zHw5.jpg


I wish I had a video lying about, but I think you get the idea.
Hope this helps with your adventures!
Cheers,
Ray :cool:
 

oreo5457

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As to color and pop some interesting stuff.
 

FishTruck

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Why Metal halides shimmer and why Kessils will look not quite like it..
Now think aboutall those point light sources coming from a 1" dia area ala Kessil.

That's a beautiful shot! Love the color and corals. On the comment about shimmer from kessils versus MH filaments...

Yes and no. The kessil combines all the LEDs to a single point (almost) which creates shimmer without the disco effect of radions close to the water. This is as close as LEDs can come to the shimmer effect of MH light filaments. See the video here.

They call it dense matrix LEDs (Kessil)


Even raising your LEDs up high, sprinkling in some kessels, and tweaking the spectrum with T5s - it's still not quite the same as good ole 20k radiums.


DSC01537_edited.JPG




http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2620992&page=2

Keep in mind that surface agitation controls all of this...
 

oreo5457

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kes4.JPG


You know..IF someone made reef phosphor designed diodes this discussion wouldn't exist... ;)
Well except for a few..
 

A. grandis

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Cool thanks @90's reefer . And absolutely great point @Bpb I didn't think of that... On my old tank I just looked up the build thread and it looks like I did 3x 250W MH and then 2x VHO Super Actinics which gave more space. However I didn't have an LED strip; I just had a few small LED's for night time viewing. So you'd take the Reef Brite's over the fluorescent actinics?
My vote goes to halides and T5s. You need to choose what pleases your taste for the color of bulbs. 14Ks with Blue Plus bulbs is a great combination! I'm glad you are considering going back to your halides. The results are absolutely amazing. Your corals will love you forever!!! You know that!
 

Broadfield

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I originally had a Giesemann Aurora, as seen in the image below, which utilized four 48" T5 and 3 sets of LED arrays. In that first image, I was running Giesemann Coral Plus T5 bulbs and mainly blues from the LEDs. I was really happy with the color, but wanted to try metal halide.

Broadfield Reefer 450 Sep 2016 by Toby Broadfield, on Flickr

This second image is 5 months after the first image... using a Giesemann Spectra. Which utilized four 48" T5 and two SE MH bulbs. In this image I was using the Giesemann 250 watt 17.5k bulbs; which look very similar to Radiums... which I swapped out to eventually. And then actinic for the T5 bulbs.

Broadfield Reefer 450 Feb 2017 by Toby Broadfield, on Flickr

I feel the color and overall look is VERY close between these two setups.
 

2Sunny

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I originally had a Giesemann Aurora, as seen in the image below, which utilized four 48" T5 and 3 sets of LED arrays. In that first image, I was running Giesemann Coral Plus T5 bulbs and mainly blues from the LEDs. I was really happy with the color, but wanted to try metal halide.

Broadfield Reefer 450 Sep 2016 by Toby Broadfield, on Flickr

This second image is 5 months after the first image... using a Giesemann Spectra. Which utilized four 48" T5 and two SE MH bulbs. In this image I was using the Giesemann 250 watt 17.5k bulbs; which look very similar to Radiums... which I swapped out to eventually. And then actinic for the T5 bulbs.

Broadfield Reefer 450 Feb 2017 by Toby Broadfield, on Flickr

I feel the color and overall look is VERY close between these two setups.

Your photography skills definitely show!

I was just now looking for some older shots I had of my reef under Radiums to try and demonstrate the same point. I, for one, believe I finally hit upon a combination of T5s and LED settings that look, at least to me, just like my old Radiums did. I have 2 48 inch 8 bulb ATI Powermodules. For T5s I use a 1:1 ratio of ATI True Actinic:Blue Plus. The ATI LED modules only have 4 channels red, royal blue, blue, and white and they have settings from 0-255 (not sure what that means), anyways, I run the red at 0, royal blues at 255, blues at 255, and whites at 120 from 10-6. Before 10 and after 6 I ramp the LEDs up and down with the whites at 0 and only the blues on. The T5s I turn on with no dimming from 10-6.

Point to all that is just to say that during the day the combo I have now seems to mimic Radiums very well and the photos above are an excellent example of what I see with my eye on my tank in terms of color. Of course, pictures can't show the shimmer so here's a video of my shimmer. The video is mehhh at best, but at least it gives an idea .

 

oreo5457

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Your photography skills definitely show!

I was just now looking for some older shots I had of my reef under Radiums to try and demonstrate the same point. I, for one, believe I finally hit upon a combination of T5s and LED settings that look, at least to me, just like my old Radiums did. I have 2 48 inch 8 bulb ATI Powermodules. For T5s I use a 1:1 ratio of ATI True Actinic:Blue Plus. The ATI LED modules only have 4 channels red, royal blue, blue, and white and they have settings from 0-255 (not sure what that means), anyways, I run the red at 0, royal blues at 255, blues at 255, and whites at 120 from 10-6. Before 10 and after 6 I ramp the LEDs up and down with the whites at 0 and only the blues on. The T5s I turn on with no dimming from 10-6.

Point to all that is just to say that during the day the combo I have now seems to mimic Radiums very well and the photos above are an excellent example of what I see with my eye on my tank in terms of color. Of course, pictures can't show the shimmer so here's a video of my shimmer. The video is mehhh at best, but at least it gives an idea .

255 8bit color = 100%
127.5 = 50%
 
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sgrosenb

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You know..IF someone made reef phosphor designed diodes this discussion wouldn't exist... ;)
Well except for a few..

@oreo5457 unfortunately I'm not astute enough, nor well versed in lighting enough, to know what you mean? Are you saying that Kessil's should get me where I'd like to be in terms of replicating MH's?
 

oreo5457

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@oreo5457 unfortunately I'm not astute enough, nor well versed in lighting enough, to know what you mean? Are you saying that Kessil's should get me where I'd like to be in terms of replicating MH's?
No... "White" leds are made using a blue ( usually royal blue) "photon pump".
Then a yellow green or yellow green and red emitting phosphors.

Sone high cri or those that want to avoid the " blue light issues" use a lower nm pump in the violet range and then add rgb phosphors.

This makes the system "almost" mh or t5 like.
These 2 use the Violet/uv mercury photon emissions and add red green blue emitting phosphors or metal salts.

Soooo to shorten the story using violet or even uv "pump" and adding the right mix of phosphors and tou can make a close approximation of ANY t5/MH.

No more multi-colored array would be needed.

BUT no manuf/secondary led supplier has
Bothered to cater to this ... small...specialty
market.

There are issues like cost and lifespan of violet/uv led. Efficiency of them,Phosphor cost. Blue phosphors that don't last in the high photon flux environent of an led
Ect....

And...they don't have to. Current led arrays work....

Every whitish t5 mh uses blue red green and amber to make white Some if these "colors" are very narrow in emissions. Major smear is w / blue phosphors /salts

Sooo if you want something in led that
looks like mh look for a broad blue band w/ "spikes" in green amber and red
Whites optional...

Then you are just left w the UV IR "debate"

Goid luck.

Suppose I should add finding things like a narrow green band led...they don't exist.
Point us there will be compromises
like trying to match an led spectrum w/ using metal halides.. Now THAT would be a trick
 
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