Hybrid T5 or LED

DocRose

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Wondering if anyone has experience with these new Coral Cover Hybrid LED or a similar fixture. I've learned that for the best aesthetic, coverage, and control results I should go with a hybrid fixture. However, while looking around I discovered this LED/LED hybrid. Just trying to figure out if it's as good as a T5/LED hybrid, or if it's just a gimmick; and I should stick with a Hybrid Dimmable T5? If it helps, I planned to use my two existing AI Prime 16 HDs with whichever I choose, until I'm ready to upgrade them to a pair of Kessil. All this will be over a Red Sea Reefer 300 XL (mixed reef including one or two acros).
 
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DocRose

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T5 are more expensive and less eco friendly in theblong run both in power draw and waste created. Also overrated if you can afford a good quality LED with a wide variety of diode colors, though thats opnion.

Well the fixture I linked in the OP is a fixture with two led strips (front and back) of a single spectrum. They’re set up to replace the two or four T5 bulbs that would be in their place. As far as the rest of the spectrum that would be up to the LED lights used as add-ons. So I guess my true question is will those two LED strips in the Coral Cover Hybrid LED match the intensity and par of the four tradition T5 bulbs in the Hybrid Dimmable T5?
 

bobnicaragua

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If your goal is growing and coloring up acros, T5/LED are the better option. If you want to be eco, there's an argument above for LED/LED. (Sorry chaostatic, couldn't resist.)

You have the right idea focusing on coverage. There's a good chance your mixed reef will wind up with more than 2 acros, especially if you are successful up front. The T5 will give you a bit of an edge.

Most of the best acro keepers I know use T5. The best LED tank I've seen runs Orphek Atlantics (good coverage and spectrum).

Good luck and have fun!
 
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DocRose

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If your goal is growing and coloring up acros, T5/LED are the better option. If you want to be eco, there's an argument above for LED/LED.
Yep. That’s basically what I wanted to know. I just didn’t want to go the LED/LED route only to later have to upgrade again when I start adding acros.
 

chaostactics

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If your goal is growing and coloring up acros, T5/LED are the better option. If you want to be eco, there's an argument above for LED/LED.

If you're using LEDs with a good dispersal system I don't get the argument for T5 over LEDs. Admittedly it's been 5+ years since I've run T5s but I've moved to LEDs that either "stock" have wide dispersal like the Fluval Marine series or LED with diffusers like my Radion XR30PROs with diffusers. So again, some bias but I really find that each time I rerun the research that T5 is old tech that's past it's heyday.
 
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DocRose

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after 5 years of using an 8-bulb T5 I made the jump to 2 XR30 G5 Radions this year and have no regrets whatsoever. the coverage that used to be such a concern is seemingly not an issue anymore as my system hasn't skipped a beat since the switch.

So my dilemma at that point becomes needing 2 XR30s (about $2k) for the proper coverage on a Reefer 300 XL. Whereas I could go with a hybrid for half the price and the same coverage (since I already have two Prime 16s to mount inside the hybrid. ;Sorry
 

bobnicaragua

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If you're using LEDs with a good dispersal system I don't get the argument for T5 over LEDs. Admittedly it's been 5+ years since I've run T5s but I've moved to LEDs that either "stock" have wide dispersal like the Fluval Marine series or LED with diffusers like my Radion XR30PROs with diffusers. So again, some bias but I really find that each time I rerun the research that T5 is old tech that's past it's heyday.
I've been reefing since the mid 90's. It was easier back then to start a tank and quickly fill it with thriving coral. I attribute that to florescent bulbs and live rock.

For sps, T5 are just awesome - More natural looking growth patterns and less brown or dead spots due to shading. The spectrum is great and you can't screw it up.

It's not about tech or which light is in its heyday. T5 just work a little better for growing healthy sps.
 

chaostactics

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I've been reefing since the mid 90's. It was easier back then to start a tank and quickly fill it with thriving coral. I attribute that to florescent bulbs and live rock.

For sps, T5 are just awesome - More natural looking growth patterns and less brown or dead spots due to shading. The spectrum is great and you can't screw it up.

It's not about tech or which light is in its heyday. T5 just work a little better for growing healthy sps.
Can you provide up to date scientific studies to support that T5s work better for SPS. I am 100% not saying it can't be true I've just not found anything that says it's definitively true one way or the other.

I assume "you can't screw it up" is in reference to not having to worry about hot spots as much? I'm thinking that only applies to T5 only fixtures?

To be clear I'm not coming from an LED only back ground I've run the gambit from DIY and commercial metal halide, to DIY VHO, to DIY and commercial T5 and compact fluorescent, and DIY and commercial LED.

Before companies like BRS did more in depth reviews on different light fixtures and PAR, spectrum, and spread I would have said it's a complete toss up. Also with access to par meters being far easier these days it also takes the guess work out if tuning lights.

I wouldn't turn down a hybrid fixture if it was free but if you're starting from scratch why not go for endless color possibilities and lower long term costs.



 

bobnicaragua

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The arguments on using LED are valid, it works, it's controllable, and it looks great.

As far as coral health is concerned, lighting took a big step backwards with the introduction of LEDs. They have been playing catch up ever since.

You keep bringing up price? LEDs degrade over time. Every time you change a bulb, you have what is essentially a brand new fixture. LEDs also tend to be replaced more often than T5 fixtures. Everyone wants the new model. Saving money on cheaper equipment may not be the best approach to this hobby.
 
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DocRose

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You keep bringing up price? LEDs degrade over time. Every time you change a bulb, you have what is essentially a brand new fixture. LEDs also tend to be replaced more often than T5 fixtures. Everyone wants the new model. Saving money on cheaper equipment may not be the best approach to this hobby.
Well…when I mentioned price it was actually in support of the T5 hybrid. So if your stance is that T5 is better, then saving money on “cheaper” equipment wasn’t a bad thing. Aquatic Life’s DX18 Hybrid Dimmable T5 fixture is only $570 on BRS whereas a single Radion XR30 is $890.
 

bobnicaragua

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Well…when I mentioned price it was actually in support of the T5 hybrid. So if your stance is that T5 is better, then saving money on “cheaper” equipment wasn’t a bad thing. Aquatic Life’s DX18 Hybrid Dimmable T5 fixture is only $570 on BRS whereas a single Radion XR30 is $890.
The argument T5 is more expensive has to do with energy usage and bulb replacement. Upfront, no doubt it's cheaper.
 

iggy

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So my dilemma at that point becomes needing 2 XR30s (about $2k) for the proper coverage on a Reefer 300 XL. Whereas I could go with a hybrid for half the price and the same coverage (since I already have two Prime 16s to mount inside the hybrid. ;Sorry
From engineering point of view the hybrid will always be better. It just becomes a cluttered mess though. The gold standard is a T5 for diffusion. New LEDs do that now and call them SKY... What they really are is an 7 out of 10 for emulating diffusion of a T5 bulb, as you said at a huge cost premium.

Everything fails over salt water eventually. Replacing a T5 ballast is trivial. Ecotech is a full replacement with the planned obsolescence. Some people are so new to hobby they forget this.You will never see vendors sell ballast drivers, heat sinks and lenses separately with a ton of excuses why.
 

Speaking of your latest coral purchase...

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