I’m a old metal halide guy. Kessel 500x ?

jda

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I don't hate LEDs at all. To the contrary, I used them, understood them and even have some over a shallow anemone tank where shadowing and coverage is not a problem. I just don't use them over my larger tanks because it makes no sense whatsoever for my acropora. I understand LED as much as most who use them and nearly anybody who thinks that they under MH who only parrots what they heard online about them.

Even if LED were to match a MH for performance, it would still take more for me to spend $20k and then commit to another $20k every 5 years to just buy panels. If this happened, I would do it in a heartbeat. I am not holding out hope at this point.
 
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A. grandis

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I can't add much to this in regards to how halides are superior. I loved to see many of the responses here saying the actual truth. All I know is that if the people today would stop listening to the brain washing LED propaganda and at least tried halides they would be so astonished with the difference in results and would be so sorry for wasting so much precious time with ANY LED. I am impressed of how many people send me messages about they trying halides and how happy they are! The majority of halide user won't hates LEDs, but most of us do hate the lies preached about them being able to SUBSTITUTE halides and how BETTER than halides they are. That is what makes me upset!
Not that LED doesn't have it's "place", but no one can compare the actual results.

I just would like to know what halide system the OP is used to. Perhaps he might still have one of the best MH systems in this world and is taking it for granted. Could you please let us know and put some pics here, @CayeCaulker ?

Halides do the job so well that sometimes some people get "bored" and forget how easy this hobby can be. QUALITY of light, period!
I wish everyone in this hobby would know how important the quality of light is for the corals. So important!!! Quality involves the whole thing from how the photons are produced, spectrum composition (from UV to IR, like the sun), to how those photons are transported and delivered to the organisms. There is lot's to observe. Results don't lie.
Just one more thing... if anyone would be able to make a cylindrical arrangement for LEDs and put some reflectors around it to TRY to mimic halides it would be still way far from it because of the actual spectrum composition PRODUCED BY GASES in a glass arc tube (that's the starting point of the difference between the qualities, nature of the production of light). They would melt if they wanted to produce the intensity and UV/IR as halide does. They can't substitute halides, my friends. You have to choose either one. One can't substitute the other. They are just different!

Put some T5s around those halides and call it the best reefing day!
 
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jda

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I want to mention one more thing about why I use MH. Some people roll their eyes at this and some people totally get it. When I got into this, there was nearly no captive stuff - corals or fish. I developed the opinion and still feel that is is my responsibility to give 100% of what I can to these creatures that are still mostly taken from the ocean. Their well being is more important than mine... so this means that I change some water and add a fuge to keep my parameters near natural, then that is good for them even though it takes me some time and costs me some money. It is the same with lighting where performance will always trump my needs for convenience or fun toys. I understand that not all feel this way, but I do. I strive to give 100% just like I would want if some aliens abducted me and took me to their planet to live in a transparent aluminum cage.
 

DennisBarr

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I wonder if you could add some reflectors to your Kessils..
Expensive reflectors would not help LEDs for they are a focused light metal halide bulbs or orbital sorry reflector is 80% of your par so I don't believe reflectors would be worth the purchase for what you would get out of them with a LED
 

Jay Norris

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You won't find any LED that will compare to your halides. I've tried almost all the big brands: Radion, Kessil, AI, Philips, older brands that aren't even around these days, etc.

I've seen just about everything else.

If you love halides and their look, you'll be disappointed by anything else.

The Kessil was one of my least favorite. Serious shading issues and the shimmer really was way too much. I had to kill almost all surface agitation to get a shimmer that I could stand. They are not halide replacements no matter what marketing says.
Used M/H for 25 or so years, and guess what the Mitra LX 7206 lights are just as good if not better, great shimmer just like the Halides, programable to many different kelvin settings, and if you match them wattage wise, same growing ability, and then you have the Dawn/Dusk cycle.
 
REEFTIDE

rtparty

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Used M/H for 25 or so years, and guess what the Mitra LX 7206 lights are just as good if not better, great shimmer just like the Halides, programable to many different kelvin settings, and if you match them wattage wise, same growing ability, and then you have the Dawn/Dusk cycle.
Ran a Mitras for months on my one tank. Great light. Build quality was top notch. Shimmer was good. Might be my favorite looking LED to date even.

Just one major drawback and one I personally couldn't get past. GHL. Plain and simple they make the worst software in the industry. The cheap knock off Chinese controllers are more user friendly and more reliable IME. In the 4-6 months of running the Mitras, I never got it connected to anything except hardwired to my computer. I reached out for help from the community and GHL. The only time Vinny could help me was when I'd be at work. I'm not taking time off to make an aquarium light work. If you're going to ask a premium, you better have the software and customer service to back it up and GHL didn't for me.

We could also get into the whole needing 6 fixtures to cover my 72*36 peninsula instead I'm using 3*250w halides. Not really a tough decision for me and my own situation.
 

Ben Pedersen

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Expensive reflectors would not help LEDs for they are a focused light metal halide bulbs or orbital sorry reflector is 80% of your par so I don't believe reflectors would be worth the purchase for what you would get out of them with a LED
Reflectors would only be helful in regards to the light that is lost reflecting off the surface of the water. :)

However, defusers do actually help LEDs.. From a shadowing prospective.. But you do loose intensity.
 

t5Nitro

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Going with some 400 watt halides on my new tank. Been there before with some 250 watt halides. Made the move to LED (not great), then to an 8 bulb T5 (still a standard, just less shimmer and less vibrance). Will be glad going back to the halides systems. Special thanks to jda and Dave at Hamilton for a lot of assistance in finding some nice fixtures.

I think you should stay with your halides if you can.
 

i_am_mclovin

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Going with some 400 watt halides on my new tank. Been there before with some 250 watt halides. Made the move to LED (not great), then to an 8 bulb T5 (still a standard, just less shimmer and less vibrance). Will be glad going back to the halides systems. Special thanks to jda and Dave at Hamilton for a lot of assistance in finding some nice fixtures.

I think you should stay with your halides if you can.
What fixtures did you end up with?
 

Spare time

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I have to ask…. are those gimmicks important for the reef or the reefer?


There are benefits to it. for one, it doesn't startle the fish when everything goes black for night or all bright at once. Another is that you can change the intensity over time, allowing you to mimic corals in the wild (I hypothesize that you can achieve better color without sacrificing missive amounts of growth by only having part of the day at high intensity). So I definitely wouldn't call them gimmicks.
 

t5Nitro

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I was going to go with 3 of the 250 watt HQI caymen sun systems, although Dave at Hamilton said they no longer make the M80 ballast and cannot offer that system. I went with 2x cozumel sun 400 watt pendant systems instead.
 

Chrisv.

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You won't find any LED that will compare to your halides. I've tried almost all the big brands: Radion, Kessil, AI, Philips, older brands that aren't even around these days, etc.

I've seen just about everything else.

If you love halides and their look, you'll be disappointed by anything else.

The Kessil was one of my least favorite. Serious shading issues and the shimmer really was way too much. I had to kill almost all surface agitation to get a shimmer that I could stand. They are not halide replacements no matter what marketing says.

I agree with ALL of this. I miss my halides and I run a kessil and an Ai light. They are fine. They make the corals flouescent, but they lack something and the shadowing just sucks. You NEED supplemental lights of some sort in my opinion if you want the spread of a halide.
 

minus9

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To the OP, I guess what some of us are saying is, not all is lost with metal halides (it never was). There are still a lot of options out there if you want to continue using them. If budget is a concern, then LED's aren't the cheapest option as some might have you think., especially with sps dominated tanks. As far as bulb life is concerned, that all depends on how many hours you run them a day (MH & T5 alike). You can go well over a year with bulbs if you're only using them 4-6hrs a day, so having to replace bulbs is based on the users light cycle. The general idea of having to replace bulbs once a year is just someone repeating what someone else read on some other platform by someone who never used these lighting systems in their life. If you some bells & whistles, then do a hybrid LED/MH and have your black light glow period or dusk/dawn, etc..... To those that think MH shocks the inhabitants when they get turned on, then you've never used them, ever. Sorry, not trying to be rude here, but for those of us who've been using these lights since the 80's, we've kept so many animals in our time, that we've never experience fish death because of lighting shock. @jda at 11 years old, not knowing what I was doing in 1980, that's exactly what I was thinking about when I decided I wanted to keep the ocean in my bedroom. I wanted to do everything I could do to give these animals the best environment I could. It took a long time to learn how to, but that mindset has never left me to this day. From undergravel filters with dolomite and bleached coral skeletons, to full on DSB refugiums, berlin style, metal halide nano reefs, it still drives me to this day.
OP, look at some Reef Brite hybrid pendants and AI Primes (or any budget LED) as a hybrid setup. If you really want to go budget LED, then check out the Smat Farms 95w fixture from Amazon, these lights are awesome for $130. Three of those with some MH pendants and you're golden.
 

Turd Ferguson

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I was going to go with 3 of the 250 watt HQI caymen sun systems, although Dave at Hamilton said they no longer make the M80 ballast and cannot offer that system. I went with 2x cozumel sun 400 watt pendant systems instead.
i use a IceCap switchable ba.last for my 250W Cayman Sun...could you not have done the same?

My understanding is a M80 is preferred, although not a requirement. Am I missing smething?

thanks
 

nereefpat

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A lot of good info here.

The question is, "will a MH user be disappointed by using Kessils in a large new SPS build?" Maybe it's obvious, but I haven't seen it mentioned yet...I would want to see a big tank lit with Kessils in person. Does Kansas City have a good reef store, or are there any reef clubs? Or even if I had to drive to St Louis or Des Moines or Omaha or wherever.
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting

t5Nitro

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i use a IceCap switchable ba.last for my 250W Cayman Sun...could you not have done the same?

My understanding is a M80 is preferred, although not a requirement. Am I missing smething?

thanks
The short answer is maybe? I haven't dived too deep into the various means of connections. What I do know is that hamilton is unable to offer 250 watt HQI systems as they no longer have access to the M80 transformer.
 

Jay Norris

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Ran a Mitras for months on my one tank. Great light. Build quality was top notch. Shimmer was good. Might be my favorite looking LED to date even.

Just one major drawback and one I personally couldn't get past. GHL. Plain and simple they make the worst software in the industry. The cheap knock off Chinese controllers are more user friendly and more reliable IME. In the 4-6 months of running the Mitras, I never got it connected to anything except hardwired to my computer. I reached out for help from the community and GHL. The only time Vinny could help me was when I'd be at work. I'm not taking time off to make an aquarium light work. If you're going to ask a premium, you better have the software and customer service to back it up and GHL didn't for me.

We could also get into the whole needing 6 fixtures to cover my 72*36 peninsula instead I'm using 3*250w halides. Not really a tough decision for me and my own situation.
Agree with you about the Mitra software, but once you understand it, it' s really simple to use, even easier than the Radion software.
 

rtparty

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Agree with you about the Mitra software, but once you understand it, it' s really simple to use, even easier than the Radion software.

I just copied Vinny's custom schedule. It was pretty good but I watned to tweak it. Never could though withouth tearing my light all the way down and taking it to the computer. Connection issues were my biggest issue. The light itself was a great LED.
 
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CayeCaulker

CayeCaulker

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Found a light fixture with two HQI halides, 4 T5's and some moon lights. $389.
complete with ballasts and lamps.

Unit's are new but they had to replace T5's damaged in shipping

Looks like I'm going old school! Good thing I have two breakers on the reef tank outlets.

 
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