Loving the safety & ease of use of Reef Brite XHO Actinic blue lights! (compared to fixtures integrating white light LED light)


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Aug 14, 2019
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Calgary, Canada
BRStv is recommending 2/3 of an XHO light be 50/50 and 1/3 be Actinic, but based on my experience with white LED light bleaching coral, I'm keeping white LED light off my corals and have had good results from 100% blue light. 200-250 PAR with white LED has killed corals for me. Blue light never results in bleaching so I find debating growth is a moot point if the light is killing the corals. BRStv's recommendation looks good on a spectrum meter but according to research done by Riddle, Photosynthetic Efficiencies of LEDs, and from my experience, blue light simply works and it's easy.

I made the mistake of thinking PAR is PAR and naeively mis-applied the advice of the guy behind Coral Euphoria, who frequently correlates high par values (300-400+) with health and colouration, from his experience. My kessil A360X units are not his old-school metal halides. 250 PAR at the wrong spectrum killed corals. 300-400 PAR nuked my tank and resulted in months of work to recover it. He should be credited for saying you should copy the whole system when copying somebody else's methodology (can't remember which video exactly). I copied his PAR levels but not his light fixtures, and it resulted in problems.

So, I've found that when running LEDs and if there's a choice between blue and white light, dial the white way back. Personally, I feel that any LED light which offers tunable white light is waste of money for me because I'm just going to turn the white all the way down. I've also found that PAR is dangerous for LEDs above 200, if the spectrum is incorrect. Be ready to dial back LEDs within a day or two from tweaking your colour/brightness because at those levels, you can kill your tank quickly.

I added the two 50" xho actinic fixtures, with manual dimmers, and slowly ramped them up from 20% to 100% over two weeks and ran into zero problems. I credit the even, shadow-free light pattern and blue spectrum. Even lighting gets more light to more surface of the Coral, geometrically, while ensuring no portion is blasted with too much light. The blue light is easier to photosynthesize and is less likely to simply result in heat my corals have to dissipate or die.

100w of led can very strong because LEDs irradiate light forwards, not in 360 degrees like a t5ho or MH bulb. 100% of the light is output in the lower 180 degree spread, which can't be said for traditional bulbs. Learn from my mistake, just because somebody says LEDs "run" cooler, you can still "cook" your Coral. These reef brite xho actinic fixtures have been straight forward to integrate. I'm impressed.
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