Not impressed with LED diffusers

cives

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I got an aftermarket diffuser for my AI primes and I feel like the whole tank looks less vibrant and flat with them on, even when I bump up the light intensity. Also, the diffuser material is not as recessed, so you can see its glow when you're seated and your eye level is below the fixture, even across the room. Anyone else have these issues?

So far, I think a better use is to keep the shaders on them (without out the diffuser material) to be able to bump up the height of the lights without increasing light spillage. Seems like you can similarly get more spread (though not quite as diffuse) and reduce disco effects that way as well.
 
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oreo5457

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I got an aftermarket diffuser for my AI primes and I feel like the whole tank looks less vibrant and flat with them on, even when I bump up the light intensity. Also, the diffuser material is not as recessed, so you can see its glow when you're seated and your eye level is below the fixture, even across the room. Anyone else have these issues?

So far, I think a better use is to keep the shaders on them (without out the diffuser material) to be able to bump up the height of the lights without increasing light spillage. Seems like you can similarly get more spread (though not quite as diffuse) and reduce disco effects that way as well.
Yep that's about sums it up.
Diffusers are, in part, meant to make the LED's more "T5 like".

So issue or feature?
Rest is just simple physics.
 

Nano sapiens

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I got an aftermarket diffuser for my AI primes and I feel like the whole tank looks less vibrant and flat with them on, even when I bump up the light intensity. Also, the diffuser material is not as recessed, so you can see its glow when you're seated and your eye level is below the fixture, even across the room. Anyone else have these issues?

So far, I think a better use is to keep the shaders on them (without out the diffuser material) to be able to bump up the height of the lights without increasing light spillage. Seems like you can similarly get more spread (though not quite as diffuse) and reduce disco effects that way as well.

The completely flat 'T5 look' that many diffusers produce is a real turnoff for some (myself included). The process of raising the LED array up a bit while keeping the shaders on may be all you need. However, for aquariums where the array is mounted closer to the water surface and can't be raised, the benefit of diffusers becomes more apparent.

Should also add that not all diffusers are created equal. There are materials that diffuse the light from LEDs enough to reduce or possibly eliminate hot spots while still keeping a decent amount of the shimmer.
 
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oreo5457

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Or the Philips Coralcare way w/ clear spots in their diffusion panel.
Probably not so effective with the limited diode count on an ai.

Does bring to mind some interesting experiments though.
 

Nano sapiens

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Or the Philips Coralcare way w/ clear spots in their diffusion panel.
Probably not so effective with the limited diode count on an ai.

Does bring to mind some interesting experiments though.
Funny you should mention that as I already tried what CoralVue has done in 2014:

1614516929739.png


It worked fairly well, but the generic diffusion material was not quite what I was looking for.

Fast forward to today and with a bit of trial-and-error I found the Rosco Cinegal 1/2 Density Soft Frost' (#3004) to be just right for my application (small tank, LED array 5" off the water surface):

1614517281322.png


Not expensive, just enough diffusion...while still maintaining around 50% of the shimmer. Mounted on a 1/32" polycarbonate shield I loose 15% of the intensity compared to no shield/diffusion material.
 
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