SCIENTIFIC PROOF, that LED's work as well as MH & VHO's ?

427HISS

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Hello, I'm wanting to start up a new system for corals & fish, from my reef days in the 90's. I still have my VHO's 440 watts and all my corals did very well, grew very nicely and liked the colors that they put out.

I trust us hobbyists, but is there any scientific proof,....that corals, especially stone's, do as well or better than MH & VHO's ?

The main reasons I'm wanting to up-date my lighting is the LED's do not have the heat issue (although I did run a fan across the top of the water, no chiller needed) and the high electric bill. Technology has really changed in the last 10-15 years for lighting, so I have some question.


Will LED's burn corals (mainly near the top) ?

How long do they last before either burn out or loose their spectrum, par, intensity ?

What is their apx heat generation compared to the MH & VHO's ?

What total in watts should I use in a 75 gal tank ? (with all types of corals, including sps ?

What color bulbs would work best for my tank ?

With all the company's that make LED systems, what are the top 5 brands od so ?

Should I go with a ready made assembly or a DIY kit ?

Please give me all you advise, opinions and links to share.

Thank you,
Kevin
 
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ReefLEDLights

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Will LED's burn corals (mainly near the top) ?

-Yes If you do not acclimate. The PAR of LED Fixtures vary greatly with some barley touching the PAR of a 175 watt MH to others that are a direct replacement for a 400 watt MH

How long do they last before either burn out or loose their spectrum, par, intensity ?

-Cree 5 watt LEDs are rated for 50,000 hours then at least 70% after that. The cooler you keep your LEDs the longer they last.

What is their apx heat generation compared to the MH & VHO's ?

-Virtually none. LEDs do not produce IR radiation like some MH. Some less expensive fixtures run a little hot to the touch but your higher end fixtures will be around 90 degrees.

What total in watts should I use in a 75 gal tank ? (with all types of corals, including sps ?

-Ignore Watts as a measurement of brightness. I've measured the PAR of 120 watt Import at less than 260 and a 118 watt Domestic Fixture at over 500 PAR. Optics also make a difference by concentrating the light where it is needed while reducing spill.

What color bulbs would work best for my tank ?

-I prefer the Cree Cool White as its close to a Full Spectrum Bulb mixed with 450 nm Royal Blue. To this You could add Warm Whites, Reds, Greens, Blues, or Ultra Violet. The bottom line is the 450nm Royal Blue is your most efficient Grow LED. After that its tweaking the recipie to highlight the different pigments in the corals.

With all the company's that make LED systems, what are the top 5 brands od so ?

-I'm biased on this one but you cant go wrong with a fixture using the latest Cree 5 watt LEDs, Efficient Drivers and a Good Thermal Management Design

-Should I go with a ready made assembly or a DIY kit ?

-DIY Saves $$$ and you Pick and choose the best parts. That said DIY is not for everyone. If you do DIY use Binned LEDs and go solderless.

PM sent with a FAQ Link

Bill
 

inurocker

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I read and searched for over three years. Some stuff was way over my head some strait forward. My first LED was a 10W cheep-O over a FW shrimp tank. My second is a DIY for a 40 breeder build I am still working on. So I am by no means an expert but here goes.

Will LED's burn corals (mainly near the top) ?
Yes they can just like any high powered reef lighting system. But dimmable drivers you have more control than ever before.

How long do they last before either burn out or loose their spectrum, par, intensity ?
The word is 10 years, but the newest chips haven't been around for that long to know for sure in the real world. Most people don't run them at near 100%. Heat is what kills them so the cooler they run the more service you can expect.

What is their apx heat generation compared to the MH & VHO's ?
I don't know what apx is, but I have used everything from incandescent to LEDs from what I have seen by far the coolest running lights ever.

What total in watts should I use in a 75 gal tank ? (with all types of corals, including sps ?
With LED's watts are out the window PAR is what you need to know. On my build 38 3watt LED's on 4 channels on a 36x18X16 tank should be all I need.

What color bulbs would work best for my tank ?
Ask 10 people and get 10 different answers that is one thing that didn't change.

With all the company's that make LED systems, what are the top 5 brands od so ?
Can't answer that one. Flavor of the week.

Should I go with a ready made assembly or a DIY kit ?
I went DIY for several reasons. 1. I like to get more for my money. 2. If there is a problem I can fix it myself. 3 If I want to change or update something I can. 4. I enjoy doing this type of thing. It all depends on your skills, available time and comfort doing this type of thing.

There are so many choices. Read and study all you can, check out every system you can see. I do think LED is the current future of lighting for some time to come. Good luck and I hope you find the right system for you.
 

Ron Reefman

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Will LED's burn corals (mainly near the top)?
LED's are more focused light and they do have the ability to do damage to corals it they are run at too high a power setting. That said, in 2 years and 7 different led fixtures (I have 4 tanks) I've damaged 1 coral when I changed the way I set up my light schedule. I noticed it in 2 days, changed the lighting a little bit and the coral has survived.

How long do they last before either burn out or loose their spectrum, par, intensity?
Given the history of led fixtures over the past 5 years... way longer than you will keep whatever fixture you buy. They have evolved so much that people have been selling fixtures that are 6-12 months old to get the new evolution in hardware. I think the evolution may slow down some in the near future. I don't see the light getting a lot better, but fixtures will still evolve. But to your question, leds lose about 1%-2% of their out put every year, so at 10 years you'll probably need something new.

What is their apx heat generation compared to the MH & VHO's?
It depends on the fixture design, the heat sinks and the fans. I had a $750 top end light that was so hot I could barely hold my hand on it. At the other end of the spectrum, I have a $150 light over my frag tank that is about 2-3 degrees above room temperature after running for 8 hours and gives me 200 PAR 22" deep in the tank where I grow out sps coral. They don't transmit heat into the water because as ReefLEDLights said, they don't have any infra red spectrum.

What total in watts should I use in a 75 gal tank ? (with all types of corals, including sps)?
As stated before, watts hardly matter. PAR is what you really want to measure. Economy fixtures are using 3w leds and so do many of the high end brands. Some are starting to use clusters with higher wattage. What you want is a PAR of about 200 at the sand and a blue to white ratio of at least 2:1. Cree leds are more efficient at making light, but they cost more than Bridgelux and either is capable of producing the spectrum and PAR you need. So don't let the brad of led make your decision.

What color bulbs would work best for my tank?
The zooxanthellae use 400nm-480nm blue (and mostly 450nm-460nm blue) and a small amount of mid 600nm red to do photosynthesis. That's what the corals need. Almost everything else is for your eyes and not the coral. And keep the number of white leds to a minimum as they make spectrum that your corals don't need. Green and yellow count as part of the PAR value, but if your coral isn't using it, is it important?

With all the company's that make LED systems, what are the top 5 brands?
It all depends on what criteria you use to rate the top brands. Total sales? Most expensive?, Best light? Best value? Coolest controller? You need to figure out what YOU want in a light and then start looking to meet your criteria. I want good light for the coral (more blue, less white), good qualityin the build, low cost value with basic light control. There are half a dozen brands that fit my needs... but that's me. I won't spend $750 for a single fixture when I need 4 for my DT. I got what I wanted in 2 fixtures that totaled less than $750.

Should I go with a ready made assembly or a DIY kit?
DYI used to be the way to go because any fixture worth getting cost too much (for me). But noe you are hard pressed to build a fixture that works better than and looks as good as most of the economy priced value fixtures. I use OceanRevive and EverGrow, but Reef Breeders and Reef Radiance and maybe a couple of others in the same market. You can build a better light than theirs, but you'll spend more on it, use a lot of your time (unless you like building them) and good luck making it look half as good.

You might want to check out this discussion and the articles linked in it.
https://www.reef2reef.com/forums/oc...ghting-how-coral-zooxanthellae-use-light.html
 
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427HISS

427HISS

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Bill & Ron- what brand do you have ?

One member and sure many others, have spent 2-3k on their system for 4 panels, and I can not spend that much.

I don't see on Cree's site that and are specific made for reefs, so I assume it doesn't matter as long as you get the build colors we need ?

I'm a DIY guy and find it awarding when the job is accomplished, but electronics makes me pull my hair out. (what's left of it anyway) If it's fairly simple though, I have no problem trying, unless I fry the dame thing up !

From most company's, I'll assume I'll need 2 panels for my 75g ?

I can't see spending over $700 for a complete system.

Could you guys post some links to company's for what I'm after, whether it's a panel or DIY, so I can get some cost estimates. It would be very helpful !

Ron- I'll read that post.
Thanks
 
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ReefLEDLights

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My personal system is DIY using mostly Cree XTE Cool White and 450nm Royal Blue with some XP-E Blues mixed in.

Here an older pic of my 570 Mixed and a pic of a local guys tank using the same LEDs for two-three years

http://i908.photobucket.com/albums/ac282/ReefLEDLights/570 Mixed/570PAR.jpg



Bill
 

1.0reef

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JMO I'd use a few Luxeon M's (12 watt monster super efficient leds basically) for NW and RB, a couple of HV's 430nm, CB's 470nm or so, cyans 495nm, and deep red 680nm for full spectrum
 

Ron Reefman

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Hi Kevin,

I did n't even realize this was you when I posted the reply! I think I must be working too hard!

I have OceanRevive Arctic S026 fixtures over my 55g grow out tank and my 24g frag tank. They aren't display tanks and dimmers work just fine. Two of these would cover your tank for just over $300. That's almost painless and make DIY something you should be doing other than making lights! :wink: Like automotive toys of various sizes!

I have EverGrow OR-IT2080's over my 180g DT and an OR-IT2040 over my 70g anemone tank. They have built-in controllers and have been running 24/7 for 11 months now. I love them! One of these hung about 12"-18" off the water will cover the tank. It's 32" long and it's footprint is about 44"-46" at 8" off the water over a 24" deep tank. And it can be found for under $400.

Both brands are available through OceanRevive. Their website is:
Aquarium LED_OCEANREVIVE LED

And their sponsor forum is doing a group buy sale with some great prices! Here:
Ocean Revive LED

R
on
 
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bct15

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As far as scientific evidence, you will be hard pressed to find direct correlations. There is some papers out there that discus what light spectrums coral need and what spectrums excite various colors, and LEDs are capable of reproducing these spectrums via carefully thought out arrays. So theoretically, LEDe should be able to grow corals just as well as mh and that is somewhat backed by scientific data. The real data you will find is purely anecdotal, hobbyist results which are all over the place. I still run mh, but intend to add LEDs in along side my halides and t5s and run them over my frag tank for comparison. My opinion on LEDs issues arises from the intensity of lights in very specific wavelengths that corals are extra sensitive too, sometimes this is way more intense then the corals can handle...hence the need for acclimation. Reef led lighting is progressing by leaps and bounds and very rapidly, I don't think it will ever be a complete replacement for halides but they are the future of reef lighting.

If you want the best, I suggest you get with some knowledgable people and build them yourself, that is the easiest, most cost effective and will provide you what you need.
 
AS

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Interesting one askes for 'scientific proof'. Don't get me wrong, I'm not jumping on you, but that seems a bit out of context, as one is asking for LED scientific proof to compare to what? There is no 'scientific proof' that halides even work. All the evidence is anecdotal, not from a controled laboratory test. Certainly we have assembled enough 'evidence' to get a good idea of the working with halide, T-5 AND LEDs, but there are no truly scientific proofs to be had. Simply extrapolations from gathered experiences (often via other research) and evidence. R&D may show us spectral results, but evidence that is not! If there is any evidence, it proves there are many possibilities to keep corals alive and well. They have 'proved' to be surprisingly adaptable.

When one looks at the wealth of material involving the implementation of LEDs, then we actually have more proofs that LEDs are an excellent light source for corals than we do for other light sources. Aquarists and manufactures have spent a great deal more energy and, what is probably more important, published informations, than we have ever experienced for marine lighting. On simply needs to Goggle until his/her head hurts!

Of course, this all reminds me of when we were first trying out halide, xenon, etc in the late 70's and 80's. No one wanted to believe that there was something new and better on the horizon, although we actually had literally nothing! Anyone remember T-12 tubes? No one wanted to believe we would ever be able to keep corals. Despite lack of scientific proofs, we are doing it, aren't we?
 

aslmx

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Interesting one askes for 'scientific proof'. Don't get me wrong, I'm not jumping on you, but that seems a bit out of context, as one is asking for LED scientific proof to compare to what? There is no 'scientific proof' that halides even work. All the evidence is anecdotal, not from a controled laboratory test. Certainly we have assembled enough 'evidence' to get a good idea of the working with halide, T-5 AND LEDs, but there are no truly scientific proofs to be had. Simply extrapolations from gathered experiences (often via other research) and evidence. R&D may show us spectral results, but evidence that is not! If there is any evidence, it proves there are many possibilities to keep corals alive and well. They have 'proved' to be surprisingly adaptable.

When one looks at the wealth of material involving the implementation of LEDs, then we actually have more proofs that LEDs are an excellent light source for corals than we do for other light sources. Aquarists and manufactures have spent a great deal more energy and, what is probably more important, published informations, than we have ever experienced for marine lighting. On simply needs to Goggle until his/her head hurts!

Of course, this all reminds me of when we were first trying out halide, xenon, etc in the late 70's and 80's. No one wanted to believe that there was something new and better on the horizon, although we actually had literally nothing! Anyone remember T-12 tubes? No one wanted to believe we would ever be able to keep corals. Despite lack of scientific proofs, we are doing it, aren't we?
Ditto..
 
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427HISS

427HISS

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Yes, like I said about trusting us hobbyists, we have a lot of people that have tried all lights out there for us and the corals. Scientific,....is like college's that teach marine biology that would test coral growth in a scientific manner with all their in depth tools that we don't have. Kind of like "Consumer Reports", we have home testing & they have high tech testing. It doesn't mean that their testing is necessarily better, just a different way of testing.

Ron- You're either working too hard or,....getting too old ! lol :tongue:

Sounds great and I'll check out the links.
 
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427HISS

427HISS

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My personal system is DIY using mostly Cree XTE Cool White and 450nm Royal Blue with some XP-E Blues mixed in.

Here an older pic of my 570 Mixed and a pic of a local guys tank using the same LEDs for two-three years

http://i908.photobucket.com/albums/ac282/ReefLEDLights/570 Mixed/570PAR.jpg



Bill

Thank you for posting the different Par readings, that's wonderful & eye opening. Great tank as well !
 

mr_X

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Hi everyone. I'd just like to add that I have been using straight blue and white Taotronics (or similar) panels for years and growing all sorts of stony corals. No red in the mix at all, and I have also found that PAR measurements are not very accurate when speaking in terms of LED. I wish I had access to a device for measuring PUR, but as far as PAR goes, I have witnessed 200 PAR from even one of these no-name Chinese panels burn up corals that were under more PAR from a halide fixture.
As far as LEDs replacing halides, I think it's a no brainer. 90% of the people not having luck with LEDs are doing things like matching PAR numbers from their previous lights and cooking their tanks with the LED replacements. LED is the most powerful, efficient, and cool running lighting to date. I would never run a halide again. I have a nice T5 fixture that I use to light my garage....all ATI lamps....lol...It's quite pretty in there.
 

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