why not?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Lighting By Dana Riddle' started by mainereefer, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. mainereefer

    mainereefer Valuable Member R2R Supporter

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    ok we all know of the color spectrum, the question I have is why do led light fixtures come with all 3w led and only a couple colors? then we dim all the lights because it bleaches our corals..... to me this dosnt seem like it is right

    my thought is like the color spectrum we need our color specific lights to have high peaks and low peaks of multiple colors for our tanks, but led lights have 1-2 maybe 3-4 colors but all 3w.
    it seems to me to make a suitable light I need to get 5w,3w,and 1w led to make the a light comparable to mh or the sun

    I see plant grow lights are now coming with 5w and 3w led for the same reason.

    so is there any light makers out there that make a light with multiple wattage led and multiple colors?
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012

  2. notxes11

    notxes11 Member

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    From what I understand, Wattage is going to give you more "punch" through the water column. Typically 3w is enough to get good par to the sand bed. Most corals we house are from deeper than 2 feet ( a typical depth of our larger aquariums). Higher wattage would be overkill IMO.
    As far as color, the growth spectrum needed for coral growth is what we are all shooting for. here is a link to some pretty good info from my home town forum. hope it helps answer some of the questions.
    Here's the research supporting my next DIY LED project
     
  3. Reef Breeders

    Reef Breeders ReefBreeders.com R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor Toys For Kids Sponsor 2018

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    The power changes as the diodes dim. Therefore all 3 watt LEDs can be used, and simply dimmed to your needs. That way, a fixture can accomadate more reef tanks, from softy to full blown sps. Also, 1 watt LEDs have about a 350ma max drive current, at 700 ma they would fry in seconds, while 5watt or 3watt diodes would not be used anywhere near their full potential at 350ma
     
  4. mainereefer

    mainereefer Valuable Member R2R Supporter

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    thats my point!
    we buy a fixture with 2-5 colors of 3w led with 1-2 dimmers on the fixture this dosnt make sense. you would need dimmers for all the different colors in the unit. then manually tweek them without a way to test how much of what color goes where, it is all a guess. again this dosnt make sence

    I am a penny pincher :) for example I have a 180g I dont see paying for say 12- 3w green led and a separate dimmer for them when I really could use 15-1w led same goes with all the other lower peaking colors in the color spectrum.


    I want to have a plug and play system no tweaking and one dimmer for the whole unit. with as close to the natural color spectrum as I can. the only way this can be done with led being color specific is with 5-8 colors of led with multiple wattage's


    (I should mention I did diy 3w led on my tank so i'm not someone just "crapping" on led or fixtures)
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  5. ritter6788

    ritter6788 Coral Fraud Private Eye Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Spotlight Award Photo of the Month Award

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    I've wondered the same thing. My led light uses 1 watt leds and everyone told me I wouldn't be able to grow sps. I grow sps just fine and there are people that buy a high powered led, dim it down and complain about growth and color.
     
  6. ReefLEDLights

    ReefLEDLights Valuable Member

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    The Cree Cool White is a full spectrum LED. There is a lot of misinformation out there. Some say you need "Full Spectrum" to grow coral This is also not true. Back in the 80s I saw a wonderful LPS tank only lit with Actinic 110watt VHO. Growth was amazing. The Royal Blue is your primary Grow Spectrum the Cree Cool White grows coral well because of its 450nm spike. Adding other spectrum specific LEDs is to tweak the looks.

    The current generation of 5 watt LEDs like the XT-E offer great efficiency when only driven at 700mA or at 2.3watts. Just because and LED says 5 watt or 2 watt has little to do with light output. The Cree XT-E is almost twice as bright driven at 700ma (2.3 watts) than the cheap 2 watt LEDs driven at 700mA.

    Here are a couple spectral charts. The First one we did for the Cree XM-L Cool White. The XT-E and XP-G have a similar footprint. Specific Bins of the LEDs will determine how big the middle hump is. The second was done by Sanjay comparing all MH Bulbs.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Bill
     
  7. WesF

    WesF Well-Known Member

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    The new sicce led fixtures they were showing off at MACNA use combinations of lower wattage white LEDs with fewer higher powered blue LEDs and they were very impressive.

    http://sicceus.com/led_lighting.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  8. mainereefer

    mainereefer Valuable Member R2R Supporter

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    again this proves my point the chart with the mh shows most spiking at around 460. at 440 it spikes to around .30 but the led running at 440 spiking at around 1.0 how does this compare to the mh?

    wouldnt it be better to run a 455 or 460 higher power led and a 440 or 445 led with less power?
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  9. ReefLEDLights

    ReefLEDLights Valuable Member

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    Mainereefer

    I would go with one LED at 460-465 and the other at 420-440 for optimal growth. If I had to choose which one got more power it would be the lower spectrum for the colour pop. Just because the 450-460 is most dominant in MH does not mean it offers the best compromise between looks and growth. Dont get me wrong, this is a huge grow spectrum but go closer to 465nm and the colour pop drops quicker than Bill Clinton's pants in a sorority house.

    I've posted this more times than a Congressman has done something unsavory but this chart is very useful.

    [​IMG]

    Cree does not make a 420-440 and the ones available are not very efficient.

    450nm is the sweet spot providing for both Chlorophyll A & B

    460-465nm will grow your coral but the colour is flat.

    The Royal Blue 450-455nm provides a much better colour pop and grows just as well.

    I'm sure you heard complaints of some LEDs don't make my corals look good, or my corals are flat in colour. This is simply due to the manufacturer not paying attention to both looks and growth. By choosing the right Bins of Royal Blue and Cool White you can have both looks and growth without all the full spectrum nonsense.

    Once you got the grow covered its all a matter of tweaking the spectrum for best looks.

    Bill
     
  10. mainereefer

    mainereefer Valuable Member R2R Supporter

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    when I built my led I went with royal blue and 15k led's and love the color it puts out and the color of my corals but my 250w 10k mh blows them away in growth. corals that are in the middle getting light from both lights lean toward the mh this tells me they need something they're not getting from the led's.

    I am thinking a fixture went with 5w royal blue,3w 15k and a mix of 1w violet,green,red, and blue it would be a more suitable light for a reef tank. and would it be possible to dim all the led with one dimmer.
     
  11. KoleTang

    KoleTang Valuable Member

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    Interesting.
     
  12. ReefLEDLights

    ReefLEDLights Valuable Member

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    Can you be specific on the LEDs you you have.

    Bins and vendor helps.

    Bill
     
  13. mainereefer

    mainereefer Valuable Member R2R Supporter

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    I used bridgelux led, and dont think I can post the vendor there not a sponsor
    where does it say the bin #

    my lights have 20- royal blue ,5- blue ,and 15- 15000k, on each side of my tank with a 250w mh and 4-24w t5 in the middle of my 180

    I want to have a led comparable to the mh but be more appealing to the eye
     
  14. ReefLEDLights

    ReefLEDLights Valuable Member

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    No Worries

    Not many vendors note specific Bins or go through the trouble of stamping them on the star.

    The 3 watt BridgeLux LEDs are ok just not as efficient or powerful as the Cree XT-E.

    If you want to replace you 250 mH with a radium look this mix works well when driven at 700mA

    24 XT-E Royal Blue Bin D36, 6 XP-E Blue and 15 XT-E Cool White (7.5K) This with optics will give you about 420 PAR at 24" the 400 watt Radium with a reeflux Reflector is about 425 PAR at the same distance.

    Bill
     
  15. mainereefer

    mainereefer Valuable Member R2R Supporter

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    so 3w royal blue, 3w blue , and 5w white will be equivilant to mh performance?
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
  16. mainereefer

    mainereefer Valuable Member R2R Supporter

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    the chart shows mh peaking at 415,425,455,535,545 with mild spikes at other numbers.
    wouldint it make more seance to use multiple led with the higher spike numbers higher wattage and the lower spike numbers at lower wattage then have one dimmer for the whole unit and have the light unit be equivalent to say a 400w mh but be able to dim down to the equivalent of a 100w mh
     
  17. bige

    bige Valuable Member

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    This is why I have gone with buildmyled.com. They say what your getting at marine reefer.
     
  18. mainereefer

    mainereefer Valuable Member R2R Supporter

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    this site makes it easy to chose but dosnt give any info on the led used just 76w for a 48" fixture. (imo- not enough light for a reef tank) and at the price of $219 for a 24" fixture, I would go with a www.reefledlights.com light you can have the same options but with a better light

    but I am looking for something different altogether
     
  19. WesF

    WesF Well-Known Member

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    The 76w is just one strip. It's a modular system and you connect multiple strips together depending on the front to back dimensions of your tank.

    They looked pretty impressive at MACNA.
     
  20. ReefLEDLights

    ReefLEDLights Valuable Member

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    When comparing LEDs and fixtures its a bad idea it compare wattage.

    Not all LEDs are the same. I like the Cree XT-E and XP-G. They are 5 watt LEDs but when driven at 2 watts or 700mA they are much brighter than most 3 watt LEDs driven at 700mA

    With quality current generation 5 watt LEDs one could easily duplicate the PAR of a 250 watt MH with a 30 Royal Blue and 15 Cool white. I've measured around 420 PAR at 24" using only 120 watts.

    This is the Growth

    Then take the MH graph of your favorite Bulb and toss in a couple spectrum specific LEDs to replicate the colour and looks perfectly.

    I've done this with my personal tank and really like the result.

    Bill
     
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