LED vs T5

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Belinda, 31 Aug 2014.

  1. Belinda

    Belinda

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    Hi, we have 6 T5's in our 700L tank. We are busy changing over to a bigger tank, and consider LED's. We however received conflicting advice on this. I suppose there must be a thread on this?
     
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  3. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    what conflicting advice have you received?
     
  4. Belinda

    Belinda Thread Starter

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    Some guys reckon we should stay with the T5's whereas others reckon LED would be better? Always thought LED is the way to go but not so sure anymore
     
  5. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Both Led and T5 are proven technologies, they have advantages and disadvantages. Also there is an element of personal preference. basically Led's cost more initially, but running costs are lower and require almost no maintence. led's have very specific light spectrum out put where as T5 give you a broad spectrum of light out put. T5 cost less initially but running costs and maintenance is much higher.
     
  6. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    but the best would be to run both, that way corals will get a full balance of light...

    it boils down to budget, preference, and replacement of bulb costs etc, there is no right or wrong answer
     
  7. 4age

    4age

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    Depends on corals u keeping. I'm not convinced by led only...T5 definitely do help.what size tank are you running? Size and depth definitely will dictate the type of lighting used
     
  8. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    How deep is your tank?
    Some earlier models LED units could not penetrate light down to 600 - 700mm. Nowadays with much more powerfull units and lenses its not a problem anymore and they are basically equal to MH globes in that regards.

    Running cost, depending on the LED unit, can be more than T5. Example comparing 6*54W T5 unit to Radion Pro, at 185W. But you need at least 2 Radion top cover the same space as 6*54W would. Total power consumption on th T5 unit is 324W and on the double Radion 370W. Depending on the lenses, maybe a third Radion, and you are at 555W. Using a lot more than the T5 unit. But I do admit, comparing Radion Pro to a T5 is not really a valid comparison. Price wise the Radion units will be a lot more expensive than the T5. T5 would also give less light, depending on the running temperature and reflectors used.

    Big difference comes in that you do not need to buy globes with LED route. Top quality globes can go 8 months or longer. Reeftek is cheap, but needs to be replaced by 6 months, again, depending on the hours it run per day. 6 month old Aquamedic T5 globes push out more PAR than brand new Reeftek.

    If you are setting up a tank. I would first go with a secondhand T5 unit. Rather spend more money on the best skimmer for the size system.
     
    Last edited: 1 Sep 2014
  9. riaanwium

    riaanwium

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    On the LED units your power consumption is far from output wattage of the light. 3 Radion units will cost a lot in the begining yes, but electricity usage will be less than 6*54W from T5's
     
  10. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Kind of --- yes
    Especialy on LED if you ramp up and down the power to simulate sunrise and sunset. The LED unit will only be at peak power for a shorter period during the day. So overall, for one day it will not use max power multiplied by hours on.

    Most T5 units do not dim. Its either off or on. On a 6 tube unit, normally you will have one set switch on first, about 2 hours later the next, another 2 hours the last set. ANd you do it again in reverse. Point here is that for a day, you are not on 100% power on all tubes either, only for a 4 hour period.

    I'm sure if I put a electrical consumption meter on 3 * Radion Pro lights compared to the next day on a T5 6*54W unit. That the Radion setup would use far more power for the day. Especially if T5 uses timers.
     
  11. Belinda

    Belinda Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the responses. We have 6 T5's on our 1.5 x 0.5 x 0.9 tank. We have LPS corals and looking to incorporate SPS in the new tank we are building 2.5 x 0.8 x 0.7.

    We found the 0.9 too deep to work in and also maybe for the T5 unit. For the new 0.7 deep tank and to go with SPS corals, we considered LED lights but a few guys told us to stay with the T5.

    Hence my question - if we can stay comfortably with the T5 and maybe supplement later on with led, then we will rather invest that cost in the tank itself.
     
  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    you will need a new light unit anyway.

    If you want to stay T5, there is a 80W T5 unit now in the for sale section that could work for you.
    But on a new 2.5m tank, you might need another unit as well to cover full length of the tank. Leds for a 2.5 unit will be a big initial expense.
     
  13. Belinda

    Belinda Thread Starter

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    Thanks, will do some research on the lights required for the new tank.

    Will probably stay with T5's for now
     
  14. Belinda

    Belinda Thread Starter

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    Thanks, will do some research on the lights required for the new tank.

    Will probably stay with T5's for now
     
  15. jimilutz

    jimilutz

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    Why not keep your current T5 unit. Place it in the middle of the new tank and add an LED unit to either end? That way you get the best of both worlds and can keep the costs down. I run a four tube T5 unit and an LED unit next to it. The LEDs are on from 6am until 9pm expanding my viewing time with the T5 on from 11am until 8pm for additional growth. I am very happy with this hybrid approach.
     
  16. Belinda

    Belinda Thread Starter

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    Thanks, glad you shared that cause I was thinking along those lines,

    Wim
     
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