Jaco Schoeman

LED's explained + review

  1. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    Jaco Schoeman submitted a new Showcase Item:

    LED's explained + review

    Read more about this showcase item here...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Mar 2016
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  3. brettb2020

    brettb2020

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    nice little article there Jaco :thumbup:

    dont mean to steal the thread butt here is one more advantage of an LED you left out. you dont need reflectors! unlike T5 and MH where the light emits at 360 degree's, LED's emit at 180 degree's or less depending on the reflector. so no wasted light :thumbup:
     
  4. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Okey, so when I built my 300x300x300 PICO tank, I had a difficult time finding a small enough light for it, especially because I wanted to keep at least one SPS and ricordea's. So after a long search, I managed to find this light:

    [​IMG]

    It basically contains 6x 1W CREE XR-E LED's. By chance I can now confirm that the CREE XR-E's in this unit are in fact the correct Kelvin wavelenght, however I had the middle two replaced by BLUE LED's, in order to get the full spectrum lighting.

    This unit was made up to plug into normal 220V power, so no extra transformers etc were neccesary. The size of one LED is aprox the size of a R2 coin. This specific unit comes with a 60degree lens, something that proved to be a bit of a problem. At 60degrees, this light shines in a spotlight manner, and I could not place it close to the water surface, and had to raise it.

    [​IMG]

    The supplier said that they would be able to change the lenses with 90degree lenses, which should allow me to bring the light closer to the surface of the water, but the disadvantage would be less intense brightness - although I dont see this being a problem really.

    This light generates VERY little heat, even so that in the coldest day it is not really an investment to hold your hands on or under it, as it is just too cool... :)

    I can relate to the above article, that it does make the reef look much more natural than anything I have seen, yet the colors of the corals are greatly increased. I even had this compared with T5 actinics, and this just looks way better.

    My dad also invested in two of these units, and has them running head to head against his 150W MH. The result: the LED's are clearly visible over the MH in the scaping, as he placed his close to the surface, and thus it gives the "spot" effect. His tank is 500mm deep BTW...

    This unit cost me R1500, and in all honesty, I cannot see one lighting up anything other than nano tanks with this unit alone, unless you run a few of them. My dad has a 3foot tank, and would need about 3 of these units with the standard lens, or 2with the 90degree lens.

    I am in negotiations with the company, to get them to give me a few samples to try and test, and see which combinations works best, and then maybe getting a production line going at reduced costs, but I will update you on that as we go along.

    Also, I can in some extent agree with the Cyano claim that has been made above. The SPS coral I bought had cyano all over the rock it came on, and within a week ALL the cyano was gone. Now whether my 25% water changes, macro algae or flow had anything or everything to do with that, I have no idea, but that statement is one that I intend on testing thoroughly!!! Will give you the outcome of that too...

    The SPS I have is doing VERY VERY well, and I can definetly see growth... Here is a recent pc of it, and note the polyp extension:

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. SIMS

    SIMS

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    Can you get the 3w units...?
     
  6. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    I cannot see why not. As I say, they had these as standard units, but they should be able to fit 6x 3W LEDs. They actually have the PAR38 7x 3W units, but they have to change two of those white LED's with BLUE's, and then let me "play" with it to see how it performs. I would like to tests those in dads 1000x500x500 tank rather, as it is a more "realistic" tank than a 300x300x300 pico :lol:
     
  7. Johan van Aardt

    Johan van Aardt I love marines [R.I.P.]

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    Jaco can you please send me the manufacturers details? we are busy converting a whole office building into LED lights only as well as our home and a few factories.
     
  8. stevengrant

    stevengrant

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  9. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Hi Steven... Thanks for your input, and welcome to MASA by the way...

    The reason for your algae taking a knock can be one of a few actually. Those BLUE leds are very high in the colour spectrum. Blue light has very little yellow and red colour which algae needs to photosynthesise. The algae inside coral also need this spectrum of light to supply oxygen to the coral, so we cannot just have blue lights in our tanks. You may have noticed that your coral still closes up at night even with your blue LEDs on - and that is the reason.

    The other possibility can be that your tank went through a cycle, but your filtration methods have caught up with the nutrients that algae lives from, so the algae is starving...

    Whatever the reason, it is good to hear that you are winning the battle. Having moonlights on isn't always neccesary, but if you feel comfortable doing it, that is fine. Just dont leave all lights on for 24hrs though... ;)
     
  10. Johan van Aardt

    Johan van Aardt I love marines [R.I.P.]

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    hi jaco just making sure you saw this
     
  11. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    PM sent... ;)
     
  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    I would like to put a PAR reader under those lights.

    Yes, one day LEDs will be the answer. Seems that the Plasma light is also close to be available. But at the moment, for bigger tanks, LEDs is not the answer. Soon yes, cannot wait.

    Jaco, you should try to check the PAR reading at different distances. You will be surprised how quickly the reading do fall. But I wonder how that will work on LEDS, being narrow beam. I do not think that the difference will be that big as on T5 or MH tubes when measured for example at 100mm away compared to 200mm away. But I might be wrong.
     
  13. SIMS

    SIMS

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    send me the details and I will buy a unit and test it ;)
     
  14. Johan van Aardt

    Johan van Aardt I love marines [R.I.P.]

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    ok but sims get one then that has six 3 watt LED's in with 60 degree optics.

    see what you get out of that.
     
  15. Dane

    Dane

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    Thanks for a very informative read!

    Seems that those 1w LEDs dont really pack the punch, from what i've read on the US forums. How long has this tank been running for under that LED unit? Cause thats just 6w of LED lighting! Depending on the style of optics you have on those LEDs you might be able to grind down the "spot" and spread the light a bit -and thus lower them down a little. Otherwise why not just ask the supplier you got the unit from for different optics? they're usually the cheapest thing arent they?
     
  16. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    I must agree that 6W LED's might not sound that much, and I would agree that on deep tanks from 500mm and deeper, one would want to rather go for the 7x 3W PAR38 unit. That at least has a total of 21W. But then again, as per the attachment, other 1W LED's havent really done well sofar, yet the CREE version is doing it.

    But, go read the article again, we must not at all stare ourselves blind at what the wattage of a light is, as this is just power consumption. Here is the specs on CREE XR-E LED's... Note the Lumen values!!! As far as my knowledge carries, that is far more than T5's, and right on par with MH.

    View attachment 717

    My tank has been running for just over a month now with these LED's, and within that time I have seen huge growth. Trust me, my dad wouldn't dish out R3k to put lights in that didn't work well, considering he already has 4x 39W and a 150W MH.

    He told me last night he is seriously considering getting more LED's, as he noted massive improvement on his coral since the LED's.;)
     
  17. neo

    neo

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    Jaco, did you understand the PAR part in that article ? I'm still confused about PAR readings and what it actualy indicates.
     
  18. Boegie

    Boegie

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    Excellent thread, thanks.
     
  19. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    I think so yes... sortof.

    Let me try and highlight the "important" notes and explain how I undertstand it - but I maybe completely wrong...:p Just bare with me, grab a hold of your seat and let's go...

    Quote: PAR is the abbreviation for Photosynthetically Active Radiation which is the spectral range of solar light from 400 to 700 nanometers that is needed by plants for photosynthesis.

    So basically PAR is the wavelengths of light that algae needs to photosnthesise. Light values lower than 400 and higher than 700 is of no use.

    Blue light has the shortest wavelengths, and thus penetrate the deepest due to having the most energy. Red on the other hand has the longest wavelength with lowest energy.
    Here are two a graph to help you understand:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    Now, PAR is the Photosynthetically Active Radiation between 400-700 nm. PUR falls within this PAR graph, and PUR is the USABLE RADIATION that lies between 400-700nm, thus this is what we are after for photosynthesis.

    A) The first "usable" PAR value in the actinic range is at 465-485. This just triggers the photosyntetic agents to "move" towards the light, in order to start the process of photosynthesis.

    Thus the importance of actinic light (465-485) as this is the "ignition" for photosynthesis. That is why you will see ALL aquarium lights having at least some blue in this wavelength.

    B) Then the second process starts at 600-650nm where a protein called photosynthetic reaction centers that contain chlorophyl abosrb energy from
    light.

    C) Then comes the most important part; the 670nm mark, where chlorofil and zooxantellea algae actually photosynthesizes actively. This is the radiation needed by algae to feed and propogate. Without this radiation point, the health of the plant will be bad and propably death would follow. The highest point is where inra red (red) and UVA (yellow) meet, and this is the ultimate point of energy for the algae.

    Here is a graph to explain the above. Note the graph markers A) B) and C) as I also explained it above. These are the three stages of what is needed for the algae to grow and live.

    [​IMG]

















    So now we understand that there are three stages:

    a) triggers the agents to "wake up" and move into position (actinic)
    b) makes the agents absorb energy (yellow / red)
    c) is where the actual work is done, and put into beneficial produce for the coral.

    From this graph, can you understand why the yellow/green spectrum is of little to no use for coral? This is where the LED technology is better as it "cuts out the middleman - yellow/green".


    So after this is said, what is important for us?
    Answer: Those three agents: the trigger, absorbtion and then the processing.

    When we look at lights then that is why a 14000K MH is so well balanced, as it has the widest spectrum of light needed. Here is the graphs from Geisemann on a 14000K.

    [​IMG]

    Then you look at the 5600K light which still has a little bit of blue as the trigger agent, but mostly red where the most important functions take place.

    [​IMG]

    Now look at the actinic light, where you will see mostly blue, and VERY little red which is why they are inadequite as sole light source over a photosynthetic reef.

    [​IMG]



    You will also note that within all these above mentioned lights, there are still alot of yellow and green. This is what the LED guys claim they do not have, as it is unused and makes the water look "yellower" to the human eye. Also being the reason LED's and Xenon are so bright, it is just our eyes detects no yellow.

    I hope this clears out the PAR issue a bit more for you.

    In a nutshell, a 6500 K light has the very best PAR spikes, making for the best growth in coral and algae. 14000K is balanced to give both good growth and actinic function, and 20000K has great actinic functions, but cannot sustain photosynthesis.
     
    Last edited: 12 Aug 2010
  20. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Just as a word of warning to those that is new to the hobby or maybe doesn't understand lighting that well yet.

    You need not be a rocket scientist to gather from the above that a 5600-6700K light would give you the best growth on coral. And you would be 100% correct...

    BUT...

    this is also the case for algae... So please dont go and chuck all your 10000-15000K tubes in the dustbin and get a 5600K MH just cause I said so... I take no responisbility for you turning your tank green... ;)

    Use caution with low K lights!!!
     
  21. Anemone

    Anemone

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    Awesome thread Jaco!
     
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