LIGHTiNG:Old school vs New school

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by STC-1000, 6 Aug 2013.

  1. STC-1000

    STC-1000 In Reefers Rehab

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    So I have seen on more than 1 thread that certain guys are haven problems with LED technology and a lot of users have jumped in and having similar issues... Some is incorporatin both T5 + LEDS ... Some T5 + LED + MH ....

    The saying goes 'if it aint broke,why fix it??? .... So yeah,since wayyyyy back in the days,reefers have been using T5 or T5+MH combos with oustanding results ,until recently(or nt so recently,man were has the time gone) LEDs have hit the market ... More so because of its elec effieciency,and due to our ever increasing Tarrifs,everyone ran towards LEDs,welcoming it with open arms. Tho many questions were raised right in the beginning about its longevity concerning the leds itself,and its contribution to the reef,and no1 had answers

    Well now a few years later, some has that answers....

    Is it the spectrum,wattage,focus points ie optics ,individual colours??? Wat is it that can make u or break u???....

    I personally have found with a Radion XR-30 with TIR lense upgrade,I ran a sps nano,from start to 8mnths all I saw was huge increase in colour,growth and overall health ... now I see a user with a diferent unit that has diferet colours,wattage and optics complain it could lead to his tanks demise ... Another note is that some reefers are mixing up the LEDs and T5 ,wat does this mean,is this the proof we needed that LEDs are NOT long term? Is the old school proven over and over to work soon coming back?

    These are points I've noted in a few discusions concerning lighting options and a fellow reefer made a good point that 'NO' LEDS are nt that much,or in some case actually more expensive to run that the conventional T5s .... Is it then still worthit to venture into LEDS which to many newies are prices very high,is the idea of being modern misconceived.I would just like to hear opinions of guys using LEDs,T5 or both combined,as I feel this could help a lot to make decisions on wat works and nt just wats fancy

    Please do not derail this thread into battles of units, its a general discusion concerning LEDs in general and T5s in general too.... Again,I am not gunning LEDs in anyway,nor directing any bad @ any specific units,I had success with leds, some other did not...
     
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  3. Furbz

    Furbz

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    i moved my nano across from a 150w halide with 2x 24w T5's to 2x 50/50 vertex illumilux units.
    in the space of a month my corals colours started popping more and looked better than ever! however it was noticed that the overall amount of light was less than my previous lighting. and this bugged me
    i have since added a kessil a150w(ocean blue) in addition to my vertex units, and with the extra actinic light source my tank looks better than ever!

    my setup has been running on LED's for over a year with no adverse effects thus far.
    yes my lighting is major overkill for a 600x500x450 nano. but man does it look spectacular!
    i'm all for LEDS
     
  4. mornewil

    mornewil Morne

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    Yeah i second good results with the Radion unit. I ran a softy/lps tank and after moving from the PC lights to LED i had a rapid increase in growth. A few reefers that has seen my frag tank and purchased from them can vouch. Also with the mix of colours and the way you can tune the intensity, it can be fine tuned to bring out the best in your corals. With the LED my colours popped and growth increased so IMO and experience with LED's, its all positive.:thumbup:
     
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  5. Esmond

    Esmond

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    Leds all the way, getting some pretty good colour and growth(Sps's) from my units.
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2013
  6. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    LEDs are perfect for tanks <600mm high, while they do work on deeper your effective foot print gets smaller. but some crafty scaping and coral placement can solve the issue. i have gone with a mix of 250w MH and 100W led units and hope to see the difference between them.

    also gone are the days that LED is cheaper to run, with the 10w + LEDs out there the units are running at the same wattage :)

    MH, T5 and Led all work, new tech doesnt make the old redundant, but provide another way to skin the preverbial cat
     
  7. STC-1000

    STC-1000 Thread Starter In Reefers Rehab

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    Well, like I said above Leds are awesum ... So what if we change up this thread just a tad bit

    State ur unit,type of tank(sps,lps etc) ,size of tank,amt of units .positives and negatives and hw u changed ur negatives into positives ... In this way, a reefer that becomes dispondent coz of a few negatives will be gratefull for the advice provides and ur success can increase another reefers enthusiasm,may be running same unit,tank size etc, but opersite results
     
  8. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    I have been a die hard fan of my Halides for a long time. But recently after replacing two bulbs and a blown ballast, I mothballed them as running them is getting prohibatively expensive for my cube.

    I got a second hand kessil 350w and I'm well impressed at full power it appears brighter then my halides did, I get far better colour out of my corals and I'm seeing a growth spurt in my sps corals.....
     
  9. saaid

    saaid

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    My opinion is this : LED's provide so much more aesthetically that it misrepresents coral health because of all the fine tuning of wavelengths etc to meet "our" desired effect. Lately I base my tanks general overall health by just running the white LED's for 5 minutes to see what they actually look like in "real time". From that I can judge what is really happening with my tank.
     
  10. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    I got 4 Radions over a 1.5m tank, by 750 wide and 750mm deep

    When I only had 3 units, I was a bit disappointed. Due to the rock stack being fairly high, it was as if the top outer edges did not get light. Since adding the 4th unit, and also widening the bracket they hang on by another 300mm, I do get a lot better spread.

    The problem as I understand it, is due to the spotlight effects. Each led shines directly under it. So on deep tanks and narrow angle lenses you end up with a lot of shadow directly under the corals. There are no "stray" light coming in from an angle from the other leds clusters. For a test, place a teacup saucer above the coral and see it you totally shadows it.

    Where with T5 and MH, due to reflectors in place, you get all the light shining upwards from the globe reflected into all different directions. So the coral could get light from the other light unit that is not even directly above it. Much more true for SPS that is branching upward so with T5 the stem still got light, where as with LEDs they are in the shade.

    Having LED units spaced closer to each other and you can somehow eliminate the shadow effect. Obviously depending on the lenses. but that means adding another unit as I did.

    In reality, if the LFS or wholesaler tells you that each unit of his can cover a 600 by 600mm square section of the tank. That does not mean that 2 units would work for a 1.2m system. You will end up needing that 3rd unit to help out with the shadows and to get light shining in from a slight angle.
     
  11. Submariner

    Submariner

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    I think there is a lot of confusion regarding LED's and this is why there is so much mixed views regarding this technology.

    For example 6 different LED units all boasting the same wattage output can all give differing results and have differing lifespans this is mainly down to a few simple reasons.

    A. What LED's are being used, lets use 7500k LED's for this comparison :) these can differ from +- 60 lumens per watt on basic LED units all the way up to over the 200 lumens per watt region of the new gen LED's,most good quality LED unit will be using fro example 7500k LED's with around the 100 lumens per watt region and above

    So from the above comparison you can see why one LED unit running over a tank at 50% power could easily give out a higher PAR value than a lesser LED unit at 100% power. A good LED unit should easily replace a 400 watt Metal halide lamp while using around a third of the power(130 watts)

    B. LED's being used are of differing qualities(you cant expect a bottom of the range LED to perform as good or last has long has a quality LED.

    C LED's being powered at differing levels (Quality LED lighting manufacturers know that running a LED at say 75% of its capacity means that said LED will run below its temperature threshold and last +- 60,000 hrs so you can imagine the same LED or a lower quality LED running at 110% of its capacity at its temp threshold or above will not last half that time and may even degrade over a few months.

    D. Another huge thing regarding LED's especially on Reeftanks is what we call CRI or Color rendering Index, this is extremely important and something quality LED manufacturers are very carefull about when choosing LED's for there lighting units.

    LED's come with different CRI's dependent on type and manufacturer think of it has a type of colour accuracy the higher the CRI the more accurate the color Rendition, If you want healthy corals and no algea issues then good CRI is key.

    CRI can also be affected greatly by Heat so take into account what was mentioned above regarding temperature thresholds etc




    I hope the above helps :)
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2013
  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    As they say, a picture tells a thousand words

    This is a 1.2m tank, Lights at 200mm above the tank, with 60 degree optics.
    The little white thing is a coral. Use your imagination please. It is placed 300mm from the side, 300mm up on an invisible rock.

    [​IMG]

    First pic only light from above, so it will shade its own stem if SPS.
    Second pic, with added led unit in the middle, at least some "stray" light from the side. although not strong light, at least some.
    Last pic you will see that corals placed in the middle of the tank would get light from the sides as well. No more spotlight effect.

    BUT
    Where you went out finding out about LEDs for your 1.2m tank, and where advised that as each unit covers a 600 square, so you only need 2 units. Ha... Sure. Rather double up on your original expense...
     
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  13. Sooi

    Sooi

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    send us i pic or do you have a tank thread ?
     
  14. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    while we on the topic, there is no white LED, its filtered white, default is blue :)
     
  15. Submariner

    Submariner

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    Edited for you Dallas :)
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2013
  16. Submariner

    Submariner

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    I think you are missing the point.

    Even more now than ever its conceivable to replace a T5 or Metal Halide with a third the amount of LED power, now that we are beyond the 200 lumens per watt barrier its possible to almost replace with a quarter the amount of LED's

    Are you saying you would replace a 6500k 400 watt metal halide with 400 watts of lets say for interest sake XTE Cree LED's ?
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2013
  17. mariusmeyer

    mariusmeyer

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    This is exactly my feeling as well. Yes the total consumption of LED units are going up but the amount of PAR/PUR that they put out due to the specific wave lengths is more than the equivalent MH or T5 units. So you are getting more light with the same consumption.

    Some people might disagree and say that the PAR of MH is higher but they forget that the red and green spectrums etc, is also included in that which is not all that usable to corals.
     
  18. TheWaterboy

    TheWaterboy Sponsor

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    we had Mark Vera over a 2 & 3 years back at the show Imacsa held in Durban.
    he was at the time sponsered by one of the top L.E.D manufacturing Companies in the World and helping them with testing.(i stand to be corrected but not only or aquarium use but also photographic)
    at that time although the colours looked great and it made corals explode with brightness and colour, the results from testing was that after a few months the coral under the led began to loose colour etc etc
    what they found was that led had the PAR rating by far.....but no wavelength and the coral needed the wavelength to grow.
    his explanation to sort this out and what lighting companies quickly jumped onto was
    that hybrid units would be a better option until Plasma developed.
    he also made comparison to a snipper shot vs a shot gun.
    since then plasma seems to have dropped the ball and L.E.D technology has grown greatly......
    differant lenses have been made to throw more light and some units now have ALOT more
    L.E.D's in them to ensure the cover the wavelength needed aswell
    i personally have just recently changed to L.E.D....not because i prefer them......just cause i wanna see for myself and make my own conclusions, cause at the moment in one corner you have people taking the likes of radions etc etc and liking them to glorified disco lights where on the other hand you have people who swear by them.
    in the meantime....its fairly new so everyoe in the trade trying to distribute them as quick as possible, many even guiding clients away from t5 and mh......and if the reason is purely electricity efficiancy, well then in some cases people better check carfully as like its been said before....to get the rersults on mh and t5....some light units need to use plenty L.E.D's......multiply them by the average 3 watt led and you begin to notice very similar power usages. i think alot of people hear L.E.D and staright away see bunnies running around and eco friendly brownie points........which is great...but alot of the times the truth is the opposite.
    weather you watching corals grow in your tank or growing fields of marijuana indoors.......id personally do a small test for myself before outlying all the monies
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2013
  19. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    i am all for LEDs working, i can see that on my corals, but the energy saving factor is slowly being eroded as the effective foot print gets smaller and you require more units.
     
  20. Submariner

    Submariner

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    effective footprints are only going to get bigger.

    I can tell you now that with the efficiency of LED getting better all the time that narrow lenses will soon be a thing of the past on quality LED units and we will require even less LED units

    Not naming names but there are already a select few manufacturers that have already gone without add on lenses altogether has they are not needed with the higher quality LED's available and i think this is going to become the trend
     
    Last edited: 6 Aug 2013
  21. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    cool, yes Jake and EcoTech did mention how things are changing rapidly in the LED game...
     
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