My LED Lighting

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by danimal, 10 Aug 2010.

  1. danimal

    danimal

    Joined:
    21 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    1,605
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Durban
    Hey guys

    I've been thinking about LED lighting for a while, waying up the pros and cons etc... To me it seems there are two big obstacles:

    1. Cost. A decent LED unit suitable for marine use is way more expensive to set up than standard T5s or even MH lights. However the benefit is an extended lifetime - but the though of forking out thousands for an as yet unproven technology is a major hindrance to most.

    2. Effectiveness. The debate continue to rage about whether or not LEDs are suitable for our pieces of ocean, and I am not going to try prove one or the other here. I am merely thinking out of the box, and trying out something that may or may not work.

    So what about a combination of LEDs and T5s/MH? My tank has been running for almost a year on 4 T5s, not the most ambitious lighting setup I know. I have a fair selection of LPS and softies that are thriving, my torch has survived a brown jelly attack and has since split heads twice and is in the process of splitting another. I have two frogspawns which have both grown substantially as well.

    Recently I was involved in the design of a current controller that would drive an LED torch suitable for diving at depths below 50m in caves - in other words I made a bright-ass torch. Long story short, I adapted the controller to use these same LEDs in my tank - in conjunction with my existing T5s. I have made my own tank controller which does auto top-up, temp control, random flow, light timing etc, so it was a relatively simple matter to incorporate my LED design (well theoretically anyway, somewhere somehow I shorted something which almost destroyed my controller - I spent the whole of Sunday and Monday trying to fix it, tearing my hair out, but that's a whole other story :p )

    Anyway so here are some pics:

    [​IMG]

    Original lighting hood

    [​IMG]

    LEDs on

    [​IMG]

    T5s only

    [​IMG]

    T5s and LEDs

    THe picture don't really do it justice - but you get the idea. In real life the difference is ASTOUNDING - the colours really come to life, and I get the shimmering effect of a point light source as well :thumbup:

    So that is my story. I will keep you posted as to how the livestock adapt to the new lighting.
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. SumthingFishy

    SumthingFishy

    Joined:
    7 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    161
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Paarl, WC
    Looking good and brings out the natural colors of your tank.
    I am also looking at the LED/T5 combo.

    Have you thought about placing LED strips as well? Since it is easier to add/remove LEDs....one can add as the budget allows.

    Let us know how your corals do with the new LEDs.

    Good luck :)
     
  4. H0nda42

    H0nda42

    Joined:
    16 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    318
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Durban
    Hi Danimal - I like your willingness to break new boundaries. The effects certainly look great on your tank. Which LED's did you use and where did you get them? I have seen alot of places starting to stock LED clusters. Ross also built his own moonlight with LED's from Voltech. So keep us informed of how it goes from here.
     
  5. danimal

    danimal Thread Starter

    Joined:
    21 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    1,605
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Durban
    yeah the strip idea was one I had for a long time - but I found it easier and cheaper to design my own - I am using industrial LEDs that run pretty hot, had to install a fan in my hood to keep temps down
     
  6. danimal

    danimal Thread Starter

    Joined:
    21 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    1,605
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Durban
    thanks guys, they are cree xr-e, got them from arrow altech
     
  7. zayd

    zayd

    Joined:
    19 Mar 2010
    Posts:
    727
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    Cape Town
    The most important thing is the PAR readings. Have you tested them?
     
  8. danimal

    danimal Thread Starter

    Joined:
    21 Jul 2009
    Posts:
    1,605
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Durban
    No, I don't have access to one. But it can only be an improvement on my previous setup where my corals were happy :p hopefully they will just get happier LOL
     
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Lighting Forum Date
Lighting. Lighting 22 Nov 2016
Led lighting General Discussions and Advice 21 Nov 2016
Lighting. General Discussions and Advice 12 Nov 2016
Lighting for FOWLR Lighting 26 Oct 2016
Aqua Sanrise LED Lighting Lighting 14 Oct 2016
Acclimate anemone lighting Anemone's 24 Sep 2016
Help Led Lighting & Drivers Lighting 23 Aug 2016