View Full Version : Thinking of upgrading my 4 bulb VHO to LED and VHO?

01/10/2011, 11:43 AM
I'm looking into options on upgrading the lighting in my tank. It's a 65g (36 x 18 x 24) and has a water depth of about 21". It's only about a week old right now and it has a 4 bulb VHO setup in it. There are (2) 24" (75w) White Actinics and (2) 24" (75w) Super Actinics. The bulbs are about 1-1.5 years old so they are in need of replacement.

Looks like bulbs pricing is around $20 a bulb so I'm looking at $80 plus shipping.

This got me thinking, I've read that VHO setups are still pretty decent, especially actinics. I've considered upgrading anyway to get some better lighting. I don't really want to be limited as to what I can keep because of lighting. Instead of spending the money to replace all the bulbs I'm thinking now might be a good idea to do an upgrade, or partial upgrade.

I'm good with wiring and DIY so here's my thought.

Keep two of the VHO fixtures and my IceCap 430-008 and buy (1) new 36" (95w) Super Actinic and (1) new 36" (95w) 454 Actinic. I'll have to measure first to see if I can fit them in my canopy. If not I'll have to stick with 24". I could also use a 3rd 36" bulb with the IceCap too. This would give me 200w or 300w of actinics.

This just leaves the white light which I'd like to use LEDs for. I've read some about the 3w cree LEDs being a hot ticket right now. What would be involved in me setting up these in the canopy if I do it myself? Where's a good place to buy them?

Do you think this would be a good setup? What would it take to get good lighting out of the LEDs?

I've seen some people turn on their actinics an hour before actual lighting and keep them on for an hour after actual lighting so that's something I'd like to do as well which should be easy since they'll be wired up separately. Is the moon lighting just a decorative thing? I think it does look neat and would be nice to use for seeing things in the dark. This is something else I'd be interested in incorporating.

01/10/2011, 11:55 AM
If you go to rapidled.com and get the 36 led kit with half white led's and half royal blue led's you could sell your vho's and go all led.

01/10/2011, 12:15 PM
From what I read though the VHOs are still better than LEDs for their actinics? Maybe it's just because there are more color choices?

If Actinic VHO bulbs are a good choice I rather stick with those. I'll have the cost of bulbs for my Actinics which would be cheaper than replacing with LEDs. I won't be able to sell the VHO system for much since it needs all new bulbs.