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View Full Version : Are MH use dying because of LED


genxbigboy
11/01/2011, 04:10 PM
Since there are so many benefits from LED will Metal halide bulbs be leaving our hobby?. If that happens will we need chillers?

jimrawr
11/01/2011, 04:21 PM
Doubt it myself. At least not for many years to come

SWINGRRRR
11/01/2011, 04:26 PM
Having had LED, I just bought my first true MH pendant. What attracted me was the plug and play. Not to mention MH are becoming dirt cheap since people are unloading them. :-)

Lorenz725
11/01/2011, 04:31 PM
LED's are still growing in the hobby and in the end I think MH will always be around in this hobby. When setting up my new tank I looked into LED's a lot and in the end went with MH still to many unknowns about LED's for me.

genxbigboy
11/01/2011, 04:41 PM
Very good points I never saw it that way.

C Dog
11/01/2011, 05:14 PM
Its like when flat screen tvs came out. Cost alot of $$$$ but after awhile they are dirt cheap. I bet eventually LEDs will drop in price. Just a mater of when.

allsps40
11/01/2011, 05:16 PM
No way I am still a hard core MH user. LEDs do have me interested but no way would I invest and run my sps tank with just LED at this point.

mkengr45
11/01/2011, 05:24 PM
I think Mh will be around for a long time, but eventually they will be old technology. This may not be the case for many years though. I will stick to my simple halides until prices drop on the LEDs.

James77
11/01/2011, 05:34 PM
Having had both, halides will be around for a very long time. LEDs nay be better options for some people with heat problems and high electric rates, and halides may be better for those with wide coverage needs or who have cheap electric rates. I like the color and my coral seems to far prefer the halides I have than when I tried LED.

chilwil84
11/01/2011, 06:42 PM
i think leds are putting more of a hit on t5s than halides

dh350twin
11/01/2011, 07:38 PM
I think its a bit of a craze right now,,,,time will tell but imo t5's will still be around as well as MH

trmiv
11/01/2011, 09:16 PM
Just bought a new Cayman Sun pendant, 250w radium bulb and galaxy select-a-watt ballast for my new tank. Switching from the T5 I run currently. LEDs interest me, but I'm not ready to move to them now.

tank121
11/01/2011, 09:36 PM
What about plasma lights ? Sounds like they will beat out leds and halides.

cody6766
11/01/2011, 09:55 PM
I heard a bit of talk about plasma lights a year or so ago, but the color/cost seems to lose the race with LEDs. They apparently put out more light, but LEDs are getting very cheap and common relative to plasma tech. Unless I'm really missing something, LEDs, single and multichip, will probably be the future of our lighting needs.

that said, I"m not ready to ditch my T5s or MH for LEDs on my bigger tanks. The cost benefit is just not there for me yet. Once LEDs 'bottom out' in their pricing, I'll consider the swap. I fall into that cheap electric crowd w/o heat issues, so I don't have a NEED for LEDs. A want? maybe, but not a need. The flat screen TV analogy above is probably pretty accurate here. I don't see MH dieing out anytime soon. I think we'll have a dominant three lighting types instead of a dominant two types like we have now.

Southreef
11/01/2011, 10:31 PM
i think leds are putting more of a hit on t5s than halides

I would agree if it weren't for the EXTREME pricing of LEDs! I giggle every time I see a new led come out with a $500 + price tag.

Kolognekoral
11/02/2011, 05:28 AM
of course, I'm 100% pro LEDs, and for quite a few reasons, such as power consumption, heat, controlability, etc, but that isn't the question. I agree, LEDs may well push T5s right out of the market in a few years, but this will be followed by the halides, as well. I think their intensity will be interesting for deeper display for a few years more. In the end, the energy consumption will win out and, as far as pricing, I think they are already cheaper than any other type of lighting out there, even the expensive Illumina that I use. No lamp replacement, less tank cooling, easily up-datable, plus the best looking corals I've ever had. In the end, it's a no brainer. I'm saving a bundle on electricity costs.

The biggest hurdle for most is simply to adapt themselves to a different technology, but we have had that with all the previous lighting systems. History repeats, once again. I won't be pining for the good old days! :beer:

Plasma will be interesting to watch, but, as this point, there are a lot of problems with spectrum and life. I would think at some time solvable, but not for a decade I would expect.

alton
11/02/2011, 06:02 AM
i think leds are putting more of a hit on t5s than halides

I agree, the people I know who changed to LED had T5HO not MH.

Creetin
11/02/2011, 06:47 AM
They are a good choice for replacing actinic vho,t-5's. They have a couple years to go before i say they can out compete halides. I got rid of my halides as my tank is mixed and the sps i do have are pretty hearty and dont require to be baked. Most of the tank is zoa's and lps that look 100 times better with LED. My chalices GLOW and montis pop like never under halides and vho/t-5's.
I tried some royal blue leds to see what it looked like in my tank, Now going over the whole tank.

Cipher43
11/02/2011, 07:59 AM
No matter how ya look at it there will always be MHs and even the T-5s around. I doubt they would even disappear if LEDs become alot better and cheaper. Its like being an old car fan.... Once a classic Camaro fan always a classic Camaro fan!

Creetin
11/02/2011, 08:08 AM
I would not compare it to a classic car but i would say lighting is under appreciated in this hobby. You still have people using PC bulbs when there is so much better out there. If halide never go's in a few years then they will be pictured as PC's are pictured now. Obsolete.
That wont happen overnight mind you, But it will happen, IMO

Amoore311
11/02/2011, 08:11 AM
I've tried a couple LED fixtures. New tank is lit by a 250 Watt DE Phoenix 14k w/ a lumenbrite reflector.

LED's have some cool features, but bulb life right now is completely unproven IMO. That is really the only place I'd really save money myself going with LED. The power savings is negligible at best for me.

1 x 250 Watt Halide --> 250 Watts

I would need a minimum of 2 Radeon fixtures to get the coverage on my tank.
2 Radeon @ 188 Watt --> 376 Watts

My power numbers might be a bit off on the Radeon. I can't find the numbers published myself, so I went and added up the total wattages of all the LEDS in the fixture.

DustinB
11/02/2011, 09:06 AM
I don't see it going anywhere. Personally, I hate the look of LED's and will never try them again. I get the same response from many people.

raskal311
11/02/2011, 09:37 AM
It will be around much like PC bulbs maybe a bit better. MH are still way better the LED in term of sps growth.

C Dog
11/02/2011, 04:42 PM
MH are still way better the LED in term of sps growth.

Really? LEDs have proven to grow SPS the same or better as a MH

heckeng
11/02/2011, 05:01 PM
Friday I will be installing a 3 AI Sol setup over my 90 to see how it compares to my 2 250w Phoenix and T5 setup. I have tested 4 different sets of halide bulbs to get the right ones, and was 100% happy until I saw an actual AI Sol tank while visiting Florida.

I don't think MH will go anywhere for a long time, but I think T5 will be killed off by them. I think we will start seeing MH/LED fixtures get popular because if you have your MH fixture 12+ inches above your tank like I do, the T5's just don't do anything to help the coloration because the light is too dilluted by the time it hits the corals. LEDs will help immensely due to them being so much more directional.

stevedola
11/02/2011, 05:53 PM
I have used radium MH, ATI T5, and AI LED. I have to say I dont like the look of the AI or the acclimation project that it takes to swtich your tank over...or the dim look of the tank from LEDs. I have switched back to an ATI fixture for the color/growth/coverage. Good for the people that like LED but just not for me. 6 mths of LEds was enough for me. It only cost me 90% of my tanks corals/clams.

my opinion is that MH and T5 will still be around for a long time unless they can somehow compete with the other technologies appearance. Look at PC...theyre still around (barely) and its the worse technology available apart from NO.

C Dog
11/02/2011, 05:56 PM
I could see some Of the people that didnt like leds that didnt like the look or not bright enough not having enough or the right color Combo.

mandingCa
11/02/2011, 05:57 PM
LEDs...been there, tried that!

Current Sps dominated tank is rocking and rolling old school styles...halide.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

stevedola
11/02/2011, 06:05 PM
I could see some Of the people that didnt like leds that didnt like the look or not bright enough not having enough or the right color Combo.

and at what point of needing better led fixtures with multiple colors and multiple units does it stop being cost effective? The main draw that LED had with me was the reduced consumption and less heat...if I need to run 2 units at 150-200w over my small tank what is the cost saving when the unit costs over 1000?

say what you want about bulb replacement but IMO its a small price to pay for the appearance that makes me go WOW. I have yet to see a LED fixture that can match the coloration of T5 or MH/T5 combo.

rwb500
11/02/2011, 06:13 PM
i think that when people finally give in to the mounting evidence that LED's can grow corals and look just as good as anything else, and prices come down, and performance goes up, LED's will take over. Dimmable, color adjustable, more efficient, no heat in tank, slimmer fixtures, extreme bulb life, etc... the MH/T5 battle will have a clear winner, when people get used to them and the initial cost comes down. how long that will take, who knows. I think in 10 years MH will be viewed as "retro." In 20 years it will be hanging on by a thread. in 30 it will be gone.

edit-just my opinion. if you disagree that is fine with me.

stevedola
11/02/2011, 06:18 PM
really? only 30 years?

in 30 years LEDs maybe obsolete.

sniper87
11/02/2011, 09:18 PM
I agree with many others about too many variables. LED's have not been around long enough to have been accurately tested in our hobby. I have vho's and an LED's and I like them but my tank still seems like it is missing a color spectrum. I am considering getting a 250 mh light just to see if it is what I need or not to get the color I am looking for.

Toddrtrex
11/02/2011, 09:48 PM
I seem to recall some people saying that MH would be gone because of T5's, that never happened. Don't see MH going away any time soon.

sirreal63
11/02/2011, 10:21 PM
I agree with Todd and everyone else who understands that when it comes to growing corals, the proven long term technology is still MH. It was proven with the Solaris that you could sustain and grow coral with LED's, not exactly new information, T5's still work great as well. Each has it's advantages and disadvantages, what is important is what is personal to you. Pick what fits your needs and remember having the latest, does not always mean having the greatest.

Zappo
11/02/2011, 10:39 PM
I doubt MH is going anywhere. They're just too reliable. And I doubt LED prices will come down and make them competitive with t5 any time soon. MH has been around since the 60's and bulbs still go for $50 - $100 each.

Reefnut2010
11/02/2011, 11:27 PM
Not an expert on lighting , but my take like others is... LED technology has still a ways to go in order to be supreme. Yes it has its advantages, but the real performers still can't light a tank like MH lights, the cost is still too much for some and longevity is still unproven. I'm going to stick to my combo (which by the way has all 3 types) until the uncertainties are proven (for me) !Then and only then will I give up my MH lights. Not ready to jump on the bandwagon Yet !!

Cdog, that clown in your avatar is truly amazing !! I want it.

mussel and hate
11/03/2011, 12:49 AM
MH isn't going away any time soon. Many reefers already own the equipment and like the results. With current pricing on LED fixtures(even DIY components) replacing a working system in this economy isn't a top priority.

I suspect new reefers and those with failing kit will be more inclined to adopt LED over MH just based on power savings. If mine failed in an irreparable fashion I'd make the shift just for the sake of tinkering.

I currently burn a 175W Iwasaki Aqua 2. Ive been running this lamp since 1/28/08 for 12 hours/day for a total of about 17k hours of nice blue white high par light. Who knows, perhaps I have one of those 'magical' lamps that just keeps burning forever. I'll likely buy another soon just in case...

eric mac
11/03/2011, 01:37 AM
Really? LEDs have proven to grow SPS the same or better as a MH

I've ran LED's and really didn't get much out of my sps with all LED's. Sure they looked great under LED the lighting, but when friends took my frag to their MH tanks they had no color to them. So I reinstalled MH's back on my system and saw it for my self. Most off my sps where very colorless under the halides. Currently I'm running a hybrid setup. LED's all day long (blues only), PC's 7 hours (atinic only), halides 5 hours (over driven 20k bulbs so their not so blue). Up intil I started bio-pellets my tank looked great with this combo of lighting.Don't get me wrong LED's do make corals look awesome, to a point. But when trading amongst friends I felt like poop that my corals looked like poop in others tanks.

milspec
11/03/2011, 05:55 AM
I just did the switch from 400wMh to 6/ 30w LEDs and I can't see the difference, except the colors are better. It is a waiting game to see how the corals respond. If not good, I'll have to go back to the halides.
It looks good so far. My anemones didn't move from the bottom of the tank, corals all opened up today everything still looks the same or better. I guess I will know in a few months.

I think if you have a larger tank a halide may be better to cover a large area.
If you are worried about bulb cost a switch to LEDs will not save that much money. LEDs have a life expectancy.
What it dose save is, air conditioning, a chiller and a lot of electricity. This adds up to a lot of money. You can't make a better investment.
In 10 years, my MH bulbs, including the t5s, if I only changed them once a year would have cost me $2,500, LEDs may last at least 10 years. The money saved in operating cost over the ten years will be in the thousands.

Creetin
11/03/2011, 06:24 AM
Everyone will have a different opinion about it, Sure MH has all the right spectrum firing. Leds are focused on a hand full. Leds are almost there.I have seen some sweet tanks with Led. Also heard of nightmares of people frying the corals up. With any lighting switch its not instant gratification.
There are people that will never adopt the theory and that MH will die. It will in the term of a % of users, and you can already start seeing the proof. Go out and look for how many MH ballasts will be avail now a days compared to 4 years ago, Then try to find a magnetic ballast, See how many bulb choices there are.
4 years you you could find sunlight supply,icecap,pfo ec,ect,ect more bulb choices than you could shake a stick at. You would be lucky to see half of the brands around . I would say by the end of 2013 1/3rd of the reefers will use led if not close already.
It will grow maybe 10-15% a year from that until you get to say 75% (3-4 years)
You can see that T-5 and vho sales are very low. You see ati fixtures for pretty cheap, and all the other brands you dont see any more being dropped from the shelves. The only reason why more people have not gone more to led is up front price. I cant tell you how many posts say that if leds were cheaper they would have them. The mentality is like waiting for a tv to get cheaper. Its not that easy, innovation has a cost, and as fast as its evolving the fixtures have a premium. I shared that mentality that i'll wait for it to get cheaper. Wen something changes with LED most if not all adapt to it. TV's remain making them for awhile.

milspec
11/03/2011, 07:06 AM
You can stick that money in the bank and get at least 100 bucks or more in interest in ten years.:lol:

Just a few years ago, I would have never switched to LEDs, but after seeing corals growing under the ones I bought for a while at my LFS, I decided it was time to make the investment.

Amoore311
11/03/2011, 07:55 AM
Dimmable, color adjustable, more efficient, no heat in tank, slimmer fixtures, extreme bulb life


Considering there has been no real test of how long LEDS can hold their spectrum.... the bulb life of LEDS is still completely unproven.

I can fire my metal halide bulbs for 2+ years before they completely burn out. That doesn't mean the spectrum is still good for coral growth.

James77
11/03/2011, 08:13 AM
4 years you you could find sunlight supply,icecap,pfo ec,ect,ect more bulb choices than you could shake a stick at. You would be lucky to see half of the brands around . I would say by the end of 2013 1/3rd of the reefers will use led if not close already..

Sunlight Supply is still around, and offers switchable halide ballasts that are very popular. Yes, their magnetics were dropped, but that is because electronic ballasts dominate now. Lumatek offers a dimmable ballast, as well as CoralVue. There are ARO ballasts and AquaMedic still offers magnetic ballasts as well. Bulbs are no more difficult to find now than any other time.

PFO bit the dust, but lets not forget that they did so because they decided to go 100% LED without doing their homework. 1/3 of the reefers using LEDs is no big deal if their is still a third using halides and a third using T5s. I am not saying it may not become the dominant lighting, but halides will be around a long time, and in some cases are a FAR better choice than LEDs.

You can see that T-5 and vho sales are very low. You see ati fixtures for pretty cheap, and all the other brands you dont see any more being dropped from the shelves. The only reason why more people have not gone more to led is up front price. I cant tell you how many posts say that if leds were cheaper they would have them.

But T5s about 4-5 years ago were going to be THE thing that were going to kill halides. At the time they offered more efficiency and 2 year bulb life. Fast forward to now, and the bulb life is more lik 10 months. LEDs are unproven in that area as of right now.

I've tried LEDs, a DIY fixture which was expensive enough as is. I am back with halides and will be more many more years. Sure, I will pay several more dollars in electric cost and $100 a year in bulbs, but i did not get into this hobby to try and save pennies. It is an expensive hobby where equipment runs into many thousands, so I am not too worried abnout save a few bucks a month. Others may, and others may also need reduced heat and have sky high electric rates. But LED will not kill halides, just reduce their usage.

milspec
11/03/2011, 08:32 AM
In a lot of different situations, it is more practical to use halide over a bunch of LED fixtures, so they aren't going to be obsolete any time soon.
Someday they may be.

OneReef
11/03/2011, 09:02 AM
I think down the road, LED or something even better will replace MH and T5. Once the LED technology gets to where you can have the right blend of LED colors to match sunlight or full spectrum MH, there will be no need for anything other than LED. If the price is low, you get the color you need, the PAR that you want, the energy savings and the bulb savings, as well as no heat, why would anyone use anything else? I am meaning when the technology moves forward to that point. LED's in themselves are not expensive. Neither are the drivers. Prices will fall eventually. And the tech will grow by leaps and bounds.

sirreal63
11/03/2011, 09:10 AM
LED's have been in the hobby since 2006 IIRC...how long is it going to take to get them ready for prime time?

11/03/2011, 09:27 AM
Hi,

I'd be really keen to see this,

James:wave:


Really? LEDs have proven to grow SPS the same or better as a MH

heckeng
11/03/2011, 10:01 AM
LED's have been in the hobby since 2006 IIRC...how long is it going to take to get them ready for prime time?

This is normal I think, how long was it that people used those ugly 6500K halide bulbs before some companies started making 10k, 14k, and 20k bulbs so the corals were something other than yellow?

It amazes me how defensive people get about the various lighting methods. Unless you make a living by selling them, there is no reason to be defensive on one over the other.

Right now, I think Halides still win out, but I think their time is running out. The issue that I think most people have with halides is that in order to tweak the color you have to buy new bulbs at a minimum of $50 each or try and find someone whose tank has the bulbs you are considering that you can see in person. Heat is also sometimes an issue but not always--it wasn't a big deal with me for example. The energy savings is an ignorant argument in my opinion. It is a nice benefit of LEDs but seriously, if you are a "normal" reefer and have one or two tanks using halides, if you are worried about saving that $10 to $20 per month, you probably shouldn't have the tanks in the first place in my opinion. NONE of us run our tanks as a way to save money, they are a luxury item. Also, Internet pictures do NOT show you what the tank actually looks like with whatever bulbs it uses and can not be relied upon, of course this is true for Halide, Fluorescent, and LED bulbs. So rather than buying a bunch of bulbs (which I did), now you can turn a dial to tweak the color. That is pretty nice.

sirreal63
11/03/2011, 10:18 AM
This is normal I think, how long was it that people used those ugly 6500K halide bulbs before some companies started making 10k, 14k, and 20k bulbs so the corals were something other than yellow? People were not successfully growing corals at the hobby level until the mid 90's and even then there were different color temp MH's around. People used the 6500K Iwasaki's because they were readily available and inexpensive. LED technology isn't new, it has been around since the 60's but hasn't really progressed much until recently, it will continue to grow, hopefully a little faster now.

It amazes me how defensive people get about the various lighting methods. Unless you make a living by selling them, there is no reason to be defensive on one over the other. I don't believe in getting defensive, but rather like to invoke some thought in other people. :-)

Right now, I think Halides still win out, but I think their time is running out. The issue that I think most people have with halides is that in order to tweak the color you have to buy new bulbs at a minimum of $50 each or try and find someone whose tank has the bulbs you are considering that you can see in person. Heat is also sometimes an issue but not always--it wasn't a big deal with me for example. The energy savings is an ignorant argument in my opinion. It is a nice benefit of LEDs but seriously, if you are a "normal" reefer and have one or two tanks using halides, if you are worried about saving that $10 to $20 per month, you probably shouldn't have the tanks in the first place in my opinion. NONE of us run our tanks as a way to save money, they are a luxury item. Also, Internet pictures do NOT show you what the tank actually looks like with whatever bulbs it uses and can not be relied upon, of course this is true for Halide, Fluorescent, and LED bulbs. So rather than buying a bunch of bulbs (which I did), now you can turn a dial to tweak the color. That is pretty nice. I completely agree.

LED has promise and the technology will continue to grow, but so will other technologies in lighting. In the end each person will have to decide what is the best fit for them. I have seen amazing tanks with MH, PC's, VHO's, T5's and LED's which is proof that it isn't the lighting that makes or breaks a tank, it is the person who manages the tank.

milspec
11/03/2011, 10:43 AM
This is normal I think, how long was it that people used those ugly 6500K halide bulbs before some companies started making 10k, 14k, and 20k bulbs so the corals were something other than yellow?

It amazes me how defensive people get about the various lighting methods. Unless you make a living by selling them, there is no reason to be defensive on one over the other.

Right now, I think Halides still win out, but I think their time is running out. The issue that I think most people have with halides is that in order to tweak the color you have to buy new bulbs at a minimum of $50 each or try and find someone whose tank has the bulbs you are considering that you can see in person. Heat is also sometimes an issue but not always--it wasn't a big deal with me for example. The energy savings is an ignorant argument in my opinion. It is a nice benefit of LEDs but seriously, if you are a "normal" reefer and have one or two tanks using halides, if you are worried about saving that $10 to $20 per month, you probably shouldn't have the tanks in the first place in my opinion. NONE of us run our tanks as a way to save money, they are a luxury item. Also, Internet pictures do NOT show you what the tank actually looks like with whatever bulbs it uses and can not be relied upon, of course this is true for Halide, Fluorescent, and LED bulbs. So rather than buying a bunch of bulbs (which I did), now you can turn a dial to tweak the color. That is pretty nice.

I started with the 175w 6500 k bulbs lol... way back when....:hmm2:
Then went to 250w then to 400 w 10,000k 20,000k etc.
VHOs replaced with T5s. T5s were better...
Now I am running the LEDs


It's the saving of up to $50.00+ a month just by swapping lights why I did the change.
The savings isn't just what the lights consume, it is also from not running my chiller, air conditioning, fans and supplemental T5s that will save money. The major reduction in noise and the tank looking 10 times better is an added bonus.

As for INTENSITY the LED fixtures I used are just as bright as 250 watt halides. I am very happy with them and they weren't that expensive.
You can't adjust the color on these so if you want more then 15000k you will need to add blue. All I did was use two of their blue fixtures or I could have used an upgrade ring of royal blue leds. The color is perfect to me as is. Later I may add the rings for more blue to fill in.

CliftonArbogast
11/03/2011, 01:03 PM
The grass is always greener with the other fixtures, Tried T5, Halides and started to build an LED fixture, this hobby is about burning as much money as you can:angryfire:, I might not be in the lead, but im trying! If im not upgrading one thing I'm not happy.:spin2:

Really its about understanding the balance of the tank, and your equipment, all lighting can be done well and done poorly, same with everything else in this hobby. Find something you want and learn to use it properly.

chilwil84
11/03/2011, 07:55 PM
my tanks are in a minimal temp controlled basement. my heaters dont have to run at all for 4 months because the lights and equipment keep the temp hight enough. in the winter when my basement temp drops the heaters fire a lot more. I have 5 tanks (125, 120, 75, 55 and 40 ). my electric bill is more in the winter than summer even with the air running and the higher summer electricity rate. if my lights gave off no heat any saving in electricity and bulb change may be totally wipped out.

mussel and hate
11/03/2011, 09:28 PM
I think plasma will be the real MH killer, LEDs will take out fluoros.

Considering there has been no real test of how long LEDS can hold their spectrum.... the bulb life of LEDS is still completely unproven.

I can fire my metal halide bulbs for 2+ years before they completely burn out. That doesn't mean the spectrum is still good for coral growth.

This is true. But if your lamp still grows coral well after 2 years why replace it :D

One advantage LEDs posses over MH regarding spectral shift is that you can compensate by replacing some of your emitters assuming that is that you know where the deficiency lies.

For sure the current crop of white LEDs are going to have spectral shift just like fluorescent lamps since both rely on phosphors for Stokes shifting blue light into "white". Blue LEDs have no such problems and quantum dot LEDs are becoming a reality. Spectral shift of Q-dot LEDs shouldn't be a concern... at least in theory.

Perhaps low wattage MH with supplemental blue LEDs makes sense as a stop-gap measure while waiting for the technology to mature and the pricing to drop.