PDA

View Full Version : LED Pre-Purchase Reality Check?


pherbert
12/11/2012, 03:29 PM
I've done a bunch of reading so far and I'm getting ready to order LEDs for my 90 gallon (4' x 18" x 2'deep) mixed reef tomorrow. I'm just looking for a reality check/some validation of the following thought process.

I want to go LED for energy savings and to get out of the bulb replacement treadmill.
I'd really like flexible programability, either web-based (Like the Radion Gen 2.) or by getting a Neptune Apex.
I'm handy enough to build my own with a kit, busy enough to maybe be willing to pay for an assembled light.
I currently have 2x250 14k MH going 8 hours and a T5 fixture that runs the first and last couple hours of the day.

Originally I was leaning towards 2 Radions, now I'm thinking either the RapidLED 90 gallon kit (with Neptune Apex,) or possibly a couple of the Apollo SolarBlast 5000s (with Neptune Apex.)

The Radions or Apollos are $300 more, but I don't have to do any work.

I'm leaning towards the RapidLEDs right now.

Is there anything I'm missing, or another company I should be considering? Let's just say money is no object (of course it is :)) I'm probably as much interested in hearing from those of you who have been down one of the above paths already and maybe wish you'd done something differently.

Thanks!

Tickle
12/11/2012, 03:36 PM
I think that a kit from rapid would be very little work seeing as everything is already tapped and drilled. Ive been looking into getting one for my 125 and I'm 99% sure thats what I will get.
Do you already have a apex? Im not sure how the apex works but I know for my reefkeeper I have to get a light module to do dimmable lights and it will only dim 2 drivers, I think the 90 gallon kit has 4 drivers so for me that would merrit 2 light controllers which factors into cost, once again im not sure about the apex but its something to think about.

benjc
12/11/2012, 04:00 PM
If you have a canopy to hide the lighting; DIY would likely be the best way to go. If you have your lights exposed; the clean lines of the mainstream lights may be worth the extra money. On the plus side of having a canopy, you can easily add t5 lights to supplement color or if you find the shimmer to be a bit too much.

pherbert
12/11/2012, 04:05 PM
Do you already have a apex?
No Apex yet but the geek in me wants it bad. I think the full Apex will dim 4 channels.

pherbert
12/11/2012, 04:08 PM
If you have a canopy to hide the lighting; DIY would likely be the best way to go. .

My tank is built into the back of my bar, with a room behind for the sump and other access. So from the front everything is hidden. Thanks, these are all things I don't have to think about in my situation, but didn't think about!

Tickle
12/11/2012, 04:59 PM
No Apex yet but the geek in me wants it bad. I think the full Apex will dim 4 channels.

You wont be disappointed in getting a controller, I love my reefkeeper and having the ability to slowly ramp up my lights in the morning and slowly ramp them down in the evening is the best, I have my moonlights overlap the sunrise sunset times too so there is never really a lights go off, lights come on moment in my tank.
I feel that rapid has really stepped their game up and the kits look pretty streamline, especially with the splash guard integrated as well as the hanging kit. Also the nice thing about one of their kits is if you buy the 90 gallon kit, you know its enough light for a 90 because, well its a 90 gallon kit.
If you were going to purchase a controller irregardless of what light you chose Id go for a rapid kit, the cost of a rapid kit plus a apex, is far beyond a AI or a Radion.

pherbert
12/11/2012, 06:00 PM
You wont be disappointed in getting a controller.
I feel that rapid has really stepped their game up and the kits look pretty streamline, especially with the splash guard integrated as well as the hanging kit. Also the nice thing about one of their kits is if you buy the 90 gallon kit, you know its enough light for a 90 because, well its a 90 gallon kit.
If you were going to purchase a controller irregardless of what light you chose Id go for a rapid kit, the cost of a rapid kit plus a apex, is far beyond a AI or a Radion.

Yes, that's what I'm thinking too. I could never really justify the Apex on it's own, but since I got spousal approval for the twin Radion level, once I had a chance to cool down and think this through I realized I can get much more for less $$$.

Are you OK with the RapidLED stock color selection on the 90 kit?

twiddle
12/11/2012, 08:42 PM
AI Vegas????

sminker
12/11/2012, 08:48 PM
+1 to the controller. My Apex is a life saver. I don't know how I survived without it. Had it for about 1 1/2 years now.

Not too sure about the LEDs though.

nanoreefer1000
12/11/2012, 10:58 PM
Diy or Razor are two great options

pherbert
12/12/2012, 04:12 PM
Thanks to all you you who responded. I feel pretty good about going with RapidLED now.