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View Full Version : Opinions wanted for lighting 36"


dreadhead
03/13/2017, 11:55 AM
Just curious on everyone's thoughts/experiences with lighting a 36" aqueon tank (which has the cross support beam) with either one Photon 32 running lengthwise above the tank OR 2 Photon 16s running width-wise. I'm concerned about shadowing under the support beam but maybe I'm overthinking that?

Thanks in advance.

Ron Reefman
03/14/2017, 05:23 AM
How wide is the cross brace?

Given the length of the Photon (32") I think you'll get enough light from the left and right sides of the brace to reduce the shadow very close to nothing. If you used a single source light like a Kessil you'd have shadow issues. But that's just my opinion based on 2 Photon V1 32" over a 180g tank with a 1" wide plastic brace and 9" of thick glass on either side of the plastic. I had no shadow issues at all.

dreadhead
03/14/2017, 07:49 AM
Thanks for helping, Ron.

The crossbrace is ~2.5". I am thinking of going with one 32" photon - once they're available. I think playing with the height of the lights will also impact the shadowing from the cross-brace, what would be too close or too far away? My tank is 24" deep.

Your opinion is very much appreciated, thanks again!

Ron Reefman
03/14/2017, 06:33 PM
I think with the 4 arrays of leds the 2.5" brace won't even cast a shadow at all. It should fall in between the 2 middle arrays which will throw light both left and right under the brace. If you get an shadow at all, it should only be high in the tank which may mean you won't want a tall rock structure in the center under the brace where it's possible you may get some shadow... but I doubt it.

Sambo107
03/14/2017, 06:36 PM
Might consider t-5 lighting because its so diffused and LEDs all start form a center point.

03/14/2017, 06:52 PM
I have gone with LED's (current-USA) on my 36-40 gal mixed reef and am very pleased. The LED's seem to mitigate the cross brace and there is no shadows.

Ron Reefman
03/15/2017, 05:29 AM
I have gone with LED's (current-USA) on my 36-40 gal mixed reef and am very pleased. The LED's seem to mitigate the cross brace and there is no shadows.

You are correct about shadows due to cross braces in most cases.

How deep is your tank and what kind of corals do you keep?

Most of the Current USA led fixtures only drive leds at 0.5 watts and that makes for a much lower PAR level. In a shallow tank with soft corals, they are OK. However, in a 24" deep tank and with sps corals the Current USA fixture is very suspect in terms of having enough PAR.

Not saying it's impossible, just that it's probably less than optimal in many cases.

dreadhead
03/15/2017, 08:13 AM
I'll go with one v2 photon 32. Thanks all for the input.