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Old 04/30/2012, 12:46 AM   #1
doctormario777
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LED grown Corals

I'm thinking about going with LED lights on my next aquariums. I was hoping to find some users here who could comment on their experience with LEDS vs. T5 vs. Metal Halide lights and hopefully contribute some pics of their current setup. Thanks!


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Old 04/30/2012, 11:15 AM   #2
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I think now people are actually using LEDs and t5 as supplementation...the subject is so vast you should really narrow down what you are expecting from your reef tank in the first place.

Questions about expectations versus whats pragmatic will be answered in more general forums.

Thanks!

PJ


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Old 04/30/2012, 01:01 PM   #3
arch85
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Originally Posted by PJtree23 View Post
I think now people are actually using LEDs and t5 as supplementation...the subject is so vast you should really narrow down what you are expecting from your reef tank in the first place.

Questions about expectations versus whats pragmatic will be answered in more general forums.

Thanks!

PJ
When you say supplementation, do you mean alongside with MHs? If so, I would have to disagree -- a lot of reefers in our local society (Boston Reefers Society) have been using just leds on their tank, including myself.

I personally can not comment on growth difference between MH and Led because we didn't have MH for too long; but from what I have read, everyone who has switched has seen the same, if not better growth from their LEDs.

Of course it might depend on what sort of fixture you are getting, with how much power, and the color spectrum ...


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Old 04/30/2012, 02:20 PM   #4
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i think he meant replacing the MH for LED then running a strip or 2 of T5 for red (color) pop.


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Old 04/30/2012, 02:45 PM   #5
doctormario777
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCountry74 View Post
i think he meant replacing the MH for LED then running a strip or 2 of T5 for red (color) pop.
My idea would be something like 2 60 Watt LED fixtures on either end of the aquarium producing two 'islands' of intense light and then a T5 fixture spanning the gap between the two to even out the lighting for aesthetics.


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Old 04/30/2012, 08:46 PM   #6
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I have progressed from Mh and T5 from our old coral farm wild collect operation to LED on our new coral farm. I see no difference in growth rates, just more growth and brighter colours at less watts using LED, in fact I have never found it so easy to get bright colours from corals since moving to LED.

Many of the corals we now sell on a weekly basis have been started from a small frag and on grown under LED for many generations to produce a viable brood for on going clones.

The main issue with LED is spectrum bands can be quite narrow and poor choice of emitters can limit results.


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Old 05/01/2012, 07:28 AM   #7
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I was told by a LFS that LED's will not give you growth like MH or T5 will but will give better color. I am planning a 100G build and am leaning toward LED's myself. It seems that LED's are "good enough" if not better from most of the info I've read online although people are all over the place on this subject.

I think my deciding factor will be the life of LED's versus MH or T5. Seems that the upfront investment will pay off in the long run because I will not have to spend $$$$ on new bulbs every 6-9 months. How long will a good LED lighting system last? I've heard 10 years without changing them out. Seem like a long time is this is correct?

They also seem like a win-win because they don't put off as much heat. I will be going without a canopy and if I go with LED's I'm hoping to not have to buy a chiller.


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Old 05/01/2012, 09:21 AM   #8
doctormario777
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Originally Posted by 91mini View Post
I was told by a LFS that LED's will not give you growth like MH or T5 will but will give better color. I am planning a 100G build and am leaning toward LED's myself. It seems that LED's are "good enough" if not better from most of the info I've read online although people are all over the place on this subject.

I think my deciding factor will be the life of LED's versus MH or T5. Seems that the upfront investment will pay off in the long run because I will not have to spend $$$$ on new bulbs every 6-9 months. How long will a good LED lighting system last? I've heard 10 years without changing them out. Seem like a long time is this is correct?

They also seem like a win-win because they don't put off as much heat. I will be going without a canopy and if I go with LED's I'm hoping to not have to buy a chiller.
I don't think 10 years is unheard of. You shouldn't need a chiller at all.


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Old 05/01/2012, 10:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 91mini View Post
I was told by a LFS that LED's will not give you growth like MH or T5 will but will give better color. I am planning a 100G build and am leaning toward LED's myself. It seems that LED's are "good enough" if not better from most of the info I've read online although people are all over the place on this subject.

I think my deciding factor will be the life of LED's versus MH or T5. Seems that the upfront investment will pay off in the long run because I will not have to spend $$$$ on new bulbs every 6-9 months. How long will a good LED lighting system last? I've heard 10 years without changing them out. Seem like a long time is this is correct?

They also seem like a win-win because they don't put off as much heat. I will be going without a canopy and if I go with LED's I'm hoping to not have to buy a chiller.
The problem with LED is there are not many "QUALITY" pre-made fixtures available. Many do not have enough light or have wrong frequency of light for proper growth. There area few good pre-mades out there though and there are many people getting equal or better growth from DIY LED lighting also.

LED will be a higher initial cost but will be way cheaper in the long run, both in electric usage and bulb replacement costs. Just do a little research.


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Old 05/01/2012, 04:38 PM   #10
sven.fischer.de
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Hi,

I've build several LED lamps and have read very much about them and corals. Additional I'm electrician and can value data sheets.

Let me give you a very short summarize:

- LED is about 20-30 % more energy efficiant than T5.
- A good point to start is 0.6 Watt per liter, for SPS about 1 Watt per liter.
- Always use active cooling, as it extends efficany and escecially lifetime very much.
- it's necessary to place the lamp close to the water surface to reduce light loss, as the typical angle is 140
- Every LED emit light in one direction, at the opposide the heat! So you just get light into the tank!
- Lifetime is about 20 to 50,000 hours. Good cooling and less power is the key to dramatically extend lifetime. For example: LED rated at 350 mA nominal, but 700 mA possible with max. 1000 mA -> lifetime difference can be between 50,000 h @ 350 mA down to 15,000 h @ 1000 mA
- just blue and white LEDs are not sufficiant to power zooxanthelle. Important is 430 nm, 460 nm, 500 nm, 660nm. So a mixture of UV, violett, royal blue, blue, cyan, deep red and cool white is necessary to complete the needs(!) AND visual quality. In gerneral white LEDs should be (power rated) 1/3.
- optics are only necessary for >40 cm water depth

It's a very complex topic and ther's a very big difference in LED quality and efficancy. You can't compare easily LEDs - the are like cars and have many different attributes.

A good starting point is the well known US manufacturer Cree - you can save much money with clay-boa.com for DIY.

Enjoy LED - they have to potential to get more than double efficiant in future and the get cheaper and cheaper - it's just the future for sure.

Enjoy LED.

Sven


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Old 05/01/2012, 06:06 PM   #11
oceanarium
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sven.fischer.de View Post
Hi,

I've build several LED lamps and have read very much about them and corals. Additional I'm electrician and can value data sheets.

Let me give you a very short summarize:

- LED is about 20-30 % more energy efficiant than T5.
- A good point to start is 0.6 Watt per liter, for SPS about 1 Watt per liter.
- Always use active cooling, as it extends efficany and escecially lifetime very much.
- it's necessary to place the lamp close to the water surface to reduce light loss, as the typical angle is 140
- Every LED emit light in one direction, at the opposide the heat! So you just get light into the tank!
- Lifetime is about 20 to 50,000 hours. Good cooling and less power is the key to dramatically extend lifetime. For example: LED rated at 350 mA nominal, but 700 mA possible with max. 1000 mA -> lifetime difference can be between 50,000 h @ 350 mA down to 15,000 h @ 1000 mA
- just blue and white LEDs are not sufficiant to power zooxanthelle. Important is 430 nm, 460 nm, 500 nm, 660nm. So a mixture of UV, violett, royal blue, blue, cyan, deep red and cool white is necessary to complete the needs(!) AND visual quality. In gerneral white LEDs should be (power rated) 1/3.
- optics are only necessary for >40 cm water depth

It's a very complex topic and ther's a very big difference in LED quality and efficancy. You can't compare easily LEDs - the are like cars and have many different attributes.

A good starting point is the well known US manufacturer Cree - you can save much money with clay-boa.com for DIY.

Enjoy LED - they have to potential to get more than double efficiant in future and the get cheaper and cheaper - it's just the future for sure.

Enjoy LED.

Sven
Top post

I also add a little in the 400-410nm.


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Old 05/02/2012, 08:36 AM   #12
sven.fischer.de
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@oceanarium

Thanks! In fact all LEDs move theire spectrum a bit when getting warm (check good datasheets like Cree) (called temerature drift). So if you buy a 400nm UV-LED, you can expect 410nm at normal operation!

Conclusion: As deeper you deal with this LED light and coral demand, as more you know that you can't precice deal with it and have to think more general.

Just my 2 cent,

Sven


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Old 05/02/2012, 12:31 PM   #13
doctormario777
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Thanks for the input Sven! Really insightful!


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Old 05/02/2012, 01:50 PM   #14
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Light is light. Corals don't know, or care, what the source is. As long as you have the appropriate amount and color, you're good.

The issue is usually that the color range in T5 lamps is a lot greater than MH, CF or LED. Many corals grow better in light colors that don't develop the colorful algae that make corals "color up."

T5 lighting is still the second best lighting for coral growth (the sun being number one...), from both an efficiency and quality standpoint, but dropping the corals under 400W radiums for the last few weeks will color them up nicely for sale.

Jeff


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Old 05/02/2012, 03:07 PM   #15
sven.fischer.de
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@Jeff

You're right, that light is light - but it's not as simple as this. A Toyoata prius and a PORSCHE 911 are both cars, right? - but everybody know THERE'S a big difference.

T5 has a big spectrum, especially if you like to go down below 400nm (which is a very interesting range for fluorescent color stimulation). If you have a look at the pectrums of T5 you can see usually very tiny spikes. The bad is, that they usually are not really usefull at the point they are - but it's not really very important. What is much more bad is the very fast decrease in color stability over the time, and the intense is getting weak also by the way. LEDs are much more stable in intense and spectrum over much more time. What I really like at T5 is the consistently lightning area - with LED you need a lot of them to get equal results. BUT, you can get very strong spot light with LED if you want - quite impossible with T5.

Yes, I'm a LED follower, but I respect T5 and MH also. They have there advantages and disadvantages. MH is very good at deep tanks >50cm and without competition at >1m depth. Well, who has such frag tanks - no one, right?!

As a hobbiest we like to do DIY and LED is a big field of doing such - I like.

If anyone needs help, just feel free to ask me.

Sven


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Old 05/06/2012, 03:05 AM   #16
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@sven.fischer.de

Great Post. Very concise listing of important info.

@doctormario777

Different LED fixtures give different results. A friend has a single fixture that gives excellent results [Growth + Color] as compared to his older HQI+PC fixture. I have a biocube I retrofitted with lights made for that purpose and the results have been... eh. compared to the original PC not much different.

The big thing to be aware of, from an aesthetics perspective LEDs can cause a bit of disco effect because of the multiple point light sources. Different blends of light refract through the water and create a multi colored discotheque on the bottom of the tank. I left one PC in my biocube and when its on it smooths out the color without washing out the shimmer.

I am a fan of LEDs with some kind of broad spectrum T5 to bring out the reds.


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Old 05/06/2012, 11:26 AM   #17
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Here are examples of led grown corals. My tank has only ever run leds.

5/26/11


8/2/11


10/15/11


1/23/12


2/28/12


4/28/12



The whole pics are here. But leds work great, even the Photon man Sanjay has reported that very clearly.
www.photobucket.com/210g


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Old 06/01/2012, 06:44 PM   #18
MikeL152123
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I have a 120 watt LED fixture over my JBJ 28 and so far so good. I am currently fighting some alge, but my coral are happy with the light. I have softies and sps


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Old 06/19/2012, 03:55 PM   #19
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I have a 120 watt LED fixture over my JBJ 28 and so far so good. I am currently fighting some alge, but my coral are happy with the light. I have softies and sps
Finally a good reference for my tank and the led power I will need for sps, currently have a nuvo 38 with a 14k 33wat skkye light, gonna upgrade to the 92


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Old 06/19/2012, 04:09 PM   #20
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beautiful tank, its so hard to find info on leds and how much light and what kind u need for your setup


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