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Old 11-10-2015, 10:43 AM   #1
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Lighting

When we started our tank, the guy I bought the stuff from was supposedly an expert and helped to get it all set up. We got a bow tank (which I wouldn't do again because it's hard to find glass, hood, etc. for it unless I make it myself). Since then, I've learned a lot about what he did wrong and realize we got ripped off pretty badly, but that's water under the tank....

Anyway, he brought me an LED light fixture which I've attached a pic of to see what I'm talking about. The fixture is heavy and can be mounted from above with the cables you see on the top or it has 4 legs that "stand" on the edges of the tank.
There are two issues:

The first is that when you put it up there, the lights are so bright and depending on where you're viewing the tank, you're looking right up into them. There isn't supposed to be heat with LED bulbs, but this contraption has a fan for each of the 4 sets of lights, so it's generating heat from somewhere. Is it going to be a problem sitting on top of the tank instead of being suspended or raised above the glass? And by being that close to the water is the light going to hurt the corals (currently all soft)?

Second, the four lights are different colors. I had the previous led strip light on a timer and when it came on, all the spectrum was there. This one can be done so that different colors come on together or separately. With all 4 on, it's like broad daylight in there. With two of them on, it has a bluish hue or a brownish hue depending on which two are on at the same time. My question is, how should the lights come on, in what order and how long should they stay on so as not to hurt the tank.

Sorry if this is a total amateur question, but I can't seem to find anything about these lights to see exactly the best way to utilize them.

Thanks in advance for advice/suggestions.....
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Old 11-10-2015, 11:01 AM   #2
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They should be fine sitting there. Can you dim them?

As far as LEDs and heat they still do generate heat. My kessil lights both have internal fans but can get pretty hot.


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Old 11-10-2015, 11:07 AM   #3
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Nope, no dimming unless you just put on individual ones, but then you lose the spectrum. They are either on or off.
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Old 11-10-2015, 11:16 AM   #4
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Any light energy is going to generate heat, but it's very little with these units. I would suggest getting dimmable models, or making a box to put them in so you can hang them higher, and still be able to view the tank without getting blasted.
I did something with some aluminum coil bent to surround the lights and attached it to a frame of aluminum L channel I got from home depot.


I think I could find the close up pictures if you are interested.
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Old 11-10-2015, 12:15 PM   #5
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Thanks, Doug. I would like some of your close ups if you have them. My wife is pretty picky about the appearance and it's front and center in our living room, so that makes it even more ummm.....what's a pc word to use without ticking off the wife? ..... "necessary"....yeah that's it..... to be as unobtrusive as possible.
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:52 PM   #6
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Ahh...they were on my old pc, which is now junk. Basically what I did was took a piece of plain white aluminum, bent it in 2 spots to make it 3/4's of a rectangle, then constructed a simple frame to hold it to the fixtures. Light poured out the back at the wall, but nothing came out of the front or sides. You would need to make a complete rectangle if you wanted. The L channel was drilled and I used the existing screws that already held the fixtures together...as seen here-


This piece was just to make the 2 fixtures one, but you can get an idea-


I mounted another piece of this on the front of the fixtures and that's what I fastened the sheet metal (painted black in my case) to. I did make little 3" or so arms out of the same angle stock to bring the black aluminum away from the fixtures a bit so I wouldn't block any light from the sand bed in front. HTH
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:55 PM   #7
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These units are only about 80 or 90 bucks a piece brand new, so you could just buy a pair of dimmable ones if you didn't feel like doing the above....
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Old 11-10-2015, 07:08 PM   #8
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Thanks for all your input. Trying not to spend any more money since the dude who was supposed to be the expert jacked us up so bad on the front end. The wife is not wanting to spend ANY money we don't have to to get this right. As it is, since we live in the Keys, we collect our own fish and stuff so we won't have to pay the big bucks for them. It's pretty cool. Thanks again.
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