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Old 06-09-2011, 01:09 PM   #1
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Led lighting question

Hello, I'm new to this forum and have a question about led lighting. Right now I have just a standard bulb in my hood. Don't know off the top of my head the size or ratings of it. What I want to do is make a lexan fixture that sits under the hood and houses a series of white LEDs and blue LEDs. My question is with the white LEDs is that going to be good enough light source for the two live plants I have or would I still need to use the regular bulb for the plants during the day and then the LEDs would be just for show.

Thank you in advance
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:37 PM   #2
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First, welcome to the forum!

LEDs are more than capable of maintaining your plants, as long as you have the right number set up. If all you have right now is a basic hood light then it shouldn't be hard to get LEDs of the same PAR (light output). There is a thread around her somewhere for a person making LEDs for a high light planted tank, look around for it to give you ideas.

EDIT: That thread was only a couple below this one! High-Power LED Fixture for a Planted Tank
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:10 PM   #3
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LEDs do wonders for plants while consuming relatively little electricity. The bad part is you need expensive LEDs for the plants to do well. The 5mm diodes from Radio Shack won't cut it.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:44 PM   #4
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Jtomas, just please make sure and do ALOT of research first. Leds emit a TON of light comparative to their actual size...unless going with multiple colors, you don't usually need alot of them to successfully light your tank..
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Old 06-11-2011, 02:51 AM   #5
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What would be considered expensive LEDs? I have LEDs of all different kinds. We deal with them quite often in r&d in my industry. I have a decent amount of 5mm LEDs from digi-key lying around and was going to use those. Probably two rows of ten white ones and two rows of ten blue ones
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Old 06-11-2011, 12:30 PM   #6
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The 5mm diodes won't cut it for the majority of plants. You're going to need high-power LEDs. I used 3W Cree XR-Es for my high-light tank. The build is detailed in the link Smitty provided. You could use 1W models for lower light levels. Take a look at the Marineland LED fixtures. The Single Bright model doesn't do much for plants, but the Double Bright and Reef Bright models will put your tank in the low to medium and medium to high light ranges respectively, depending on which tank you put them on.
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