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Old 03-22-2013, 10:37 PM   #41
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One of the best reads on this was October 2011 Coral Magazine.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:13 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by JJ-MIK View Post
There are millions of ways to do one thing.. Some people slowly acclimate to light. And some can just throw them straight into high light. I know a guy that does all the "don't do's".. And has never had an issue in 5 years.. No water changes. No ro top off water. Water temp acclimation only.. Corals go straight to top if the tank.. And the only fish he has ever list was either by bigger fish hungry. Or jumps out of the tank.. This entire hobby is a gamble from what I'm learning..
Come on no wc or ro topoff. I like doing wc and feels good to take care of these amazing creatures the. Best I can. Don't slack just do a good job and you will enjoy this hobby. The fun part is learning and working it. These guys on here know there stuff just trying to help us.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:14 AM   #43
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I want to chime in on this topic with a different perspective then most would have. I am an electrician, I install lights, leds, drivers etc. all the time. I also go the wholesalers to put together lighting packages for different jobs. I know the cost of these fixtures and I cant justify paying upwards of 900$ (CND) for a Radion Pro fixture. Regardless of the LED brand, Driver brand, dimming vs no dimming the cost of parts in these fixtures is a fraction of the price you pay for these things.

Now I understand you pay for the development and the fancy cases etc but really? Its not worth it IMO, I would rather buy the chinese ebay fixtures and save the money, if I have to double them up im still further ahead. I just purchased 3 fixtures for tank for 500$. One AI SOL would cost me $399.99 I would need 3, one Radion (basic model) would cost $660 and again I need 3.

So lets work it out.

3 "No Names"--$500
3 AI Sol-------$1199.97
3 Radions-----$1980

Now even if I need to replace a full unit, or change out the drivers or a few LED's im still looking at less cost for the same effect. Maybe my corals wont grow as fast or become as bright but im a firm believer in the fact that this hobby should affordable for everyone. Not just the people who can dump $2000+ into lights without a flinch.

Just my 2 cents but until the cost comes down I think if someone finds a fixture in the price range that works for them, go for it they will all do the same thing, provide light for corals, just at different rates.
I cannot get into all the technical jargon on this as I am a plumber not an electrician or engineer. I just simply wanted to point out that although I do agree the price is too high for some of the popular LED lights, you can get them cheaper if you look. You mention $1200 for three AI units. I just purchased four for my frag tank with a controller for $1300. Not a great difference but basically almost one unit price cheaper for one more added unit. And I initially wanted the same AI units as my DT on the frag tank to reduce light shock when transferring, I had planned on the Chinese units instead. Due to the fact it required a dedicated plug for both the blues and whites, that made for eight electrical outlets as opposed to four. Having already done much electrical changes to my house simply for my DT, I wasn't willing to pay the electrician again for the frag room work I would need just because all those extra light cords. Lol like I said I'm a plumber (need a sink added or a CDA line installed no prob) but I don't mix well with electricity, so I hire the people who went to school for it . So by that logic I saved myself money buying dimmable yet overpriced units. Also I agree the dimmable is not a necessity as you can get creative as Greg and others have mentioned to help with light acclimation, I LOVE the dimming feature and because of it I have my lights on 24 hours a day. Just my humble opinion. Great discussion and points made all.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:24 AM   #44
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I cannot get into all the technical jargon on this as I am a plumber not an electrician or engineer. I just simply wanted to point out that although I do agree the price is too high for some of the popular LED lights, you can get them cheaper if you look. You mention $1200 for three AI units. I just purchased four for my frag tank with a controller for $1300. Not a great difference but basically almost one unit price cheaper for one more added unit. And I initially wanted the same AI units as my DT on the frag tank to reduce light shock when transferring, I had planned on the Chinese units instead. Due to the fact it required a dedicated plug for both the blues and whites, that made for eight electrical outlets as opposed to four. Having already done much electrical changes to my house simply for my DT, I wasn't willing to pay the electrician again for the frag room work I would need just because all those extra light cords. Lol like I said I'm a plumber (need a sink added or a CDA line installed no prob) but I don't mix well with electricity, so I hire the people who went to school for it . So by that logic I saved myself money buying dimmable yet overpriced units. Also I agree the dimmable is not a necessity as you can get creative as Greg and others have mentioned to help with light acclimation, I LOVE the dimming feature and because of it I have my lights on 24 hours a day. Just my humble opinion. Great discussion and points made all.
Just a note on the price, I quoted Canadian prices since thats where I am, I know in the US the units are cheaper. So the 1200$ for 3 units right on the money, if I wanted a controller thats another $50-100 depending on the store.

I understanding paying more if your not comfortable doing it, I dont mix well with water which is why its taking me longer to actually plumb my tank, everyone is different , also power bars are you're best friends
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:14 AM   #45
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I get along with electricity okay, but plumbing isn't my best talent. We have been arguing about lighting for almost 30 years, so LEDs won't lay it to rest. But one thing for sure, the Chinese panels grow coral and they are cheap. They are the cheapest way if you average cost over at least a few years, than anything else that grows corals. And their color is good. Even with cheap MH bulbs and re-lamping yearly, they still save you tons of money. In my case i burned up some drivers and had to scrap a panel, but I'm still ahead. The technically more sophisticated fixtures are VERY cool, but you pay for that design and feature set. Photons are photons. Doesn't matter much how you generate them.
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:14 AM   #46
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For those who really need to understand the reef lighting, here is the link that is more detailed and complete. After reading it, you can make your own conclusion for yourself what is good for your tank. For those who need more explanation on some of its content, please do throw some questions on this thread and someone will surely glad to explain it more clearly.

Aquarium Lighting, Light Information; Reef & Planted, PAR, Watt, Kelvin.

I would like to say that the information about the Taotronics fixtures in this link is simply opinion. The writer of this article did not use a PUR meter on the fixtures to support his claim, he simply used 3rd party info. I have yet to see an article where someone actually uses solid data when referring to these units (except for me, of course!).
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:31 AM   #47
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It is a common saying that "you pay for what it is worth for". As Greg stated the LED driver can burn. There are LED fixtures with 3-watt emitters but only use 2 watts for each. The remaining 1 watt is consumed by the driver. It means if you have 55 emitters on a fixture you simply lost 55 watts being thrown away into the air. This is the reason why they use 2 or 3 fans to cool it down. Some fixtures costs more because they are efficient and no fans that can go bad. They only have heat sinks so no extra component that can go bad. You still have to find out how long your fixture will last then you will know which one will cost less in the long run.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:28 PM   #48
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That's incorrect. These fixtures don't even need fans. The air coming off of them is ice cold. How are you losing 55 watts if it's only pulling 120 total? The driver is not consuming any extra electricity if the unit isn't pulling it in the first place.
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:54 PM   #49
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Just over simplifying things. You don't need a calculus to understand the basics. If you have 55 emitters with 3-watt emitter each doesn't it supposed to be a total of 165 watts?
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Old 03-23-2013, 01:13 PM   #50
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If the LED driver is only manufactured to output 120 watts then it doesn't matter if the LEDs are 2, 3 or 5 watts. The driver will only use and output around 120 watts. Different drivers will use more or less electricity due to design efficiency and the quality of it's internal parts, but the driver doesn't care about the full output ability of the LEDs.

Now, the LEDs that are rated as 3 watts but run at 2 watts (or anything under 3 through use of a dimmer) will run cooler and last longer than they would if they were run at their full rated ability, unless the cooling system is very efficient. That's been my understanding at least.
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