I’ve been buying/testing LED
models and brands since 2005 when they first came on the market. At least 95% are made in China and most will suffice to grow corals. What I look for (I’m still testing, looking for the “best” LED
for our purpose), is cost, color mix, programability, ease of programing, and PAR. Are focal lenses better than bare LED
chips? Depends. Are you looking for the best spread or focused spot with little spread? Is your tank shallow, 16”, or deep, 24 t0 30” deep, or deeper? There’s many variables to consider.
I have some I like such as the Photon mentioned earlier, the latest model of Exotic Sun is good, AIs are good and there are others. I’ve spent from under $200 to well over $1000 WHOLESALE for some fixtures and I’ll tell you the best is somewhere in between. There is an inherent problem with LED
light fixtures. They are evolving faster than smart phones.
As soon as I think I’ve found the best, it changes for the better OR a different company introduces the latest wiz-bang LED
fixture and it has a somewhat different programability or can be controlled by your smart phone, etc. So the quest continues Ad infinitum or so it seems.
Seeking advice from the forum members is a good thing as you get others experience with a particular brand times the number of posters equals some confusion because most think their brand is the best or good enough which leaves many unanswered questions. Like, which one should you buy???
Someone above mentioned cost. Certainly a factor to take into consideration. What’s your budget? Also, what’s your significant-other’s thoughts on budget(If there is a significant-other)?
My point is this... You can search, research and think about which model is “best” or, you can make a decision and buy a unit and test it yourself. After all you may or may not be satisfied with the results. Just like no two SW
tank systems are alike, so too are LED
fixtures different from each other. There’s two many variables to vary the results from one tank to the next, from one’s experience to the other. Just make a decision and go with it.
My advice, if you were to ask for it is this...
Be sure you get a fixture that you can control sunrise, day length, sunset, can vary the blues, whites and other colors separately. The rest of the features like, lightening, cloud cover, etc, while certainly add some flair, it’s not flair I want and all that does is add to the cost and the probability of a breakdown. Moon lights? Yeah, cool but not necessary although most with a program will give you moonlight. I have my moonlights at 1% of blue, whites off.
I hope this sheds some light on the subject of LED
lighting. By-the-way my next fixture to test is the Pacific Sun. A combination of LED
without lenses and T5 bulbs.
As a footnote to this post... I recently returned from Germany where I had the opportunity to visit Korallan Zucht’s retail store. If you are not familiar with Korallen Zucht, I suggest you hit their web site and look at the most beautiful healthy coral in captivity. For maximum growth and color they use nothing but T5 lighting. Visit them here -
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