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Old 06-27-2016, 01:50 PM   #1
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LED vs Florescent

Hey guys.

So I am getting back into the hobby after being out of it for about three years (tank is cycling at the moment). Coming back into the hobby, I'm seeing a huge surge of LED lighting options. Shops are just stocking them like crazy. I have two 10k fluorescents on my 46 gallon and they look lovely. However, the Idea of using LEDs for a tank is very intriguing. My question is, are they better then fluorescents when it comes to lighting for a planted tank? Pricing would be a great comparison also, however I have built LED strip lights before so if I were to go into LED I would build them.


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Old 06-27-2016, 04:04 PM   #2
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leds are the wave of the future , they save you the aggravation and cost of replacing florescent bulbs every 6 months . cheaper to run power wise and will support all corals,
And I would think do the same for planted tanks .
the cost of these units went down dramatically over the last few years , I run them over both my tanks and would never go back to florescent , leds have a more cleaner light IMO . the do have the best benefits ,
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:52 PM   #3
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Cool. I just put brand new Florescent bulbs in mine so I will have to build me an led fixture sometime soon.


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Old 06-27-2016, 10:28 PM   #4
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I went to LED's a few months ago and the room and tank are so much cooler.


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Old 07-02-2016, 02:26 AM   #5
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They use a lot less power, never need replacing and can be dimmable and have day/night/storm patterns. They very widely in quality and cost.
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:02 AM   #6
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I agree with a lot of the comments that LEDs are the future. On deep planted tanks you can get better penetration and don't have to worry about replacing bulbs every 6 months as mentioned.

I'm still testing this but am finding that par drop-off due to bulb fade can actually be significant over the 6 months. I'm guessing this is why I've been told a few times not to replace all bulbs in say a t5ho at once as the plants get a shock.

On the flip side here I find that LEDs for saltwater tanks are fairly well designed, for freshwater I'm not quite convinced. It's certainly been something on the planted side that has just taken off in the last few years and I still see lights very high in blue light / very little red being marketed for freshwater. As well as that the LEDs are much more expensive and I've found can have a shorter life if they get hot.

I run a quad t5ho and recently added an LED strip light that I'm running with white channel only (blue channel off). In the end the bulb cost is just a bit much. If bulbs would last 12months wouldn't be so bad.
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