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Old 01-08-2013, 12:43 PM   #101
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I had that Marineland LED fixture. No bueno. Not powerful enough. The LED's give you a nice shimmer effect, but they just don't have the power for any coral growth.

If you want bang for your buck, in my opinion, you've got to go with T5 HO. LED's are great, but cost a lot of money to purchase good ones. Halides are great, but not cheap to buy, and use a LOT of electricity.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:47 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by MBliss81 View Post
I had that Marineland LED fixture. No bueno. Not powerful enough. The LED's give you a nice shimmer effect, but they just don't have the power for any coral growth.

If you want bang for your buck, in my opinion, you've got to go with T5 HO. LED's are great, but cost a lot of money to purchase good ones. Halides are great, but not cheap to buy, and use a LOT of electricity.
I'll have to respectively disagree,...imho maybe at first the led units may cost more than a t5 ho units ( and even that cost ratio is coming down )....but in the long run the cost of replacing your t5 bulbs every 8-10 months can be extremely pricey when you are replacing 2-4-6-8 bulbs at a time at $20 each...ouch!!!
Having owned and used the t 5 ho units I can honestly say that once I switched over to the led units I've never looked back,..and they're cheaper and cooler to run.
I think the t 5's initially may seem cheaper, but in the long haul ( and any reef is setup is for the long haul) the LEDs may be " the best bang for the buck"
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:08 PM   #103
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I'll have to respectively disagree,...imho maybe at first the led units may cost more than a t5 ho units ( and even that cost ratio is coming down )....but in the long run the cost of replacing your t5 bulbs every 8-10 months can be extremely pricey when you are replacing 2-4-6-8 bulbs at a time at $20 each...ouch!!!
Having owned and used the t 5 ho units I can honestly say that once I switched over to the led units I've never looked back,..and they're cheaper and cooler to run.
I think the t 5's initially may seem cheaper, but in the long haul ( and any reef is setup is for the long haul) the LEDs may be " the best bang for the buck"
There are definitely two camps in the hobby when it comes to LED's. And your point is certainly valid when it comes to the cost of replacement bulbs.

I'm a bit of a cynic with LED technology when it comes to longevity. Not that I don't think LED's are great, but with the high (although getting more affordable) initial cost, and questions as to whether the bulbs really last as long as they are supposed to before requiring very expensive replacements. I am onboard the LED train when it comes to SPS corals, rather than the expense of Halides. But for LPS and soft corals I just don't see the point of spending the extra cash on LED's over T5 HO, despite the definite advantages in electricity use and heat creation.

To each his own, though. In my small tank, where only 2 T5 HO bulbs are needed, I don't think the expense of a decent LED fixture is justified. I'm not going to say LED's don't give you great bang for your buck. I'm just saying they do require a lot of bucks for a fixture with bang, and that $80 Marineland LED fixture definitely isn't one of those.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:22 PM   #104
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my 2 120w full spectrum LED's have crossed over from Hong Kong and are in customs now! Should be at my house by Friday...

Now I just have to figure out how to hang them or make some sort of stand for them over my tank.

Can't wait!
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:28 PM   #105
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If you figure out some sort if a stand please let us in!
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:39 PM   #106
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There are definitely two camps in the hobby when it comes to LED's. And your point is certainly valid when it comes to the cost of replacement bulbs.

I'm a bit of a cynic with LED technology when it comes to longevity. Not that I don't think LED's are great, but with the high (although getting more affordable) initial cost, and questions as to whether the bulbs really last as long as they are supposed to before requiring very expensive replacements. I am onboard the LED train when it comes to SPS corals, rather than the expense of Halides. But for LPS and soft corals I just don't see the point of spending the extra cash on LED's over T5 HO, despite the definite advantages in electricity use and heat creation.

To each his own, though. In my small tank, where only 2 T5 HO bulbs are needed, I don't think the expense of a decent LED fixture is justified. I'm not going to say LED's don't give you great bang for your buck. I'm just saying they do require a lot of bucks for a fixture with bang.
I can understand why people are not very sure about LED technology and choose to stick with T5, but the initial cost arguement vs long term saving no longer set true with many of the cheaper LED fixtures coming in the market. I had made a quick calculation for another forum, all these number are taken from the LFS here in Canada not Homedepot so the cost could be some what diffrent but I don't think the idea is going to be the same


"if you are using a T5, the most proper way is to change the bulb every 8 ~12 months. Let's say 12 months, if you have a 4x39W T5 bulbs so it would be about $16x4 and would be around $64 every year. The initial cost for each 2x39 retrofit fixture ( I would think retrofit is the cheapest, correct me if I am wrong) is $55, so 2 of them is $110. So Overall total cost in the first year is about $180 after tax. So 2nd year will push the cost over $240 and 3rd year is over $300. To match a 159W total T5, a 108W fixture will give more PAR than the 159W T5 already and it costs $220 ( I can only base on my pricing, although I know there are other fixture out there can be even lower in cost). So pretty much after first year, all cost of the light would be back without even calculating the cost of your electric bill.
If you are using MH it would be even more, because MH uses more energy, give up lots heat and also light bulb should change as frequent as 6 months to keep up with the proper spectrum. I am not sure about any of you guys, but I am using MH, Chiller would be a must as the hot Vancouver summer can easily destroy your tank. The cost of a chiller maybe cost more than the LED alone, not to mention the extra power it consumed. Some people said they don't need chiller cuz they have a air conditioner, but isn't that cost money also? Just because you have it for yourself doesn't mean it is free, and by turning it on also cost extra energy. "


Sorry for some grammar mistake, I typed that thing at like 2am in the morning lol
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:54 PM   #107
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I could not agree more about the savings LED's bring in the long run. I am a big fan of LED technology overall, and as it is becoming more and more affordable in the aquarium hobby, as well as more proven, and the LED solutions are becoming more capable than early versions were, they are sure to become the dominant lighting solution.

What I am suggesting is that when it comes to discussing value, I find it easier to stomach $60 per year to maintain the bulbs on a $125 fixture than spending the $650-$1300+ (Eco Tech Radions are $649 per unit, and covering a 36" wide tank well may require 2) up-front for LED fixtures, even knowing the long-term cost may be less. That's all I'm saying.

No doubt they are the best. But as always the best comes at a bit of a price.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:37 PM   #108
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My point is about the concept that the "long term saving" cannot justify the initial cost no longer valid. If we are using no name brand LED vs no name brand of T5, my example shows within 1 year the differences would be even. If you are going to use the higher brand name product to compare, it would be unfair.
1) some of the brand name T5 fixture for 4 bulbs cost over $400.
2) A lot of those fixtures comes with functions/gimmicks that a T5 can never do such as the sunrise sunset effect, cloudy effect, or even the wireless connection to PC to monitor PAR/PUR reading? It is almost like comparing a Honda Civic to a Honda Odyssey, they both are cars but you can't sit 7 guys in a civic and of course the cost for them are diffrent
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:47 PM   #109
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Radion's are cool because they can all be computer programmed with effects and all that but to me the gadgets they added don't justify the $800 a unit price. Here in British Columbia thats how much they cost so to light my 55 I'd need $1600 in lights, add tax I'm looking at almost $2000 before I've hung them...lol OOOF

I know people say if you can afford a reef tank you can aford whatever equipment you need but thats not really a reality. When I jumped in I had no idea how much upkeep and coral cost. I've dropped thousands into my tank and quite honestly it amazes me and anyone who comes by my place daily but I simply can't justify another $2000 to upgrade so I can have SPS coral. Now, $400 including shipping is a whole other story!!!!

I'll just have to flick my lights on and off if I want a fake lightning storm for my fish who have no memory of ever really being in an ocean...lol
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:48 PM   #110
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my 2 120w full spectrum LED's have crossed over from Hong Kong and are in customs now! Should be at my house by Friday...

Now I just have to figure out how to hang them or make some sort of stand for them over my tank.

Can't wait!
You can hang them on some L-brackets for shelves. They should have them at home depot or lowes.

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