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Old 01-03-2010, 03:37 AM   #1
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Looking for a reef LED light

Let me start by saying hello.

I've been lurking around here for a few weeks reading up and researching for my first set up. My wife has been pestering me for some time for a tank and wanted colorful fish in it. It didn't help that we have Annual passes to our local (The Georgia) aquarium.

I'm new to the hobby and have been slowly aquiring parts for our setup as cash allows.

Thus far I have (or have purchased):

46 gallon Seaclear bowfront acryllic tank
Coralife Super Skimmer (65 gallon)

I have yet to purchase anything else as I'm still researching the rest, but I know I would eventually like to move to a reef tank. I'll be purchasing the light most likely next so I can begin setting up my tank.

I've searched repeatedly on here but have yet to come across a solid review of LED lighting. I'd like a fair price on the lighting - I'm expecting to pay ~$600-$700 for a decent light. If I could find a good one for cheaper for the set up I'm looking at I'd be thrilled.

For those that have LED lights:
1. How much did you pay?
2. Is your setup effective enough to sustain a reef tank?
3. Are you satisfied with your light?
4. Which light do you have and where did you get it?

Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:03 AM   #2
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You would be fine with a T5 HO setup. LED fixtures are more aimed towards deep tanks where PC, T5, and VHO lights won't penetrate. Try the Current USA Nova Extreme Pro T5 HO setup, just choose the length that fits your tank and you are good to go and you would save $300-$400 compared to what you are willing to pay for the LED fixture.

Here's a link to an article on all the types of lighting: Aquarium Lighting; Kelvin, Nanometers, PAR, Bulb, Watt, MH, LED, light basics.

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:24 AM   #3
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I'd still like to find a good LED to purchase so that future upgrades to the tank are possible.

I'd also like to avoid the heating of the tank associated with tradition lights - yes, I am aware there are coolers for this, but I'd like to avoid it altogether.

Plus, the added benefit of lower power consumption.


[EDIT]

I've found this light: TMC Aqua Ray 500 Reef White - (12w)
here:
http://www.tropical-and-marine.co.uk...g_Systems.html

It breaks down to about $165 + shipping unless I can find it somewhere in the states.

Anyone have experience with this light?
For some of the more knowledgeable, would this sustain a reef system in my tank?
What is the potential for upgrading this to a larger tank?

Thanks again guys... This is one subject where there is either very little info on, or, it's WAY over my head at this point in the game.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:09 PM   #4
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I have seen the LED for FW tanks and they aren't nearly as bright as the T5 lights. I also thought there would be more shimmer to the water but it wasn't. The store is suppose to be getting LED's in so I am watching on their web site so I can go take a look at them. At another forum there are several people experimenting with LED's, it is so over my head that all I do is read and read wondering if anything will ever click for me.
Nano-Reef.com Forums -> Lighting Forum
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbadd99 View Post
I'd still like to find a good LED to purchase so that future upgrades to the tank are possible.

I'd also like to avoid the heating of the tank associated with tradition lights - yes, I am aware there are coolers for this, but I'd like to avoid it altogether.

Plus, the added benefit of lower power consumption.
Future upgrades would require a new light anyway IMO. A lot of the currently made LED fixtures are geared towards one tank size, one group of coral, or one depth.

Heating from T5 HO bulbs is really not an issue as they don't burn too hot.

Lower electricity consumption I cannot argue with .

Just be warned that LED is still in the baby stages. If you read the article that I posted a link to, you would notice the same thing. I would wait a few years for the quality to come up and a significant drop in price.
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:06 PM   #6
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If you follow their links you will find out that their lights are for a deep ocean setup. in other words, it's not strong enough for a normal reef setup. 12w-LED is not enough for a 46g tank. You would more then likely need 6 of those units and it still may not be enough.IMO
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:44 PM   #7
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TC, can you help me out by posting the link here? I seem to be missing it altogether on their page.

And so, if the 12W is insufficient, would 2 of the 24W models work for a reef tank? Two of the 24W models would cost me around $515 plus shipping I think, which still falls within my price range.


Thom, you'll get no argument that the traditional lights would be WAY easier (and most likely more reliable) to use, but like I said before, I'm aquiring parts piecemeal beforehand, so it's not like my tank is going to die because I don't have a light on it yet. I also have an 18 month old wild indian that runs around my house (hence the acryllic tank) to think about. LEDs are a little less sensitive to vibration than most traditional lights.

Thanks for you input guys! This forum has already provided me with TONS of great information the books I purchase did not. I think you can expect more questions in the future as I get closer to the actual set up of my tank.
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:49 PM   #8
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Okay, here's the link.Buy Aquarium Lighting online at Tropical and Marine Ltd - The UK's favourite Aquarium Supplies Co.
It's under "top tips" and is the last line. also has an invitation to call or e-mail them for more information.
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:46 PM   #9
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AquariumLed.eu!, Powerfull light for you reef aquarium!
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:45 PM   #10
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Went to my LFS today and asked about LED lighting. They just became a dealer for a company called ecoxotic.

I looked them up when I got home,
Panorama LED Fixtures - Panorama LED Lighting - Products

I'm thinking about the 23.5" system for my 46g setup. I think it should be sufficient and I found it a bit cheaper after some searching.

Also found a review of them here:
Nano-Reef.com Forums > Ecoxotic Panorama LED Module

Looks like most likely this is what I'll be going with. I will probably change the controller too, so I can make it dimmable.
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:29 PM   #11
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As said earlier, LED for reef tanks is still kinda in the "testing the waters" stage. It's not that it isn't doable, but I think people/companies are kind of waiting things out after the Solaris fiasco. I won't rehash the issues, but in a nutshell, PFO came out with their Solaris LED fixtures. Early generations had their share of issues, but things seemed to be getting better when they got hit with a patent infringement lawsuit. Ended up shutting them down and probably (just guessing) put the brakes on others that were looking to commercially develop the concept.

For me, I'd be very hesitant buying LED technology right now because I wouldn't want to end up with an obsolete fixture that I laid out a bunch of cash for, made by a company that isn't around anymore. I feel for the folks that laid out the big $$ for the Solaris fixtures.

You seem pretty set on getting an LED fixture, but just be aware that the LED lighting playingfield seems like a slippery thing these days.
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt_Nelson View Post
As said earlier, LED for reef tanks is still kinda in the "testing the waters" stage. It's not that it isn't doable, but I think people/companies are kind of waiting things out after the Solaris fiasco. I won't rehash the issues, but in a nutshell, PFO came out with their Solaris LED fixtures. Early generations had their share of issues, but things seemed to be getting better when they got hit with a patent infringement lawsuit. Ended up shutting them down and probably (just guessing) put the brakes on others that were looking to commercially develop the concept.

For me, I'd be very hesitant buying LED technology right now because I wouldn't want to end up with an obsolete fixture that I laid out a bunch of cash for, made by a company that isn't around anymore. I feel for the folks that laid out the big $$ for the Solaris fixtures.

You seem pretty set on getting an LED fixture, but just be aware that the LED lighting playingfield seems like a slippery thing these days.
The manufacturers are not marketing them as aquarium LED fixtures but Growth fixtures. I'm ordering my LED fixtures this week, even though it will pretty costly but so are the electric bills and the fact if I don't get the LED's I'll wind up having to buy a chiller this coming spring. I look at it like this, it will be a wash and I also like having the ability to change the intensity, Kelvin rating, on/off duration, cloud cover and a hole host of other options with out having to change ballasts or bulbs. It's a +++ in my eyes.
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:48 PM   #13
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After talking to a couple of my LFS and reading online, it seems the problem with the Solaris was an infringment on the controller if I understood correctly.

I think the way the new companies are getting around this is either, 1. they are using a proprietary controller or 2. they use no controller at all, just on/off.

Since searching here and other forums I've come up with at least half a dozen companies in the States that sell them. It seems to be the main issue is the end users aren't buying them because they're all still waiting on someone else to buy one to see if they work, at least IMO that's what the main holdup is, well, that and the initial price.

My reasons for wanting LED is:
1. Little/no heat generation, therefore no need for a chiller
2. Durability - my little monster isn't likely to break the solid state lights
3. Energy consumption - There's just no argument from anyone on this

And since I'm in the planning/purchasing phase, I don't need it right this minute to sustain what's in the tank. I need it to sustain what WILL BE in the tank at some point. It just seems to be a plus all around for me. I just can't tell my wife how much I'm spending on it or I might be using it for a night lite in the dog house... but then again she's the one that got me into this hobby and now I'm addicted...
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:46 PM   #14
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I believe it was actually the label of the device "LED Aquarium Lighting" not the controller. Lighting is now being marketed as LED lighting not LED Aquarium Lighting. Check out this thread at Manhattan reefs regarding the pacific sun led fixtures, read all of the pages it's worth it. PacificSun LED Lighting Pics & Feedback - Manhattan Reefs
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:12 PM   #15
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The cheapest brand of high quality LED lighting would be Maxspect lighting. The other brand which has been around a while is Aquailluminations lighting. The Maxspects are available in different wattages. They only however run on 220V currently. Aquailluminations lighting have controllers which can do many effects throughout the day.
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:51 PM   #16
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I looked at the AI system, but it's still at least $1250 for the smallest setup, which is out of my price range.

I'm hoping to have more to say on the Ecoxotic light here in a few months. It's gonna be at least a month until I can save enough cash to buy it.

Than being said, after I buy it, I think that's my last MAJOR hurdle to the beginning of me cycling my tank. I'm planning for an extra long cycle as I plan to buy less live rock and more base rock. We'll see how it turns out.
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:41 AM   #17
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Actually... you don't need any lighting to start cycling the tank. In fact, many folks don't use their lighting during the cycle to minimize algae.
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:40 AM   #18
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Well, I'll put it to you this way - If I don't buy it now, before I buy anything else, I'm likely to spend the money on something else and not have it for a much needed light when the other components can wait.

That being said... I'd like to give a swift kick in the tail to whoever mentioned the Pacificsun LED ... looks like I'm gonna try to save another couple hundred bucks and get that one. Too many features not to like.
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Old 01-05-2010, 05:48 AM   #19
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:31 PM   #20
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Check out this site on the Pacific Sun lighting. Pacific Sun USA
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