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The Light-Fight : LED -VS- Fluorescent

Discussion in 'General Aquascaping and Planted Tank Discussions' started by Ohly, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. Ohly

    Ohly Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Hi!

    me again..

    here i want to know what the best lighting gear between :

    - The New shiny LED technology (http://ca-en.hagen.com/Aquatic/Lighting/LED-Lighting/A3980)

    - The old but approved fluorescent technology
    ________________________________________________________

    Personnaly i like technology, so i go blindly for the LEDs, but you, what did you know ?

    did the LED worth investing 100$ more than a fluorescent kit?

    is LED lighting a useless gadget made for naive beginer like me ?

    thanks

    Ohly
     

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  2. ghostmonk

    ghostmonk Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I think LED is not that new anymore. Infact I use LED units on all my tanks now mainly for the shimmer effect, the ability to mix and match colors to get the right color temperature, the ability to set the light intensity desired (dimming), the life of the bulbs and the cost of running them. So far I am very happy. That said they do cost $$ (especially if you add on the controllers etc.).

    If I were are beginner, I would probably go with flouroscent/T5HO for a year before I invest in expensive devices.
     
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  3. Ohly

    Ohly Aspiring Aquascaper

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    do you have some example of what brand of led unit and controller you use ?
     
  4. keithgh

    keithgh Moderator Staff Member

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    Ohly

    Its a "Depends" answer how deep your pocket is and is it necessary for your tank.

    I have never used it as my tank is Low Technology and its totally unnecessary.

    Keith:):)
     
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  5. Shadow

    Shadow Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm planning to switch to LED flood light, buy from Aliexpress not that expensive. You can choose 10W, 20W, 30W, 50W, 70W and 100W but no dimming capability. I ordered 20W, 30W and 50W, will measure the PAR and see which one suitable.
     
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  6. Ohly

    Ohly Aspiring Aquascaper

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    i have some skills in electronic, and its quite easy to modify the embeded controler to dimm the lighting
     
  7. ghostmonk

    ghostmonk Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I use Aqua Illumination SOL and vega units
     
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  8. Ed Villagracia

    Ed Villagracia Active Aquascaper

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    two of my friends are using LED flood lights 30W x 2 [no brand was mentioned] with no success in red plants.
    the other claimed the hair grass has melted:D just sharing:)
     
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  9. Ohly

    Ohly Aspiring Aquascaper

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    looking realy fine, but it must be $$$$
    the controller options are kinda fantastic !..

    for the customisation... i dont know whats the best setup.. it was only to see the price, and the specs!
     
  10. niko

    niko New Member

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    Folk. Let's pretend we want to be realistic for a minute:

    -- The watts of LED that you need to properly illuminate a tank are NOT less than the watts needed if you use a fluorescent bulb. Whatever we are all discussing on all forums boils down to that.
    Funny question: What is better LED or Fluorescent?

    -- It is an undisputable truth that if you use strong light the plants will grow. ANY kind of light.
    Funny question: What is better - a light spectrum you concocted using different wavelength LEDs or a few of your grandmother's incandescent bulbs adding up the same wattage?

    I can come up with more funny questions but I do know that people love LEDs because they are hip and cool. That's all they are.
     
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  11. Supercoley1

    Supercoley1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Niko this is not true at all. PAR tests tell us that LED is way higher per watt than fluorescent and even more x MH. You can question individual LED units against individual flourescent units but that is to do with how the manufacturer has designed the unit or put it together. That doesn't change the fact that set up preoperly W for W LED is much higher in PAR and even higher in PUR than flourescent at the same K rating. That's just proven fact.

    Now some people say they aren't getting as good results and others saying they are getting better results. That will always be the case and cannot be isolated to the lighting at fault. It could be all manner of things as well as lighting.

    However, as a caveat, I've said for quite a while that DIY LED setups often outperform their retail equivalents (meaning if you used the same LEDs and drivers) because DIY'ers tend to design their units for their tanks whereas manufacturers tend to be pre-occupied with making slimline aesthetically pleasing units that look lovely but bunch all the light together. This however was the case with flouro luminaires too.
     
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  12. ghostmonk

    ghostmonk Aspiring Aquascaper

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    extremely $$$$. I have 6 units bought over time by selling plants and piling up the money :)
     
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  13. Ed Villagracia

    Ed Villagracia Active Aquascaper

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    when ADA first release their aquasky they mentioned that these LED's are being put into test and observation at least they are honest about it. saw few small tanks with aquasky....they work!!!

    copy/paste from one planted tank hobbyist
    "AQUASKY series makes possible to fully appreciate aquatic plant layouts, which was hardly achieved by other LED lighting systems before"

    for those who tend to use LED's on their planted tanks go for known, proven brand.
    do diy if you can to save money(y)
     
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  14. ghostmonk

    ghostmonk Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I tried DIY LED units few years back. They actually do not save much because hi power LEDs (usually what is required to make a powerful but compact unit) makes up most of the cost and unfortunately they are not cheap.
     
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  15. Ed Villagracia

    Ed Villagracia Active Aquascaper

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    really? even if you use known piece by piece known brand compared to finished products?
     
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  16. Ohly

    Ohly Aspiring Aquascaper

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  17. Shadow

    Shadow Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, I'm also having problem growing red plant with LED (12x3W on 2ft). Not until I have PAR meter and realize my tank with red plant have PAR around 200 where my LED tank only 140. The measurement tell me that I need more PAR to grow red plant but I have not confirm it by increasing the number of LED on my 2ft tank.
     
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  18. Shadow

    Shadow Moderator Staff Member

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    Will ask you once I receive my flood light :LOL:
     
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  19. Ohly

    Ohly Aspiring Aquascaper

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    i was talking about those ''big'' light with cases etc, a flood light is a bit too tight to do what i'm thinking to control it
     
  20. Shadow

    Shadow Moderator Staff Member

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    1. Fluorescent will depend on the reflector, which in my experience become dirty with spot that cannot be clean. My estimate LED need roughly 60-70% the wattage to get the same brightness as fluorescent with dirty/poor reflector. Fluorescent need to change every 6-12 moths which kind of waste.
    2. If you stay in tropical country like mine, LED help reduce temperature because the light rays does not warm the water unlike fluorescent and especially Metal Halide.
    3. Shimmering effect :LOL:
     
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