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Old 03-03-2012, 04:26 PM   #1
scs1guzzi
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LED vs Medal Halide


I've had my system up and running for several years now and am thinking about updating my lighting system, currently, I am running 4x54w T5's. The tank is fish only consisting of damsels, clowns, and tangs along with a newly acquired bubble tip anemone. I have had soft corals in the past and would like to make another go of it. This is a 90 gallon tank 48" wide and 24" deep.

I've read the pro's and con's of LED and Medal Halide lights. I'm obviously in favor of energy and consumable savings of the LED's as well as not having to run cooling units if possible. On the flip side I've seen a few websites that lead you to believe LED's are the future, but not the present. Anybody have any thoughts on the subject?
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:51 PM   #2
cutietwo
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If I had the money I'd go with LED's. Being cooler, not having to replace bulbs, and they shimmer is a nice plus for me.
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:59 PM   #3
gchambs25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutietwo View Post
If I had the money I'd go with LED's. Being cooler, not having to replace bulbs, and they shimmer is a nice plus for me.
Agreed
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:06 PM   #4
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Recently switched to LED from MH on one of my tanks and am 100% sold! Can't wait to switch the other tank.
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:50 PM   #5
submerge
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The only reason I started into reefing was the availability of LEDs. I wanted to have SPS and LPS but didn't want to deal with the heat, the electricity use, and expensive bulb changes. So LED it was. Turns out, with all the pumps and such (and even with a power vented canopy), the tank temp stays about 7F above ambient.

Due to the difference in cost of keeping a Florida home 74F vs. 78F, a chiller is on the way! JBJ 1/4hp.

My digitatas and acroporas are doing great with the LEDs. My oldest purple digitatas frag started as a single 1" stalk 5 weeks ago. Now its doubled in size with numerous stalks. I believe in the LEDs for coral growth.

...and the shimmer is stunning to look at...
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:28 PM   #6
scs1guzzi
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Thinks guys, this was the response I was hoping for.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:43 PM   #7
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Let's face it the PAR (useable light) on MH is superior still to the available LED's and replicates sunlight in much more natural appearance. Shimmer is an effect of the water more than anything so I hate hearing that as a comparative point... MH's still rule this area as well

The LED's outweigh MH overall from a few factors I see, but seriously now... I have LED's and MH's... And hands down, the MH is sun replication at its best.. And the PAR is broader... MUCH broader.....


Here is why LED is a good choice

Lower Power Consumption
No loss of PAR and LUMENS
Virtually no heat (not a good thing if your rely upon the heat of the lamp)
50,000 hour bulb life (thats 10 years... at like 12 hours a day)
Individual LED's controllability, and optic specification
Brilliant, and a huge array of customizable options, and swappable optics
Better IMO than HO, and MH...

This is why MH would be a good choice

It's like the Sun. HOT, Powerful, and a single source of FIRE! If your tank is heavily Macroed, and have tons of coral and LR, it's the one and done solution....

Last edited by whatevva; 03-04-2012 at 06:27 AM.. Reason: PS
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:44 PM   #8
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Just my two cents....
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:03 PM   #9
scs1guzzi
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Thanks Mii. The lights I'm looking at are the Kessil A150W special blend. My LFS has one set up in a 20 gallon tank and I liked the look. He is recommending 2 lamps for my tank which does not seem like enough. It may be the size and years of eyeballing MH's, but if all I really need is two small lamps that seems the way to go.
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:43 PM   #10
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You mentioned that some say LED's are the future well the future in aquarium lighting is now! if i had the money id get LED without skipping a beat. They run cooler and have some awesome features like. Color temp Adjustments from 20,000k to 5600k straight from your laptp, Lightning feature, clouds and there dusk to dawn effect is amazing. It gradually goes from daylight to less lighting progressively until the moon lights are in effect and same for dawn. That technology is simply fascinating! take a look for yourself.

http://reefbuilders.com/2011/02/07/r...assing-sunset/
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:01 PM   #11
submerge
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Some of the LFSs in our area are switching over to LED. There's a reason for it, and it's not that MH is better at growing corals. Cars are better than horses for transportation in most cases, but there are many many levels of performance in various cars. One could say the same for LEDs. There are good ones and not so good ones. A decade from now, I'll bet MH's will be words in reefing history books....
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:07 PM   #12
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One thing I have noticed in the last month with the LEDs, is that I have growth on coral frags that just were not growing under MH. I replaced my MH bulbs every 6 - 8 months. The LEDs are so much cooler running and much more efficient. The fixture is warm but not hot to touch and my electric bill has already gone down noticeably.
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xdeputy101 View Post
You mentioned that some say LED's are the future well the future in aquarium lighting is now! if i had the money id get LED without skipping a beat. They run cooler and have some awesome features like. Color temp Adjustments from 20,000k to 5600k straight from your laptp, Lightning feature, clouds and there dusk to dawn effect is amazing. It gradually goes from daylight to less lighting progressively until the moon lights are in effect and same for dawn. That technology is simply fascinating! take a look for yourself.

http://reefbuilders.com/2011/02/07/r...assing-sunset/
That link is awesome. The cloud passing is sweet.
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:26 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by submerge View Post
Some of the LFSs in our area are switching over to LED. There's a reason for it, and it's not that MH is better at growing corals. Cars are better than horses for transportation in most cases, but there are many many levels of performance in various cars. One could say the same for LEDs. There are good ones and not so good ones. A decade from now, I'll bet MH's will be words in reefing history books....
I will definately agree that LED's are the future and any filament type bulbs will be gone in 10 years... MH does have more PAR in a single bulb than any single led that is currently available, or array such as the kessil a150w...And it will be some time before we see that amount of usable light currently in MH in a single LED... At least anytime affordably soon...

Point is, any switch over from the LFS is most likely driven by low energy consumption and virtually no cost in bulb replacement...

I have a maxspec mazarra on my cube which is sinply badass, but i cant claim it does a better job than my outer orbit MH as far as propogation..

Yes LED's are getting exponentially better, and MH's are as far as they can go with no room nor desire for improvement...

Im patient with switch over... Its like computers... The best and fastest one today is obselete a year from now...

So ill wait till they get 50,000lumens out of a pin sized led optic, right after everyone else took the bait on the becoming obsolete 1w, 3w, and 5w LED's that are being dumped on the aquarium consumer market..

If you want to see the most cutting edge stuff, check global trade sites like tradekey or alibaba, and you'll see really where its going...
An exponential evolution of LED's.... Try 50 watt single with 120, 90, and 70 degree swappable optics... Fully programmable photoperiods and Single LEDs capable of all color temperatures with controllability.... It will be much more awesome than now, so tread slowly while they keep dropping prices, and evolving the tech....
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:51 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by xdeputy101 View Post
You mentioned that some say LED's are the future well the future in aquarium lighting is now! if i had the money id get LED without skipping a beat. They run cooler and have some awesome features like. Color temp Adjustments from 20,000k to 5600k straight from your laptp, Lightning feature, clouds and there dusk to dawn effect is amazing. It gradually goes from daylight to less lighting progressively until the moon lights are in effect and same for dawn. That technology is simply fascinating! take a look for yourself.

http://reefbuilders.com/2011/02/07/r...assing-sunset/
The future has a way of arriving on time.. But careful with saying its all here today... I have a buddy that spent 4 grand on a LED system in 2008 that is, get ready, the same prometheus your looking at now in 2012.... They had issues i hear staying in business then because of the cost...

Think of this.... Sure you have all the temps and photoperiods, and swappable optics now, but tomorrow you will have 5200-20000 coming out of a single led... Instead of seperate LEDs for each color temp..

Ive been playing with LED's since i found a place to mail order them back in 1998.... I put em on frisbees And everything else u can imagine using an LED on... I always knew that one day, even cars headlights will be replaced with LED's.. But im not gonna buy the "latest" when it comes to full on LED Reef systems... I purchased the maxspec and its exactly capable of what you say... Programmable photoperiods and it even has a weather mode that simulates clouds passing over.... But i will wait to replace my 550 total watt outer orbits for when the prices go to what they should be... That will be pretty soon considering the exponential development in LED lightning
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