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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Per my other post I've downsized from a 180 and I'm putting together a new 90 tank description below. Currently I'm looking to replace some very old T-12's ( 2 x white and 2 x actinic ). Like just about everyone i'm comparing LED's vs T-5's.

My question is when comparing wattage most of what i'm looking at are 4 bulb x 48" units that are mostly in the 216 watt range. When looking at LED's ( mid range - not cheap but not high end ) most state they are 54 watts.

Can anyone provide me with some direction on how to compare for strength etc?

One LED i'm looking at is

I know it's not high end but it's got a built in times, several modes etc. Seems like a decent starter...

Thanks for any advice on how to compare strengths / wattage.



* Marineland 90 gallon crystal clear corner flo - 700 gph flow capacity
** Down below -
* 30 gallon sump / refugium
* Dual skimmer sock
* Eshoops PSK-200 protein skimmer
* Mag 12 return pump
** In the tank -
* Jebao Wireless RW-15 wave maker with electronic controller x 1 ( want a 2nd )
* T-12 lighting - 2 x white and 2 x blue
- replace soon with LED or T-5
* Hydor Koralia Evolution 1400
* Hydor Koralia Evolution 1050
* JBJ lighting Auto Top Off - 10 gallon reserve
* 60 lbs live sand ( 2+ inch sand bed )
* 40 lbs base rock
* 3" yellow tang
* 2" blue tang
* 1" oscellaris clown x 2
* Small star fish
* Red fire shrimp
* Hermits x 10
* Snail x 10
** Want to add
* Jebao Wireless RW-15 wave maker with electronic controller x 1
- will remove Koralia's when I add this...
* LED or T-5 lighting x 48"
* 40 lbs or so live rock
Extra equipment
* Mag 7 pump
* Mag 5 pump


· are friends
5,096 Posts
Personally I prefer the cheap chinese ebay LED's... they are the best I've found for a decent price. The most important thing is that you need to find a unit with high quality LED's. There is a pretty large difference in quality in LED's. Currently CREE makes the best LED's for the hobby, bridgelux is someplace slightly lower than CREE. Then the wattage is the next thing to look at, you will see many many many LED's that advertise 0.1w per LED. These are garbage, they won't grow algae in your tank, so they are not even close to being able to grow corals. You want to make sure you are getting a 3W LED (per LED). There are actually some 5W LED's coming in to the market now too... the 48-60" fixture you linked states 46W with 192 LED's (0.2395W / LED). If you do go the ebay route be very mindful of what you are buying because there are a lot of knock offs with the low wattage LED's.

This is what I have... I have 4 of these mounted above my 240 gallon (8ft tank), plus one similar to this mounted on my sump/frag tank section...

the downfall is they do not have a built in timer, but you can buy a timer at walmart for about $5. Also the intensity is controlled by a knob/rheostat, it can't be controlled by controllers.
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