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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello again everyone.
I would like to hear some opinions of experienced (or novice) reefers about lighting hype. I'm in the process of planning my first tank, a 180 g, and every light manufacturer claims to be the best. "Precision German engineering", "state-of-the-art ballast technology", "superior bulb performance" are just a few of the claims. Personally, I think they are trying to sugar-coat their product to justify that huge price tag. Does anyone out there use non "reef-specific" lighting? Now I have no reefing experience so i can lay no claim to reef lighting knowledge. One thing i have done that i beleive relates to this is indoor gardening. When I started I bought the special grow lights with "ideal k rating" for various growth stages and the "high tech" ballasts to run them. I also paid the top shelf price for them. They worked great, did their job admirably. I wanted to expand my setup but could'nt afford the expensive lights, so I went to the local electrical supply and picked up a mogul socket, contractor series bulb, and 400w MH ballast rebuild kit. This was a fraction of my original setup cost.Ballast kit was 90, bulb 25, and socket 10. I set up my "cheap d.i.y." alongside the state-of-the-art system and, long story short, they are both equally effective. I can see no difference in growth whatsoever. I would like to know if this could hold true for corals as well. Please let me know what you think about non "reef-specific" lighting, good or bad.
Thanks.
 

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Yes, it does hold true for corals. You can run the 6500, 6700k sun at high noon lighting for your tank. It makes your tank look like crap. You can throw in some VHO Actinics to give it some coloring. Most lighting out of that range is for color rendering only, and what 10k, 12k, 14k, 20k, 22k, blues people like to see. But I would not use 4100k through the 5500k range. Those bulbs are definately not meant for gardens or Reefs.
 

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Welcome to TRT! (the reef tank)
I use these lights and have been running them for just over a year.
http://www.aquaticlife.com/products/291
I like the efficiency of T5/HO's over MH's. I have SPS, LPS, and softies and everything seems to be happy and healthy. Having said that, my tank is just over a year old. I am not the most experienced on this forum. I feel that I cold have saved about $300 by doing a DIYS job on this light set up. When I first started last year, I didn't know any better. I am extremely happy with AquaticLife. These lights are awesome and really easy to set up and program. They have a built in timer that is supper easy to set up. The only down side is their cost. Hope this helps.
 

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Pretty much. In the higher K ranges you'll need a much higher wattage lamp to put out the same light as a lower wattage K lamp. Figure that corals in the ocean grow pretty good with the sun at high noon (6700k), but there is a graph out there from someone where it actually shows best growth, and thats not 6700k.
 

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[/ATTACH]

Bob here is your Kelvin scale. 65k will give you a yellow color temp. This is my mix reef under a 14k LED that I mentioned to you in your last thread. I picked this up for $235. Granted I deal these so I purchased at cost:agree:.

But there are many DIY kits and good buys out there. LED and t5ho if you dont care for LED, not everyone does.
 

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Here is some stats_-. Full spectrum: Blue 450m-455nm
White 14000k
Special Ratio:14Blue, 18white
2. Epistar,Cree,Bridgelux LED chip
3.CE&RoHs Approved
4. Two rows, 32pcs in all, 3w/pc,50000h

I have had it up now for 4 months on my mixed reef. I will be honest I have a growth rate I have not had in all my years of reef keeping. I will tell you I was very unsure to go LED but thanks to fellow TRT members they talked me in to it. As I said they are not for everyone some prefer Mh and up to 3 years ago I used only PC's before going T5ho.
 

· Fuzzy Stick Crazy
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I have a ~14k LED setup also. Been running since july and my SPS growth is impressive to say the least. LPS corals have slower growth because of the narrower light spectrum and fairly clean water. See my light and reef build threads for ideas on what LED's are capable of.
 

· Novel Responder
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Be careful on the "hype" as you are finding out. I am running a 175g right now with VHO's and have some hard corals (nothing higher end that stags and birdnest). They grow fine. You can have lighting overkill. If you have the knowledge and ability, I'd go with a DIY set up....unfortunately for me...I lack both so will likely have to buy a set up or pay someone to DIY one for me :cry:
 

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I have been thinking of T5 and MH for when I upgrade as I tend to be a late adopter (still running VHO). After doing a lot of listening and research, I think I'll be going LED. Still have some time....kitchen remodel, bathrooms...woodpecker did a number on the front siding....ugh...
 
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