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· Watchful Goby
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321 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been following a lot of build threads recently, and I can't seem to figure out why more people aren't using Par38 LEDs to light their tanks. Ebay seems to be filled with high-quality LEDs (Bridgelux or Cree) in a Par38 factor, at ridiculous prices.

Am I wrong in thinking you can just slap a few of these in a few of these and have more than enough light at a fraction of the cost of constantly replacing T5 or MH bulbs, or the massive initial cost of your standard LED fixture? I'm half-regretting my T5/LED combo, and sort of wish I went the Par38 route. I could always start a second tank!
 

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Some benefits of the LED fixtures are being able to adjust the intensity and the colors. With those bulbs you cannot adjust the blue and white channels independently. Also you can't dim them unless you use some sort of dimmer switch which may or may not work. If those things aren't important to you then I am sure they would work well enough.
 

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3,157 Posts
Some of then will work off of a wall dimmer. I gutted the drivers out of mine when I had them and ran the power cord of the fixture to a meanwell driver to control them with my RKE.
That is awesome! Love that idea! I did something similar with a pencil sharpener when my wife's broke. One if her students spilled Capri sun all over it. I gutted everything and made my own controls. Works as good as new!

Anyways back to the PAR38s... everyone is right. They are cheap, but you need a lot of them to cover a large area. Then it almost defeats the purpose. The housing they are in doesn't look like it would cool the 30-50Watt models. I would use the ecoxotic brand because they are well made. They are expensive though. Modulus how hot does that bulb you have over your frag tank get? What wattage did you select?
 

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6,362 Posts
I would go with two PAR30's from Boost LED as those would be cheaper and work perfectly. I tried one PAR38 of my 10g and returned it because it didn't have great coverage. A lot of dark areas near the edge.
 
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