View Full Version : LED Panel

03-19-2010, 07:52 AM
I found there are LED panels for aquarium at ebay selling at $60 included shipping. What do you think? Very similar to those LED strip available on the market. I am intested to try them to set up a small 30G tank / frag tank.

Any comment or suggestion?

http://cgi.ebay.ca/Blue-Hydroponic-LED-Panel-Grow-Light-110-225-V-13-Watt_W0QQitemZ360243405166QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_De faultDomain_0?hash=item53e02e216e

03-19-2010, 08:00 AM
That panel is using very low power LEDs. Don't expect to get much par with them. Especially near the bottom of the tank. I'd say this panel MAYBE (big maybe) OK to use on something like a 5gallon nano but for anything bigger it'd likely just be a waste.

03-19-2010, 09:35 AM
Ouch- I don't even know if I would run it over a 5 gal. 13W total output... I think that your $$$ would be better spent on other toys. If you were to put it over a refugium on the other hand...

03-19-2010, 05:57 PM
Those types of LEDs put out virtually no PAR. Okay if you are going fish only but useless for any coral etc.

You need at minimum 1 watt high power LEDs for low light corals and 3 watt high power LEDs for SPS or clams etc. Also, depending on the depth of the tank, you may need optics on them.

These panels are cheap but of no use on reef tanks. Decent LEDs that produce sufficient PAR for photosynthetic organisms are not cheap and neither are the constant current drivers needed to power them. It's getting better and more affordable options will be coming but avoid anything that is inexpensive as it just won't work.

03-19-2010, 06:02 PM
i bought one for my refugium in white-does an ok job-as a test i tried it on my 220 -fairly bright-but i wouldnt trust it

03-19-2010, 08:59 PM
It claimed electric usage is 13W but you will get 195W out of the LED. This is more than one of my 150W MH.

Ron, I guess Watt is not equal PAR, so what do you think the LED strip avalible at OC, as it said PAR rating double of ATI Blue Plus T5 Lamp w/Reflector.

Is there any good research or reading that you will suggest?

03-19-2010, 10:47 PM
It is not only the PAR, the ad actually says in the specs: "13W : approximately equal to the blue ray of a 195W incandescent light"
By that statement I assume that they are measuring the blue spectrum of the output against a "warm" white incadescent and not the actual light output.

Anyhow, as an example of just how far off of useful this light would be for growing coral I would point you towards http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_viewitem.aspx?category=Blue_Moon_Aquatics_5000_ Lumen_15000K_(460nm)_LED_Pendant_20_Inch_LED_Light _Fixtures&vendor=Blue_Moon_Aquatics&idproduct=UU1111&idcategory=FILTFILDTN-UU1111 which is a LED fixture with almost the same measurements as the one on ebay. It uses 90 Watts worth of LED's (Likely the fixture would draw more) instead of the 13W.

As another comparison http://cgi.ebay.ca/High-Intensity-10W-CREE-LED-Flashlight-Torch-7781_W0QQitemZ370350362996QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUS_Fl ashlights?hash=item563a9a1174 is a flashlight that takes 3 AAA batteries and draws 10W for the LED output. It would be difficult to hang a flashlight over an aquarium and expect anything to grow... (Yes, not a perfect comparison- but it gives you the idea.)

I think that if you research the DIY fixtures on these boards you will get a much better idea of the kinds of power and the types of light (including spectrum) that is necessary for a fixture to be usable and it will make it easier for you to form your own conclusion about light fixtures.

Good luck.

03-19-2010, 11:00 PM
+1 to Dolf. 13W is 13W and any comparisons to 195W lights is just BS marketing. Also, yes, lumens does not equal PAR. Those small LEDs look bright to the human eye but they are actually not putting out alot of lumens and almost no PAR. A white 3W LED looks brighter to the eye and generates more lumens then a blue 3W LED but they actually put out similar PAR numbers.

I would not even buy that Marine Depot one Dolf linked to. It uses 1 watt emitters with no optics so would probably only be good for LPS and lower light corals in a relatively shallow tank.

So it is complicated. But you have to remember that corals etc require the intense light of a tropical sun to grow and flourish. That is why people use high powered metal halides or T5HO and why PC lighting is not recommended for SPS. You need intense lights and with LEDs you can only get that with 3W emitters and also need to add optics to focus the light for better penetration into the tank.

The best place for LED info right now is nano-reef.com. Lots of DIY fixtures and testing has been done by the members there. Reefcentral has a bit as well. What really needs to be done is some side by side testing to really show what is required.

To get an idea of a igh quality fixture that will support growth of even the highest light demanding corals/clams look at the Aqua Illuminations ones. They are pricey and for the most part that is because the LEDs and drivers needed are more expensive as well as needing a good heatsink and cooling for the LEDs. Sadly, there are no cheap shortcuts with LED lighting right now. In 10 years you will be able to buy LED fixtures for the price of an inexpensive MH fixture but not now.

03-20-2010, 12:41 AM
Thanks for the clarification Ron. I would not buy it either- I was just at work and quickly looking for something comparable to the ebay one in terms of dimensions to give some idea of what output should be as a minimum- I should have mentioned that I just stumbled across it and was not pointing it out as something to buy. It was also to show the price difference. I know that we are all aware that for the most part we get ripped off in this hobby as soon as something says "aquarium use", but $500 vs $60 should make you wonder where the difference are in the products. I am actually just starting to look into the possibility of a DIY fixture because a project always appeals to me. I am looking at the CREE emitters as there is a place in town I can buy them...

03-20-2010, 04:39 AM
...I am actually just starting to look into the possibility of a DIY fixture because a project always appeals to me. I am looking at the CREE emitters as there is a place in town I can buy them...

Dolf, I also enjoy building things over buying them. I've been doing some cursory research on LEDs for a project I may take on and was curious as to where in Calgary you can find the CREE emitters ?

I was thinking of getting a few to experiment with. I've already checked my usual haunts (Future, Digi-Key etc.) and NADA so I'd be pretty keen if I could get some locally.

03-20-2010, 05:21 AM
Thank you very much, Dolf and Ron, for your information. It is good that I asked the question here, before I decide to buy it.

03-21-2010, 09:33 PM
... where in Calgary you can find the CREE emitters ?

Arrow Electronics- located, I think, out by the airport. I called and they had transfered me to their Atlanta office who informed me that their minimum order was $25 and that if the Calgary branch could not order them in for me that they could ship. I assume that being a part of the same company they have similar policies and access to the same product, but I am a little uncertain.

Oh, and Arrow electronics does have it's own website. http://www.arrownac.com/manufacturers/cree/xlamp-leds.html - just do not expect ANY technical help- you need to know everything including the product code for the light spectrum etc that you are after- they only sell them and do not provide support as to your options.

03-22-2010, 06:54 PM
I used to have an account with Arrow so I'll do some looking into it.