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View Full Version : LEDs after 1 and 2 Years?


Oscar
05-10-2012, 01:47 PM
There are lots of LEDs coming on the market and lots of raves after their initial install. But what about the longer term? What do your corals think of LEDs after 1 or 2 years? Do you still get the growth your MH or T5s were providing?

MarkoD
05-10-2012, 02:11 PM
i get better growth in 6 months with LEDs than i did in a year of Metal Halides

Nano
05-10-2012, 02:48 PM
I can't speak long term yet, but already 3-3 1/2 months into leds as Marko said, I have wicked growth on everything compared to 6 months with T5's, it is short term, but I believe it is a testimonial to the growing power of LEDs

EDIT

The colors are also a million times better as well, and LEDs aren't going to brown out your corals like MH will

Oscar
05-10-2012, 03:55 PM
The colors are also a million times better as well, and LEDs aren't going to brown out your corals like MH will

Funny you should mention the browning out. There is one thread on Reef Central that talked about browning out of SPS after a year of LEDs. That is what prompted me to ask the question. Although LEDs have been advancing rapidly and perhaps LEDs from 2 years ago are not comparable to today's versions?

Or there were other variables at play with the browning out?

Aquattro
05-10-2012, 04:02 PM
LEDs aren't going to brown out your corals like MH will

huh?? How do MH brown out corals?

Nano
05-10-2012, 04:15 PM
well any sps I bought was under MH, and was brown until a few weeks under leds, I dont know if its "browned out" per say, but it does seem to drown out the colors. might just be my experience though

Aquattro
05-10-2012, 04:34 PM
well any sps I bought was under MH, and was brown until a few weeks under leds, I dont know if its "browned out" per say, but it does seem to drown out the colors. might just be my experience though

I would say it's more likely a nutrient problem. Lighting of any type doesn't guarantee colors in SPS. If you got a frag from a MH tank and it was brown, it wasn't due to lighting (unless the bulbs were 2 years old). I have over 100 pieces of SPS under MH, and not a brown piece in the tank.

MarkoD
05-10-2012, 04:34 PM
Browning out could be because of the amount of light, not type of light

Nano
05-10-2012, 04:39 PM
Browning out could be because of the amount of light, not type of light
I would say it's more likely a nutrient problem. Lighting of any type doesn't guarantee colors in SPS. If you got a frag from a MH tank and it was brown, it wasn't due to lighting (unless the bulbs were 2 years old). I have over 100 pieces of SPS under MH, and not a brown piece in the tank.
ahhh so either poor nutrients, or too much/too little light? My mistake :P
at least I learned something today :lol:

MarkoD
05-10-2012, 04:44 PM
The only light factors that make a difference are color and intensity, a coral doesn't discriminate against the type of bulbs you're using.

Also it's possible that metal halides could be causing a swing in temp

Dez
05-10-2012, 04:44 PM
I've been on LEDs for over a year now. Can't say more growth, and I can't say less growth. Both MH and LEDs will tweak the colors of the corals in different ways, but in the end, they are still colourful. Different spectrum of light will of course give different colours. I don't know if this really answers your question, but this is my experience.

mike31154
05-10-2012, 05:42 PM
Funny you should mention the browning out. There is one thread on Reef Central that talked about browning out of SPS after a year of LEDs. That is what prompted me to ask the question. Although LEDs have been advancing rapidly and perhaps LEDs from 2 years ago are not comparable to today's versions?

Or there were other variables at play with the browning out?

LEDs from 2 years ago most definitely don't compare to today's versions. You only need to look back a few months to see what Cree has been doing with their 3 watt X series in terms of efficiency. Wait a few months or a year and there will likely be another quantum leap or two. It's a bit like the processor speed wars of a few years ago between Intel & AMD. Things have slowed down a little in advancements there, but I think the LED game still has a way to go. We're only now seeing affordable LEDs show up at retailers to replace the CFL lamps in our homes. Once the manufacturers really get tooled up, prices will invariably drop. A DIY LED fixture will be as easy as getting a bunch of standard light sockets & screwing in LED lamps. You can already do that with the PAR38 spotlights available. Still a bit pricey though & selection is not as good as it could be.

As far as browning out, lots of factors there other than lighting. Switching from one light source to another has it's risks if not done properly though. Thing with LEDs is that they generally don't light up the tank as brightly in our eyes as MH or a bank of HO Fluorescents, but with the right mixture of emitters of the correct spectrum & sufficient wattage, you should get very good growth. You have much more flexibility in colour choice with LEDs, plus the option of nearly infinite control/dimming.

I've only been running my DIY LED effort for a bit over a month, but would never go back to MH or HO fluorescents. Controllability & power savings are huge advantages.

reefgirl189
05-10-2012, 06:06 PM
Although I've been having some growth with my LEDs (2 months in), I don't think it's anything to write home about. My T5's were almost as effective.

On the plus side the LEDs are giving growth to the corals I care about (the nicer zoas I have). And not so much to the ones I don't (kenya tree).

Cal_stir
05-10-2012, 09:47 PM
My DIY led unit has been running almost 2 years now, however, it's all my display has had for the most part, I'm LPS Zoa dominate and they grow like weeds, I have a seperate system that I use for overflow and frags and stuff that is lit with T5 and any frags I put in there grow @ 25% and any corals I move from there to my display grow 4X faster. The 2 tanks are fed the same proportionally so I don't think it's the food, water quality is very close aswell.

msjboy
05-10-2012, 10:05 PM
My DIY to my Red sea max 130 from Martin modular LEDs, the corals are doing ok though can't say any better than the stock PC lights....there's a lot of corals that I have in a small 34 gallon tank and maybe some chemical warfare going on inhibiting faster growth.
However, when the stock PC lights were in, it seem to illuminate the whole room more due to reflectors and the omni-directions of a tube PC light... A couple of corals such as a colt and kenya seemed to grow faster in the PC light but now it has slowed down... maybe the LEDs are a bit too bright for them. I leave the lights on at about 80% max. Everything else seemed to like the LEDs but no explosive growth.

Certainly one will save some money on electricity and bi-annual replacement of bulbs.

I think it will be a matter of time before T5 and MH will be a thing of the past ( in terms of saving electricity, bulbs ) but will this mean one won't upgrade to a better spectrumed , more computerized type of LED in the near future or will one stick with their current LEDS for a decade? Probably all the hard core reefers will indeed upgrade if the price is right.

msjboy

icecool217
05-11-2012, 09:37 PM
What led lights / led configurations are you guys using? It would be a great addition to the thread to observe which type of led lights or configurations provide decent growth.

StirCrazy
05-11-2012, 10:59 PM
ahhh so either poor nutrients, or too much/too little light? My mistake :P
at least I learned something today :lol:

wouldn't say pour nutrition at all, for years SPS people strived to have very nutrent low tanks, and very high lighting to get the best color out of the SPS. there are still lots of tanks employing this stratagy today with very good results.

to much light would generaly bleach your SPS, not brown them. Any SPS I got that was brown and then colored up came from a high nutrent lower light tank, generaly an enviroment that more suited Softies than SPS.

Steve