PDA

View Full Version : Opinions on upgrading to LEDs!


somewherebeyondthesea
01-07-2013, 04:07 PM
Greetings fellow Canreefers! :mrgreen:

I have decided it's time to upgrade my 180 G tank from MH to LED! Tank dimensions are 5x2x2.

I've done a bunch of homework on some systems, but I was hoping those with experience would provide better insight!:nerd:

So far I've looked at:
- Vertex Illumina 4'
- Ecotech Marine Radions
- AI Sol

For my 12 G Fluval Edge, I've been running a small ecoxotic LED strips (Blue with white and solid Blue) and have noticed lower power usage and exceptional coral growth! :Banane30:

So I wanted some feedback on preferred LED systems that you guys and gals are using.

Some things i'm looking for: :juggle:
- cost effectiveness

- Heat sink (ie. do I have to spend more $$$ on equipment to keep my tank cooler?

- Performance (ie.wanting to have SPS,LPS,Fish ect.)

- Technology (ie. wireless compatibility, ease of use of software for programable units.)


All Feedback is greatly appreciated!:ear:

The Guy
01-07-2013, 04:13 PM
Check out this site good prices & quality
http://www.aq-led.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=88_73

nrosdal
01-07-2013, 05:02 PM
i would look at the Mitras as far as commercial fixtures go. As far as cheaper ones i would check out Evergrow or one of the black box style Chineese units if you are looking to save money.

There is a thread here with some talk of the Evergrow units and a couple places to get them (1 is a canadian reseller or direct from factory).

Or if you are looking for Mitras/Radion/ect.. just look at almost any of the sponsors to get one (i would drop the vertex personally i think they are very overpriced for what you get).

subman
01-07-2013, 05:29 PM
I have or currently owned radions, Vegas, sols and mitras. All are good fixtures and you will save money on power and keep your tank cooler without a doubt.
As far as controllability goes the Mitra and radions are very easy to control and setup. The Vegas and sols are miles behind with the controllers they sell absolute garbage imho.

When it comes to coverage the Mitra is better than all I have the over my six footer and I have better coverage with it than for of the others.
The radions are next with slightly better coverage than the ai products.

The next big thing to look at in led fixtures is discoball effect and again the Mitra is on top with very very little to no discoball effect at all. The radions at next in this category as well there is some but not overly distracting. I would put the sols next strictly because of the lack of colored leds, the Vegas have substantial discoball effect.

As you can see overall the mitras are on top and I am very impressed with them. I still love the radions and think they are amazing lights. The sols are a great cheaper option and are very durable and effective light. The Vegas were a huge disappointment to me, it was a fixture I looked forward to and was first in line to buy them but was quickly disappointed in the performance of the fixture.

jtbadco
01-07-2013, 05:56 PM
My vote goes to DIY LED set ups. If you cant do it yourself try to find someone who will. They far exceed any commercial fixture I have ever seen.

I purchased a Sunbrite F series last year and it is ok. Does very well on all corals, but for the same price I could have gotten a maxxed out DIY done for me.

The Grizz
01-07-2013, 07:14 PM
My vote goes to DIY LED set ups. If you cant do it yourself try to find someone who will. They far exceed any commercial fixture I have ever seen.

I purchased a Sunbrite F series last year and it is ok. Does very well on all corals, but for the same price I could have gotten a maxxed out DIY done for me.

+1 on the DIY. I like my DIY build and could not get the same thing out of a manufactured fixture and the cost was half.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Aquattro
01-07-2013, 07:26 PM
I have decided it's time to upgrade my 180 G tank from MH to LED!

I think to be accurate, let's call this a change rather than an upgrade :)

nrosdal
01-07-2013, 07:34 PM
Another question is: Is your tank in a cabinet? or is the top open?

because i have not seen a single diy unit suited to hang above an open tank unless your tank is located in a mechanic/welding shop(in my opinion).

somewherebeyondthesea
01-07-2013, 08:13 PM
Check out this site good prices & quality
http://www.aq-led.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=88_73

Nice Link! thanks :biggrin:

somewherebeyondthesea
01-07-2013, 08:15 PM
I have or currently owned radions, Vegas, sols and mitras. All are good fixtures and you will save money on power and keep your tank cooler without a doubt.
As far as controllability goes the Mitra and radions are very easy to control and setup. The Vegas and sols are miles behind with the controllers they sell absolute garbage imho.

When it comes to coverage the Mitra is better than all I have the over my six footer and I have better coverage with it than for of the others.
The radions are next with slightly better coverage than the ai products.

The next big thing to look at in led fixtures is discoball effect and again the Mitra is on top with very very little to no discoball effect at all. The radions at next in this category as well there is some but not overly distracting. I would put the sols next strictly because of the lack of colored leds, the Vegas have substantial discoball effect.

As you can see overall the mitras are on top and I am very impressed with them. I still love the radions and think they are amazing lights. The sols are a great cheaper option and are very durable and effective light. The Vegas were a huge disappointment to me, it was a fixture I looked forward to and was first in line to buy them but was quickly disappointed in the performance of the fixture.



Wow thanks for the info! this was exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for!:mrgreen:

somewherebeyondthesea
01-07-2013, 08:16 PM
My vote goes to DIY LED set ups. If you cant do it yourself try to find someone who will. They far exceed any commercial fixture I have ever seen.

I purchased a Sunbrite F series last year and it is ok. Does very well on all corals, but for the same price I could have gotten a maxxed out DIY done for me.


interesting idea! Know anyone in Alberta that could do a DIY project?

somewherebeyondthesea
01-07-2013, 08:17 PM
i would look at the Mitras as far as commercial fixtures go. As far as cheaper ones i would check out Evergrow or one of the black box style Chineese units if you are looking to save money.

There is a thread here with some talk of the Evergrow units and a couple places to get them (1 is a canadian reseller or direct from factory).

Or if you are looking for Mitras/Radion/ect.. just look at almost any of the sponsors to get one (i would drop the vertex personally i think they are very overpriced for what you get).


Thanks!

somewherebeyondthesea
01-07-2013, 08:18 PM
+1 on the DIY. I like my DIY build and could not get the same thing out of a manufactured fixture and the cost was half.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Know anyone locally that could acomplish such a thing? I'd even be willing to travel to pick something up if you had a guy/gal that could do it!

somewherebeyondthesea
01-07-2013, 08:22 PM
Another question is: Is your tank in a cabinet? or is the top open?

because i have not seen a single diy unit suited to hang above an open tank unless your tank is located in a mechanic/welding shop(in my opinion).

Interesting point! The tank is open for sure and the MH's are held up with a couple of wall brackets. That was my one worry with DIY project is making it look good.....:question:

subman
01-07-2013, 08:36 PM
I have DIY on my sons tank and it does look great but its an enclosed unit. I agree DIY can be great but if they are going to be open I would go manufactured for sure.
Unlike Brad I see it as an upgrade!

waynemah
01-07-2013, 09:48 PM
I've run DIY with an open tank, looks ok... Not exactly pro. After a year+ of researching LED's I've yet to find an LED setup that provides great coverage over the entire tank (mine is 30" front to back). Most of the units are a 12x6 piece that sits in the center and spotlights downward, not providing any light to the back or the front of the coral (where you view it from), this makes the coral dull from the sides and epic from the top, which is pretty much useless. The thing that separates the most epic LED lit tanks on this forum (Aquattro, Cuz and Dez for example) is they have great coverage over the entire tank, the corals get light from all sides and the colour/growth of their corals is proof of this.

My 2 cents... If your looking at good coral growth, I'd prioritize in this order... Water quality, Coverage (with proper intensity) and spectrum.

Stones
01-07-2013, 10:50 PM
Another question is: Is your tank in a cabinet? or is the top open?

because i have not seen a single diy unit suited to hang above an open tank unless your tank is located in a mechanic/welding shop(in my opinion).

I assume you missed this from Sphelps 100 gallon build thread (hope you don't mind me reposting your pic Steve):

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a174/sphelps/100G%20Tank%20Build%202011/DSC_6838.jpg

I've seen a few nice DIY LED units that I would say are just as asthetically pleasing or nicer than most commercially available units. Mind you, you're going to need some mad woodworking or acrylic skills to pull it off. The fixture Sphelps built above is probably the nicest one I've seen completed so far.

somewherebeyondthesea
01-07-2013, 10:59 PM
I assume you missed this from Sphelps 100 gallon build thread (hope you don't mind me reposting your pic Steve):

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a174/sphelps/100G%20Tank%20Build%202011/DSC_6838.jpg

I've seen a few nice DIY LED units that I would say are just as asthetically pleasing or nicer than most commercially available units. Mind you, you're going to need some mad woodworking or acrylic skills to pull it off. The fixture Sphelps built above is probably the nicest one I've seen completed so far.



Wow that's pretty sharp! Nice work Sphelps!

sphelps
01-07-2013, 11:12 PM
While I had some success with my DIY fixture it was a lot of work and in the end cost way more than it was worth. Also at the time I was planning my build full spectrum fixtures didn't exist or at least weren't available to me. I'd only ever consider another DIY approach for a smaller tank as there are limited alternative options for such tanks. My vote goes to the Mitras all the way, the AIs are old technology IMO and not worth the investment anymore, Radions have design issues IMO and not worth the investment either, the Vertex 260/360 are solid quality but probably cost more than the Mitras for most tanks so unless you really hate module/pendent style fixtures it doesn't make much sense.

intarsiabox
01-08-2013, 01:50 AM
It's been awhile since I've been to Red Coral but Steve had all the different fixtures set up over various tanks so you can actually see them and what the effect is in person. All the fixtures are capable of growing coral and have color adjustment to suit your personal taste, the overall color is about the same for all of them running at 100%. Some fixtures have more spread than others but usually the more spread the higher the price of the fixture as well. There is a difference in software as far as ease of use and cutomizing but if you just want a sunrise/sunset feature they all have this as well. So as I stated earlier phone up Steve to verify he still has all the lights on display and go see them in person, black and white text does little to explain what a light fixture looks like in real life. I own and have owned a few different LED fixtures and all had pluses and minuses and all worked fine w/o any issues so I won't tell you one way or the other which to buy. BTW a 5x2x2 tank is 150 gallons.

The Grizz
01-08-2013, 03:04 AM
Know anyone locally that could acomplish such a thing? I'd even be willing to travel to pick something up if you had a guy/gal that could do it!

I have done a couple build for a few people since I did mine. I use Modular LED for the parts.

The Grizz
01-08-2013, 03:07 AM
Another question is: Is your tank in a cabinet? or is the top open?

because i have not seen a single diy unit suited to hang above an open tank unless your tank is located in a mechanic/welding shop(in my opinion).

I have built one for a young fellow from Edmonton for over a 20" x 20" tank with a hanger arm attached.