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View Full Version : LEDs vs Metal halides.


chevyjaxon
01-10-2013, 10:44 PM
I still cannot figure out how light emitting diodes (leds) can light up a tank as good as halides.
the Leds for reefs are they any different than the ones that you get in a flashlight? technology is great but it seems im always one step behind everyone else. ive moved from halides to T5s although cheaper to run still not as shimmering as Leds or halides. thoughts on Leds? halides? t5s? is one really much better than the other?:question:

Aquattro
01-10-2013, 10:51 PM
is one really much better than the other?:question:

Depends on what you want. LEDs have tons of great features that make them better than the other 2. Honestly, I don't think any of the 3 are that much better than the other 2, regardless of what the other 2 are. LEDs don't have the same color or punch as MH. MH doesn't have the dimming and color changing abilities, and run a lot hotter and more expensive. T5 is a good middle ground, but no shimmer. Lots of bulb choices, and can make a tank look really good if you're not big on shimmer. They can be dimmed (with more trouble than LED). MH don't dim. you pick your color and go with it until next bulb change. LED has no bulb change. T5 has more frequent. Less money per bulb, more bulbs to change.

I think LED probably have more good features than the other 2. I do miss my MH, but I wouldn't give up some of the stuff I have with my LED.

chevyjaxon
01-10-2013, 10:57 PM
how about livestock response on leds? corals respond good?

Aquattro
01-10-2013, 11:01 PM
how about livestock response on leds? corals respond good?

Ya, mostly stayed the same. I'm almost exclusively SPS. One piece, a pink with blue milli, went completely blue. Recently my lime in th esky acro, normally green with blue tips, turned completely baby blue. Overall a bit less pop in color, but not drastic. It's a reasonable trade off for the benefits. Ramping profiles, color control, cost, no heat, quiet, no fans needed, no bulb changes, etc.

subman
01-10-2013, 11:02 PM
It really depends what you want. I left t5s because I loved the shimmering halides offered. Loved the halides.... Hated the heat and power consumption so switched to LEDs and I love the control ability, lower heat and power consumption and not having to replace bulbs.

That being said not all LEDs are equal. The difference between led fixtures can as vast as comparing Mh to t5 to leds

Aquattro
01-10-2013, 11:06 PM
That being said not all LEDs are equal. The difference between led fixtures can as vast as comparing Mh to t5 to leds


I have AI SOL lights, which I feel are comparable to Radion, for the most part. I think either of these two are a good entry point. I also like the Kessil 350 lights for smaller tanks. Going up, you have Vertex or Mitras as the latest top end.

chevyjaxon
01-10-2013, 11:10 PM
Thanks Subman, never thought of that, Led quality.... once you buy them your pretty much stuck with whatever lumens and kelvins the bulbs put out. unlike Mh or T5s you really cant change the bulbs, well i guess you could but not really feasible Id imagine.

kien
01-10-2013, 11:20 PM
Thanks Subman, never thought of that, Led quality.... once you buy them your pretty much stuck with whatever lumens and kelvins the bulbs put out. unlike Mh or T5s you really cant change the bulbs, well i guess you could but not really feasible Id imagine.

on the contrary. Subman is very qualified to tell you that swapping out LEDs is quite easy. :lol:

chaoticbliss
01-10-2013, 11:51 PM
I have a 3' Vertex Illumina 260 and love it! I also have 5 extra LED pads installed, 3 reds and 2 UV's. the customization available on these units is amazing. The fact that it doesn't heat my tank everyday or require fans to keep temps stable is great. It even calculates my monthly costs to operate and with the program I have running its about $7.50 a month!! Also there is no need to run the LED's at full strength either. My whites run max 40%, blue and royal blue around 70% peak and reds fluctuate through the day to help create a sun rise/set. UV runs around 50% throughout the day and is also used at night with the blues following a realistic moon cycle.

subman
01-11-2013, 12:17 AM
on the contrary. Subman is very qualified to tell you that swapping out LEDs is quite easy. :lol:

Lol and expensive!

gobytron
01-11-2013, 12:20 AM
You can get dimmable MH...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0CdJS_9Sy0

subman
01-11-2013, 12:23 AM
You can get dimmable MH...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0CdJS_9Sy0

Holy grow op batman!

Jewel
01-11-2013, 12:31 AM
I don't think you can beat MH, Imagine 2 400 watt MH over a 200 GL, wow but I just can't do it why, Costs, Heat, Glare, I have 2 Maxspect Razors over my 150 and They don't make a difference to the Fish that's for sure. The Corals seem to be happy, nice and bright, But what I enjoy is the Lack of heat, Lower energy cost, No difference in spectrum for awhile and they were affordable.

I hear people say you can have SPS with LED, that's a crock sure you can, They are bright.

Aquattro
01-11-2013, 12:33 AM
I hear people say you can have SPS with LED, that's a crock sure you can, They are bright.

Should that say "can't"? :)

Jewel
01-11-2013, 12:35 AM
oops you got me, LED is where it's at, For now anyway

Midway
01-11-2013, 07:09 PM
Pretty happy with my SOLS though. Used to run a huge MH fixture over my 240 Gals. that I got from another member here. MH used to run freaking HOT all the time, the fans that I installed on it were freaking LOUD too, well my fault for buying cheap fans but anyhow, I did the switch to LEDs and MAN, what a difference in costs, temp, noise, etc, etc, etc. At the beginning my corals had to go through an acclimation period. In about a month or so, all my corals were happy once again. Fish? they didn't even notice I think. For the control you can have on these LEDs units and the all other features they have, it was worth the change for sure.

Aquattro
01-11-2013, 07:20 PM
Pretty happy with my SOLS though. Used to run a huge MH fixture over my 240 Gals. that I got from another member here. MH used to run freaking HOT all the time, the fans that I installed on it were freaking LOUD too, well my fault for buying cheap fans but anyhow, I did the switch to LEDs and MAN, what a difference in costs, temp, noise, etc, etc, etc. At the beginning my corals had to go through an acclimation period. In about a month or so, all my corals were happy once again. Fish? they didn't even notice I think. For the control you can have on these LEDs units and the all other features they have, it was worth the change for sure.

Pretty much sums up my thoughts on the switch.

kien
01-11-2013, 08:56 PM
I hear people say you can't have SPS with LED, that's a crock sure you can, They are bright.

Do people really still say this?! People have been growing SPS under LEDs for years now. Some people really need to get out from under their rocks :lol:

lastlight
01-11-2013, 09:09 PM
You can get dimmable MH...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0CdJS_9Sy0

according to the description and what we're seeing that's not true dimming but your typical select-a-watt ballast where it has multiple power settings.

For true dimming the only one i know of that's readily available is the Sfiligoi ACLS system.

http://www.3reef.com/forums/3reef-radar/acls-dimmable-hqi-halides-sfiligoi-47867.html

And regarding shimmer, my tiny Kessil a150 LED has more shimmer than my 250w halides had! Fixtures using many separate 3w chips don't produce the same shimmer as the cannon style pendant though.