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View Full Version : Thinking of upgrading to LEDs


paddyob
05-01-2013, 03:28 AM
Anyone use these Vertex LEDs...

http://www.jlaquatics.com/product/vt-ldillb04/Vertex+Illumilux+IV+LED+Fixture+-+Marino+Blu+%2848+Inch%29.html

Im on a limited budget and these 48" seem reasonably priced.

Any input?

BlueTang<3
05-01-2013, 03:33 AM
If your on a limited budget why not wait, not sure where you want to tank the tank but I think you might be limited in what you are able to do with your tank with that fixture.

paddyob
05-01-2013, 03:39 AM
If your on a limited budget why not wait, not sure where you want to tank the tank but I think you might be limited in what you are able to do with your tank with that fixture.

Limited in which aspect ? I don't know anything about LED at this point except u know $1000 is out of the question. So I saw under $400 and a name with a decent rep.

What's the issue with these just so I know. I am Looking to replace my six bulb tek.

jjntm
05-01-2013, 03:48 AM
I believe that is the one JL uses on their frag tank... I personally don't like it... and the frags never seem to keep their color for more then a few days to a week... Personally I would avoid upgrading till you can afford AI's...

sphelps
05-01-2013, 03:51 AM
No problem with those lights but you'll need more than one to replace a 6 bulb T5 fixture. The 48" fixture only has 24LED or 72W which is the same as one AI sol which sell for around the same price. So in reality these are competitive with many other options and are modular.

If you're switching to LEDs aim for around half your current T5 wattage for something reasonably close in power. If you're upgrading you'll want more power than that and you'll want to consider additional colors as 50/50 mix isn't ideal.

msjboy
05-01-2013, 03:54 AM
Try the kessil a350w..and check kijijiji.ca edmonton....some one selling near new cheap..at least try them out and resell them with no lost in money if still available.
.
Regs
Msjboy

intarsiabox
05-01-2013, 03:59 AM
Being that the LED's are all blue and only have 6 per foot I think the fixture would be better suited for supplemental lighting or a very low light requirement tank if you could live with the color. I've seen some AI Sol's go for pretty cheap on here and would maybe hold out for two of those instead. I bought a chinese fixture that uses 3W blue and white Crees and each channel is manually dimmable for pretty cheap. But the Sol's had much better spread and penatration.

mrhasan
05-01-2013, 04:31 AM
For limited budget, growlight LEDs would be great. Many people have great success with those and two of those over your tank will be a blast. I don't know much but as far as I have heard, these fixtures are no good for corals above, possibly LPS. For that price point, I personally wouldn't buy it. Like Steve already wrote, it has 24 LEDs over 48" while aisols have the same amount of LED for 24" coverage.

Aquattro
05-01-2013, 04:49 AM
What's wrong with your T5?

paddyob
05-01-2013, 05:19 AM
What's wrong with your T5?

Tired of buying bulbs. It's a constant drain. Replacing at 6-8 months. It's a retail gold mine knowing the mark up.

Why not replace and move on from that?

mseepman
05-01-2013, 05:20 AM
Take a look for the D120 fixtures...two of those would only cost a little more than that Vertex light (which I believe is only for supplimenting another light and not a light by itself). There are some easy places to get it here in Canada and they do a good job for the money plus are dimmable.

Aquattro
05-01-2013, 05:44 AM
Tired of buying bulbs. It's a constant drain. Replacing at 6-8 months. It's a retail gold mine knowing the mark up.

Why not replace and move on from that?

I think unless you can actually buy decent lights, you're better off replacing bulbs until you've got enough cash for decent lights. No point downgrading from a decent T5 setup, so as with everything in this hobby, do it right the first time or you lose more money than you can count!

WarDog
05-01-2013, 05:49 AM
Try these?
http://www.buildmyled.com/

asylumdown
05-01-2013, 06:05 AM
I think unless you can actually buy decent lights, you're better off replacing bulbs until you've got enough cash for decent lights. No point downgrading from a decent T5 setup, so as with everything in this hobby, do it right the first time or you lose more money than you can count!

+... 1 million.

I wouldn't trade a decent T5 fixture for that light. That would be OK as supplemental lighting to a metal halide setup, but based on those specs it would be totally inappropriate as your only light. Having only 450 and 470nm bulbs over your tank would make it look like you had a giant box of windex in your living room and I feel confident in saying that your corals would take a major hit in the growth department, if not stop growing/die completely. For an LED fixture to work as the only light source it needs white bulbs.

Once you go LED, I dare say you'll not go back, but only if you buy the right fixture. I still double think my lighting choice every time I see a healthy T5 tank because the SPS colours are so freaking good under them. I still haven't seen an LED tank that looks as incredible as a T5 tank in terms of coral colour (though some are getting close), so I wouldn't switch from them as a platform to LEDs unless I was getting the best there was. Whatever LEDs might lack compared to T5s in terms of coral colour (and at the high end of the market that's not much anymore) they more than make up for it in their other advantages, but if you went from T5 to an all blue supplemental fixture you'd be kicking yourself in a month.

It's better to either wait until you can afford better fixtures, or wait until what's considered 'cutting edge' today (which is very, very good) has come down in price.

nrosdal
05-01-2013, 06:08 AM
here is my 120 gallon with 2 d120 lights above it. $350 and your 4 footer is well covered

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d99/sheetmetal/IMG_2161_zpsc927d65f.jpg (http://s33.photobucket.com/user/sheetmetal/media/IMG_2161_zpsc927d65f.jpg.html)

paddyob
05-01-2013, 07:41 AM
I think unless you can actually buy decent lights, you're better off replacing bulbs until you've got enough cash for decent lights. No point downgrading from a decent T5 setup, so as with everything in this hobby, do it right the first time or you lose more money than you can count!

It's not about having or not having the cash. I can buy them, but the wife is hard to convince I NEED to spend it.

That battle is going poorly, so I'm looking for alternatives that my wife can live with.

And under $500 is probably my cap. Today, tomorrow or in 5 years.

So what I need is a product that is worth buying. I know there are lots of Chinese knock offs... And some with very good reviews.

So, bring uninformed on LED, I need to know why I should buy brand name when most of them prObably have Chinese made parts.

New territory. Bah. I hate research. And pros and cons. They suck. :P

paddyob
05-01-2013, 07:42 AM
here is my 120 gallon with 2 d120 lights above it. $350 and your 4 footer is well covered

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d99/sheetmetal/IMG_2161_zpsc927d65f.jpg (http://s33.photobucket.com/user/sheetmetal/media/IMG_2161_zpsc927d65f.jpg.html)


Serious? I just watched a video of your tank on YouTube?

asylumdown
05-01-2013, 07:53 AM
Werd.

Things to look for

brand of the diode - crees are the best but others are swooping in, especially in the lower NM and novel colour (ie not white and blue) range

Wattage of the diode - on a large system don't buy anything with less than 3 watt diodes.

Number of diodes/total wattage/arrangement on the fixture/lenses - this lets you know what sort of spread and punch you'll get.

colour mix of the diodes - standard for the past 5 years has been blue/royal blue/some kind of white (warm, neutral or cool). This works, but you might find yourself thinking of your tank as washed out if these are the only colours you get. There's umpteen nauseating threads on the various forums debating the merits or lack thereof of the various flavours of white diodes. Latest and greatest fixtures all have more colours than this, and DIY forums have been doing multi-colour units for years.

The number of controllable channels - the more the better, but the more the pricier.

After that things like heat control, diode lumen per watt ratings (cree keeps coming out with more and more efficient diodes), build quality, and control interfaces are icing on the cake that will make your light either pleasant to work with/last a long time/cost more than your first car. But for the bare bones purpose of growing corals and how they look while doing it, it's the first list that counts.

nrosdal
05-01-2013, 08:00 AM
Werd.

Things to look for

brand of the diode - crees are the best but others are swooping in, especially in the lower NM and novel colour (ie not white and blue) range

Wattage of the diode - on a large system don't buy anything with less than 3 watt diodes.

Number of diodes/total wattage/arrangement on the fixture/lenses - this lets you know what sort of spread and punch you'll get.

colour mix of the diodes - standard for the past 5 years has been blue/royal blue/some kind of white (warm, neutral or cool). This works, but you might find yourself thinking of your tank as washed out if these are the only colours you get. There's umpteen nauseating threads on the various forums debating the merits or lack thereof of the various flavours of white diodes. Latest and greatest fixtures all have more colours than this, and DIY forums have been doing multi-colour units for years.

The number of controllable channels - the more the better, but the more the pricier.

After that things like heat control, diode lumen per watt ratings (cree keeps coming out with more and more efficient diodes), build quality, and control interfaces are icing on the cake that will make your light either pleasant to work with/last a long time/cost more than your first car. But for the bare bones purpose of growing corals and how they look while doing it, it's the first list that counts.

ya, what he said :biggrin:

monocus
05-01-2013, 08:23 AM
i have one-it's the cheaper version of the illumina-par is soso.i bought a chinese version the same length for a third of the cost(9 3watt leds blue/white),with the same par.it might be better to build your own.thats what i do now.

paddyob
05-01-2013, 03:01 PM
i have one-it's the cheaper version of the illumina-par is soso.i bought a chinese version the same length for a third of the cost(9 3watt leds blue/white),with the same par.it might be better to build your own.thats what i do now.

I do not have time to build them. Many other projects on the go. This is a good thought but not going to happen.