View Full Version : Led Lighting choices. Strip or par 38 pendants?

05-23-2013, 03:29 AM
I need new lights and I am convinced that led is the way to go over the long term.

My pocketbook can't afford top of the line, as I have a skimmer that badly needs replacing and a sump that needs to be built. I don't need programmable, dimmable, multi-spectrum lights but lights that will grow SPS and clams would be nice.

I have a 125 gallon that I can hang pendants over. Would it be better to get two strip led consoles or four to six par 38 pendants that can be angled differently? Any input would be greatly appreciated or suggestions are welcome.

05-23-2013, 04:51 AM
From what I've been told about led strips one strip is equal to one t5 bulb, so you'd need four 48" strips for your tank. I just ordered a par38 for my nano tank and am hopeful it'll work well for me. Not sure how much area it would cover over a larger tank, but I can see when I get it ie: test it over my 80g if you'd like.

05-23-2013, 01:46 PM
Aside from strip lighting & par38, there are also multi-chip LEDs that work very well for our application. They range from 10 watts each to well over 100 watts and are now available with multi colours on the same chip. Kessil uses a custom multi-chip in their light if not mistaken. I'm running a diy 10 watt multi-chip fixture over my 77 gal Hagen tank. It consists of 3 rows of 9 multi-chip LEDs per row with a mix of cool white, 10000K white, blue & royal blue. So theoretically I replaced 500 watts of MH + 130 watts of T5HO with 270 watts of LED. But I don't run the LEDs at 100%, so I'm not even consuming the full 270 watts. For me, switching to LEDs was one of the best moves I've made with respect to efficiency in keeping the tank running. Link to my build thread is below.

05-23-2013, 04:23 PM
I am using 2 Par30 bulbs and I am very impressed.

The colors, I find, are perfect for what I am after and all my corals are enjoying it.

05-23-2013, 05:42 PM
Custom par 30's and full spec par38's is Wut I use. Great success with them and very affordable.

05-23-2013, 05:57 PM
Custom par 30's and full spec par38's is Wut I use. Great success with them and very affordable.

What size is your tank and how many do you use?

05-23-2013, 06:16 PM
If it comes down to a budget I'd look into some of the cheaper Chinese pendants myself. PAR38s aren't really an affordable option considering they don't offer any control. They cost around $100 each or so and typically have around 12 LEDs will a total wattage around 30W, so $3.30 per watt. The D120 however has 56 LEDs and totals 120W. It costs less than $200, or $1.67 per watt. It also offers some control as well.

So if your budget is $600 then compare 6 PAR38s to 3 D120s. I think the value there speaks for itself, especially if your goals lean towards SPS.

The evergrows are the more popular Chinese alternative, I believe the reviews are also quite good on them.

05-24-2013, 05:24 AM
What size is your tank and how many do you use?

A 9gal nano cube. 2 bulbs for now. Plenty of light!