LED advice

Discussion in 'LED Aquarium Lighting' started by Magnus, Mar 22, 2015.

to remove this notice and enjoy 3reef content with less ads. 3reef membership is free.

  1. Magnus

    Magnus Sharknado

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,923
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    Guys, I'm in dire need of new lights. I just finished reading a day or 2 ago the 9 page LED sticky on LED's.

    I have saved up money and I want to do it right this time. Even if I'm short on what I have saved, I would wait for the rest of the cash if it means that I'm getting "the" fixture I need. I have decided I want LED's since it's cheaper to run than MH's. One thing I noticed, along with some brands of LED fixtures that I need to stay away from (vertex, for example), is that no matter how much I read about it, I still know nothing about it. Par/Pur, etc, etc... it's too much. So I'm hoping (and counting) on the expertise of my 3reefer friends.

    I have a standard 55 gallon reef (48" long, 12" wide & 18" deep from the sand bed to the top of the water line, I want to keep it mixed, but I do want to be able to grow SPS... if necessary, I would grow SPS them only at the top section so I can have other types at the middle/bottom.

    I would prefer a fixture that is programmable, with a kit to hang it, and also for it to be built with good components for a good long lasting experience. It would be nice to have the option of connecting it to a controller in the future, but not immediately. I don't know much about the type of lense I would need, as long as it covers the above mentioned area and reaches the bottom... Dimmable is a must so I can play with it and find the perfect level/mix.

    Please, feel free to recommend manufacturers, or specific models you would use on a 55. Any input would be appreciated it.

    Thank you in advance!

    - Mag.
     
  2. Click Here!

  3. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,899
    Location:
    Canton OH
    I have a regular 55g and i bought from RapidLED. I went the DIY route for a couple reasons; 1) I could customize and change the diodes however and whenever i want, 2) A little cheaper up front going DIY route so long as you are somewhat handy, 3) Also cheaper because I only had to start with cool white LEDs and Royal Blue and I can add a separate channel for any other color i want later on down the road, 4) If there is a huge breakthrough with some different LEDs next year, I can upgrade for really cheap.

    Right now I have one of their dimmers on it which simulates sunrise/sunset and it is able to be hooked up to a controller as soon as my wallet allows it.

    Only one regret which is really not a big deal, but i just bought the wrong driver. I learned later that if i wanted Lightning effect when i get a controller i just needed faster drivers.

    RapidLED's customer service was spectacular with answering questions and walking me through what I would need to order to get the lights up and running immediately.

    Once I received my order, my lights were assembled, mounted in my hood, and running perfectly by the next day.

    If you decide to go this route and have any particular questions or concerns, feel free to PM me I would be happy to help you out.
     
    Magnus likes this.
  4. Magnus

    Magnus Sharknado

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,923
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
  5. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    19,652
    Location:
    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    If you have the money two Radions, if you want to go down in price two Hydra 52's.

    I did a lot of research before and after buying my LED Hydra.

    If I wanted the best fixture money could buy I would go with the ATI hybrid.
     
    DSC reef likes this.
  6. Magnus

    Magnus Sharknado

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,923
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    ATI's are nice, but pricy and possibly unattainable at this point. Is there any advantage in going hybrid? I thought LED's had past the hump of irregular growth. Radions are very nice too. They still seem over priced compared to the 52's. I would have to wait an extra month if I go with the radions, but it's doable. I would like to understand the difference between them though. Advantages/disadvantages of being hybrid vs all LED.

    Care to talk more about them, Cheryl?
     
  7. RavenSF

    RavenSF Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
  8. Click Here!

  9. tattoolew

    tattoolew Sea Dragon

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Messages:
    503
    Location:
    Bluefield, VA
    This Kessil is great, but 2 Radion XR15w Pros on this tank would sweet.
     
  10. Magnus

    Magnus Sharknado

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,923
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    RavenSF, How are your corals doing with the 2 52's? What type of corals do you keep?
    The Kessil AP700 looks amazing, but I'm sure just one of those will be outside my price range. Added to the fact that I can't wait much longer. Any news on when the AP700 will be out or the price range for it?
     
  11. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    19,652
    Location:
    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Unless you're an experienced LED user or a lucky individual there is a HUGE learning curve regarding intensity, colors, photoperiods.....One does not merely buy a fixture put it over a tank, turn on the fixture and walk away. Depending on the corals types, and many other variables you're changing intensities, colors....you have to give each change some time before you can truly evaluate the positive or negative results.

    There are so many color choices with T5 now, both ATI and Giesemann offer fantastic bulb choices. The only thing that held me back on T5 is the lack of shimmer, I have to have some shimmer. You really can not go wrong with T5, the proof is in the tanks. A perfect alternative to solely LED is the hybrid. Giesemann offers a wonderful hybrid as well. Hybrids are expensive for sure, but in Cheryl's perfect world I would own a hybrid, even the MH hybrid types.

    http://reefbuilders.com/2014/11/05/giesemanns-ledt5-hybrid-light-sign/
    http://www.atinorthamerica.com/powermodule.php

    I really love my Hydra, I am almost 3 months in and I am still fine tuning and I am pretty sure I will be for months to come. I never had the experience with T5 or MH.
     
  12. Magnus

    Magnus Sharknado

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,923
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    Thank you tatoolew. I took a look more towards the the radion XR30W and the XR30W pro, which are definitely more steeply priced than the XR15W's, but I'm concerned with the spread of the 15W's and possible shadows.

    The more I read, the more I get turned off by how "Experimental" Led's still are. I have to admit, I love the colors.
    I'm starting to think about what Cheryl said and look more towards a hybrid... I know good T5's will grow the corals that I want, but as many of us, I want it all. I want to be able to play with the colors and see what I like better. I want to remotely control it and I want it to be cheap... but this is just a dream we all share. Reality is, the LED/MH/T5 is still going hard at it. Heck!! Even a year ago when someone said "Plasma" we all shivered with excitement... but still, there is a lot of speculation and a lot "possibilities".

    I know that if I want to go with what's proven, I need either MH's or MH/T5 to complement. I could even go back to regular, good 'ol all T5 fixture. There is so much information flying around, and my inability to figure out what is good and true, from what is hype and "dreaming" is frustrating.