Discussion in 'LED Aquarium Lighting' started by debasis_global, Feb 4, 2011.
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Oh yes!!!! Cheers!!!!!!!!
Opppssss.... lots of comments.....lots of confusion.....but really learning a lot....thanks everybody
I think that only goes to show that a lot of ppl here are passionate and informed!!!
Thank YOU for STARTING this thread!!!
Very detailed specs of our diode and overall lamp output are available on our website, including spectrographic data for individual diodes as well as the entire fixture, and efficiency information. As far as I am aware, we offer the most efficient fixture in both lumens:watts and PUR:watts because of our proprietary diode and electronics that we produce in house (instead of merely re-selling a third party mass produced product, such as your BoostLED lights). The numbers listed on the site were measured by an independent testing facility, and can easily be confirmed by anyone that would like to put them to the test.
I completely agree with gcarrol and I don't think MH lighting in our hobby is going anywhere anytime soon. It is difficult to illuminate large systems in the thousands of gallons with LED lighting at this point in time, and MH lighting is well proven. Combine this with the fact that there is so much variability among LED lighting in so many different ways, and that to compare LED fixtures takes not only a very great working knowledge of lighting and photosynthesis but also at least a decent amount of knowledge of electronics, the process can become daunting.
This is why I try to spread as much info as possible about lighting, LEDs, electronics, and other technical aspects (as well as provide technical info about our products for those who wish it) so that the consumer can make an informed decision if they choose. I know I research any large purchase thoroughly before making a decision, and want to be able to provide that info for others about our products. Additionally, as a hobbyist of nearly twenty years as well as a marine biologist, I care a lot about the welfare of the animals we take from the ocean, and feel the information should be available to ensure their survival.
On the subject of SPS needing more light than 'softies': this was debunked by Dana Riddle's excellent series published in Advanced Aquarist. It turns out that many soft coral species require and/or tolerate greater intensities than many 'sps' coral!
Exactly.... and if you really get into lighting.... it is much much more complicated than most people know. There is a lot to learn and I have never considered it one of my areas of expertise.
However... it does not have to be that complicated as a consumer. It still comes down to "you get what you pay for". MH and even T5s have been around so long that all the crap generally... the stuff that is no good for our applications... has been weeded out. What you have left are products that work well with our applications at all the various price points. Low end... good bang for buck... high end. The more you spend, the better the components. Yet a good low end fixture can still be very good for a given application.
LEDs will most certainly get there too. Just right now the weeding out process is just begining. So where a beginner chooses to spend his/her money is not at all the same as where a experienced techy chooses to spend his/hers. Its all good in the end.
Hmm, I actually would like to see third party testing of many of the LED fixtures. That seems to be the only way to get definitive test results. The more I dig, the higher I need to pull up on my @#$% kickers! I have found that some bloggers and companies have not been truthful regarding some of these products. Others just simply can't keep their lies straight. This really irks me! Fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me. For those lying about products..... Understand basic interviewing/interrogation techniques. The truth never changes! Only lies do. This is why law enforcement repeatedly asks the same question over and over in different ways. in the end honesty and integrity is the best way to long term success.
I agree with you 100%..
Def - Get what you pay for.
LED's - as an industry - the "filler" is still being weeded out - leaders are yet to emerge - tho they may already be among us - they have not yet emerged.
There is also much, much more that goes into an LED unit besides the diodes used. Top quality emitters can be used, but if you have supbar electronics, drivers, etc on the inside, then you have a subpar light. Sure, the diode might be rated to last 50k hours with a 30% output loss over that period, but what if the drivers used are only rated for 10k hours (plus, what are the specs of said driver: is it constant-current, constant voltage, what is the tolerance, variance range, etc?).
Just because you have a spectrograph for a particular emitter doesn't mean that range is actually being emitted. What a diode produces depends entirely on the power being received, which depends entirely on...you guessed it...the quality of the power supply and drivers! So, just because you are buying a fixture with the latest-and-greatest insert-fad-diode-here, (a debatable subject all on its own) if you don't know what's attached to it, you have no idea if it's actually producing the spectral curve it's advertised to produce! This is all aside from the fact that the spectral curve of the vast majority of emitters leaves a lot to be desired...
I repeat: there is much, much more to LED lights than there are to the relatively simplistic fluorescent and MH fixtures we're all used to, and at the moment, unfortunately, you practically have to be an amateur electronics guru AND a lighting guru to be able to make effective comparisons in this (temporarily) flooded market. For instance, companies like Vertex make a very flashy product, but their internal electronics are only mediocre in quality, and unfortunately, this is true of most LED fixtures. Why is this? Both for cost savings and because manufacturers know that the vast majority of consumers know nothing about the workings of LED lighting, and those that are not as ignorant concentrate solely on the type of diode being used without realizing that the other associated electronics have a large impact on the light emitted.
In a few years, as was stated, this is going to be a moot point. Over the next 2-4 years there is likely going to be a serious market contraction as most of the internal electronics of most LED fixtures will begin to fail. A few brands will begin to become the norm in each price point, and consumers won't have to spend days researching electronics AND lighting to be able to make a decision on what to purchase. Right now is a tough time to be looking for LEDs, because the average consumer simply doesn't know enough to make a comparison, and really, they shouldn't have to. The LED market hasn't reached the point where the average consumer has a good idea as to what they are purchasing, however. For a market contraction to occur, consumers will have to stop buying the bad products, and this process will take a few years.
All I can recommend in the meantime is to purchase from companies that offer as much info about their product as possible. The more info they're willing to offer about every aspect of the light (and the longer the warranty - ever wondered why most LED products are warranted for 1 year, when they're advertised to last for 10? The *diode* can *potentially* emit for 10 years, but what about everything else?), the higher the likelihood they produce a quality product. I wouldn't purchase a light if the manufacturer did not provide a spectrograph of the actual light (not just the diode) and brand of drivers being used, as well whether or not the driver is constant-current or constant-voltage. I'm probably pickier than most (as these requirements drastically limit the number of fixtures I'd consider spending money on, down to probably two or three), but I advise others to begin to demand more info, lest we be stuck with inferior products in a field that offers so much potential.
Well said, Mike, and the points you made are exactly why we try to offer as much info about our lights is possible, and always welcome questions.
So tell us a bit more about the other lights you have reviewed like the Vertex, Aqua Illuminations, Maxspect, ect... Unfortunately I was unable to view the articles on your blog. As a matter of fact it appears that the only lighting you have reviewed was Orphek. Tell us about all the MH and T5 fixtures you have reviewed? Before you bash a product and say one is better than another, should you not have tried more than one. To me you have zero credibility because you have no worldly experience with those other products. To me you come off as nothing more than a cheerleader.
Its not hard to start a blog and watch the free products roll in. I could start one today and show just how easy it is. Heck many of these companies have shown that they will send free product to even the bloggers that don't have a following.
I myself am no stranger to free equipment. I used to compete in car audio and getting free product was easy. It was different then, you actually had to earn credibility back then. I remember when I was approached by a Car Audio company Audiobahn. They saw that I was winning quite often so they approached me about running their product. I promised them, "Sure, I will run your speakers and they will never do anything but win in my car." So in a competition that Audiobaun was the primary sponsor of I was matched up with a guy that was very evenly matched with me. The crowd was excited because we had been within .1 decibels of each other all day and we were meeting up in the finals. So guess what, I pulled out the Audibahns and slapped in the Cerwin Vega Strokers and won by 3 decibels. Audiobahn was so excited until they noticed the speaker change. They asked me what happened. I told him that my loyalty is to winning, not to any company. Now If you asked me today what I though about Audiobahn, I certainly wouldn't tell everyone that I won every time I used it I won and it is awesome without telling them the full story.
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