Reef Lighting....A joke?

Discussion in 'Reef Lighting' started by Jeffww, Jul 9, 2012.

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  1. Jeffww

    Jeffww Plankton

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    I don't know if it's taboo or not but it seems to me that there are a lot of people on a certain other forum that extoll high light fixtures on small tanks...and then promptly have their 200 dollar fixture suspended 4-6' above their tank in order to keep their colors from completely burning up. Is there a reason to do this? Or is it just a bunch of folks with too much money to spend.

    I see folks running par38s on their 5g tanks...only to end up suspending them a good 2-3' up...which equates to about a 50% par reduction.

    I've spent a good deal of time doing high light planted tanks and from my very own experience and from the data of other hobbyists I can say for sure that PAR-distance relationships are extremely potent in terms of reductions...so is it just me or are a good number of people overspending on lights only to have them wasted suspended 3-4' above the tank? I know in the past many people grew a bunch of softies and even some sps on highly inefficient T8s....Have we taken a few steps too far and backwards? I've just started this so I might be missing something here...Please enlighten me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
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  3. skurious

    skurious Sailfin Tang

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    3 to 4 feet is a little much. my lights are 12 inches off the water, thats more for spread than anything. Also LED's often need to be mounted higher because of the optics spotlighting.
     
  4. Kevin_E

    Kevin_E Giant Squid

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    Perhaps people do spend too much on lighting, but in terms of efficiency and infrared output, would you choose t-8 or LED? A 250 watt halide has the output of those Chinese lights, but with the added heat, electrical and bulb costs.

    Are you question type of lighting or quality of lighting?

    Do we have comparisons on t-8 versus led, t-5 etc.?
     
  5. Mr. Bill

    Mr. Bill Native Floridian

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    Yes, some folks do have too much money and no common sense. There are fixtures sized and powered for every application in MH, T5HO, and LED. Personally, I'm using a $85 T5HO 24w x 2 unit that sits only 4" above the water on my 29h reef, as I'm not a fan of lighting the entire room with my tank light. :)
     
    Vinnyboombatz and Seano Hermano like this.
  6. Jason04r

    Jason04r Bristle Worm

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    I purchased a Chinese LED light (100Watt , 3W Cree LED ) are they amazing . My corals have doubled in size and my anemone fully recovered under these LED's ( See my post )

    Best part was the price , $200 .
     
  7. 1.0reef

    1.0reef Giant Squid

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    I've never heard of someone hanging their light 3ft over their reef tank or higher, maybe 1.5 feet but usually that's spread, power, or heat problems that are eliminated by hanging the fixture so high.
     
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  9. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    Nanos use over powered lights because the other options add too much heat. A lot of the over power/high mounting (I don't know about 3+feet though) is because of heat issues or for a better spread of lighting.
     
  10. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have seen lights hung well above tanks because they are over powered. Many people subscribe to it X is good then 2X must twice as good. I think the problem lies with the old watts per gallon thing for T12 and T8 bulbs.
     
  11. Reef Breeders

    Reef Breeders 3reef Sponsor

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    The problem is that they did not spend enough money. They bought the cheapest leds they could, and the cheapest ones are usually not dimmable. That is why people raise them so high. If they didn't, it would burn their corals.
     
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  12. Biocube

    Biocube Giant Squid

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    Well said!

    I think you hit the nail on the head!