The LED Solaris Lamp PAR Comparison by PFO

Discussion in '3reef Forum News & Information' started by Matt Rogers, Mar 2, 2008.

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  1. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    3reef witnessed an interesting demonstration by PFO lighting recently that compared the PPF PAR output of a PFO Solaris LED aquarium light fixture to a PFO 400w halide fixture using a 15k XM bulb.

    [​IMG]
    The LED Solaris Lamp Demonstration by PFO
    Click for large pic to read meter results.


    This arrangement was to show that the Solaris LED fixture actually had a higher (PPF) PAR rating than the 400 watt halide bulb. Note: 3reef told the XM bulb used in the demonstration was less than a day old.


    The Setup:


    Each fixture was hung at the same height (rather high - approximately 18 inches) over the same 25" deep cube aquariums. Each aquarium had a sensor for a Apogee Quantam Meter (Model QMSS-E) at the bottom of the aquarium.

    [​IMG]
    The Apogee Quantam Meter Model QMSS-E Used in this demo

    Further info on PAR and the Apogee Quatam Meter:

    http://www.apogee-inst.com/pdf_files/QuantumMeter_Manual.pdf
    Apogee Instruments: Frequently Asked Questions


    Observations:

    The LED Solaris fixture clearly was getting a higher number on the Quantam Meter - nearly 20% higher than the 400 watt halide fixture. 143 to 115. These numbers did not change much over the course of the day 3reef witnessed this setup.

    Beyond the numbers, 3reef, having never seen a Solaris LED fixture in action, was impressed by the light spectrum of the LEDs as seen by this observer's eyes - crispy white with a blue tinge.


    PAR AND PPF:

    Although told that these sensors were measuring PAR (Photosynthetically Active Radiation), research indicated they were measuring PPF (Photosynthetic Photon Flux) PAR.

    The April 2008 issue of FAMA magazine describes PAR:


    A breakdown of PAR AND PPF from Sun Master Grow Lamps:




    PFO on it's LED SOLARIS Aquarium Light Fixture:


    A recent 3reef discussion on PAR:
    http://www.3reef.com/forums/reef-lighting/par-lux-meter-45699.html



    Final thoughts:

    3reef's Matt Rogers is not the brightest bulb in the box so to speak. So talk of falling photons had his eye's glazed over for a while. But boiling it down. Way down.. It seemed that the LED Solaris fixture was producing more light that could be used by corals going by the numbers shown in this demo. Is that enough to offset costs? Hmmm.. well this could turn into the hybrid car argument which is highly debatable as well. But what the numbers clearly show is that LED light fixtures should not be quickly discounted as a gimmick or fad. That perhaps there are some real merits to an LED light fixture for the aquarium after all.

    What do you think?

    Has this demonstration changed your opinion of the LED Solaris fixture? Or the future of LED fixtures for aquariums?
    Tell us why.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2008
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  3. YellowBelly

    YellowBelly Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

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    Thanks, in the next couple of years they will perfect the LED technology and the price will come down with more competition.
     
  4. lunatik_69

    lunatik_69 Giant Squid

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    I saw the 72" model on friday and it looked interesting. It was capable of producing sunny day, over cast days, cloudy days and more. pretty cool.
     
  5. baugherb

    baugherb Giant Squid

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    They do seem interesting....
     
  6. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Thanks guys.

    By the way - I apologize for the lack of photos. I was using my camera phone and a couple didn't come out. I really wish I had one that showed the tanks too. :p I am a little embarrassed about that. In spite of that, I had to share.


    Do the meter numbers surprise you?
     
  7. YellowBelly

    YellowBelly Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

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    No, at my LFS they switched from two 250w MH's with two 54watt T-5's to the 250w version of the Solaris and the coral growth and colors are much better. The light is on a 90 gallon tank. The Solaris light doesn't have good coverage, especially for the price. The fixture probably covers a distance of 12" wide and the 90g is 18" wide.
     
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  9. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    That is an interesting observation. I wonder if that influenced the use of cube tanks in the demonstration?
     
  10. YellowBelly

    YellowBelly Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

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    Probably, what are the dimensions of the Zero-Edge cubes?
     
  11. Notturnia

    Notturnia Bristle Worm

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    i love leds.. but the solaris are still too much expencive..
    did they told you what kind of leds they used ?

    watching that thread i'm thinking about to build one.. no heat... no trouble changing bulbs.. just a "big" investiment on the startup..
     
  12. YellowBelly

    YellowBelly Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

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    Just because LED's last longer doesn't mean they don't lose their intensity and spectrum. The Solaris LED's may need to be replaced as often as our current light bulbs. Metal Halides and fluorescent bulbs can run for years but should be replaced every 8-12 months because they lose their intensity and usable spectrum.