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Old 04-20-2005, 01:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I recently read an article about the advances in LED lighting in the USA Today technology section. Despite the sometimes questionable slant of USA Today's hard news, their Tech section does a decent job. I have included a link to the article at the end of my post.
Apparently the technology has taken off in the past few years to the point where LEDs can recreate any color of light (including sunlight) by using a combination of red, green, and blue lighting (just light lighting a stage with halide lights and gels).

Just this week, researchers at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., said they had boosted the light output per watt of a white LED to almost six times that of an incandescent light bulb, beating even a compact fluorescent bulb in efficiency.
- USA Today 04/14/05

The exciting prospect of LED lighting is that it is solid state, lasts virtually forever, and is entirely self contained. Add to that list of benefits that the fact that LED lights give off little heat and use a fraction of the energy required by flourescent, incandescent, or MH bulbs.

The article discussed the fact that there would be an astounding number of commercial uses for such lighting, and theorized that the commercial volume would quickly drive down the production price to the point where consumers could think about purchasing LED home lighting solutions.

My question is: Has anyone heard about an all LED aquarium light? Currently Aqualight has the Lunalight, so they are certainly experimenting with the technology. An LED aquarium light, if done properly, would alter the aquarium lighting landscape. LEDs are sealed in plastic so there would be no condensation concerns. If the light fell into the tank, your fish might not get electrocuted! These lights are totally shock proof. In the article they mentioned firing a shotgun at one and it still worked! No more worrys about rattling the light or bulbs while doing a replant or a water change. The reduction in electricty expenses does not need any explanation. Between lights, heating, and filtration we aquarists certainly use our fair share of killowatts.

Please let me know if anything is on the horizon. This prospect has me totally jazzed!

Thanks much,

Tom E.

LED evolution could spell the end for light bulbs
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Old 04-20-2005, 03:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That does sound interesting. I know I recently purchased LED-based, rechargeable spot lights for the front of my house. It came with 6 LEDs per light, and I was quite disappointed in the light intensity. About two weeks after receiving them, I heard of a new system that incorporated 18 bulbs and, thus, was 3x the intensity. So, it would appear that things are moving in that direction.

I'll keep my ears open!
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Old 04-20-2005, 05:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, I have seen some of this for aquariums but it was all home built stuff on smaller tanks <30gal. The first place I saw it was on nanoreef tanks and now I have seen a little bit of it in larger reeftanks but still nothing in the FW world. You might be able to search for info at www.nano-reef.com or www.reefcentral.com if you are interested in working up a DIY for your FW tank.
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Old 06-01-2005, 03:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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LED fixtures cost 20-40x what flourescent fixtures cost and consume about 1/8 the power. The big problem with LEDs right now is that to get light out of the junction (light comes out of the side edges of the silicon chip in an LED), the LED must be tiny - so many are needed to get a large amount of light. The sheer number of parts suggest they'll stay pretty pricey to assemble.

The breakthrough that'd make LEDs very competitive would be LEDs in which the light comes off a 2 dimentional surface that can scale to any size. Then you could have a single, very bright light that would be relatively cheap to assemble.
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Old 06-03-2005, 05:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Check out this site for LED's. www.autolumination.com I have purchased some and they work great. I am going to be building a Marine FO tank with them first before trying them out on a planted tank.

The main problem I forsee currently with LED's is Color Rendition. Since LED's produce light in a VERY specific wavelength, you don't have the full spectrum of light that you have with tri-phosphor fluorescents. Everything generally appears bluish with the white LEDs. This problem may be solved in the future.

The one aspect that I like about these lights is that they are point sources, so you get nice shadows and highlights. Insteadof getting a flat even light like you do with a fluorescent tube.

Hope this helps
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Old 06-05-2005, 06:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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luxeon stars are great to use for small tanks, check out this url :

luxeon stars

they have a nice 5500K white led that is good for freshwater planted tanks.
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Old 06-11-2005, 01:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah I've heard of a person using LEDs in freshwater to grow plants. He was trying to test the long term viability of them and the their growth compared to compact fluorescents.
Check out this link for more details
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Old 06-11-2005, 08:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The methodology of the experiment is seriously flawed. All he has shown is that you can grow plants with LEDs. There is no evidence that the LEDs grow plants better than PCs or tri-phosphor fluorescents. The only comparable stat between the two setups is wattage, which is meaningless. The amount of light being produced by the fixtures must be exactly the same in order to draw growth comparisons. This is admitted by the tester in the thread.

It is good to know that they will grow plants, and hopefully he will find out the CRI of the LEDs.
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