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LED light strips

874 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Cory Keeper
I was in a LFS today peddling some plants when I saw a display of what looked like fluorescent tubes. They were the size of T12's, and had two pins on the ends, but they were solid white on top and had a strip of tightly spaced LEDs running the whole length. The manager (owner, I think) said he makes them, and he has switched all of his tanks. They had a display set up with the same size CFs, T5's, T12s, and the LEDs with devices that registered how many amps they were drawing, and the LEDs used one quarter of the CFs. They don't need a reflector because they only shine down. He said if I go buy a cheap shop-type fixture they will wire it (basically they remove the ballast and wire direct to the bulb pins). A 48" strip put out the equiv. of 80 watts, cost $129.00, and lasted 40000 hours. They can also be dropped with no damage (no glass) and you can touch them (very little heat).

Anyone using something like this?
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I have not used LEDs yet, but this sounds very interesting. Do you have any more details.
Wonder what spectrum of light they put out?
Take a look at the PFO Solaris LED units. Very $$$$ ($1500 for a 24" unit!), but extremely controllable, even spectral output. I think I'll wait till the price comes down a bit though.
They had six or eight different spectrums, 5000K, 6700K, and up. They had a reef tank as a demo. Come to think of it, I think I will replace my old kitchen fixture before I replace any tank lights. The one concern I have is coverage front-to-back. Without a reflector to bounce light out a bit, could two 1.5" wide strips cover a tank 12" wide? The fancy LED units like the Solaris have a broad array that covers the whole tank surface evenly, these would be concentrated in a line. Hmmm.
Those tubes are useless, they use 5mm LEDs, not high power, so far no-one has posted PAR values for them.

Not to mention useful life, for just about any 5mm LED out there, light output is really reduced past @ 5K hours, whereas HP LEDs will have a useful life at around 50K hours.

Those tubes are also far too much money as well, $150 a bulb? your crazy.
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