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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there anyone who has been using LED for planted tanks yet? If yes, how are the results?

I am using compact fluorescent for my tank, but it is kind of power consuming. I have heard that LED would consume a lot less power than other kind of lighting but still provide equivalent outcome. Is that correct?
 

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I switched to an LED array for my heavily planted 29g with good results. It wasn't so much a matter of energy costs, it was a matter of paying for a PC fixture and tacking on $25 per year just to replace the bulb, plus looking at dim edges.

As far as energy savings, your not looking at much, any savings is in the fact that your looking at 15-20 yrs before having to either add more LEDs or replace them.
 

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Most LED's sold as 'ultrabright' will give off more then twice the heat compared to CF with the same amount of light.
 

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Most LED's sold as 'ultrabright' will give off more then twice the heat compared to CF with the same amount of light.
Wrong, its just in a more concentrated area.

Since we know PCs and LEDs will put out about the same amount of lumens per watt, where are you getting the extra heat? Physics rule, you cannot create nor destroy energy. In order for an LED to put out "twice the heat" it would need to pull more power. Besides, plants don't care about a vague term such as "light", only PAR. LEDs provide far better PAR per watt than a PC fixture will.

P.S. Ultra bright usually refers to some useless variant of 5mm technology. Only useful LED for us is the high power Luxeon or Crees.
 

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Corykeeper is right, but I'd add one more company to the list of suppliers that make good usable LED's - SSC (Seoul Semiconductor).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Where would I be able to purchase those LED lights? Are they expensive and power consuming?

I currently have a 260W compact flourescent light. Which LED system would be equivalent to that 260W CF in term of plant growing ability?
 

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Good high-power LED's will involve a much higher upfront cost, and yes they use power and generate heat. I'm working on a canopy with 60 Cree XR-E LED's on a 135g tank, and I paid about $5.50 each for them. I'll get a medium light level (I'll adding more LED's later). There are also power supply and heatsink costs. The LED's should have a life around 11 years at 12 hrs/day. Each one of mine will draw about 3.7W the way I'm using them. I'm replacing a 4X96W setup. This is a pretty substantial DIY project. Like Corykeeper said, don't think that this can be done well with cheap 5mm LED's - it will take hundreds and hundreds of them and reliability will be a constant problem. Also, vendor claims for many of the 5mm LED's are ridiculously (even crazily) high.

My lighting costs for my 135g will be about $500, and will probably creep up to $700 when I reach the lighting level that is my final target. If you want cheap DIY lighting, go to spiral CFL's or other solutions. If you want a reasonable DIY alternative to the $4000 Solaris unit (for a 72" unit) for less than 25% of the cost and can give up some of the (very nice) bells-and-whistles of the commercial solution - AND you have the time for a bigger DIY project - then this may be something for you.

Since I'm not sure what the rules are about posting places where you can buy the good LED's at good discounts, send me a PM if you're still interested.
 

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I am following along. I am going to DIY my own fixture for my 4 gallon tank. Dealextreme.com for leds, heatsinkusa.com for heatsinks, ledsupply.com for buckpucks.

Bring on my tax refund check. Luckily for me I think I can do my light for my tank for under $100....When I was considering a larger seahorse tank the cost was exponentially greater.
 

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I am going to be using 8 white 3 watt Crees. For those who think this will be a cheaper solution sit down and do the math. I simply can not stand changing pc bulbs every 6-8 months a year. That is why I am going LED. If the tank was bigger them I would go t5, but even then I would have to change bulbs every 15 months or so....
 

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Merk1_99, I agree. I found that I was changing four 96W square pin bulbs every 7-8 months, and they just went up again to $45 each. That's $180 every 8 months. Argggh! That's around $25 a month for bulbs when I add in shipping, etc. I'd rather do something cool and interesting even if the upfront is higher. A bit of savings in electricity is good, but doesn't make it worth it by itself.
 

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I read a lot of people say they want to go to LEDs because of the electricity alone, but in then end with big diy led arrays the production cost is so high that the difference in electricty alone would not justify the build. Someone on nano-reef ran some dummy numbers on it and it would be like switching to a hybrid car for fuel savings alone....

Anyways I am lazy and hate changing bulbs. I have a slick little rimless Finnex 4which deserves a slick little light rather than a 13 watt pc and a HD special 27 watt pc. Plus I also think it would be cool to say I built it and had one.

I like seeing these threads because the I can learn a little from everyone else's builds. I will do a DIY build on here when I start. Just need the tax refund to come in and I am ready to go.
 

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Im am looking at the LED 48" HI Lumen LED Aquarium Light 3rd gen by Beemworks. Would this be good for a 55g planted tank?

Im am looking at the LED 48" HI Lumen LED Aquarium Light 3rd gen by Beemworks. Would this be good for a 55g planted tank?
 

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Fishtankman, welcome to APC!

I've combined your identical posts and put them in the LED thread. I can't help you with LED, but someone more knowledgable should see your question here.
 

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Thanks. I have looked at that before and ik this isnt the best way but i am hoping for a good prices one. I am going between a Finnex Ray 2 48" double 7000k and a Double Light Glo T5 HO 48". Which one???:confused: and if the GLO then what fluorescent light bulbs?????

Again it will be for a 55g planted tank with diy co2.
 
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