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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right now I'm using the Bridgelux 3w leds in my fixtures and am wondering if any of the Cree 3w leds would give more par given the same driver. I'm using 40 x 3w (pattern=2x 455nm, 1x 420nm)on a 6' long heat sink to supplement my washout Iwasaki MH x 3 (175w). It definitely changes the look of my corals and I only use 20 for nighttime. I replaced my Sunbrite 42 watt 6' 440nm tube and it blows that away. I put the new fixture on two potentiometers cause I figured I'd have too much and need to dim. I'm at 100% on both. I'm using 60degree optics.

I'm thinking of making another fixture(s) and want to know if the extra $2 per LED would be worth the upgrade.

Q: So, using the same amount of ? style of Cree, would I have gotten a lot more par? What style of Cree is the brightest?

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My new fixtures will be trying to replace my 175w Iwasaki MH and I'd like to do some overkill with a dimmer, something I thought I was doing with the bridglelux 120w fixture. Only to find out, it has much less of a punch than I thought. I'm Trying to get through the LED hype to see what would REALLY replace my metal halides.
 

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Tom I have no experience but everything I have read says Cree is the only way to go right now. I found that the power required to cover my tank 84 x 36 x 24, is the same for my 2 MH 250w as it would be for LED. Or very close so pay off would take forever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tom I have no experience but everything I have read says Cree is the only way to go right now. I found that the power required to cover my tank 84 x 36 x 24, is the same for my 2 MH 250w as it would be for LED. Or very close so pay off would take forever.
It's a lot of money to replace anything we have with LED's unless it's DIY. Also I'm not so sure of the claims I've been reading regarding the comparisons. My son has a 24x3w LED in his 28g JBJ NanoCube. It looks great, but I really can't believe it's equivalent to a metal halide 250w. His tank is only 18" cubed and it seems about perfect. He's growing sps and softies. I can't imagine putting a 250watt metal halide over a biocube. I would think it would cook everything. But, I'm no expert by any means. JMO.

I am going to try to replace one of my three MH 175 with a diy kit. I'm looking at a 40x3w kit and if it works out and doesn't start fading my sps in the middle and down low, then it might be worth the work and money. I'm going to have to play with optics to get some depth, maybe mixing 40's with 60's.

I do replace Iwasaki bulbs every year to the tune of $70+ each and they said maybe I can get 5 years out of these before they start dimming down. Given equal performance, that would be worth it.

From an LED kit supplier:Really depends on which coral you want to grow. The rule of thumb is 36-48 LEDs will give you around the same light as a 400watt Metal Halide, 24-36 LEDs are around a 250 watt Metal Halide. Based on our testing we recommend 1 LED for every 12-15 square inches of surface area as a minimum (60 LEDs for a 24***8243;x 30***8243; tank). If you have a deep tank or wider tank you may need more. We also recommend when replacing Metal Halides error on the side of more LEDs and slowly acclimate your corals to the new light.
 

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It's a lot of money to replace anything we have with LED's unless it's DIY. Also I'm not so sure of the claims I've been reading regarding the comparisons. My son has a 24x3w LED in his 28g JBJ NanoCube. It looks great, but I really can't believe it's equivalent to a metal halide 250w. His tank is only 18" cubed and it seems about perfect. He's growing sps and softies. I can't imagine putting a 250watt metal halide over a biocube. I would think it would cook everything. But, I'm no expert by any means. JMO.
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I have seen a 250 halide on a standard 29 gallon tank, sump in the basement helped with heat, but it still had some crazy temp swings. Crazy nice lighting though with a good 20k bulb. No, it is not overkill for the amount of light, but it is kinda crazy for the amount of heat to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, amazing! Gotta be higher off the water than the 3" his LED is. His fixture is in the hood and has 4 muffin fans. He needs 'em all. I can't imagine how much heat that metal halide puts out.
 

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Most halides are 6" min off the water and do not recomend enclosed hoods for halides. Open top hood or high volume exhaust is always a good thing when dealing with any heat producing lighting. (they all make heat, just some make more of it in a smaller area).

P.s. I like the hammer.
 

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It looks like your fish like it better with the LEDs on...

If you click on the first picture to view it, you don't see most of your fish because they are hiding. When you click next, it looks like the leds fade on, and the fish apear.. pretty cool looking. I found myself going back and forth, led on, led off, led on, led off... lol :eek:rder

Since you used a tripod and didnt move it, you get that cool transition between the pics :jester:

BTW, you want to focus on par with the LEDs, leds by nature appear dimmer than the light from halides or fluorescent. I believe this is because LED shoots out light in 180 degrees while halide and fluorescent shoot it out 360 degrees and uses reflectors to direct the light back into the tank. That lights the tank water more and makes it look brighter. LED shoot the light straight in and it gives that spotlight look.

Its a hard transition for most (myself included) and thats why you see companies adding more leds and higher degree lenses than necessary to light the aquariums. Some companies even make fixtures that are driven by LED but offer a few t5s for supplement. This give the tank that full bright feeling while giving the coral the par from the leds.

There are some really cool things going on with lights right now, and I'm excited to see what comes of it in the future. Have you seen the cool features of lightning and storms. Controllers have come a long way, and people are doing some pretty sick stuff with them.

they need to put some buoys out in the great barrier reef (and other reefs) and load them with light sensors, current sensors, temp sensors, and wifi. Then make a linkup server that feeds your controller to mimic the conditions on the reef that day/night. Of course, they will have to adjust for time zones etc, but wouldn't that be cool! I would love to watch an Australian reef storm some night! And man, what would our poor little tank raised fish think about their first hurricane!
 

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Cree are supposedly the best, top of the line. But ive been using bridgelux leds with no complaints. They are plenty bright enough. I've been running them as low as 50%, im stepped up to about 75% with some corals P.O.


But i have to add i feel my lighting 9 x 3w (6x RB, 3x NW) lack the full spectrum feel.
I get no spotlighting, they blend very nice but it just lacks something my t-5s put out. I think you need the ambers and reds to bring out not only colors but to round it all off.

You may consider buying the bulk of the leds (blues and whites) in bridgelux, to save some $$$ and dump some money into high end cree exotic leds, like the ambers and reds violets?

Crees may put off more par because of the better optics offered?
Bridgelux come stock with 60 degree optics.
 

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Cree are supposedly the best, top of the line. But ive been using bridgelux leds with no complaints. They are plenty bright enough. I've been running them as low as 50%, im stepped up to about 75% with some corals P.O.

But i have to add i feel my lighting 9 x 3w (6x RB, 3x NW) lack the full spectrum feel.
I get no spotlighting, they blend very nice but it just lacks something my t-5s put out. I think you need the ambers and reds to bring out not only colors but to round it all off.

You may consider buying the bulk of the leds (blues and whites) in bridgelux, to save some $$$ and dump some money into high end cree exotic leds, like the ambers and reds violets?

Crees may put off more par because of the better optics offered?
Bridgelux come stock with 60 degree optics.
I agree, with most LED set ups you need something else like red or violet. They look good just miss that something.
 

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If you dig around Bridgelux's site you'll find the output specifications for their base royal blue chips. Near as I can see Bridgelux *does not* make single white LEDs, so I suspect the things that Aquastyle sells along with other Chinese sites are Bridgelux blues phosphor coated in China to make white. Bridgelux sell larger white arrays, of which I have four 440 lumen N402s on my tank, but this was before the XML entered the scene. The large arrays Bridgelux advertises on their site *are not* the same LEDs Aquastyle sells.

Bridgelux LEDs, especially anything other than cool-white, aren't very efficient. Their advantage is low price per lumen in arrays that are up to >9000lumen. Aquastyle sells Bridgelux LEDs in kits that are quite heavily discounted, which is their only advantage.

Assuming the base performance from the horses mouth (Bridgelux) their royals are 270-340 mW at 350mA. Cree XP-Es and XTEs are no less than 500mW at 350mA. So, simply do the math and you'll see that the Crees are going to smoke the Bridgelux in terms of bang per watt. When you buy the big DIY kits though they typically heavily discount the small Bridgelux LED's, so that's their marketing point.

In regards to halides -vs- LEDs, even low tech LEDs are getting a 2:1 efficiency improvement over the best halides and reflectors. Stick to higher end Crees or Rebels and your pair of 250watt halides get replaced by 120watts of Cree or Rebels.
 

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I agree, with most LED set ups you need something else like red or violet. They look good just miss that something.
Use neutrals other than cool-white as a base and that problem is fixed. Sorry, but I don't agree with using half a dozen LED's for color.

Stop using cold whites, and for god's sake avoid 10k LEDs and you won't have a color problem. Neutral LED's have more red than you need.
 

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I seen this diy fixture from a Hong Kong guy with 10w leds' unfortunately he didn't go into details on the led brands but told me the 10 watters are a lot brighter than 3's

"Our Led lighting were DIY about 320-400w with some 10w & 3w led lamp.
the lamps were bought from China"

 
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