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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About 8 months ago I purchased Acan brand led light fixtures (I think model 104ac), and I have HATED them ever since. I hear everyone rave about LED's and want to know if it was just the brand I bought, or what? I really wanted aqua illumination brand fixtures, but at the time, they were on backorder indefinitely. So I researched the Acan brand lights, and found the par ratings (according to the manufacturers website) to be more than enough for my lps and softie dominated tank. I started the lights at about 60% power and each week moved them up about 5% each week (thinking I would need to adjust my corals to the higher light), anyways, eventually I got to 100% and NOTHING was surviving at the bottom of my tank (22 inches deep), so I moved everything up, an up, and up, until literally everything was placed extremely high in my tank, and even my zoas had to be placed 5-6 inches from the top to even open up. Needless to say, after spending $1,400 on the light fixtures, it was more than a disappointment. So i went back to all t-5's and now have my $1,400 leds on a seahorse tank with no corals... ugh!

The only positive think I can say about them, was they did make the colors on the corals pop.... other than that.... pure crap!

SOOO im wondering, did I just get a horrible brand? Or has anyone else tried LED's and not liked them? I know people who seem to rave about them, and I HATED mine with a passion (very close to pulling an Office Space move, and taking a baseball bat to them..... if you haven't seen that movie, you should lol) so I'm wondering if anyone else out there has some input?

Anyone have a fixture that they love? I know people make their own led systems, but I am DEFINITELY not a do-it-yourselfer , so unless I could pay someone to make me a LED system, that is not an option.
 

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I had the A.I. sol. I sold it after a month or two. Couldn't get comfortable with them and reverted back to t-5's. Like you said the coral was A M A Z I N G, i just couldn't get them dialed in or something : /
 

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I can tell you that you are not alone I have talked to so many people that have put a ton of money into led just like you never to be happy and change back. The problems were just like you mentioned and people think the lights par is so strong it's bleaching the corals when actually it the corals Zooxanthellae trying to adapt to the new type of light and not because it's so strong, I was following some ai led threads on another forum and ecotechs new radion fixture and there's just so much false information out, one being you need a lot more fixtures/or led's per sq foot than you think. I do think a lot of the diy's put more thought into there fixtures for there exact setup so they are generally a little but happier but not always.

Eventually I'm sure there going to get better but I for one will stick with my metal halide/super vho's where my sps on the sand 24 inch's down are growing great.
 

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LEDs

I love mine. I got the Ecoxotic dimmable Panarama retrofits, and also a couple of stunner strips. Everything in my tank had done excellent, no issues at all. My corals have actually grown much better than I honestly ever seen with VHO's or Metal Halides. Plus my electrical bill has gone substantially. I have had my LEDs running almost 3 months, so far so good.
 

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I hung a PAR38 over my pico because of the pendant lamp that I wanted to hang over it. I'll be honest, love the look but I haven't had any success with long-term coral growth from one of the site sponsors.

I was talking to somebody recently who said that the LEDs don't produce enough spectrum of light to produce sustained growth in corals.

I'd love the idea of conversion in my display tank and have been contemplating a change but I'll be paying close attention to this one too.
 

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led's

I switched over to Reefbrites about a month ago and so far my clams and LPS seem to be thriving. I didn't have any problems with acclimation to new light source nor did I have to move any corals up higher.
 

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led fixtures

i have been running 3 - 200 watt evolution led fixtures over my 500 gallon tank....i absolutely love them.

only complaint is i should have gone with the 20k instead of the 14k. [my fault]

these lights are awesome, actually had to lower my favia in the tank and take the fixtures an additional 6" higher because the favia was bleaching. since i made the move, everything is great.

i got them new from reefkoi.com and i highly reccomend them

ems
 

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very interesting topic. I am finishing my new LED rig this weekend (252 CREE XP LEDs). I will be transferring the contents of my 180 gal tank into the new 270 gal tank and they will be under 100% LED. I plan to keep my current MH/PC light rig just in case I need to switch back. I know the colors will be much better with the LEDs, but if they don't grow, or worse yet if they die, then LEDs will have to go.

I have read both good and bad reviews of LEDs, but the truth is no one I have found has 3 - 5 years experience with them to prove the long term sustainability of them over a reef tank.

I will let everyone know my results, but in all reality I will not know for sure until later this year towards the fall
 

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very interesting topicl
I think we all want them to work great, there are just so many plus's the no heat the compact space, and low wattage with the supposedly long life.

I look forward to future reviews and I'm glad a few people here are having good success with them and I noticed they are using a lot of fixtures and/or high powered units,

I just heard about a guy that bought 2 Radion units ($750 each) for his tank and isn't having good results and they recommend two additional units so he's going to be at $3000...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
leds

well Im glad to see I'm not the only one! Every time I have said I hated my LED fixtures I get the the craziest looks from everyone, but it's the truth! Spending $1,400 on my led light fixtures was the biggest waste of money I have spent on saltwater stuff so far!!!! I bought it to avoid getting a chiller, well then when I added 4 t-5 bulbs over my tank with the two led fixtures, I had to get a chiller anyways. Now I have 8 t-5's over my tank, and I couldn't be happier!

I would love to be able to go to LED's at some point, but not until there has been longer success and the prices come down.
 

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I have had LEDs on my 6 foot wide tank for nearly three YEARS.

they replaced a Hamilton 3x250w halide setup... The color has been great, the electric bill dropped over $30/mo, heat issues are gone, and growth has improved.

yes, tech keeps changing. I use the Sunbrite T10 tubes. When they came out, I needed 8 on my tank. With the gen 2 bulbs, I only need four. When I convert to gen 3, I could use only 3 and see a par increase as well.

I cannot talk much about the Acan system, other than it seems to be very well built. The owner is in NY and is well known in the area for supporting local clubs and opening his business offices to host their activities (and show his multiple huge show tanks). I met him at the masm conference in 2010; maybe he can share some irnsight. Kinda think you got a defect or something.
 

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LEDs

I have recently started running 5 Radion LEDs over a 6 foot long tank (180 long). There is no doubt in my mind that I can absolutely cook my SPS if I want to but I realize I have a lot more by way of fixtures than most who set this up incorporate. Andy at Reef Paradise runs AI Sol's on one of his displays and said he can kill coral with those as well. Its not about that. Its about control.

There are guys who own underpowered fixtures or limited spectrum (there's a lot of bad LED product on the market right now) that sit here and praise just to justify the outlay and guys who knock em just cuz they don't have em or don't understand them and are being honest about a deficient LED set up.

I, personally, think many have missed the key differences and the only real issue. LEDs, if you get them with full spectrum including RGB, can put out light that can be controlled in ways that MH just can't and can closely replicate the color of any MH. They are different, no doubt, and people should go with what they like. They shimmer more and throw some crazy color with the RGB in there. My blue tips actually glow red in a way I've never seen. I assume some people may not like it. It actually strains the eyes a bit to look at it. Hard to describe until you see it.

I think people erroneously attribute coral problem issues with LEDs to how they see the corals rather than what is happening with them. Again, I think its spectrum issues. IMO, its a huge problem, not for coral growth or health, but for what we see them as. I dive all over the world and I have never seen corals look like they do in my tank. Why? Cuz at 15 feet deep and much less, all the red and green light is gone (filtered out). Most LEDs emit no color in that range while MHs do. I liked the look of MHs much more because of this until RGB was included in LED set ups.

With the radions, I can play with color and produce some awesome other worldly colors so I dont think for one minute that the RGB inclusion is a waste. Its just a toy and who knows how long or when I will use all that capability but I likeit. Again, I think it is one of only two factors that a person should even be thinking when comparing LED to MH.

LEDs with limited spectrum just donn't pop coral like Halides and actinic combined when under full intensity. Blues and greens were ok, but limited LEDs made reds and purples look dull (brown). The royal blue and white LEDs are a cool evening effect but, at full power, they just lose the other color without the RGB inclusion. I don't buy for one minute that the added RGB will promote algae growth as halides naturally have this spectrum and we have obvioulsy learned how to cope. Plus, there are very few incorporated LEDs in the fixture in this spectrum. Just enough for color and, I assume, not enough to be any more than in the MH's. Again, its controllable anyway and can just be shut off if you don't like having the red or green in the mix. For this same reason, I wish radions had some UV as well. It may also effect color as, growth or not, it may effect zoo denisty in the coral tissue (like when we wear sunscreen so our skin doesn't get red).

I'll bet anytihng we'll all be using LED soon enough and it will be cheaper than MH ever was some day. There's no doubt that they work and no doubt that some LED fixtures don't that are on the market today. There's also no doubt that they will continue to get better and better as the tech is used.

In summary, it has nothing to do with light output or success. You get that either way if you are smart about setting it up. It has to do with space and control. LED wins by a ton in those areas, but at what cost? Moiney? OK. But unless you are using "fuller" spectrum LED fixtures that have started hitting the market or putting together a DIY that way, I don't get it. I flat out love what the Radions (and I assume the maxspect based on their LED scheme) have done for my system. No comparison. But I can't use them alone and mess with intensity, color or other factors in a daily schedule. That is a fun ne tool for the hobbyist. It's expensive though.

Hope I don't offend anyone. I have really been through this and experienced 7 years of MH as well as a full phase in of a "fuller spectrum" LED set up and I just want people to ID what I feel is the best way to assess. I would imagine that, for the vast majority of reefers out there, MH or T5 is still the way to go. Hope that puts a diff look on it and it helps many of the people struggling with some extra cash in their pocket taking a hard look at a switch.

Maybe someone out there can tell me why or how I am full of it, but I have experienced it first hand. Money alone is not a reason to switch to LED (I, personally assume it costs more under the current cost element). I think its gotta be because you want the control. Again, I hope I don't offend anyone. Its just my two cents and I really feel, from use and observation, this is what it boils down to.
 

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LEDs on 12G Nano

Hi Guys,
I was using home built LED setup 12x3W leds for a year now and everything looks happy and growing. I can't say anything about commercial fixtures as I am on a shoestring budget and I always rig something up but if you know the spectrum of the fixture then you can see whether that spectrum is overlapping with what your corals need.

Both PAR and spectrum coverage is important and that's why most people go with neutral white rather than cool white so that they can have some spectrum coverage in the yellow/red region (for the coral that fluoresces in deep red). All of the corals fluoresces in longer wavelength than they absorb (fluorescence spectrum is always red shifted compared to the absorption spectrum).

Anyway that is my 0.02
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have had LEDs on my 6 foot wide tank for nearly three YEARS.

they replaced a Hamilton 3x250w halide setup... The color has been great, the electric bill dropped over $30/mo, heat issues are gone, and growth has improved.

yes, tech keeps changing. I use the Sunbrite T10 tubes. When they came out, I needed 8 on my tank. With the gen 2 bulbs, I only need four. When I convert to gen 3, I could use only 3 and see a par increase as well.

I cannot talk much about the Acan system, other than it seems to be very well built. The owner is in NY and is well known in the area for supporting local clubs and opening his business offices to host their activities (and show his multiple huge show tanks). I met him at the masm conference in 2010; maybe he can share some irnsight. Kinda think you got a defect or something.
I looked at the brand you mentioned and they sell a fixture which holds up to 8-20inch tubes, so over your 6 foot tank you only have 4- 20inch tubes? that doesn't seem like it could be correct, but that's why I'm asking for you to clarify.
 

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The T10 tubes come in many lengths: 12", 18" 24", 36" 48", 60" and 72" lengths.

I use three of the Gen 2 tubes and two of the Gen 1a tubes (and those last two equal about one Gen 2 tube). All of the tubes on my tank are 72" length.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The T10 tubes come in many lengths: 12", 18" 24", 36" 48", 60" and 72" lengths.

I use three of the Gen 2 tubes and two of the Gen 1a tubes (and those last two equal about one Gen 2 tube). All of the tubes on my tanl are 72" length.
oh where did you get them then? The one website I looked at only had them in the shorter length.
 
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