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Discussion Starter #1
So rather then doing MH, VHO or T5 lighting I was thinking about just forking out the few extra bills and getting LED system and my new build. I think the prices maybe now justified with some of the systems taking into consideration the hours before replacing the bulbs and low electric bills.

So over the last few days trying to research LED systems I still haven't got a clear idea on what one system has over another to see if the prices are justified. The prices seem to be some random number from one company to the next. There doesn't seem to be competitive pricing for similar systems making me question the quality or if there is something I am overlooking. So many of these company's making LED systems are taking different approaches in design. I still haven't figured out what the common factor is. The ones I have found that I think might work have either no reviews or reviews that don't help answer the questions i have. Anyhow I am leaning towards this fixture Orphek 24" Power Reef PR-156 LED Light Fixture - Orphek Aquarium LED Lighting - Lighting to cover a 36x18x18.

according to this write up on this site one of these fixtures covers a 7 inch diameter around the fixture which would make it perfect for my tank size.
Orphek PR-156 Reef Aquarium LED Light Review - Captive Aquatics: An Aquarium and Ecology Blog

If anyone knows any pros or cons to this fixture i would like to hear it.
 

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That fixture wouldn't be my first choice. That "review" from Captive Aquatics is more like a sales add, as most of the information was taken directly from the manufacturers web site at the time. The "reviewer" did no testing of his own, and used the PAR plots from the Orphek website.

That aside, I don't think the coverage is as generous as they claim. I've seen them in person, and the optics used are extremely tight, and the spread extends very little over the size of the fixture. They supposedly have a "wide angle" version that increases spread though. The standard version was intended to be a fixture to use on tanks that were 24" and deeper, as the PAR levels are very high.

Also, I don't think the quality of the unit is as high as their pricetag makes it out to be. Sure, it looks good on the outside, but the machining on the heatsink, and the wiring job on the inside is terrible. Add into that the fact that these so called "custom developed" LEDs are just your average run of the mill Chinese LEDs, and the bang for the buck level goes down considerably. I also take issue with the marketing BS involved with their "highest PUR values on the market" claim. PUR is a species and application specific measurement, and they have given no data on how they measure it.

I know it sounds like I have a bone to pick with them, but I'd honestly look at other options.
 

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So rather then doing MH, VHO or T5 lighting I was thinking about just forking out the few extra bills and getting LED system and my new build. I think the prices maybe now justified with some of the systems taking into consideration the hours before replacing the bulbs and low electric bills.

So over the last few days trying to research LED systems I still haven't got a clear idea on what one system has over another to see if the prices are justified. The prices seem to be some random number from one company to the next. There doesn't seem to be competitive pricing for similar systems making me question the quality or if there is something I am overlooking. So many of these company's making LED systems are taking different approaches in design. I still haven't figured out what the common factor is. The ones I have found that I think might work have either no reviews or reviews that don't help answer the questions i have. Anyhow I am leaning towards this fixture Orphek 24" Power Reef PR-156 LED Light Fixture - Orphek Aquarium LED Lighting - Lighting to cover a 36x18x18.

according to this write up on this site one of these fixtures covers a 7 inch diameter around the fixture which would make it perfect for my tank size.
Orphek PR-156 Reef Aquarium LED Light Review - Captive Aquatics: An Aquarium and Ecology Blog

If anyone knows any pros or cons to this fixture i would like to hear it.
Im running 6 of these over my 425 sps dom tank. The fixtures are pretty basic, they contain LEDs mounted directly to a large heat sink, there are several layers of plexi to give strength to the unit, and a thin aluminum slotted cover around the perimeter with a fan in the top. The PAR values at 28" are 300 in the sand and 200 between the fixtures. The key is to mount them higher up to get the spread and more uniform coverage. You can order them with 90 deg or 120 lenses, im running the 120. Im pretty open to lighting, i have ran 250 mh over my dt forever, and ATI powermodules over my frag tank for years. There are a few key items that i have noticed, first this fixture is 2 foot long, twice the AI, so the price tag is about the same when you consider that. Second, they are IMO brighter than the AI units and produce more PAR (not a lot, but they seem to be a bit more). Third, many of my LPS including chalices and acans are looking much better with this lighting. This gives me the ability to run more of a mixed reef, something that i had issues with when using the MH fixtures. Now keep in m,ind that AI are built in the US where the Orphek take a long time to ship through customs. AI are also dimmable, and with the Neptune apex controller, you can do some really cool things. The Orphek just turn on and off, there are separate timers for the blue and white LEDs.

You can spread the units out roughly 8-9" apart, but thats about it. I would say you would need two units to cover your setup. I personally think the units are performing well in my setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The same company makes a PAR38 LED pendant which is dimable. I was also thinking about maybe getting 4 of those instead and spreading them over the tank but with only 12 diodes per pendant at $200 ea. which I am pretty sure its the same LED diodes that are in the fixture the math doesn't work out. 4 pendants would be the same price as one fixture. 4 pendants only equals 48 LEDs versus one fixture with 60 LEDs for the same price. I would like to see your system either in person or some pics if you have them. From what I have seem from videos on you tube of people running this fixture it seems this thing grows SPS well while looking sleek over a main display. Was there a manufacture warranty?

also I guess if you order these direct from the manufacture they will do any custom combination of the white, blue and purple giving 3- to 6 weeks for delivery as opposed buying it through a retailer you only get the blue and white diodes.
 

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The same company makes a PAR38 LED pendant which is dimable. I was also thinking about maybe getting 4 of those instead and spreading them over the tank but with only 12 diodes per pendant at $200 ea. which I am pretty sure its the same LED diodes that are in the fixture the math doesn't work out. 4 pendants would be the same price as one fixture. 4 pendants only equals 48 LEDs versus one fixture with 60 LEDs for the same price. I would like to see your system either in person or some pics if you have them. From what I have seem from videos on you tube of people running this fixture it seems this thing grows SPS well while looking sleek over a main display. Was there a manufacture warranty?

also I guess if you order these direct from the manufacture they will do any custom combination of the white, blue and purple giving 3- to 6 weeks for delivery as opposed buying it through a retailer you only get the blue and white diodes.
You can seem some pics in my build thread. Feel free to PM me if you want to swing by. They customer service is really good from my experience. I have some strip LEDs for night lighting that are also manufactured from Orphek. They are pretty nice. You can order them with any number of blue, white, and UV LEDs. The stock look is really a good blend of color and PAR. The UVs are not important if you ask me.
 

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I've heard mixed feelings about the orpheks... the AIs I've heard plenty of good things about...

I haven't used either.
 

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Ill take some pictures this weekend. The corals are looking real good, polyp extension like crazy and my acans are huge! Heres a few pictures of the setup.







 

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Discussion Starter #8
that's Candy!

So like you said I probably dont need the UV/Purples but I noticed you have them. Did you have to order from the manufacture to get them with a couple UV purple in the fixtures?

anyone else have shots of there LED systems over there tank. I would like compare a different system before I go with this system? Cant argue with the results Rouselb is getting.
 

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Hi,

I just wanted to say that for me, the AI Sol made the most sense. What sold me was the quality of the product, the upgradeability, and the relatively cheap controller thats made for it. I'll try to post up some pictures later, but it's a pretty sweet unit, although pricey.
 

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rouselb, very nice system, but for my taste that is to much spotlighting effect under each fixture, can you see the spotlighting that much in person or is it just in pictures? i still dont think im sold on the premade LED fixtures, if i go LED it wouls still only be diy because i am just not that impresed with the premade fixtures since all i see is the same parts as the diy setups with fancy packaging which isnt that hard to make anyway.
 

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rouselb, very nice system, but for my taste that is to much spotlighting effect under each fixture, can you see the spotlighting that much in person or is it just in pictures? i still dont think im sold on the premade LED fixtures, if i go LED it wouls still only be diy because i am just not that impresed with the premade fixtures since all i see is the same parts as the diy setups with fancy packaging which isnt that hard to make anyway.
Every LED setup that i have seen has the spotlight appearance. Its due to the nature of the LED with the optics that are popular at this time. Even if you have a DIY fixture, you will see some Spotlighting.

MH use a large reflector that gives more "spread" but still is considered a spotlight, when you raise and lower them you can blend the light spread into one large spotlight across the whole tank. T5s are a bit more concentrated along a line, but they are running across the tank so they tend to blend in more. LEDs have small reflectors that focus the light down and give more of the spotlight appearance (mini MH affect). You can also raise and lower them to get them to blend into each other, or use more LEDs. Its all really a matter of personal preference. To be honest, i dont notice it any longer, its like powerheads, one you get used to them in your system, you dont notice them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I see a lot of systems come with a 60, 90 and 120 degree angle I was assuming the angle on the fixture meant the spread of the led. Is this not the case.
 

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I see a lot of systems come with a 60, 90 and 120 degree angle I was assuming the angle on the fixture meant the spread of the led. Is this not the case.
You are referring to the lens angle, most fixtures are 90. I run 120 deg. These are mounted on each LED. You will get more light spread but less penetration. So if you have a deep tank you will need the 90s. But that is just one aspect, you still need to adjust the overall mounting height of the fixture to achieve a balance of light spread, and penetration. Its really two fold.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
good to know. my system is very shallow so i will probably go with the 120 if I go with this fixture which as of right now is still the front runner for me. As for building my own that's not my cup of tea. I just need to make sure the fhe lighting is going to be sufficient enough to grow and keep sps and clams
 

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Have you decided what you are doing for lighting yet on your tank? I am building a 120 gallon and have been looking at these Orphek LEDs. My goal is to have a nice mixed reef aquarium and my experience with corals in the past has been pretty good under MH. I am really leaning towards these.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Have you decided what you are doing for lighting yet on your tank? I am building a 120 gallon and have been looking at these Orphek LEDs. My goal is to have a nice mixed reef aquarium and my experience with corals in the past has been pretty good under MH. I am really leaning towards these.
I am not going to go LED at this time. I know a lot of people are having success with LED but I still think that in a couple years the technology will have evolved to where they are more affordable and where the bugs are worked out. Having researched LED lighting for days there is really only one system out there I would be truly happy with and I cant afford it.

***x202a;Vertex Illumina SR 1200 LED Demo***x202c;‏ - YouTube

‪Vertex Illumina 200 LED Aquarium Light Fixture‬‏ - YouTube
 
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