Can't decide on lighting

chet-tonja

Premium Member
I need help making a decision. After hours and hours of reading I thought I made a decision but now I'm confused again. 65 gallon mixed reef with 55 gallon sump/refuge/frag tank...HQI or LED?

Belize Sun dual 150 HQI with T5 actinic and moon light fixture

or

(2) Kessil A150 10K with actinic and LED moonlight added


Thanks for any opinions!
 

chet-tonja

Premium Member
I think I'm leaning towards the halide. There are so many unknowns on the LED's that make me a little nervous. I might give it another week of reading up and go from there.
 

sirreal63

Go Spurs Go!!!
Premium Member
I would do the halides, if I were going to do the Kessils, I would do at least 3 or 4.
 

chet-tonja

Premium Member
Thanks. I'm really leaning that way. I like the thought of LED with the savings on power and heat but a couple 150 HQI's aren't too bad. I may light the frag area in my sump with a Kessil and see what the results are.
 

grigsy

New member
I would go with metal halides.

Myself, I prefer them over LEDs. I tried LEDs and didnt see nearly the same coral growth that I get from using metal halides.
 

pete33

New member
I just switched to that fixture with a 250 watt MH for my 29. Love it sofar. Even comes with extra LED's.
 

Donkeykong

New member
The biggest problem with the Kessils that I have seen is that it takes more than they recommend to get the job done, I would think atleast 3 for your tank. Local reefer started with 3 on a 5ft long 135g, had to go to 5 kessils before he started seeing good results. That said I am a big believer in LED's, I have AI Sol's over my tank.
 

chet-tonja

Premium Member
The 65 is 36" x 18" x 24"

I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the halide setup. I feel like it is the safer choice right now and I won't be limited on what corals I can have. I know I have to replace light bulbs but the initial cost is cheaper so that is the route I went for the time being. The plug and play option is appealing as well. I will most likely experiment with the Kessil in my frag area.
 

Salty88

New member
My local pet store runs all Kessils on their large reef display. I would say you are gonna need at least 4 to get the true fill right. But Im still not sold with LED. I just recently decided after months of searching im just sticking with T5. Its full proof.
 

Amirfield

In Memoriam
Led light

Led light

I highly recommend LED light, I bought a Taotronics 120w LED reef light one month ago,replaced my 2x150 watt MH over my 90cm tall tank . My MH couldn't even compare to how bright these are. It's clean bright and makes it to the bottom of my tank. Can handle sps, Lps, and softies, My coral reef has never looked better. led light runs cool and can save a lot of electricity fees every month.
 

BigCountry74

New member
X2 the black boxes work. I am running 3 over a 135g. Each box is equivalent to a 250w MH.

They give off next to no heat, so it becomes a mental thing. You keep asking yourself how they are so bright because of the next to nothing heat. But they are....lol

It's a cleaner light source too. I have noticed no algae growth so far, other than slightly under the sand (as you can view on the edges of the tank etc) with these lights.

Crazy stuff. :D
 

sirreal63

Go Spurs Go!!!
Premium Member
X2 the black boxes work. I am running 3 over a 135g. Each box is equivalent to a 250w MH.

They give off next to no heat, so it becomes a mental thing. You keep asking yourself how they are so bright because of the next to nothing heat. But they are....lol

It's a cleaner light source too. I have noticed no algae growth so far, other than slightly under the sand (as you can view on the edges of the tank etc) with these lights.

Crazy stuff. :D

You bring up some interesting points I wold like some clarification on.

You say each box is equivalent to a 250 watt halide, but which one are you referring to? There is a huge difference in a good 250 watt setup and a poor one. Which one specifically is it equivalent to? I am here and other sites daily and have seen the PAR output from just about every LED fixture out there and have not seen one yet that can put out the PAR and spread of light that a good 250 watt halide can. There are some that can directly under the fixture in a very small narrow section, but not equally to a good halide, the current offerings do not have the coverage. There are some DIY ones that do, but those are not in the same playing field as a store bought unit.

Explain a cleaner light source? Algae needs light and nutrients to grow, a tank with a suddenly higher light source will typically show an increase in algae as the ratio of light to nutrients is disrupted. Tanks with very high lighting need to have a lower nutrient level than a tank with lower light levels. Conversely if you suddenly reduce the light levels in your tank, you will also see a decrease in algae levels.

I have never seen anything that describes LED as a cleaner light source, I don't even know what that is? Can you explain that?

Not bashing here, just trying to keep it real. There are some good fixtures out there that do work, if you run enough of them. I have been following the Chinese black boxes for quite a while now and know they will work, again if you use enough of them. The biggest issue with LED's is people don't use enough to adequately cover the tank because of all the bad information out there. An example is a 120 gallon 4' tank that had 2-250 watt halides over it and someone tries to put 2 AI's over it and the tank starts to suffer. The stuff directly under the fixture does ok until you up the intensity to try and keep the corals on the edges of the tank happy because there isn't adequate spread from the LED's. Now you have to go and buy two more to keep the tank happy without killing everything.

Look at Sanjay's testing of LED fixtures and you will see the spread isn't there, in fact it is dismal.
 

BigCountry74

New member
I am not sure the difference of a "good" 250w MH versus a "bad" one? What do you mean? The bulb itself or the ballast?

I agree a MH will give a better spread of light, it's 360 and pending on how you setup the reflector you can get a super nice direction of light. That's why I bought 3 boxes and spread them 8 inches apart to compensate.

By cleaner I guess I mean it just looks brighter. It shimmers etc. My 385w CF fixture looked dirty compared to this light. And the algae is probably not related. I have started chaeto in my fuge so perhaps the light source is not related. Just something I have noticed..

And your right, these boxes only work if you buy enough of them. That's the key. But at 150 a pop, 3-4 of them is not a bad price point when you start comparing MH maintenance.

I am not saying that are the best. Just something to consider for sure. For example, I would have loved a T5HO ATI bulb setup, but that was too hard ($) for me to pull off on a 6' tank. So it was LED or MH.
 
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RtReef

New member
I know you said you pulled the trigger on MH but if you could I would think again. The temp swings you get from MH is going to force you to get a chiller in the warm months. LED will support any coral you like and as far as the so called "unknowns" of LEDs, what are those????? They grow coral quite well, in fact, well enough to rival MH fixtures.
Plus take into consideration, bulb changes, energy consumption and a chiller if you don't already have one.

Side note...rare to see a dolphins fan outside of FL. Nice!
 

sirreal63

Go Spurs Go!!!
Premium Member
A good MH will produce high PAR spread over a 24x24 area, (some do more) this is dependent on the bulb, ballast and reflector. Not all bulbs put out the same, a poor performing bulb such as the XM 15k will not put out the same PAR as a 20K Radium and none do as much a 6500k Iwasaki. The difference between those 3 bulbs is very high. If you compare all 250 watt bulbs on Sanjay's site, the range in PAR is from 189 to 33, all of those are 250 watt bulbs. So which setup is the LED fixture equivalent to? For the LED mfg to make that claim is simply absurd because the range is so great. Even the lowest PAR bulb tested would have better spread than the LED fixtures currently on the market.

You really cannot compare a PC fixture to MH or LED. The difference is PC is that it is not point source and is very inefficient at putting light into the tank. I would expect any LED fixture to outperform the PC fixture. It looked "dirty" because it isn't the same type of light but in reality light isn't dirty. I suspect your tank will do very well with those fixtures, coming from PC's almost anything will be better. :)

RtReef...very few people with MH run a chiller anymore. I have one, it has been in the closet since about 2005. It should also be noted that the daily temp swing is actually a good thing for corals. The people that ran into heat issues were the ones with closed canopies and no ventilation and a belief that corals had to have a constant temp to survive. Over the years we have learned a lot and to say if you have MH you will need a chiller is incorrect. LED's will work if used properly, but that applies to any lighting we use on our tanks. :)
 

BigCountry74

New member
A good MH will produce high PAR spread over a 24x24 area, (some do more) this is dependent on the bulb, ballast and reflector. Not all bulbs put out the same, a poor performing bulb such as the XM 15k will not put out the same PAR as a 20K Radium and none do as much a 6500k Iwasaki. The difference between those 3 bulbs is very high. If you compare all 250 watt bulbs on Sanjay's site, the range in PAR is from 189 to 33, all of those are 250 watt bulbs. So which setup is the LED fixture equivalent to? For the LED mfg to make that claim is simply absurd because the range is so great. Even the lowest PAR bulb tested would have better spread than the LED fixtures currently on the market.

You really cannot compare a PC fixture to MH or LED. The difference is PC is that it is not point source and is very inefficient at putting light into the tank. I would expect any LED fixture to outperform the PC fixture. It looked "dirty" because it isn't the same type of light but in reality light isn't dirty. I suspect your tank will do very well with those fixtures, coming from PC's almost anything will be better. :)

haha this is true...

Very good arguments and good info on the MH.
:beer:
 
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