LED savings over MH

kdeyarmin

New member
I have a coralife aqualight pro. It has (3) 250w MH and 4 96w CF actinic bulbs. I have noticed my electric bill go up at least 75.00 a month since I've gotten the light (although I have added a lot of other stuff for my aquarium around the same time) but I wonder if anybody knows exactly how much electric a switch to an LED light fixture would be? Also, what you would recommend for a 180 gallon (72" long).
Thanks!!
 

JustinM

New member
Depends on your photoperiod and many watts of led you're going to use. There is a tank electrical tab on the home page to enter the info. Can't help you with the led question though. Good luck.

Justin
 

harthag12

New member
Well your light is putting off 1134 watts per hour, electricity in PA is roughly 11cents a kilowat hour so if you run your lights 8 hours a day that's just over 9kilowatts or 99 cents a day from the lights alone, that's $30 a month.

Since I don't know your tank size but obviously big by that fixture if we figure 6 AI Sol units at 72 watts a piece that's 432 w/h or 3,456 per 8 hours so roughly 38cents a day or 11.40 a month.

Whether you run the Leds full power etc the entire time, or your current unit it woudl change the numbers but that's a rough estimate. Factor in bulb cost savings as well when you look at the LED fixtures. Oh duh you said 180 gal, I really don't know how many units you'd need but i'm betting 6-8 would suffice.
 

Zalman

New member
The other thing to factor in is that LEDs wont transfer heat into your tank. So you wont need a chiller, or at least not use it as much.
 

James77

Team RC
It would greatly depend on your electric rate and what you switched to. The halides are enough power usage, but 400 watts of PCs are a waste of watts and bulbs as well. You could just switch to led actinics and still save. I'm sure the other stuff you added plays a role in the $75 dollar bill hike..... You'd have to run that light fixture at full power 24/7 to equal roughly 75 bucks a month, if your electric rates are average.
 

GSMguy

New member
The other thing to factor in is that LEDs wont transfer heat into your tank. So you wont need a chiller, or at least not use it as much.

What happens to the electricity used? Either it is converted into light and then converted back into heat when it reaches the tank or it turns into heat in the LED and is dissipated thru the heatsink into the room. Either way, if it uses electricity it makes heat.

Halides are usually passively cooled so the heat that comes off them goes up into the room and down into the tank in the form of light energy just the same as LED. The major difference is watts used, usually LED systems use less electricity so less heat. Saying LED doesn't transfer heat to your tank is false.
 

kdeyarmin

New member
I went to Home Depot today and bought a "Kill a watt". It's a meter to measure how much electricity an item uses. I am going to let it go for a full 24 hours, to get the full spectrum of my day/night lights. Any guesses on how much money the light costs me in 24 hours? I will let everybody know after 4pm tomorrow. :)
 

James77

Team RC
It depends on how many hours you run it and what your electric rate is. It uses about 1.2 kwh every hour is is run. If your electric rate is $.12 it would cost 14 cents per hour to run with everything on.
 

krshlln300

New member
GSMGuy:
He is not entirely "false" in stating that the led does not transfer heat into the tank Halides, pc's, and t5's use a radiation based reaction of a gas being in contact with an arc of electricity to produce light, this contact between gas and electricity produces a great amount of heat which will naturally heat up anything in the surrounding area, including an aquarium. LED lights are exactly what the name states via acronym, they are a Light Emitting Diode. LED lights do not contain a filament or electrical arcs, instead they contain a high quality semiconductor material and produce light via the high speed movement of electrons over that semiconductor material. This produces a mere fraction of the heat as ANY halide, PC or T5 bulbs. Now with aquarium grade manufactured LED fixtures such as the AI Sol, there are integrated heatsinks that pretty much dissapate any heat produced by the diode. The only way that a reasonably measurable amount of heat would be dissipated into the aquarium would be from a failing or low quality heatsink (Such as some DIY fixtures), or having the fixture literally a few inches from the surface of the water. additional heat would be added via any t5 or other lighting as many LED users in our hobby use them as supplements to t5 or halide/pc lighting.
 

cjscott

New member
I went to Home Depot today and bought a "Kill a watt". It's a meter to measure how much electricity an item uses. I am going to let it go for a full 24 hours, to get the full spectrum of my day/night lights. Any guesses on how much money the light costs me in 24 hours? I will let everybody know after 4pm tomorrow. :)

This is awesome as I have wondered this many times. I interested to hear the results.
 

austin93

Don't Panic!
Also need to figure in how much it will cost to heat your tank. My halides are my heater for half the day. LEDs will mean possibly running your heaters more. I have 2*300w on my tank. Quite a source of extra electricity.
 

kdeyarmin

New member
That is a good point, to look at the whole picture... What it costs in the summer to run my cooler due to the MH's heat, and also the lack of the heaters having to work in the winter, due to the heat from the MH's.
At face value, we'll see what it costs for just the lights. I am going to take it to my basement next and seeing how much my sump/refugium (where my heater is) is costing me to run.
 

ksc

New member
I've run many mh lit tanks with no chiller. Of course if you pop a pair of 400 watters in a box and put it on top of your tank you will probably have issues. But with proper ventilation and a couple of fans there is usually no need for a chiller. Then, as stated above, there is the added benefit of heating your tank "for free"...
 

Meshmez

Active member
keep in mind some electric companies have different pricing tiers depending on how much you use. After you go over a certain amount of usage in a month the price per kilowatt hour increases... it can go up quite a bit, and quickly
 

James77

Team RC
I've never needed a chiller in the years I have used halides. The only time I may have needed one and was about to implement one was when I had a poorly vented canopy. A couple computer fans cool the tank fine in the couple of hot months. During the fall winter and spring, the halides help save money by not having the heater run. Any electric savings I would get from LEDs would be washed away from running 500 watts of heaters that would normally not be running from the halides.
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe 'traditional' tungsten house lighting throws of 75% of its energy as heat, the remaining fraction as light (which is why going over to CFLs lets you have brighter light for less money). MH is pretty strong in the 'heat' department, too. So for me, it would make my heater work harder, but save me somewhat in lighting costs. I think you would have to monitor both heater and mh system. [We're fairly lucky here in the PNW, thanks to Grand Coulee and windpower: we're 12.50 cents a kilowatt-hour. It's certainly worse in other places.]

I've always been mh, and even in a poorly airconditioned apartment in a 100 degree summer, I've never needed a chiller, just a sump fan.
 
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NatureNerd

New member
Back to the economics... I went from 2 x 175W MH's with VHO supplements to three AI Sol's. E-bill has been, on average $32/month less. I used fans rather than a chiller. This is over a seven month period. If my family had a higher base usage, like my neighbor, the savings would be almost double. We rarely run the air conditioner.
 
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