OK, so I'm going to buy LED. Now what do I buy?

swimboy123

Reef-a-holic
I'm in the middle of a new buildout after being out of the hobby for a few years. In my absence, LED technology has really made it's presence known. At my departure from the hobby, they were just coming out and they were incredibly expensive and un-tried.

So now, I'm being inundated with different models, prices, and questions. Should I still spend a ton of money? Should I try to do a DIY? Which manufacturer? Which features?

What I would like from everybody is suggestions for I need for my tank. It is a 150 gallon. 48Wx24Dx30H and I plan on having a lot of SPS and clams. The clams will be at the bottom of the tank so enough light of good value will need to reach them for them to thrive. I would like to option to change color temperature so a blue/white would be mandatory.

Just post your suggestions and your experiences if you can. I really appreciate everyone's help and I'm glad to be back. Thanks!
 

TheFishMan65

New member
Go to my home page and read the LED summary. It will answer a lot of your basic question. Even if you buy a pre made fixture it will give you some ideas of what to look for. Your probably looking at 50-100 LEDs probably the upper side for the clams.
 

batt600

New member
You will need 80 to 100 leds to keep what you want . It will be cheaper to go DYI led kit I would go with xpe for blues and xpg r5 for whites with 60deg optics and dimmable driver to control the color temp
 

laredo300c

New member
I recently went to a reef store in Houston,tx and was amazed by their 72x30x30 coral colony tank. They have 5 dollar and 10 dollar frag specials and keep their showpiece colonies ( maybe 50 showpiece size colonies) in this tank running with only two ecoxotic 100 watt cannons. (the new pill shaped ones). I'm hooked, beautiful display. The owner said it will look a lot better once his 100 wt blue cannon comes in. The tank will have a total of 3 cannons, roughly 1800 dollars , not bad and the shimmer from the cannons are second to none, at least none I've seen recently.
 

builderguy

New member
Tagging along...I just sold my 150 (same dimensions as original poster) and upgraded to a 280 (60" x 36" x 30" high) and will be making the shift to LEDs.
 

BriGuy31+

New member
Buy (2) AquaIllumination Sol Blue units and call it a rap. I have one unit over my 24" cube and it is perfect. Good luck!!
 

snorvich

Team RC member
Team RC
Buy (2) AquaIllumination Sol Blue units and call it a rap. I have one unit over my 24" cube and it is perfect. Good luck!!

Sorry I do not agree. A 30 inch deep tank will need more than 2 AI bricks especially if it is 48 inches wide. For penetration you would need all 40 degree optics and that will cause shadowing and/or spotlighting.
 

ptr13

New member
save money on DIY,if you are good with sodering and diy,two 18 inch heatsinks with 60 leds per heatsink will do. I am currently running three hs with 60 each per section for my 225 gallon tank and its perfect. I would do 24/24 XPEs cool whites and royal blues,then XPGs for high noon blast to line the middle,will need 5 drivers,contact Bill from reef led lights,he will help you out greatly. Good luck
 

ptr13

New member
DIY will have more LEDs than AI sol fixtures for fractions of the price and they are the same LEDs which are crees,the only difference is the auto timer inside the fixture. You can build roughly 800 for the two heatsinks plus LEDs.
 

ptr13

New member
agree with you snorvich,have close to 60 LEDs per heatsink and I am thinking of adding more blue to my tank,just regular blues as an actinic color.
 

ptr13

New member
pics of the 18 inch heatsink fixture,
P4190026.jpg
 

BriGuy31+

New member
Sorry I do not agree. A 30 inch deep tank will need more than 2 AI bricks especially if it is 48 inches wide. For penetration you would need all 40 degree optics and that will cause shadowing and/or spotlighting.

Good point on depth. Also, if clams are desired on the sandbed, you will need the 40s. I switched out my 40s for all 70 degree optics(to avoid spotlighting) and I have trouble keeping SPS on the sand. I stand corrected! If money is tight, go with DIY. But if you can swing it, I'd get three AI units.

^^^That DIY looks really good. I almost wish I would have gone that way. But I love my AI!! Although, if I had the time, DIY is much more versatile.
 

swimboy123

Reef-a-holic
RIght now they are going for $389 per unit. I figured even if I did 4 units it would be a lot cheaper in the long run
 
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