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FAQs about Light Emitting Diode (LED) Lights, Fiber Optics,  and Lighting for Marine Systems 2

FAQs on:
LED Lighting 1, LED Lighting 3, LED Lighting 4, FAQs on: LED Lighting Science/Rationale, LED Lighting for Small Systems (< 40 gal.s), LED Lighting for Large/r Systems, LED Lighting Installations, LED Lighting Troubles/Repairs, LED Lighting Manufacturers,

Related FAQs: Metal Halides 1, Compact Fluorescents, Regular Fluorescents, Lighting Marine Invertebrates, LR Lighting, Tridacnid Lighting, Small System Lighting,

Related Articles: TMC's AquaRay MultiControl, AquaBeam 1000 HD Ultra, and AquaBeam 600 Ultra on test. Review By James Gasta, LED Lighting, the New Horizon in Aquarium Lighting? by James Gasta, Switching from Metal Halides to LEDs by Michael Maddox, Orphek's Pr-156 Power Reef LED Pendant, reviewed by James Gasta, Coral System Lighting,

96x30x30 - LED Lighting 1/13/12
Hi James (aka Salty Dog),
<Hello Rick>
The 375 gallon tank and stand are built (wish I could say the same about the new house they're intended for - slow progress).
I was "so close" to purchasing 10 Aquabeam 1000 HD Ultra Reef White LED Tiles for the tank (Boxing Day - Hot Sale Pricing), but J&L actually asked me to ensure they are "what I wanted" with a 30" deep tank. So I've been researching other options - the Kessill A150W LED pendant and the Orphek (I've heard there are issue with this Brazilian company and may be "in trouble"), Ecoray 112, the EcoTech Radion and the list goes on.
My question would be (considering you did a review on them), what could I expect to "grow" with 10 of the Aquabeam 1000 HD Ultra Reef White LED Tiles in a 30" tank? If the answer is "almost nothing near the bottom of the tank", do you have any suggestions or recommendations.
<The PAR reading results were at 600mm in depth (23.4") and averaged around 120.
I would think with 6" added to the depth the PAR reading would be somewhere under 100.
Without actually knowing what the PAR level would be, I cannot state what would grow at that depth.
My recommendation for your tank would be the Orphek PR156. PAR results and suggested placement of these fixtures on a 96"x30" tank can be found here.
You may want to look at this recent PAR testing of several LED fixtures that was conducted by Sanjay
Joshi, Ph.D. Be sure to read the conclusion.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Greetings from Doponder Roger 1/6/12
Hi Sir,
How are you doing today? Trust you are doing well, This is Roger from Doponder Company.
Nice to inform you, Our R&D department have great success in the third generation LED tube,
It is a kind of products we niche the market to help you easy to open your market and get more profit in retail.
Product advantages are,
1) Mild lighting, comfortable for eyes, once you test you will find the difference.
2) Easy to be install, smart IC driver can adapt any circuit without change
3) New material make low temperature and the heat less (body temperature <45degree)
If you are doing good in retail market or plan to join in this market, We are eager to cooperate with you.
B.T.W you also can find the safety testing in YouTube.
Looking forward to heard from you .
<We are not a retailer, strictly an information site.>

Thanks again
<You're welcome. James>
your sincerely

New LED Lighting 1/4/12
I have read your advice for years and appreciate your guidance. I went from a novice to an advanced aquarist with many inhabitants that I cherish and appreciate on a daily basis.
<Keeps us going!>
I have a very well established reef tank that is a typical 180 long (72"x24"x24"). I had two 400 watt MH lights (14k) and a 250 watt HQI (12k) in the middle. This was accented with 3 4 foot T12 VHO actinics.
Recently, I had a ballast fail on one of the 400 watt halides. I replaced it with a borrowed 250 HQI as a "fix" while I tried to figure out my long term goal. In spite of the advice given by people who may not know as much as they try to say, the 250 seemed inadequate in comparison to the 400 watt light based upon the short lived time I used it as a replacement. All of the foregoing lights were suspended at approximately 15 inches above the water.
<I see>
I house many SPS in many varieties (Monti and Acropora sp. including traditional as well as a rare and exceptionally colorful highly green and purple edged efflo). I am estimating about ten colonies all higher in the water column and some LPS like acans and hammers in the right spots lower in both flow and light. I have been fortunate enough to balance all of this with no issues and exceptional color but limited (thank god) growth.
The LPS (hammers especially) sometimes suffer from low nutrient levels but I have found ways to accommodate their needs.
<All right>
To the point. After the lighting issue, I decided to jump all in into the LED scene and purchased 5 Radion fixtures which I installed over the new years weekend. I believe this may be a bit much, but I care a lot about what I have in my system and many have been with me since day 1 and I am 8 years into the reef I have. I have been running the Radion fixtures on a curve with a 12 hour cycle that maintains an approx 12k spectrum throughout. I ramp up from 10 percent intensity to about 50% for the first 5 hours then maintain it at 50% for 6 hours before a steep decline to no light in the last hour. The polyp extension is good on all of the SPS and everyone is behaving well. My parameters are steady and things seem ok but I have no real guidance on acclimation from MH to LED lighting and I don't want to screw it up.
<Best done, moderated over time w/ measuring device/s... PAR, PUR meter/s.
Have you gone over Antoine's article here:
and the linked FAQs file above?>
I can see a huge difference in the type of light in the tank.
<Seeing is not reliable>
Not just the slight Kelvin difference. The LEDs are very much a different kind of light altogether. They throw some crazy light effects off the blue tips of Acros and just almost tire the eyes with their constant, what appears to be a, flutter or flux (at a loss for what I see, but its definitely different from anything I've seen. I don't recall seeing this on AI fixtures and they are the only other LEDs I've experienced so it may have something to do with the Radions offering more spectrum.
<Mmm, yes; or less actually... and certainly our/human capacity for registering such>
Its really cool to see but, again, it makes me realize I have taken a risk and jumped into something. I am not comfortable putting my tank at any kind of risk at all but I needed a light fix and the timing seemed right.
<Is likely fine... Think on the need/evolution of light-using life... most all are widely photo-adaptive>
To that end, does anything I am currently doing seem wrong in any way and how do I ramp up to more intensity?
<Mmm, adding more energy to the present fixtures (w/in reason) and/or adding more fixtures... ONLY if needed, again as measured by your appreciation and measure of useful photonic energy>
Also, should I even consider ramping up over time or should I leave things the same if it all seems good to go?
<I'd leave as is for now>
I realize I may have more PAR potential than I did before (may being the key because, even with due diligence) I'm the dummy that jumped in without definite knowledge). Given my limited understanding of the use and effects of LED lighting on the reef. Any advice is greatly appreciated and I am stressing that what I have done in the last few days will be determined in a couple weeks (as all things seem to be in my aquarium).
Otherwise, I went from running a 2 degree temp swing running a 1/3 hp chiller and a total of approx 1500 watts of light to a rock steady .2 degree temp variance if that and no chiller with 650 total watts if I run these lights at full intensity.
<Appreciable electricity savings>
I am hoping I am pleased with my electrical bill but I haven't seen one yet and I am hoping I am doing this right. Obviously, with the money spent, the inhabitants are my main concern, however, I feel a bit better about not being as much of an energy hog. Thank you in advance for some guidance on a topic that seems relatively unexplored. This is my first time I have written although I have referenced your great site for years. Perhaps that explains my long windedness but I really want to make sure I get this right and I have no basis for comparison of my approach to what others are doing.
Thank You!
David Salim
<Welcome David. Bob Fenner>

Re: LED Aquarium Light 55X3W.pdf from CIDLY LED 12/17/11
Hi Bob
How are you?
I get the mail from James but i can't reply him because of the bad connector.
Will you please forward the mail to him? Here is the mail below.
Glad to hear from you.
<Hello Ranson>
We would like to the reviews about our light in your magazine although we never did this before.
Here the Lumen is 5040 lumen.
<Mmm, if this is true, this is not enough light to support coral growth. Would have to be in the
20,000+ range. I would not be interested in evaluating/reviewing your fixture if your lumen value is correct.>
Sorry what the PUR value means? It means PAR value?
<No, PUR means Photosynthetically Useable Radiation. PUR differs from PAR because the basic definition of PAR is any light in a specific frequency range. PUR is the usable portion of PAR which photosynthetic life respond to, and different photosynthetic invertebrates can have a different PUR range to which they respond to.
PUR is a much more useful way to compare LED lighting than any other method providing the intensity is there (lumens). Most LEDs emit excellent PAR, but in many cases only 50% of the PAR is PUR. The higher the PUR the more effective the LED will be for supporting photosynthetic life. PAR value is only useful if the frequency range of the light falls into the PUR range.>
Sorry don't have the spectrograph of the nanometer range.
<Is very useful to have. I myself would not buy a LED fixture without seeing the spectrograph.>
One last thing, I fail to find the Reviews on the TMC LED in your website below.
Will you please give me more info about the led lights?
<Go here and scroll down to WWM Digital Magazine and click on it, then click latest issue.>
Best Regards
<And to you. James>

12k led lighting 12/8/11
So I've been looking through your web site for some time now trying to find out information for the most part I am able to find what I need and haven't had the need to ask anything directly. I have a big 200 gallon tank 5 feet long 2 feet deep about 18inches wide I believe, with the rest of the water volume being held in a built in sump running along the back. Currently its a fowlr tank that I'm looking in to upgrading to a reef tank I'm currently considering getting some Ultra Bright Reef Aquarium l.e.d.s (20" long and 12k spectrum) and am wondering if these l.e.d.s need supplementing in the form of actinic lighting?
<Mmm, no; but I'd look into TMC's product line instead. Read here:
and the linked files above>
My light system is currently 4 t12's 2 feet long with two blubs being black lights and two being 10k Coral life bulbs. I inherited the tank from my dad about 15 years ago or so and it sat in my house till i was able to set it up again about 5 months ago. With the current set up my dad was able to keep an Anemone for about 2 years until he passed my brother who was living with him at the time sold all the fish and gave me the tank. I know that the bulbs are out dated and am looking into leds for the energy savings. My plan was to get 2 of the 12k's ( and 2
470nm blue strips per light for a total of 8 led strips. would this cause bleaching/be excessive?
<Do you already have/house photosynthates here? Should be fine w/ acclimation of your existing photosynthetic life... Read here re:
Thanks in advance for your help love your web site
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
Re: 12k led lighting 12/8/11

Wow thanks for the quick reply Bob. I currently do not house any photosynthetic organisms, as I was told by my lfs that I would need "more intense lighting like that of m.h. to keep them alive long term."
<Mmm, not a fact... depends on what species... other sources of nutrition often>
As I don't feel its fair to keep them if I'm just going to starve them of the needed light. I did inform him of the nem my dad was able to keep till his passing and the lfs guy said that it was probably a low light requiring species.
That seemed plausible to me at the time. Thanks again for the info and quick reply. Ill keep reading your site as it if full of useful information.
<Ahh, this is best. Cheers, BobF>

TMC Ultra 1000HD LED 12/2/11
Hi Bob,
After using these LEDs for a couple of months now I believe they will support most, if not all photosynthetic animals. A light loving Tridacna crocea (pic attached) has been doing great the last two months under this lighting.
<Thank you for this. BobF>

PAR Readings On Various LED Fixtures 11/27/11
Hi Bob,
May want to post this link in the dailies. May be very helpful to all folks considering purchasing a LED fixture.
<Will do. Thanks. B>

Re: Lighting, Skimmers'¦and a dearth of info provided -- 11/15/11
Ah okay, as for the lighting I am lighting a 20 gallon tall. Will the TrueLumen LED light strip 12000k be good?
<<Not for more than providing some visual enhancement'¦these units appear to be no more than 'moonlights'>>

What corals could I grow under this light?
<<Nothing requiring any kind of PAR value. You really do need to do some reading/research. Start here and do also read among the links in blue (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corllgtg.htm). In my opinion, you would be much better off with a suitable T5 or CF fixture for this size tank. Even MH (70W/150W), if the desire is for high-light requiring organisms>>
Would a Biocube protein skimmer be good for this system?
<<Not in my opinion (too small/too short a reaction chamber)
'¦though likely better than nothing, if only to provide some oxygenation/degassing. An AquaC Remora would be a much better option. And as before, please read here'¦and among the associated links (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/proskimrart2.htm). EricR>>

Anemone Lighting 11/4/11
<Hello Ken>
I have a Biocube 29 with stock lighting and had a question about the light required for a Long Tentacle or Sebae Anemone.
<Your tank is a bit small for keeping this anemone alive long term.>
I don't want to take off the hood and have a metal halide lamp because of heat and evaporation issues. I was looking into LEDs and found the Panorama Pro LEDs. I was wondering if these would be sufficient for an anemone in my tank and if so, how many I would need.
<You would need at least six of these and the anemone would have to be placed in the upper third of the tank. See Ecoxotic's Coral Placement Guide here.
http://www.ecoxotic.com/community/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/CoralPlanningMap.pdf . This anemone would require the same light intensity as a Crocea or Maxima Clam.>
Each one has 12 bulbs for a total of 19w. This seems low but I have read that they have very high PAR values. If these would work would you suggest adding one (or more) to my existing 72w of pc light or replacing my stock lights completely with the LEDs.
<I would rather see you go with a Bubble Tip Anemone which can survive on less light and is much more hardy than the Long Tentacle Anemone. Adding two of the Panorama Pro LEDs to your existing lighting, preferably the 12K or the combo 12K/455nm.>
How many of these fixtures would I need and would I also need to add reflectors, stunner strips, etc.
<The reflectors/optics are built in to the LED fixture. Stunner strips won't do much for photosynthesis, generally just used for color pop.>
Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
<May want to read here.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

LED Lighting 11/3/11
Hi Crew and to my favorite responder Salty dog,
<Hello Sam, and Salty is with you today.>
I did some reading on WWM about LED's but the articles I read did not have dates. This technology is changing so fast I really think they should be dated.
<I agree, if it's an article I have written, let me know and I can give you a date it was penned.>
One general question I have is regarding the life of a bulb.
<They are actually semiconductors, no filaments.>
They are advertised as lasting for 50,000 hours. But that is when they burn out. How long are they good for your corals. I know it depends on the brand but is there any known range between best and worst.
<Because LEDs have no filaments to deteriorate from heat, Kelvin temperature and intensity are said to remain constant over the life of the LED. I doubt if anyone has ever tested an LED in real time for 50,000 hours. The rating is likely based on engineering data.>
Or do you wait till your corals tell you there is no enough light. I have a 24 gallon Aquapod with a variety of LPS. About six weeks ago I bought an LED fixture that has 3w CREE lighting for a total of 72w half white and half blue. Previously I had 96w T5.It really looks nice. It has two power sources each controlling half the lights. One controls the two outer lines and the other the two inner lines. So far I have one on 10 hours a day and the other only 5 hours. Most of my corals seem to like it. One open brain went from bright red to hot pink and I am afraid it is too strong so I moved it down to the bottom which is where they belong anyway. I am not sure if I want to extend the 5 hours of the second set. Any opinions?
<LED lighting can be tricky to the eye. Because quality manufacturers do not want to waste the energy on unneeded spectrums, the LEDs are generally bin picked to provide a range from 450-700 nanometers which is considered photosynthetic usable radiation (PUR), the range in which photosynthetic animals best respond to. This is also the range in which our eyes are not as sensitive to brightness but the LEDs are indeed very bright in that spectrum, we just do not notice it as we would with T5, HQI, and MH lighting. I can attest this with my own system. I replaced six 39 watt T5 HO lamps with three 30 watt LED tiles. The T5s appeared very bright compared to the LEDs, but an actual lumens measurement of the LEDs delivered 27,900 lumens compared to the 19,135 measurement of the T5s. So in some cases, depending on the power output of the LED fixture, it may be beneficial to acclimate your animals to the new light by gradually increasing the photoperiod a little bit every day.>
The other question is the optics. I don't know if I should use them or not.
So far I have them on. As I understand it they focus the light more. But since this is so strong for my tank maybe it would be better to diffuse the light.
<You can try this but a lot depends on the depth of your tank which in your case it may be better not to use the optics.>
Most of the fish took a few days to get used to it but my Royal gramma is behaving very strange. He used to swim all over. Now that there are shadows he pretty much keeps to the shadows and ventures to the lighted area only once in a while.
<Royal Grammas do not favor intense light to begin with so this behavior isn't out of the norm considering the increase in intensity.>
He was boss of the tank but now the other fish seem to like it that he keeps himself secluded.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

LED Spot lighting 10/29/11
Hello, it has been a while since I have asked a question directly. Most of the time I find the answers to my questions in the vast amount of information you have built over the years on your website. It truly is an asset.
<Ah yes>
My question today has to do with leds for a sparsely populated reef tank. I have a crocea clam that is about 5 years old now and has increased in size considerably over time under 175 watt 10k halides. It is by far, the most light demanding specimen in the tank. I have recently moved into an Incorporated town with ridiculous electric rates! I am an avid diyer so want to try my hand at an led fixture. Using known, quality products to create a light that fits my needs. My tank is a 180 with the clam in the middle and just a few other, less demanding corals, throughout the tank. My thought is, why buy 110 leds to light the whole tank when I only need the intense light in specific, permanent spots. I can use high quality leds with a more focused lens where needed, and light the rest of the tank with a lens that spreads the light more evenly, to less than normal reef standards. It would save energy, and look pretty neat in my opinion. I would always be able to upgrade in the future as well. I guess my question is, how much should I be using to focus on the clam?
<A good deal. In other words, I do think some simple reflectoring about the Crees will do it here>
It is 10" below the surface, I would think maybe 2 or 3 focused 3 watt daylight Cree leds should do the trick?
<Try this out... w/ a PAR meter to test>
I am certain there will be some adjustments, but want to shock the clam as little as possible.
Thank you for any input!
<Please do report back your observations. Bob Fenner>

Your recent query on BTA lighting
Marineland PAR Chart 10/16/11

Hi Simon,
I read your response on this query regarding the Marineland LED Strip.
Lighting: Marineland LED Reef Capable- 18- White 1 watt LED's, 3- Blue 1 watt LED's. Rated 130/12700 PAR/LUX at 12'
<Really? This seems high, is certainly enough>
I'd just like to inform you that the 130 PAR at 12" can be a little misleading. If the Apogee
meter were moved just three inches off center of the fixture, the PAR level drops dramatically, down to
61. As long as the BTA was no more than 12" deep and dead center with the lighting, it likely would be enough.
Marineland does print the chart on their packaging. See attached Word document.

Re Your recent query on BTA lighting 10/16/11
Hi Simon,
<Hi James>
I read your response on this query regarding the Marineland LED Strip.
Lighting: Marineland LED Reef Capable- 18- White 1 watt LED's, 3- Blue 1 watt LED's. Rated 130/12700 PAR/LUX at 12'
<Really? This seems high, is certainly enough>
I'd just like to inform you that the 130 PAR at 12" can be a little misleading. If the Apogee
meter were moved just three inches off center of the fixture, the PAR level drops dramatically, down to
<Ahhh, one of these 'blade-type' LED's - I am not a fan>
As long as the BTA was no more than 12" deep and dead center with the lighting, it likely would be enough.
Marineland does print the chart on their packaging. See attached Word document.
<Mmm, do we have the posters email address still handy? Perhaps we should forward this on to her>
<Thank you James, Simon>
Your recent query on BTA lighting
Hi Simon,
I'm sure the query has been deleted by now.
Re Your recent query on BTA lighting 10/16/11
Actually, I generally save about two day's back queries... You can search by the name, title, date, size. B

LED lighting; new Kessil a150 32w lighting unit 10/10/11
Hello crew:
I've been reading many of you guys' articles for the past few months since I recently returned to reefkeeping after a 5-year graduate school hiatus from aquariums.
<Lots of changes, additions in the meanwhile eh?>
My question is essentially whether the new (and ultra-nifty-looking) Kessil LED A150 lamp is sufficient for SPS (including Acropora) growth.
<Mmm, yes>
I recently purchased a 29g Biocube which came with the standard bulbs (it was the standard model, not the HQI edition). After regaining my familiarity with reefkeeping and becoming comfortable with keeping my LPS corals in a thriving environment, I found that I needed to upgrade to either MH lighting or find an adequate LED alternative if I wanted to move on into the SPS species, including the more light-demanding varieties (e.g., Acropora).
<Mmm, well... the lighting will do; but the small volume, difficulty in sustaining good water quality... A larger system would be better>
I purchased a Kessil A150W 32w light fixture (which just landed in my LFS's a couple weeks ago), and I love the way it brings out colors in certain of my corals. However, while my initial research suggests that this new light provides more photosynthetically-available lighting for my coral, it doesn't quite seem as 'bright' as the BioCube lights.
<Apparent brightness is not the same as effective lumination>
I'm considering spending another 250$ to buy a second Kessil unit,
<Not for this size/foot-print, no>
but before I spend the cash I'd like to know whether the second unit would make a difference in terms of growing Acropora, clams, and other high-light species. Is the first one sufficient?
Would a second unit be redundant in terms of my corals' photosynthesis?
<Nearly so; yes>
I wouldn't mind having the extra 'brightness' of a second unit, but would really only want to spend the money if it made an impact on my livestock.
<Nominally. Again, I'd stick w/ the one fixture here>
My current setup is a 29g Biocube with the standard Biocube lighting (not entirely sure whether it's PC, t5, t8, etc;
lighting is unfortunately a vague concept for me although I've been reading up on it lately). I currently have corals including Favia, candy cane, Zoas, mushrooms, xenia and daisies. Additionally I have a couple Perculas, a blenny, a red-40 goby.
My water parameters are always 0 ammonia/nitrite/nitrate, 1.025 specific gravity.
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Overkill on LEDs?/Aqua Illumination LEDs/Application 9/24/11
<Hello Dustin>
Good morning, crew. I ran a search and couldn't find any information at all on your site regarding the lights I'm planning for my new tank, so I thought I'd shoot you an e-mail.
<Yes, we are starting to add content in this area.>
Due to a slew of new LED products coming out this fall, a lot of well respected companies have started reducing prices like crazy. That being said, I'm looking into a set of 2 AI Sol's (Super Blue) for my 40 breeder (2 for coverage, and for when I am able to upgrade the tank to maybe a 75). The price drops and new controller firmware make this really appealing both in features and price.
<Mmm, one Aqua Illumination 36" fixture runs $1324.00 last time I looked.
Doesn't seem like much of a bargain to me, although they are good LED fixtures with great PAR/PUR figures.>
Now, I'm not asking for a blatant endorsement (I've got forums for that), but do you think this might be overkill for my tank?
<I'm not familiar with this fixture as far as light spread in a 18" deep tank. I would direct this question to Aqua Illumination at 515-233-5105.>
I already know I'm going to have to switch out the standard 40 degree optics in the center mass for 70's to prevent spot-lighting and burning, but in a 16" deep tank, I didn't know if I'd even be able to run these things over 50% power without frying my tank.
<I wouldn't think you would fry anything, but you may have to photo acclimate
the corals to this light or any other high intensity LED fixture for that matter.>
On the other hand, I'd really like to turn this into a nice SPS and LPS display (no hammer's or frogspawn on the LPS side, only less aggressive/allelopathy prone species like open brains) with a clam as well, so maybe it'll work well for that purpose.
<May be spending more than you need to here. It appears to me that Aqua Illumination fixtures 36" and up are designed for deeper tanks, much like the Orphek PR-156 fixture which I am very familiar with.>
What do you guys think? Am I using TNT to try and pick a lock here?
<I'd shop around a bit more, take a look at the AquaBeam and Ecoxotic fixtures and compare
PAR/PUR levels versus cost and your requirements. I recently completed a review of the AquaBeam fixture which hopefully will appear in our WWM Digital Magazine later on this year.
I was very impressed with the color, power output, and cost of this fixture.>
<Ditto. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Overkill on LEDs?/Aqua Illumination LEDs/Application 9/24/11- 9/26/11

As always, much obliged, James.
<You're welcome.>
If I could, I would offer one little correction: due to AI's announcement of its new full-sized fixture (at least, larger than the Nano) thus far name the "Phoenix," they have lowered the price of both their Sol and Nano units to $400 and $300 respectively (not in effect at all retailers yet), so I was actually able to find a two-unit set with controller and mounting gear for about $915.
<That is a decent buy and I wasn't aware they came out with a new fixture. Thanks for the update.>
The big draw of these was the expandability (as simple as adding another module for a larger/deeper tank) and the automated programs on the controller (the latest firmware upgrade they offered is getting great reviews).
I will, however, definitely take a look at the recommended units. I'd love to see more professional reviews of current and upcoming LED fixtures, too, so I can't wait until Wet Web has some more to post.
<My review is completed and should be in the upcoming issue depending on our editor's backlog of articles to be placed. I will say that the AquaBeam is expandable as well when used with their Multicontrol 8 which has eight plug in outputs that will power up to four tiles, eight strip lights, or any combination thereof.>
It seems that now, between AI, Ecoxotic and MaxSpect (to name a few), that the competition is starting to heat up enough to drive down prices--something always appreciated by the hobbyist (especially those of us with spouses/children). After all, I may prefer to sell my car and take a bus to have that new fixture, but...the wife has a slightly different point of view.
<They are funny that way, aren't they. LED systems are much more affordable than they were three years ago considering the increase in light output, and do pay for themselves in time with the savings realized by not needing to replace lamps on a yearly basis along with energy savings.>
And is your review of the AquaBeam available anywhere online? I'd love to read it.
<Presently, it is not available on line but hopefully will be in the next
issue of WWM Digital Magazine. If you go to our home page, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/, scroll down and click WWM Digital, there is a link where you can be notified when the latest issue is released simply by providing your email address. Information on the AquaBeam LED line can be found here.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

An update on my LED lighting changes (to Bob) 9/13/11
This message is regarding some correspondence I had with Bob recently. I had originally inquired as to over-saturation of light regarding my corals, and thought that reducing my photoperiod may in fact produce a better effect than my current duration.
Well, I took a crack at it. I reduced my photoperiod for my full lighting by 2 hours. I was previously running 1 hour of actinics, 10 of full light, and another hour of actinics. I now run 1.5 hours of actinics, 8 hours of full lighting, 2 hours of actinics. I've observed the changes in my Stylophora over the last few weeks, and have been pretty pleased. The rate at which I see new branches budding off seems to have increased, while the color is deeper (never was bleached out, but a bit too pale and I was growing concerned). The polyps seem fully extended more often now, and the color absolutely pops. Unfortunately, this was a rather subjective exercise, and no photo-documentation was performed (though I worked to change nothing else, trying to make sure this was my only true variable). But I suppose in this hobby that subjective success is still success, and should be welcomed warmly.
This colony was situated in an area with a PAR around 350, but I'm curious as to how that really works in the wild.
I know from measurements I've found that the PAR around natural reefs is exceptionally higher, but inconsistency in weather patterns has a lot to do with the average amount they receive in a day.
<And what part of the day... only "high" when sun is directly overhead really, and in shallow water>
I'd be quite curious to find out what the average PAR over the course of a day/week/month these corals receive in the ocean,
<Such data is available in the scientific literature. See WWM re searches>
and how that affects their health (say, if they had a few days of relative darkness due to cloud coverage, and then several with intense light).
Any good reads that can be found on this subject?
<Plenty... Am out in Fiji... so don't have my ref.s at hand>
I've read a great deal on light in captive systems, but this has only served to pique my curiosity of lighting in the wild.
<You can try searching on the Net, but better by far to make a trip out to a college, seek help of a reference librarian in doing a computer search.
Bob Fenner>

Re: New product! Dimmer-able 120w Cree XP led aquarium light 9/11/11
Bob and crew,
Found this in my inbox.
<I placed it there>
The Cree XP LEDs are not the brightest by far in the Cree stable. The Aquabeam 1000 HD Ultra
Tile (uses Cree XR-E LEDs) I am currently reviewing produced a lumens reading of 27,900 (my measurement) at seven inches in open air, quite a bit more than the 7,500-8000lm of the subject fixture.
They also do not state the distance this was measured at, so...........
<And you, BobF>
Subject: New product! Dimmer-able 120w Cree XP led aquarium light 9/11/11

Dear Sir,
good news is we already developed one
upgrade product.
Finally the 120w Cree light has been put into mass production, here let me
give some brief introduction of this unit:
1.Take Cree 3w XP leds as the lighting source
2.Unique appearance
3.High output and PAR value
4.Low noises
5.Be dimmed with a remote controller
6.Can be built with different ratio.
[image: IMG_0232.jpg]
Here list the mail spec of this light to you.
Dimmer: 0%~ 100% can be dimmed with the remote controller
Controlling distance: 10m
Color:Blue/white (20:20)
LED Type:
White: Cree XPG R4
Blue: Cree XPE 455~465nm
Work temperature:--20ºC to 60ºC
Work frequency:50~60HZ
Input voltage: 85~265VAC
Lighting time :10-16 hours/day
Beam angle:60/90 degrees
PAR:450 PAR reading from 60cm distance
Plug: 1 unit
Best Regards!
Ruby Wu

Was Algae and Livestock in Tall Open Refugium, now James's Orphek rev. 8/28/11
Hello again,
<Hello Jenny>
The review was very well done.
<Thank you!>
I completely agree on the overkill of the amount of programs possible, but variety is the spice of life they say.
<Yes it is.>
Once I figured it out, it was easy. We also had some problems with the controllers. We're still waiting second time around, for a replacement. On one of the controllers the backlight was very dim, and the moonlights weren't working. We actually bought four units, two with the UV lights and two regular. Out of the four, we've had problems with two of them. Two controllers weren't working and a light was damaged. All has been settled except one controller that we're waiting for. The moonlights weren't working. The vendor from which we purchased the lights contacted the owner of Orphek, Ofir, who in turn contacted us to let us know that sometimes during shipping the timer groover jumps out. We should take it out and put it back in. He said it may be that or the driver. We could have checked this but my husband had already sent the last unit that still wasn't working back via UPS to the retailer we bought it from so we're still waiting for the replacement. As of now, three of the units are working great. All that being said, it is a hassle to have problems like this with such expensive equipment, however, they are under warranty, and things happen.
<Hopefully all your problems were just an isolated case and not the norm.>
I'm sure once we get the last controller back, we are going to be happy with our choice. The lighting is just stunning, and the moonlights are breathtaking. I could watch the shimmer for quite some time with no livestock in the tank.
<I'm currently reviewing the AquaBeam 1000 HD Ultra Tiles. Much more compact than the Orphek and does not require cooling fans. The eight channel controller is very easy to use and features a ramp up/ramp down programming option allowing one to simulate sunrise/sunset. I'm pretty happy with it, nice workmanship and excellent color.>
Thank you for the tips on acclimating the corals and nitrate education as well. I really appreciate it. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
<You're welcome, Jenny. James (Salty Dog)>
More re Orphek LED 8/30/11

Hello crew/Darrel,
Weird how that query disappeared, isn't it.
As to the Orphek PR-156. Yes, it's plenty intense enough to grow anything at that depth. But with the standard reflectors, I doubt if you would get enough light spread.
If you plan on getting one of those, order the model with the 120 degree reflectors (PR-156W). They incorporate a honeycomb type of reflector that spreads the light a little better but with a little PAR loss. In your depth tank, I really doubt it would be a problem.
The standard model has 90 degree reflectors. I'd email them before emptying your wallet just to be sure.
You can email Douglas at usa@orphek.com.
You may also want to look at the Tropical Marine Centre's Aquabeam 1000 HD Ultra Tiles. I'm reviewing those at present and they are very nice lights and appear to have much less red, blue, and orange than the Orphek. TMC, in tandem with Cree, tailored the newest Cree XR-E diode Kelvin temperature so as not too waste energy in the unneeded spectrum range. And, the TMC tiles do not use cooling fans. The Orphek has more color pop, but I prefer the ice blue look of the TMC tiles. I will be supplementing the three tiles with one of their Aquaray 600 marine blue strips which peak at 468nm. This will/should give me a little more color pop. If you need any more info on this system or the Orphek, just let me know.
More re Orphek lgtg. 8/30/11

<Hi Darrel>
It is odd, yes. I know it used to work before because I've used it many times. Or, at least, I think I did. Getting older. Who knows for sure?
I thought it worth reporting, anyhow. Sure makes it hard to search and not bug you for answers if the tool isn't working, don'tcha know.
Thanks for the advice on the lights, James.
<You're welcome.>
I was unsure that one 24" light would provide enough punch to do anything. That's good news, though, because talking my wife into letting me spend $900 on lights is a whole lot easier than getting permission to spend $1800.
<I really don't think one unit will do your tank, even with the wide lenses, but
Douglas should steer you right. I'm pretty sure five of the Aquabeam 1000 HD Ultra Reef White tiles should light your tank nicely. They run 345.00 each at Dr. Tim's Aquatics.
Would still be cheaper than two Orpheks. I'll ask Michael at TMC for his recommendation for your size
tank. When you consider the power savings, negligible heat, and no lamps to replace yearly, the LEDs are the way to go.>
I'll definitely e-mail Douglas before pulling the trigger. I also want to look at your other recommendation. When do you think you'll post your review?
<Neale probably won't post it until the Winter issue but I'll send you the review
when I've completed it. Just don't pass it around.>
I know the prices on these should come down in time, but can you pick up your crystal ball and speculate as to when they'll maybe drop under $600 for something like the PR-156W?
<When I reviewed the PR-156, the price was 699.00, so they have gone up rather than
down. The two timers that come with the PR-156 really add to the cost and I don't believe you
can buy them with just a simple power supply. There is too much overkill in the timers. James
Darrel Owen

Aiptasia (hopefully not) and Other Items Needing Identification/Coral ID/Reef Lighting 8/24/11
Hey guys,
I am new to the SW Reef aquarium and am in the process of cycling my new tank. I decided to go the route of live rock, and of course similar to a ton of posts on your site I have questions in indentifying things. My main concern is obviously Aiptasia, and I want to make sure I get started on the right path. The 1st and 2nd pics are what I assume to be button polyps.
<Yes, a Zoanthus species. Learn more here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm>
I have an abundance of these.
<And they can quickly take over a tank if not controlled.>
The 3rd pic is some sort of mushroom, they seem to be spreading. The 4th pic is another mushroom like growth, but solid purple. The 5th pic seems to be another mushroom growth, but brown. I apologize for all the pics, but thought it would be easier to get it out in one shot.
<These are all Corallimorphs, Mushroom Corals. More info can be found here.
Can you tell me what the things in the pictures are? I really appreciate your help and have used your site for virtually everything to this point.
So you know, I think because of the research I have done on WWM that I have cycled my tank in less than 2 weeks. Don't worry, I'm not rushing anything though.. I will give it another month or so. I have a 72 Gallon bow, sump, protein skimmer, 3 sub pumps, and 60 pounds of live rock so far along with 20 pounds of live sand. I am also using the new Marineland LED Reef lighting. What are your thoughts about these?
<They will support the above corals but I'm quite sure it wouldn't be enough light for SPS/LPS corals
I have heard mixed reviews but don't have anything to compare it to at this point since I have no coral, etc. to see if it provides enough lighting.
Thanks again, and I appreciate your help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Matt Mead

Re Aiptasia (hopefully not) and Other Items Needing Identification/Coral ID/Reef Lighting 8/24/11- 8/25/11
Thanks for the quick response, it is appreciated!
<You're welcome.>
Regarding the LED lighting, if I added an additional light would that help so in the future I could house SPS/LPS corals? Or is the light in your opinion just not good enough? A little misleading I think since it states that it is "reef capable"....
<Yes, depending largely on what you want to keep. The Reef Capable fixture uses one watt LEDs where
the more intense units use three watt LEDs. The PAR level at 12 inches depth measures 130 (referenced material, not measurements I have taken), and falls off sharply to 61 at three inches off center axis.
Not nearly enough intensity for most SPS corals and many LPS corals at that depth. Most stony corals need about 250 PAR to thrive and a photosynthetic usable radiation range (PUR) of about 440-700nm.
Your fixture may be enough for hard corals that thrive in moderate light, but you would have to place them very near the surface of the water. So in essence, it is reef capable. Two of these fixtures would improve dispersion of your lighting but PAR values at depth won't improve much if any. The price of the unit should reflect it's capabilities.>
Thanks again, you guys are really a big help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Aquarium led light offer 7/22/11
Dear sir,
Good day. Bothering, I guess I am wrong for I use "bother".
Reviewing your website, know you are professional aquarium product seller.
we are professional aquarium led light manufacturer with almost 10 years history, name Greensun, which locates in Shenzhen city, China, there are two ports ,the shipping will be very smooth and cheap.
our main product contains
1 Generation 1 aquarium led light
2 Dimmerable aquarium led light.(with Cree device )
3 Generation 2 and 3 aquarium led light.
4 Silent aquarium led light.(no fans with Cree device )
5 Waterproof aquarium led light bar
6 Intelligent aquarium led light
Here attracting some pictures for you.
details can be refer to www.gbgreensun.en.alibaba.com
and www.gbgreensun.com
Hope you have some interesting on my product and build up fruitful and stable cooperation with each other.

Dear Sir,
Although your LED fixtures appear to be well made, I must state that we do not sell any products on our site.
Our site is geared toward providing information for both the freshwater and marine hobbyist.
Thank you,
James Gasta

Reef lighting 5/27/2011
I have been using a 250 watt MH on my reef tank for over 3 years now, and with the prices of LED fixtures dropping rather rapidly the past 6 months, how do you guys feel about the LED systems coming out recently?
Nic in Wi.
<We have a few nice pieces on LEDs in our on line 'zine (CA) in recent issues. Read them, and the accumulated FAQs re: http://wetwebmedia.com/ledltgfaqs.htm
links above.... Bob Fenner>

LED or Metal Halide with T5's/LED Reef Lighting 5/4/2011
<Hello Nancy>
I currently have a 150 gallon, 48"x24"x30" reef and community fish tank. It has been set up for a little over a year.
I have tons of live rock, fish are 1 Yellow Tang, 1 Mandarin Gobie <Goby>, 2 Clowns, 4 anemones (they keep splitting), 1 Velvet Wrasse
1 Coral Beauty and 1 Flame Angel, and a Powder Blue and Tennant Tang.
1 Cleaner Wrasse, 1 Blood Shrimp, and believe it or not,
1 Marine Betta.
<Marine Bettas prefer dimly lit systems and will soon grow large enough to eat small fishes.>
Now I get to the LPS corals. 1 large green brain, 1 white cup coral (I think) 1 trumpet coral, 1 torch coral, 1 elegance coral, a coco worm, a finger leather coral, and a favia.
<Please capitalize names of corals and fishes in future queries.>
My lighting has been an 8, T5 lighting system with moon lights.
Everyone has done well until recently.(corals and anemone's looking bad) Possibly bulbs dimming. I have been looking into a different lighting system because I would like to add SPS corals.
<Tank is really too deep for T5 lighting. Will require strategic placement of light loving animals.>
I'm sure 2, 250 watt metal halides would do the trick, but do <due> to high energy use and heat output, I was thinking of trying an LED system.
<Will be very expensive for your depth of tank, likely in the $2000.00-$2500.00 USD range.>
I do have a good skimmer, UV sterilizer and a chiller. My tank was custom built and has a removable hood.
What is your opinion on LED systems?
<In time, LED lighting will be the norm for reef systems. At present, they are still a little unaffordable
for most folks with deep reef systems such as yours.>
I have seen some that have timers for the different types of lighting throughout the day as well as moons.
<Yes, the Orphek system has one of the best timers I've seen and had the pleasure to work with. See my review on the Orphek system in our on-line digital magazine.
Some have external drivers so system does not have fans and some have internal drivers with fans.
<The drivers are generally built into the LED module itself. The power supply provides the power to the drivers.
I liked the Orphek system because it provided cooling fans for both the drivers and the power supply. Heat is an enemy for electronics and cooler operating temperatures provide longer life of the unit.>
The ones I am particularly looking at are from Acan Lighting. Do you have or know of anyone who has experience with these? My main concern is the depth of my tank. 30".
<I have no personal experience with the Acan systems but I'm sure you could find plenty of info by Googling.
Have you been to their site? http://www.acanlighting.com/
For your depth of tank, an Acan system is likely to run in the same price range as mentioned above. Do be aware that many LED units such as the Orphek provide reflector options of different degrees. The choice will depend on the depth of tank. Too narrow of a reflector may not spread the light out enough to cover a particular tank size. Do your homework with the vendor before purchasing.
I was very close to updating my MH lighting with Orphek LED lighting but felt in due time the cost will come down dramatically so I decided to wait it out. The Orphek system actually went north in this regard. At the time of my review, the Orphek PR 156 was priced at around 650.00 and shortly after, increased to 850.00 per unit. Whoever bought these units at 650.00 got a bargain. And yes, there is definitely a savings with LED systems both in energy and lamp replacement cost, but it will take some time to recover your initial expense.>
I don't know the levels of magnesium, calcium, etc.,
<Should monitor these levels often/weekly.>
but I keep track of pH, and ammonia, nitrites, nitrates. I have a gentleman from
the local salt water aquarium store maintain my tank and does the water changes and chemical tests every other week.
<I see.>
Any advice would be appreciated!
Thank you,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re LED or Metal Halide with T5's/LED Reef Lighting 5/4/2011
Thank you James for all the information.
<You're welcome, Nancy.>
Yes, I know the Marine Betta has to go, I just have not been able to catch him yet.
I am going to move forward to learn more about the Orphek systems.
I'll let you know what I do and how it works.
<Yes, and do keep us informed.>
Thanks again,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Cree LED Fixtures 4/28/11
Hello Bob,
I see on Cree's website they will be releasing LED fixtures for the home/office in the near future. Mmm, could reef lighting be in their future plans?
<If they perceive the market sufficient... B>

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