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FAQs about Light Emitting Diode (LED) Lights for Marine Systems: Manufacturers

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,

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,

LED lighting reef tank      5/28/13
<Hey Susan>
I am so glad you are available. I have inherited a 75 gallon salt water reef tank from 2 of my kids who set this up as teens working for a LFS.
These kids have moved on, and are in college rather far away. The tank has been set up for the past 12 years using the sand/live rock principle for filtration and a protein skimmer.  I have had compact fluorescent lighting on this tank-Coralife with 2 10 K and 2 actinic 65 watt light bulbs.  I have 2 tank bred Ocellaris Clowns that are living in a bed of branching Frogspawn. A Midas Blenny, a Banggai Cardinal, a Blue Spotted Goby,  2 serpent starfish, about 12 Nassarius Snails.
I have 3 different types of mushrooms for color and lower down in the tank.
On one corner end I have Pulsing Xenia, the middle of the tank I have the Frogspawn bed, and then I have some small stony polyp coral I was given by a neighbor who shut down her tank, I think these are in the Montipora encrusting coral class, a hammer coral with the opposite coloring than my frogspawn and 2 other corals I am not familiar with.
<Send their images on for ID if so desired>
I also had a open brain coral on the sand. I do have some polyp coral that grew 5 years into owning the tank from a live rock that do well at the bottom of the tank.
Everything in the tank was just wonderful and doing very well. At that time I also had a sweet Yellow Tang who passed away about 3 months ago after a water change. We had this fish for 6-7 years and I miss the fish. Who would have known I would be attached to a fish but I am.
<I understand>
In any case, since last fall I have been noticing my Brain coral receding, my Xenia declining in number and some of the Frogspawn losing color. I had been testing the water, checking the flow, and providing nutrients, feeding bits of food, but nothing seemed to work. I ordered new lights for the compact fluorescent and put those in which really seemed to help my Brain Coral ( I am very attached to this one as well as the Xenia and my fish).
Unfortunately, the lights were up but the fixture was not working correctly and my husband felt it has become a fire hazard.
<Mmm, DO wire this and all other 110-120 volt gear through a GFCI to avoid>
 I had the fixture for 12 years also.
I went to the fish store after reading much and talking with Fosters and Smith, Marineland over the phone trying to learn about T5's and LED lightening. Initially, I thought to purchase another compact fluorescent fixture but both online stores told me this would not be a good idea.
<Am wondering why. CF's are still available; would work>
 I felt my coral were used to this and would do better with what they had been used to. I thought the problem with the receding brain coral and color loss in a small amount of the frogspawn might be the Zooxanthellae and that the coral symbiosis was not as it should be.
<This might be due to a few other influences (other than light); nutrition, aspects of water quality chiefly>
I went to the life fish store I have been going to as it is associated with the reef society in my city. I was looking at T5's ready to make the purchase. In going to the store, I was trusting the staff as I was not able to grasp the best understanding of PAR or what my coral were actually receiving for their health from my old lamp we just used the wattage.
<Mmm, do they have a PAR, or PUR meter to lend? Wattage is a poor indicator of available useful light/photonic energy>
In any case, I don't think I made the best decision, in fact, it was probably the worst decision I have ever made. I actually purchased based on the recommendation of this store who also provided a warranty for a year 2 high power LED lights.
<Oh! These can (not necessarily implied) provide sufficient illumination... w/ adjustability, lower energy consumption....>
When I got home and unpacked these lights, my husband and I put them up on the newly adapted canopy of the tank. I set these at 50% white light and 50% blue light.
<Mmmm, I'd look over the mix here>
 Then I went to read the brochure. What I had was photo copy of 3 pages telling me how to program the lights. That was it.  I called the store to ask if I could get the name of the company who made these lights as often times one can find the manual online. I was told there is no name, no phone number and that these are Chinese LED lights.
<Not uncommon>
I kept these lights as I am working a 7 day stretch I did not have the time to return them which is probably a costly mistake. But, if these lights last 2-3 years, actually function well to provide the correct lighting for the coral and I can learn to adjust these I will have broke even.
I am looking for some guidance. I hope I have provided enough information.
1. Do you feel that the reason my coral were not doing as well is the lighting and Zooxanthellae? This is my thought.
<Could well be light related, but I would not discount other factors without their testing... IF you're happy with the results of "just" switching out the lighting... so be it. Otherwise, I'd look into ORP/RedOx, trial the use of other foods for a few weeks each, try changing up your supplement practice>
2. Will LPS coral such as my Frogspawn and Hammer do well under the LED lighting?
<Can, sure>
3. How do I adjust the corals from the lower lighting, then the short time under the newly changed 10K lights from the compact fluorescent lighting to these new LED lights.
<Mmm, well; better to have had measures for PAR... but now, just adjust for lower intensity... maybe 50% and grade up a few percent every few days>
4. How do you adjust or know how much blue light, how much white light to provide?
<Either by direct measure (PAR, PUR) or better, careful observation of your livestock>
5. How long do you leave the LED lights on for? Is it similar time say of 10 hours white light (10K) and 12 hours blue light (Actinic)?
<This is fine. Can be adjusted, even turned on/off more than once per day to accommodate your viewing/pleasure>
6. How is the placement of the existing coral life? If you feel I should change the depth of these corals please feel free to let me know.
<Is fine. I would not move>
I have been hesitant to purchase another yellow tang as I don't see they can be tank raised.
<Not yet. Acanthurids/Tangs have long developmental phases... not yet marketable at cultured small sizes, higher cost. This will change years hence>
 I am concerned the tank may grow algae without one. Any suggestions or do you know if they have started tank raised yellow tangs?
<Look into an algae eating blenny; read here:
Very industrious; and will add a good deal of activity, enjoyment for you>
I really would love any help you can provide. I very much appreciate your service for this group.
<A pleasure to serve>
I don't want to admit it but it is harder to understand the newer technologies as I am getting older and without the kids to help.
<Oh, this I really understand>
Thank you for your time,
<And you for your sharing. Bob Fenner> 
LED Lighting  (fixture sel.; JamesL chimes in)     5/29/13

Hello Susie,
I'm going to chime in with my opinion on your LED purchase.  The first mistake you made is not researching enough on LED lighting before making your purchase.  You should never buy a LED lighting system without knowing its PAR capabilities and most importantly, viewing a spectrograph of the spectrum it produces.  Intensity means nothing if the unit can not provide the spectrum corals best respond to. There are a handful of LED lighting systems that are not capable of providing enough intensity for growing SPS/LPS corals.  It doesn't surprise me that no instructions came with your unit but what is more surprising is that there is no website or no one you can contact for programming information.  Without instructions, programming a LED fixture can be very intimidating at the least.  As to some of the Chinese fixtures; many are manufactured by the same company but rebranded and changed slightly so they look different but are basically the same fixture dressed in different clothes and are sold to other companies with their logo on it. I sell LED lighting systems for a very well known and reputable company and we pride ourselves on customer care and service.  So with this being said, I can certainly understand what you are going through now as far as programming and knowing your unit's capabilities.  If it were me, I would demand instructions on how to program the unit or return it. 
Better yet, return it and buy a quality LED fixture from a company that CAN provide PAR ratings and spectrographs of their LED systems, and most importantly, customer service.   James (Salty Dog)
<Thank you James. B>

Re: Lighting Change 12/11/12
James/Bob, Would the Kessil A150W 10k be a good investment then? And, since I have a standard 55 would two of these be a better investment for even distribution of light, or could one be tilted at an angle to cover a majority of the tank? Would tilting a light be negative for the corals, because in theory it could starve one side from light?
<Yes, it is much better with two fixtures.  I looked at the specs and they do not provide coverage details so I cannot help you there.  I would also go with the 15K model rather than the 10K.  For the price this unit appears to be a good buy, just be sure that two will effectively cover a 4 foot long tank.  I would also want to know what kind of PAR the fixture puts out if I were to buy it.  James (Salty Dog)>

Orphek DIF 50 XP Review   4/23/12
Hi Bob,
The review is completed and Ofir has reviewed it.  I have authorization to use any photos in the review that are not my work.  I will send Neale a copy for the WWW Digital tomorrow.  I have to put a picture folder together for him because he prefers to have the ability to easily insert them where he wants. I saved this in HTML filtered, Darrel's request.  Geez, in HTML filtered, the file size dropped to 89KB, unbelievable.  I believe the original was over 5000KB. Once you post it I will send Ofir a link.  As far as compensation, as in the past is fine with me.
Real good. Thank you James. BobF

Anemone and new LED lighting 4/18/12
<Hello Mark>
I have an established 180 gal tank with a 40 gal sump and another 40 gal along side, it is over 7 years and has been very stable, The water parameters are Calc-400,DKH-10,SAL-1.24.  I have a large Bubble Tip Anemone that is about 5 years old.  She has recently receded into a lower portion of the tank and is showing signs of stress.  Shriveled tentacles and appears to be turning inside out.  I recently changed my lighting from three 175 MH's to three Aquarium Illumination SOL Blues LEDs located 6" above the water line.  I was running them at 45% but after about 4 days the anemone started showing stress.  I have adjusted the lighting down to 35% but I am not sure if It is too much or too little light.
<A PAR meter would indicate if this is so but I would guess 35% would be too low.  When you stated 35%, did you mean you turned the blue down to 35% or the entire system?  I'm not familiar with what their controller is capable of.>
The tank seems less lit than it did before but this may be a function of the blue and royal blue LEDs.
<The Lumens and/or PAR may be high in this wavelength but does not appear intense to human eyes.  Our eyes are most sensitive to light intensities in higher wavelengths.  I would adjust to 85% and gradually increase by one percent daily.>
I also have a Bubble Coral towards the top of the tank that also may be showing signs of stress but it is not as obvious.
<Some Cnidarians will likely need to adjust to this "new light" and it may take some time to do so.  Have you asked Aqua Illumination for their input?>
Thank you in advance for your advice.
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Mark Benko

Re: Wrasse troubles..... ongoing re comp. Bodianus and Tusk   4/9/12
I understand, but based upon what you just clarified in the last email leaves a very broad range of "rights" and "wrongs".  Therefore, there is much gray in the matter and that should be acknowledged before stating that our "situations" are wrong.  Its ok though, I think I have a good enough idea after 9 years being in the saltwater hobby.
Thanks again Bob :-)
<Welcome. B>
Re: Wrasse troubles..... James further input and LED Orphek product review   4/9/12
I whole heartedly agree with your statement Bob.  There are too many factors that come into play in this hobby.  What might work for one may not work for another.
<Ah yes>
Getting off the subject, I am presently evaluating the new Orphek DIF 50 XP Pendant.  I have two hanging above the near 40 inch long tank.  Many folks feel that pendants must be hung from the ceiling, an option most partners would not agree to.  I made a simple bracket out of one inch EMT electrical conduit and fittings. 
<I see; nice>
I don't think I have 20 bucks invested.  Once I determine the spacing and height I want, I will cut off excess pipe and spray paint the assembly satin black to match the RSM 250 cabinet.  I will then ty wrap the cords to the top and back of the conduit with black ty wraps. I attached a pic of my prototype for what it's worth to you.  My fish are always camera shy, get the camera out and they disappear.  More corals on the way.
<Thank you for sharing. BobF>

Re: Orphek review.....  4/9/12
I also meant to state that eye bolts will be used to hang the pendants. 
The ty wraps are a means of adjusting the spacing of the pendants.  Once this is established as well as the height, I will mark the conduit and install eye bolts.  Along with looking tacky, ty wraps get brittle with age and the last thing I want is a 700 dollar pendant submerged in the water.
I'm looking to wrap up the review within a week and then submit it for the Digital WWM Magazine.  This model pendant (XP) isn't available to buy yet but should be in a week or two.  I am honored to be asked by Orphek to review it.
<As you should be. B>

Orphek DIF 50 LED Pendant 3/7/12
Hi Bob,
Just an update. Ofir has held off sending me the DIF 50 Pendant as they are customizing the LED multi chip for
improved color. He said I should receive the very first sample to review in a couple of days.
Exciting! B
Re: Orphek DIF 50 LED Pendant

It is. I'm honored that they asked me if I'd like to review it.
As you should be. B

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

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>

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)>

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

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

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>

LED Lighting 1/19/11
Are there any good LED lights for a fish only tank with live rock, how about the Marineland lights any good.
<Would likely be the least expensive. I have not heard any negative comments about their LED fixtures. I give them a go. James (Salty Dog)>

Quick Light Question/LED Lighting 9/2/10
<Hello Ore>
Hope all is well. I have heard and read a lot about LED's and Ecoxotic just came out with their Panorama 36 retro. They say it can replace MH bulbs.
Is this true? I currently have one 175 watt HQI but if the LED put out the same light without the heat, than its a no brainer. What do you think, do I stay with the HQI or can I change to the retro. I keep a variety of Aquacultured SPS. all doing great.
<Before I can answer you, I would like to know your tank depth.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Quick Light Question/LED Lighting 9/2/10 - 9/3/10

My tank is an acrylic 60x20x20
<No problem.>
Quick Light Question/LED Lighting 9/2/10
<Hello Ore>
Hope all is well. I have heard and read a lot about LED's and Ecoxotic just
came out with their Panorama 36 retro.
<Yes and it's release is coincidental with MACNA where Ecoxotic will be introducing this new LED fixture.>
They say it can replace MH bulbs.
Is this true?
<Yes, depending on tank depth.>
I currently have one 175 watt HQI but if the LED put out the same light without the heat, than its a no brainer. What do you think, do I stay with the HQI or can I change to the retro. I keep a variety of
Aquacultured SPS. all doing great.
<Is hard to imagine one 175 HQI illuminating a 60" long tank. The new Ecoxotic Panorama 36 is intense enough to grow both SPS and LPS corals in your tank provided they are positioned properly under the lone fixture.
You really require two of these fixtures for your tank if you wish to place corals in other areas beside mid-center of the tank. I've been told by Ecoxotic that their Panorama 36 fixture which measures 9"x9", will effectively replace four of their 12 watt modules. Our new and improved Digital CMA magazine will feature a LED lighting article in the upcoming issue.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Quick Light Question/LED Lighting 9/2/10 - 9/3/10

As always, I greatly appreciate your advice.
<You're welcome.>
I will send you pics of my tank.
<Sounds good. James (Salty Dog)>

FYI/LED Lighting... PR release 8/23/10
Bob, crew....FYI
San Marcos, CA -- July 22, 2010 -- Ecoxotic -- committed to Endangering the Status Quo, has unveiled their highly anticipated Cannon LED Pendant, a GameChanger lighting solution for large aquariums. Featuring a single 50 watt LED chip packaged in an IP65 rated housing creates a viable, energy efficient alternative to off the shelf metal halide fixtures commonly found in the aquarium industry.
'One of the first aquariums we tested these over was at least 15 feet deep, we were shocked by how deep the light penetrated with such a wide spread,' said Dennis Fredricks, Ecoxotic's CEO 'they blew away the 400 watt halides they were using. It was then we new the pendants are a real solution for hobbyists searching for intensity without the heat and high operating costs. The compact LED chip produces a high amount of focus-point lighting, penetrating the water very effectively and creating amazing shimmer and color.'
Ecoxotic worked closely with Edison-Opto, a leading manufacturer in multi-chip LED technology, to create a custom LED chip in color spectrums not commonly found in multi-chips. 'Packaging their robust Edistar LED modules with an efficient heat sink and LED driver created an ideal lighting solution for our industry. Being IP65 rated, the LED pendants can be used safely in wet environments and even outdoors -- making them perfect for public aquariums and larger aquatic display exhibits.'

More re: Japanese Swallowtails Sick? Now James on LEDs 8/10/10
I've been gathering information lately on LED lighting, a trend I believe is going to increase. I believe WWM is a little weak in this area
<Downright under-illuminated!>
and I'm thinking of doing an article on such which would cover all the bases concerning this type of lighting. Myself, I feel it's the best thing to come along since brown shoes when you consider all the advantages of using such.
<Sounds good. B>

Re LED's & James. SimonT's further input 8/12/10
<<<I've been gathering information lately on LED lighting, a trend I believe is going to increase. I believe WWM is a little weak in this area
<Downright under-illuminated!>
and I'm thinking of doing an article on such which would cover all the bases concerning this type of lighting. Myself, I feel it's the best thing to come along since brown shoes when you consider all the advantages of using such.
<Sounds good. B> >>>
James, I have just completed a DIY project using these... 12 x 6w LED's with 2 x 54 W T5's as a pendant. I don't know if this is of interest to you..
I've attached a couple of photo's here.
<Sure, anything on LED's is of interest to me. I've got a ways to go gathering information for the article.>
First impressions are that I'm not getting a huge amount of light from the LED's but I am getting a shimmer effect over the whole tank, not just under where the LED's are situated (it's got a 7.3ft x 5.3ft surface area). I don't think they are particularly good with increasing depth.
<Yes, my thoughts as well, but used with depths of 22" or less, they are capable of providing the light intensity corals require.>
The bulbs are rated 6000 - 6500K, and in the long term I'll be using this over a refugium.
<What brand LED's did you use?>
If you like I could try to obtain a PAR meter & measure, and yes those are my feet!
<Probably wouldn't help me too much as the article is going to be geared around using LED's
as the sole lighting source for a reef tank. Thanks for your input. James (Salty Dog)>

Re: LED's & James 8/12/10
<The Cree XPE LED's are capable of providing greater than 90 lumens per watt and the company continues to improve on this rating, and they are available in Kelvin temperatures suitable to our needs. I would not underestimate their capability as I feel they will soon become the lighting of choice in our hobby. James (Salty Dog)>
<Yes, my thoughts as well, but used with depths of 22" or less, they are capable of providing the light intensity corals require.>
<<My thoughts at the moment are that they would be best for actinic supplementation, with whites provided by T5's for a high intensity but low power-draw lighting system>>
<What brand LED's did you use?>
<<I don't know the brand, but I got them here - a good price
http://www.1topstore.com/product_info.php?products_id=12015 >>
<Probably wouldn't help me too much as the article is going to be geared around using LED's as the sole lighting source for a reef tank.>
<<This is interesting, are you trying this yourself with your own system as a 'guinea pig'? The T5's are independently controlled from the LED's by the way, so I should be able to get some PAR readings for you if they would be of use. Cheers, Simon>>

Refugium LED Lighting 7/17/10
Hey Crew,
I was looking into refitting my refugium with LED lights and was somewhat surprised to the lack of real options. I stumbled across this pretty good CF alternative and am wondering if you guys know anything about doing something similar using LEDs?
<Sure, plenty of options out there for DIY'ers. Take a look here for starters.
These LED's are very reasonably priced but will require a DC power supply to provide necessary voltage and current.
Radio Shack would be a good place to find these devices. Also try Googling LED components.
James (Salty Dog)>

Interested in a link back from wetwebmedia.com, LED manuf., UK 4/19/10
I'm Amy Fox, webmaster and marketing consultant, and I'd like to know if you're interested in a link exchange ( wetwebmedia.com ). I own a website with good traffic and content related to led lighting. If we trade links, we could both improve our rankings on Google, Yahoo, etc.
If you are interested, please use the following details for my link:
Link title: Led lighting linked to my URL:
After you post my link, please let me know immediately so I can do the same. Don't forget to send me your site details ( title and URL ). I could give you back a link from this website:
Thanks for your time!
Best regards;
Amy Fox
Hi Amy, do you/Spimin have fixtures specifically for ornamental aquatics?
Bob Fenner
Re: Interested in a link back from wetwebmedia.com 4/21/10

No, I am not. Well, let me know if you want to Exchange links that will be excellent for both. At this moment, we just Exchange index so let me know if you add my link here:
To add Your link here: http://www.daysinnmackinac.com/
My link:
Link title: Led lighting linked to my URL: http://www.coolstrip.co.uk/
Ah, I see... well, I placed your email msg. on our gen. LED FAQs page, and will put this there as well. Do send along a note if you begin producing lights for aquariums. BobF
Re: Interested in a link back from wetwebmedia.com -- 04/22/10

Hi Bob!
Thank you for the link, could you tell me the exact URl where is my link up?
Thank you. About the aquariums accessories, I will talk with the sales manager.
<Will be a very good market... for folks who get in on the "ground floor".
Cheers, BobF>
Re: Interested in a link back from wetwebmedia.com
Thank you but could you move my link here please
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlinks.htm and I need that my
Link title: Led lighting linked to my URL: http://www.coolstrip.co.uk/
Otherwise won´t Work for me.
Thank you very much.
<No. I/we only post such links to companies with aquarium-specific offerings. RMF>
Re: Interested in a link back from wetwebmedia.com
I see. Unfortunately, http://wetwebmedia.com/ledltgfaqs.htm has not cache and my link is not good as I requested.
Thank you anyway and my apologies for Your time.

Ecoxotic LED Lighting Fixture 4/13/10
Recently we had a query regarding the Ecoxotic LED Lighting Fixture. I got some information on these fixtures from Jeremy @ Premium Aquatics who has these in stock. Still a little pricey at 759.00 for the 23.5" fixture.
Thought you might want to post in the dailies. See below.
<Thank you James. Will do. B>
Hi James,
These have been tested as deep as 30". That testing has yielded great coloration all the way to about 22" with Acropora, although slower growth rates. 18" and more shallow would give equivalent coloration and growth to
a lower par 250w lamp.
The 23.5" Panorama runs at a very low 73w total power consumption..... pretty awesome! :)
Jeremy Brower
Premium Aquatics, Inc.

LED lighting - 03/30/10
Hi all,
<Hello Gary.>
Thank you for your work and time. My wife calls your sight "fishy porn" as I spend much time on it!
<Been there too!>
Question: The more I read about LED's the more conflicted opinions I get.
I REALLY want to replace my 2 400w halides with comparable LED's. I'm sure the reasons are obvious...power bill, cost of lamps, heat, eliminate my chiller etc... Is there a system / fixture out there "you all" would recommend?
<The LED market is constantly changing with far better and inexpensive products coming out all the time. I doubt there are many out there with extensive experience with all the products out there. I can say I personally have some experience with the Aqua Illumination fixtures and ReefBrite LED strips. Both seem like sound products. I do also know that there are some fixtures with great potential hitting the market soon. Much more can be gathered by talking with those that have used some of the fixtures in the online forums.>
150 gal mixed reef - 4 yrs old
Many sps/lps
Carpet and Bubble anemone's
Lavender Tang
Bicolor Angel (trying to catch and give back to lfs)
2 False Perc
1 Clarkii
1 Fox Face
1 Mandarin
Your comments greatly appreciated
<Welcome, Scott V.>

DIY LED bulb selection for SPS 2/1/2010
I'm building a 18" cube reef system and want to grow SPS with a DIY LED lighting system. I know that the beam angle and luminous intensity (mcd) determine the lumenous flux (I.e., lumens). There are plenty of LED calculators out there to help me with that calculation. I see on several websites that photosynthesis occurs primarily in the 400-550nm and 620-700nm ranges, so I'm guessing LEDs somewhere in those ranges would be necessary. Can you give me your recommendations on the specific LED wavelengths and recommended minimum and maximum lumen range for each wavelength for best SPS growth?
<Unfortunately I cannot, however, a Google search using the string" <LEDs coral photosynthesis> yields a good deal of useful information. Please do report back on your findings, results. Bob Fenner>

Your Aquaray LED Aquarium Lights ... WOW !! 10/19/09
<Hello Rich>
First a little history. I purchased a Coralife Lunar Aqualight.
Drsfostersmith.com seems to be pushing compact fluorescent fixtures. Their only full LED fixture costs 900 USD---good lord (!) ---so compact fluorescent seemed like the best thing going. At a moderate price range (153 USD on sale).
But the Aqualight was a disappointment. The unit is heavy duty. Which is nice. But it's so wide. My hinged glass cover wouldn't stay open.
Without pulling it way up front. Each & every time I feed my fish.
But my two BIGGEST complaints were:
1) The fan they use is quiet enough. EXCEPT when inserted into the fixture housing. Where it rattles. Or for some other reason generates a fairly loud buzzing/ringing noise. It's quite aggravating. With our tank being in the TV room. I noticed the noise is loud enough to drown out the filter & air pump noise. And that's saying something. No thanks.
Why in the world wouldn't they engineer it better. Considering the product is used in people's homes. Not out in the yard. If they can make the cooling fan in a desktop computer practically silent. Why not a fan in an aquarium light?
2) My other complaint is light spillage. The Aqualight sits high above the glass canopy. Spilling light out in all directions. A LOT of light.
Enough to illuminate the room. Vs. directing most/all of the light down into the tank. Spotlighting/highlighting the tank. Like my cheap fluorescent strip light does remarkable well. Vs. the Aqualight is more like a bull in a china shop.
The Aqualight ought to drop down side cowls. Low enough to block the light from scattering wall to wall. In my particular case. While sitting on the sofa. The fluorescent bulb peeks out (between the bottom of the fixture & top of the tank). Enough to blind you watching TV.
I know they're elevating the fixture because of the heat. But it's badly designed. They should offer drop down side cowls. Or if that won't work.
Make the fixture higher. So the bulbs can be positioned farther up inside.
And change the shape of the reflector. To, in effect, create light-tunneling "cowls". Coming down all four sides. To direct most if not all the light straight downward.
Again, the cheap florescent light strip that came with my tank. Spills almost no light out the sides. Which makes a lit tank. In a darkened room. Stand out fabulously. It's impressive. If not stunning when you walk into the room. Needless to say, my Aqualight is on the way back to DrFoster&Smith.
Sniffed around the web, I noticed your Aquaray product. Maybe the technology isn't 100% perfected yet. But it seems to go a long way towards alleviating the problems ID'd above. Not to mention it's greener. Vs. running bulbs that produce so much heat. You also need to run cooling fans. And/or chillers you might not otherwise need. What's good for the planet---I like!
I can't wait to try it. Hopefully your lighting strips can lie on top of the canopy. Or very close. So they don't spill light out the sides.
And/or reflect light upwards off the glass canopy. To "waste" less light.
And to avoid highlighting the (inevitably) dirty/dusty tank canopy. Like the Coralife fixture (unfortunately) did so darn effectively. Without a doubt. The less light leakage the better.
If your fixture also needs to be raised up off the tank top (any significant distance). Hopefully you've positioned the LED's far enough up in the housing. So they direct light downwards only. Vs. all over the room. From what I read. It sounds like it does. Great!
Re your new Aquaray "Control". It sounds nice. Hopefully it'll gradually "blend" one light setting into the next. Dimming one source in. As the other is being dimmed out. Over time. Vs. making instantaneous changes.
Like we get with fluorescents run by timers. I.e. lunar to actinic to daylight. Wham - wham - wham.
I don't see much info available yet. But if your "control" is capable of gradually replicating sunrise to daylight to sunset to moonlight lighting scenarios. It'll be wonderful. Hopefully allowing us to adjust the duration of each phase. Perhaps the intensity too. Eventually even lamp color/temp.
I'd offer a series of pre-programmed (default) lighting scenarios. Perhaps downloadable. Or we'd purchase cards/modules. Why not?
I.e. in an online demo. The consumer would select from a variety of sample tanks. Fish-only freshwater, planted freshwater, marine, reef, etc.
Choosing the one that looks most like their own. Then they'd watch actual lighting demos on screen. Picking the one they like best. Which they'd select & download The next step would be keying in start/stop times (for each lighting phase), duration & intensity. Eventually allowing the consumer to alter color temp and "blending time" (e.g. going from daylight to evening). The last step would be saving to a removable card. To be plugged into the light fixture. Reinitializing by simply disconnecting/re-connecting the power cord.
The advantage being. Keeping fixture electronics as simple as possible.
To keep its cost (and repair cost) down. In case it's dropped. Or dropped into the water!! Why not have consumers make adjustments on their personal computer. "Saving" that to an inexpensive card (like used in digital cameras). Then, plugging it into the light fixture. Slipping a moisture proof cover over top.
You'd only need relatively simplistic "card reading" circuitry in the fixture. Including a clock of course. And rather than bothering with batteries(!!). I'd utilize circuitry capable of pulling the correct time off the power grid. Like my "Emerson Research SmartSet" clock radio (model CKS3516) does. I never have to reset the time after power outages. When the power comes back on. The clock automatically resets itself. To the exact right time. Why waste $$ on batteries (that go dead when you least expect it)!
I got this idea from a Sound Oasis sound machine I bought. It comes with little cards programmed with multiple sounds. E.g. birds chirping, waterfall, rain, etc. And you go on their website to listen to other sound samples. Picking the ones you like. It's a GREAT way to market a product.
You know what you're buying. Before it arrives on your doorstep.
But for now. Why not put together a series of videos like in here. I don't know if this product is great. But these informational/educational videos are great.
These simple vids allow the consumer to familiarize themselves & feel comfortable with the product. Before they order it through the mail. With no "touch & feel" opportunity. Whereby there is a greater chance they'll end up returning it.
If I hadn't heard about your LED fixtures. The Power Compact (in the above video) might have been my next choice. Except @ 9". It's even wider than that 7" Coralife unit. Meaning I probably would have had to remove it (from my 13" tank). Any time I wanted the hinged canopy to stay open.
Unless I'm missing something here---I don't get it. Why do manufacturers build lights so huge? When they know people need access via hinged glass canopies.
One last thought on your new "control". It would be great if it also had a "daylight on/off override" button. That would gradually (say over 2-3 minutes) transition towards/away from the daylight setting.
Example. Let's say I come home and want to show my tank off to a friend.
But it's late and the fixture is already well into its evening phase.
Hitting this button would cause the lights to reverse. Gradually throttling-up to the daylight setting. All in a couple minutes. Then, when we're done admiring my tank. I'd hit the same button again. Over a couple minutes, the lights would throttle back down to where they started from (before I came home).
That would be useful. And look awfully sophisticated/impressive. Probably an easy/inexpensive build. It's just a matter of programming.
More common scenarios would be when I get home late from work. After my tank has already darkened quite a bit. But I hadn't fed my fish yet.
So it would be great to provide an easy way to gradually (over a few minutes) bring up the light intensity. To "daylight". Without unplugging/plugging. Or messing up prior programming. So tomorrow, everything is back to normal.
Thanks. Just some friendly thoughts. Keep up the great work! I love the innovation. Rich
<Thank you for sharing your experience/information with us Rich, but the Aquaray lighting you refer to as "ours" is not ours. We do not design, build, or sell any
products on this site. Regards, James (Salty Dog)>

Your Aquaray LED Aquarium Lights ... WOW !! 10/19/09
James ... just copied you on a reply back to this company ... before I read what you wrote below. Sorry I had your email in the list. I know what your site does. It's GREAT! Didn't mean to imply you build/sell products.
<No problem Rich. Bob may post your latest info on the dailies.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
For your use/disposal.
Re: Your Aquaray LED aquarium lights ... WOW !!
It was so nice of you to take time to reply. In case it's helpful in any way. I inserted a few additional comments below, in BLUE. Have a great day! Can't wait to see your product in action. And your upcoming innovations!
Re: Your Aquaray LED aquarium lights ... WOW !!

Dear Mr. Hager,
Thank you very much for your email. Your comments have been noted and are much appreciated.
All of the AquaRay lighting units have been designed so that they can sit directly on a glass canopy. Due to the directional nature of LEDs, some people prefer to raise them up higher in order to get more light spread throughout the tank; however others like to use this directional property to highlight certain areas. It is really down to personal taste.
Certainly all of the light is directed into the tank with very little light spillage.
That's great! Reading web blogs, seems like people have resorted to various ways to hang/insert them into retrofitted fixtures. Why not offer (inexpensive) strip light housings. Customers could plug in/insert their chosen strip light(s) into. No need for fancy/expensive. Something like this would work fine: http://www.petco.com/product/107314/All-Glass-Aquarium-Incandescent-Strip-Light.aspx. Although a more modern/high tech shape would be even more appealing!
Such a housing would securely position the lamps on top of the tank. Plus, space them out. Not only side to side. But also front to back. In an attractive, professional looking manner. Further reducing (if not eliminating) light spillage/waste. Because the housing would sit so very close to the glass canopy. Vs. suspending it ~12" above the canopy. To achieve the necessary light spread.
I'd offer these housings in different widths. Perhaps a 2" version into which we could plug 1 light strip. A 5" version that could house 2 light strips. A 8" version that could house 3 light strips. And a 11" version that could house 4 light strips. They'd look GREAT. Plus alleviate the narrow beam (spotlighting) problem. With lamps more evenly distributed front to back.
If you go down this road. PLEASE hinge housings wider than say 5" . So we can lift the front portion. Folding it back over the rear portion. Allowing room to prop open glass canopies. So we can work in the tank. Feed our fish. Etc. Probably incorporating a refrigerator door style switch. To automatically cut out the front light strip(s). Whenever it's hinged up. Otherwise they'd beam right in your eyes.
I think this would be a GREAT way to provide thorough LED light coverage. Whilst allowing us to prop open glass canopies. Without having to remove the entire fixture. Leaving a dark tank. So we can't see what we're doing inside.
Eventually, maybe you could design a similarly hinged housing. Into which people would plug individual LED lamps. Mostly wide angle (for coverage). Perhaps a few narrow beam (with a little directional adjustment ability would be ideal). To spotlight key decorations in the tank. Perhaps along the lines of your new "tile" option: http://www.tmc-ltd.co.uk/aquarium/aquabeam-1000.asp Except, users could change out
individual lamps (wide angle vs. narrow beam w/ limited rotational
ability). To create the effect they want.
Another idea would be using 6 lamp strips. Vs. 5. So none is in the center. Blocked by structural braces that run front-to-back in many tanks. I imagine resulting in a (lighting) "dead spot" center tank. Which probably doesn't look so good. And wastes the center lamp.
Also, rather than aiming all lamps directly downward. Why not offset the beams a bit. Perhaps 10 degrees. So alternating lamps aim slightly frontwards then backwards. To broaden the effective beam spread. And to avoid a "line of spotlights" look. Without elevating strip lights 12" above the tank. Which doesn't look so good. Increases light leakage, etc.
FYI some of the thoughts I've read were in here:
The controller does not bring one light up as another comes down, because the two channels are not dimmed/brightened independently. This decision was taken as it was felt that during the daylight phase all of the lights should be on, and then at night it can be set that perhaps one channel stays on at a low output (e.g. 5%), while the other turns off. This gives a very nice natural moonlight effect. I see, that sounds fine. Except what about programming the effect of clouds randomly passing in front of the sun? Just kidding!! That's going too far huh. But it would be GREAT if night-day transition incorporated a warm reddish hue. To mimic sunrise/sunset. Consumers would LOVE the realism. Maybe possible/practical when color changeable LEDs are available/inexpensive enough. This transition does take place smoothly over a user set period of time anywhere between 1 minute and 4 hours. That's perfect!
There are also two override functions on this controller -- one that advances the program to the next phase (the four phases being, daylight, dim down, moonlight and brighten up), and one that switches all of the lights off (for maintenance purposes). Nice! ... but looking at the photo of the controller, I don't see an "override" button. So I'm assuming we'd have to enter "program mode" (of some sort). Why not provide a separate button labeled "override". To keep things simple. And to maximize user friendliness. Whereby successively pressing the button would cycle through: brighten-up, daylight, dim-down, moonlight, auto (cancels override), all off (for maintenance). Just stop at the setting you want.
Finally, just to check that the program is correct, the end user is able to enter a 'demo' mode, in which the entire program is run through in the space of 1 minute. In this case the four phases will be 15 seconds each. Perfect! Finally, to address your worries about having to reset the unit after a power outage, the time and program are stored by the unit even when the power is lost and so will still be correct when power is restored. Excellent!
At the moment we have just recently launched this simple controller, however we at Tropical Marine Centre are constantly working on the AquaRay range as well as our other ranges and there are always further developments in the pipeline. Can't wait!
Best regards,
Michael Barrett Beng (Hons.)
Lighting Consultant
Quality Control Technical Supervisor
Project Manager
Tropical Marine Centre
Solesbridge Lane
Herts WD3 5SX

LED Lighting AquaFX 9/15/09
Dear Crew,
I found this LED lighting system by AquaFX, have you run across this. What do you think?
<All I know about it is that it was introduced at Interzoo some time ago, and the LED useful life is somewhere near 50,000 hours. Mmm, that's 5,000 days at a 10 hour per day cycle, a little over 13 years....very interesting.>
In Bob's articles I read that the lights should provide full spectrum CRI of 90+. This one produces full spectrum 80. Here are some of features and characteristics
Built-in sequences
* Sunset colours - very slow transition through reds and oranges, a superb start and end to each day.
* Ocean colours - gentle phase through blue and green colours, emulating light through deeper and planted waters.
* Full-spectrum rainbow - a slow sequential flow through the entire range of colours - this hi lights colours of fish, corals and plants to show them in their true beauty.
* Full-spectrum pseudo-random - Hi lights your aquarium in a subtle and random range of colours.
* Full spectrum of 16 million colours whilst cycling.
* 8 pre-set colours: - simply change manually using the remote control.
Red, Green, Blue, Orange, Yellow, Purple.
* User-programmable-Colour. - using the remote control, increase or decrease the intensity of each colour, then save as your favourite.
* White - using patented technology with a mixture of red, green and blue LEDs plus high performance dedicated white LEDs for an intense light output.
User programmable features:
* 24 hour clock. - adjust and set using the buttons on the control unit.
* Up to 7 programmable events per day. - change the factory settings to suit your requirements.
* Favourite Colour storage - use your favourite colour in your daily programmable events.
* Internal memory power failure battery backup - in event of unplugging or power fail, the clock (not the display) continues to run for several days.
PAR (Photosynthetic available light) for plant growth is comparable with fluorescent lamps.
* PUR (Photosynthetic usable light) Plant growth is dependant on species of plant, depth and condition of water.
* By adding or removing Reds or Blues, the level of light can be adjusted to create optimum lighting conditions.
* Adjust the length of the daytime settings to optimize the light for your plant growth.
* LEDS do not create any harmful UV light.
* Heat output from the LED tubes is minimal.
* AquaFX can enhance even Metal Halide illuminated tanks and provide the sunset/sunrise features and of course night or moon mode.
* White light output has a CRI (Colour rendering index) of 80.
<I would suggest Googling and/or posting on various marine forums. May get feedback
from actual users. Do keep us informed of your findings. James (Salty Dog)>
Re LED Lighting AquaFX 9/15/09

I ggled around and no luck so far with any reviews. I am thinking to purchase it and give it a try. Is CRI 80 too low for the reef system?
<CRI is the ability of a light source to reproduce the colors of an object faithfully.
Years ago, before the wide range of Kelvin temperature lamps were available to aquarists, we strived to obtain lamps with a high CRI, as those lamps would most duplicate the suns light at high noon (5500K). Lamps available to aquarists now are manufactured with Kelvin temperatures that would not render a high CRI. Reefers generally use lamps with Kelvin temperatures ranging from 10-20K. These lamps are desirable for photosynthetic animals, but would not render a high CRI as they would not reveal the true colors of the fish/invertebrates. In that regard, a lighting system with a CRI of 80 is not necessarily undesirable. What is more important, are light intensity and Kelvin temperature. If it were me, I would
contact the manufacturer for this information. Ask for a qualitative comparison between this system and a HQI/MH, and/or a T5 system. James (Salty Dog)>
Re LED Lighting AquaFX 9/16/09

I sent an email to AquaFX. Waiting for response.
<Do keep me posted, am very interested in their response.
James (Salty Dog)>

Sunbright LED hood New LED Lighting System. 4/30/2009
Hello Crew,
<Hi Alan>
Have any of you seen this yet? They are new to the market this week, and my buddy happened to pick one up at his LFS. He loves it! 35 watts, no heat, no ballast, no timer strips. Sunrise to sunset light cycles plus moons.
<Thanks for sharing>

Lighting query (again) - LED's and colour temps 4/19/09
G'day crew
<Hello Leon.>
Hope today finds you well. As always thanks for a fantastic service, and thanks in advance for whoever is on duty today for the advice...once again on my "favourite" topic: lighting.
<Today was fine, Scott V. with you tonight.>
First question is regarding colour temperatures (K), and is this: "If colour temperature is based on changes in colour when heating a black body radiator to a specific temperature, why do some bulbs (often from reputable manufacturers) which have the same colour temperature rating give off a visibly different light colour?"
<Simple, they are not accurately rated.>
A good example here is 10k tubes...just about every brand has their version. But if we take a couple of high-end 10k lamps - say an Arcadia original tropical lamp and an Aqua Medic Ocean White - we see a marked difference. The Arcadia has a slight pinkish/purple look to it, whereas the Ocean White is a very crisp, bright white. Then compare these with a more mid-range product such as Catalina PC's and you'll find that the Catalina 10k's appear slightly more yellowish.
To take this one step further I'll use another mid-range bulb, the Hagen Power Glo, as an example. It has a K rating of 18k, but has a visible pinkish colour to the light...not at all the very blue light that you would
expect from a bulb of this temperature.
Is this all to do with the human eye's sensitivity to various spectra, or is it creativity from the manufacturers' marketing departments, or is there some other standard or factor that I'm simply not aware of (which I think
is probably the case)?
<No universal standard and lack of actual spectral testing.>
Second questions is regarding LED lighting...
There are a few, apparently good, products slowly becoming available in Australia. I have been doing a bit of reading about LED systems in general but a lot of the info I've been able to find (including some interesting commentary on WWM) is anywhere from 4-10 years old. The general message seems to say "promising technology, but expensive and still having some trouble with light quality and spectral range"
<My sentiment, I do feel it will replace all in the years to come.>
Given how quickly technology improves I'm just wondering what the current status of LED technology is? For example, has the spectral quality been able to live up to fluor/MH standards?
<Sort of, it all depends on what bulbs the LEDs are compared to...for my money not there yet.>
Do you know of any recent comparative studies?
Also, can you point out some "reputable" products on the markets which I can do some further research on?
<PFO Solaris fixtures are the standard thus far.>
In Australia we tend to be flooded with products from the Chinese market, some of which are actually really good value-for-money, others which are just a complete waste of time. This link (
http://www.oceanus-light.com/lumenaqua36.html ) is one such product, though I'm not sure which category it fits into yet. The idea of a variable spectral range is very appealing, but I question the reliability of the
data as it all appears very market-orientated with a distinct lack of scientific info to back it up (e.g. spectral output graphs).
<Well, there are many DIYing these LED fixtures nowadays too.>
Thanks again
Leon (Brisbane)
<Welcome, Scott V.>

DIY LED Lighting 7/7/08 I was wondering about the feasibility of building your own LED light setup for a reef tank. <Very possible.> From what I can tell, brands like Solaris are using 3 watt led's in a reflector housing. This seems easily duplicated with led's from RadioShack and a quick Google search yielded cheap results for led reflectors as well. Am I missing something here, because at a glance this seems to be a relatively simple project? <These units do use high output LED's, you will want to check the output, not just the wattage. PFO claims 80 lumens/watt out of their newest versions! > To your knowledge, is there something specific about the led's they use, or the type of reflector, that inflates the material cost for constructing this type of light setup? <There are several in the online forums that think they have the exact type of LED's used in these pinned down. A quick internet search will tell you what the Solaris supposedly uses. Other than just the materials, you are paying for quite an elaborate control system (with some neat, but unnecessary features), quite a bit of R&D, a finished looking product, and I'm sure a bit of profit is worked in too.> From spending about 10 minutes on Google and eBay it seems I could purchase 100 5mm led's in the 13,000 mcd range and as many reflectors for under $100. A Solaris with this many led's is over $2000. <It is a tempting, likely worthwhile project. Without the controller you will not have the ability to change the spectrum as with the Solaris unit, but DIY will allow you to fine tune the color to what you like!> Thanks for your thoughts. <Welcome, sounds like fun, Scott V.>

Any experience with PowerBrite LED lights? 11/30/07 Hello, <Good morrow> Thank you for your site and all the great information. I second all the others who have thanked you, and all I can say is "Wow". Your collective intelligence and the vast amounts of e-mail you process are nothing short of "Borg-like". <Sort of like Billy Gates not-reliable software products: "Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated..."?> I'm sorry to add to the pile of e-mail, but I trust you, and I couldn't find any one with information or experience with the new high output LED's made for marine aquarium use. (Please feel free to skip the following and refer me to the right informational site if one is available.) <Okay> I have a 46 Bow (21" deep) with 96 watts of 10,000K/Actinic CF, and wanted to get a little more illumination for the Anthelia polyps and mushrooms sitting on top of the LR, about 10 inches under the lights. From all that I have read, this is not enough light. <Mmm, sufficient... but could be increased> However, I must say that the Anthelia is budding and sprouting but some of the mushrooms look like they are stretching towards the surface. One in particular has its' mouth pointing strait up and it looks like a fully open umbrella. (Could it be hungry? How often should they get fed? <Yes... and what you're doing, below... is fine> I feed 1-2 times a week) They are bright pink, bright red, and a slightly fluorescent purple/blue/green on brown. All are small, nickel sized or less. I was told by my LFS that mushrooms, especially the colored ones, needed more lighting than the brown or purple ones. How many watts per gallon should they have? <Mmm, not a fan of such broad "rules of thumb" as watts per gallon... Much depends on what is produced by these watts... in how configured fixturing... depth, position of light-using stock... much more> I have also read that sometimes you can get away with raising them closer to the lights. How close should they be considering my set up? <... time to refer you> I am contemplating getting a 10,000K PowerBrite LED 4 X1 watt light. I am attracted to the fact that they are not hot, small enough to fit on the canopy, and long lasting (How long will they be of service as in marine aquarium terms? The advertised light life is 50,000 hrs.). <This is about it... divide by the number of hours per day... the days in a month or a year...> The ad says it emits 50-60 lumens/watt. What does this really mean as compared to my 96 watt compact fluorescents? <... in terms of watts, yes... Do you recall, did you take physics courses re what a Watt is... as in Volts times Amps? The amount of power consumed, producing useful photonic energy is the functional consideration here... The other "costs" in terms of heat production, removal... as well as looks, life-time of fixture/s... are the other half of the equation> I have tried to find out more information on them, but don't see any one chatting about them (or haven't found the site yet). I was wondering if this would boost my lighting adequately enough for the mushrooms to feel happier, or would this be a waste of money? <Mmm, not a waste... but, am not so sure this is a good investment for you here either> Do you have any other suggestions? If one were to use only these lights for illumination, what would the actual watt per gallon equivalent be? <Get or borrow a PAR meter and see for yourself... Many fish stores and hobby groups, as well as advanced aquarists have these to lend...> I am holding off on purchasing them until your reply. <Again, these are good products/units... and reasonably priced... If your system were brand new and you asked which technology to go with, I'd likely suggest the LEDs here...> Also, I do have a new 12 gal. with a 14,000K 70 watt metal halide currently cycling. It will be about 12 inches deep after adding sand. The light sits about 2.5"-3" above the canopy. Would this be too bright for the Anthelia and mushrooms? <Perhaps at first... I would screen the light, remove part of the screening weekly. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm and the linked files above> Thank you for all you do, Lyn <I do wish there was a simple way to offer you the choices you list here... I will try to re-state... IMO the changing of the CFs you presently have for the LEDs is not warranted. That is, I don't think you will either see, nor your livestock experience "enough" difference in illumination to warrant the change-out expense, effort... I do want to further introduce the thought that changing out for MH would result in said changes (in appearance, functionality), but with some issue as to waste heat production, driven photosynthesis/metabolism effects. Bob Fenner>
Re: Any experience with PowerBrite LED lights? 12/1/2007
Aloha Mr. Fenner, <And to you> Thank you for your reply. <Welcome> Alas... Physics class was not my favorite in HS. I did take a lot of zoology and chemistry classes in college though, but that will not help me with my lighting concerns. I will further scour the web for the information you are referring to on "useful photonic energy". Any favorite sites? <Yes... look for the names Sanjay Joshi and Dana Riddle> Is there a chart/book (Anthony Calfo's?) that lists the various corals and their range of preferred light intensity? <Mmm, only in general terms. A chance here to make some broad statements re: All coral species, specimens show a varying tolerance, adaptability to light intensity... Some of the same species collected in different regimens of light et al. are quite different in this respect... The "other" conditions, histories of said colonies are a great determinant of whether these specimens will adapt to a given set of aquarium circumstances... Do know that the vast majority of pet-fish writers are NOT biologists by any means (have little academic experience), NOR scientific divers... i.e. they have NOT, some NEVER been diving on reefs... and much, way TOO much of what is written in articles, even books, but particularly BB's is patently gibberish. Look for data from the wild and captive settings where folks have actually qualified and quantified their experiences.> Perhaps more specific than the "low, med., high" references I see on some sites? <Bingo...> Is a Lux meter similar to a PAR meter for measuring light intensity? <The PAR meter compared to a Lux is akin to a colorimeter vs. a spectrophotometer... The Lux measures most all photonic energy w/in a broad spectrum, the PAR the intensities/wavelengths of presumed use to photosynthetic life... the energy of light-capturing molecules this life "employs"> I see both for sale. Which do you prefer? <... the PAR only for the purpose/s I believe you have in mind.> I think that after your comments, I will forgo the LED lights, get a meter of some sort instead, and then I'll plan on what to do next. <Ahhh! Excellent. W/o wanting to directly tell you what I would do, this is what I would do> BTW, the 4 watt LED light strip I was interested in was for supplementation, not to replace the existing 96 watt CF lights. The ad said to use one strip of lights every 2 feet of aquarium length. I was concerned that 4 one watt LED bulbs would not make much of a difference in the overall lighting of my aquarium to positively impact my Corallimorphs, and would be a waste of funds. <I agree> However, I know advancements have been made in LED lighting, but not to what degree. Is it true then, that LED lights do not degrade in intensity over time, as do fluorescents and metal halides? <Much less so, correct> Are LEDs brighter or have more useful light per watt than CFs or other types of popular lighting (HO,T5,MH)? <They can... but not all presently do that are used in our interest. Again, this data is available if you delve...> As far as usable light for photosynthesis of marine life goes, is there information anywhere that says, "X watts of LEDs = X watts of MH or X watts of CFs, etc? <Not as far as I'm aware... IF we were to try to formulate an equation for such... one could imagine some first, second, maybe third order factors, some non-linear... for depth, placement... dissolved color, particulates, reflectivity in fixtures, the state of health of the incidental livestock... much, much more... But as rules of thumb go... PAR per surface area at depth would be a great improvement> Thank you for your comments and opinions. They have helped me make some decisions, and I begin to formulate a plan as I venture further into keeping Anthelia, Corallimorphs, and perhaps some future soft corals. I would have never thought that it would be possible to keep such delicate marine creatures in a home aquarium 30 yrs. ago when I first dipped into saltwater tanks; with disastrous results (I had been afraid for years to venture back, until my son had a school research project on clownfish). <I was in the trade, have been since the early sixties... It did used to be a "crap shoot" in keeping marines... a bit less nowadays, but still way too much voodoo...> Undergravel filters were fairly new technology back then! I was informed of them by one of the staff at the Waikiki Aquarium where I volunteered for a couple summers. <Oh! Have spent many good times over at Kapiolani Park... and see the "old" director Bruce Carlson every year in Atlanta nowadays, giving pitches for the reef club there.> Even they were experimenting with small, closed system marine tanks. I remember seeing a 20 gal long with only an undergravel filter, no light, large piece of rock with orange cup coral (Tubastrea), and fish (one was a yellow tang!). It was a very sterile looking tank by today's standards. What a long way this hobby has come! Thank you to you and the others for sharing your knowledge, experience, and discoveries. <Is a pleasure to share> My children and I glean endless hours of pleasure watching the L. amboinensis backstroke at the surface trolling for food, the ocellaris clowns doing perfectly vertical headstands (we think looking for the Nassarius snails under the sand or for copepods), and the yellow clown goby plastered to the front of the glass waiting to be fed. Mahalo, Lyn P.S. My husband and I had a great laugh at your come back to the "collective intelligence" comment; especially since he USED TO work at MS for BG. THAT was like living in the hive collective. <Ahh, shades of the Hymenoptera!> No, the WWM collective, I find vastly knowledgeable and altruistic. I must say though, that this hobby (and the WWM site) is pretty absorbing, addictive, even obsessive. It sucks you in and won't let go! In a good way, of course :) It is comforting to know that there are others out there who share similar questions and mishaps, and that there are people interested and caring enough to help. <Again, an honor and deep satisfaction to aid your efforts. A hu'i hou! Bob Fenner, in Holualoa, just mauka of Kailua, Big Is.> Night Light/Moonlight - 07/08/07 Hi WWM Crew, <Hi Alan, Mich here.> I was thinking of putting a set of LED lighting to act as night/moon light. Advisable? <Shouldn't hurt.> Will it cause stress to my fishes? <Unlikely.> The reason behind is that whenever I'm back late and the tank lights are off (tank just beside main door), my fishes will just dashes around and caused body injury. <Hopefully this is not the case, but is a good enough reason to add the LED in my thinking.> Thanks in advance. <Welcome!> Regards. <Cheers, Mich> Alan

An Opinion On LED Lighting - 06/26/07
Hello, <<Hi there!>> Just wondering if you guys/girls have any opinions on the new LED lighting fixtures? <<Ah yes, I had a chance to see some of these at the IMAC in Chicago a few weeks back>> I saw a 72" fixture made by PFO that was nice but very expensive. <<Indeed>> About 40% less energy than halides though. <<Agreed>> Also has almost limitless control of color etc. <<The technology is intriguing I admit, but it's still metal halides for me. Reportedly the PAR output of the LED systems is comparable to metal halides (but at what wattage/Kelvin temperature/depth?), but the appearance of the light/aesthetics of the tank are not as good as halides to "my" eye…at least not yet. For the moment, I am content to hang on to my money and wait/watch for what happens next. That's "my" take on it>> Thanks so much, Joey <<Happy to share. EricR>>
Re: Reef Lighting ... LEDs! 9/15/06
Thank you for your response. <You're welcome.> Well a good friend of mine led me to the new Solaris LED system. And I went all out and spent $3,500 on this system, after doing research, or as much research as I could since this Solaris is fairly new. Thank you so much for your respected insight. What is your view on this new system? Thanks again. <Jeff, I am not familiar with this product at all. Dana Riddle has tested and evaluated this system. Here is a link to that review. http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2006/8/review2 James (Salty Dog)> Jeff

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