LED PAR bulbs vs. Halogens vs. spiral CFL - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-25-2012, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Philly, PA
Posts: 243
LED PAR bulbs vs. Halogens vs. spiral CFL

I have a fixture that I whipped up that uses 5 halogen PAR 20 bulbs that I had around the house over a low-tech 20 long. It needs to be updated, but I'm hoping to pull it off on a budget. The problems:

1. they produce too much heat.
2. they are the wrong color temperature

I want to update the fixture to something more appropriate, but I kinda want to stay on the DIY end, and I don't necessarily want o spend a whole lot of money. Here are the options that I think I have:

1. buy spiral CFL's to put into the sockets, and add some sort of a DIY reflector (gutter reflector?) to direct all of the light down toward the tank. I'd make sure to use the 6500k lights.

2. I found some par 20 form-factor LED lights that'd plug right into what I have set up. They are 7 watts each... I can set up up to 5 of them over the tank... but.... five might add up to cost about the same as....

3. A DIY LED retrofit kit + heatsink... but then I'm not quite sure how many lights would be appropriate for "low" light.

Any of these solutions needs to stay cooler than the halogens, and needs to be in the right color temperature.

What do you guys think is the best way to go?
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 01:05 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,116
I have 1 T8 24" above my 20gal and it's not enough light, so I'm in the same position, trying to figure out what to do. I am going to build a new hood and I can either.

-add a second T8 I have laying around
-buy 2-3 fixtures and go with 2-3 spiral bulbs, maybe 2 on 1 switch, 1 on the other so its too much light, I can turn the 3rd on for a short "full sun" mode
-get some of the cheap 10w china led's and drivers I seen in the DIY thread that someone has a nice setup done with some

So i'm intested in what everyone else says. I wouldn't mind adding DIY CO2 right now and going to a small CO2 setup in the future, so I'm considering that with my lights as well.

20g platy, , 2 x 10g shrimp, 3 x 20g shrimp, 7.5g shrimp and 1 great dane/mastiff puppy.

Sump Pimp #2

My Tanks and my shrimps
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