Doing LED lighting on the cheap - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 11:04 AM
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Depends on the led fixture, my Fugeray is under a hood and barely gets warm. Some big high powered custom made setups need cooling fans. Either way they are cooler than any other type.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 12:41 PM
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I bought the Beamworks 600 I think from Ebay for $45 36" LED with moonlight, looks awesome in the tank for about $150 cheaper than the Marineland Version.
Not sure if it's the best think for a planted tank but My plants are doing fine.

Ive used 3 shop lights with 100W equivalent CFL's before and my plants did amazing.

Just saying you dont have to buy expensive name brands my 55Gal has a T5HO dual 48" fluorescent bought at a hardware store for $35-$40 (bulbs included) and spray painted black
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 02:29 PM
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If you're looking for something compatible with your hood I would go DIY LED arrays or CFLs. For CFLs just grab a bathroom vanity fixture (~$3 online) and mount that into your hood. DIY LED arrays use the same arrays as the flood lights and cost the same $/w to setup but can have a much slimmer design which would allow them to fit into most all hoods - of course you'll have a bit more wiring and drilling to do than floodlights.

Here I have 300w of LED over a 100g via 6 separate 50w arrays, with fans they take up 1 3/4" in height - in my hood (not shown) I have two fans mounted in the ends which means those on top aren't necessary which lowers the profile to ~1".

Example of cheap CFL lighting -

Of course the flood lights are great as well - I have ten and no problems so far. There's a California distributor on fleabay who sells them for $11.5/10w with free shipping and a 1 year guarantee. Good lights to have around in general IMO for non fish related stuff as well.

Last edited by ReluctantHippy; 12-14-2012 at 03:02 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 02:55 PM
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i have 2 10W LED Floods and 2 20W LED Floods (to be tested).

The 10w are a great inexpensive lighting option for shallow tanks like a 5.5g, 10g or 15g but be aware:
  • Floaters should not be used as it will cast wide shadowing due to the single point light source
  • Lamps are best used through a versa top for maximum intensity. Hanging them 2-3 inches above the tank will diffuse the light intensity significantly on the 10w. It will be noticible as you lift the lamp fixture above the tank.
  • Lamps generally are the most efficient without any sort of cover. this works to keep the fixture cool through air circulation but also to provide the brightest light down to the substrate.
The specs on the 20W lamps are significantly greater than the 10W but i have yet to personally wire it up. I intend to keep the 10W on my 5 and 10 gallon tanks but would go with multiple 20W or 30W for the larger tanks.

"I am Groot", the faithful protector
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 12-14-2012, 07:07 PM
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I've looked at the 50W grow panels that come up for sale on ebay, they might work.., most of these square panels are 12W and like 225 bulbs., but I doubt any of the grow panels get the depth penetration of the Cheapo floodlights and spotlights.
I proudly own a 30w and a 10W round model and love them both. The best part is no 1000% mark up because it is an "aquarium light".
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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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OK, so I ordered two 20w floodlights off [Ebay Link Removed] Specification says 6500-7000K


Shadows and shimmer
Very little heat given off


Not powerful enough - I have to get them right down to the surface, which limits the spread

The colours seem a little washed out compared to the Aqua-glo T8s I was using before, which made reds and blues really stand out.

I do like them though, so I was thinking to get a couple more stronger ones and use as the two middle, where the 20W would be outside. I'd also put one of the T8s near the front just to enhance colour.

I was wondering whether to go for the 30W or 50W for the middle ones - what do people think on a 60cm deep tank? Also, I don't want to overlight the discus

Last edited by charlie_bebop; 01-20-2013 at 10:40 AM. Reason: atrociuos spelling
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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 09:22 AM
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Doing LED lighting on the cheap

Let me know what you end up doing I ordered 2 20w 7000k for my 72g I was hoping that would be good with low light. I planned on adding two 10w floods to get a good spread of light. Maybe I should order a couple more 20w?
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