The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - LED = washed out color?
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post #36 of (permalink) Old 03-01-2013, 12:18 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Baltimore Maryland
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Originally Posted by DarkCobra View Post
White LEDs are just a blue LED, with typically a single phosphor that converts some of the blue to other colors. All their spectral distributions look similar to this:

There is a single sharp peak for blue, since that's the true LED color shining through, but the phosphor emission is smooth. So there's little color enhancement, especially for reds, which are particularly weak. You can move to a lower K rating and get more red, but then you get more yellow too, and that doesn't make anything look good.

On the other hand, T5's can use multiple phosphors, and be engineered for any number of color-enhancing peaks, like the infamous DD Giesemann Midday:

This is one of the major reasons I built a dimmable T5HO fixture for my largest and showiest tank, instead of LEDs. I really wanted to bring out the colors, and I don't think LEDs can do that without some trial and error, which would be expensive on a fixture this size. Eventually I'll play with LEDs on smaller tanks. I expect to come really close to a good T5, it'll take some red LEDs mixed in with the white, maybe some other colors too, and possibly some diffusion to avoid multicolored shadows.
Look through this thread New Lighting for a 150 gallon- 6 ft open top tank.-UPDATED! GROWTH PICS! it will address all of the concerns you have. also look at the links within the thread. with leds you can do even better than a T5.

Last edited by Steve001; 03-01-2013 at 12:18 PM. Reason: x
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