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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-25-2013 09:22 AM
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?
01-19-2013 12:58 PM
charlie_bebop 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
12-14-2012 07:07 PM
james1542 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".
12-14-2012 02:55 PM
acitydweller 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.
12-14-2012 02:29 PM
ReluctantHippy 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.

12-14-2012 12:41 PM
Crob5965 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-$40 (bulbs included) and spray painted black
12-14-2012 11:04 AM
jbrady33 Depends on the led fixture, my Fugeray is under a hood and barely gets warm. Some big high powered custom made setups need cooling fans. Either way they are cooler than any other type.
12-14-2012 10:21 AM
Originally Posted by charlie_bebop View Post
Can you put those LED floodlights under a hood? Ir do the generate too much heat?
LEDS hardly generate any heat at all.
12-14-2012 07:29 AM
charlie_bebop Can you put those LED floodlights under a hood? Ir do the generate too much heat?
12-13-2012 08:13 PM
tsonnenl I just found this thread about AHSupply, who is known for inexpensive but effective PC lighting options, getting into the LED game. Very interesting.
12-13-2012 03:35 PM
jarvitron If it has tiny 5mm LEDs on it -- it's not good for growing anything. The end. Tiny LEDs, even when corncobbed together into a super duper ooper lamp suck. I have 4 3x3watt GU10 LEDs over a 24" tall tank (it's a tall hex) and it gives me low light at the substrate (bulbs basically on the top of the tank cover) and two of the 10W flood fixtures above my 20L (about 18" to substrate). Stick with multiple (DIY or purchased) 1W/3W LED arrays or the 10/20/30/50 floods, they're built with new high efficiency high output LEDs, and not with chinese VCR leftovers. Mine were 2wire ungrounded, but the case is built with gaskets and grommets to make it "outdoor safe".
12-13-2012 09:30 AM
Sethjohnson30 The cheap Chinese led floodlights off eBay are awesome. I replaced my cfl with a floodlight led on my 10g I saw noticeable growth within a week. I was not seeing this kind of growth before with a cfl. I paid 12$ shipped. I had to wire my own plug on but that only took a few minutes.

For a 75g tank the 10w fixtures will not penetrate very well. I would suggest 3-4 20w fixtures or maybe a couple 30w fixtures.

Here's a couple threads on led floodlights

Hope this helps
12-13-2012 08:51 AM
Originally Posted by Edub View Post
Cheap gu10 led bulbs may be an option, I've got the 3w models (3x1w LEDs) and they make a ton of light. So much so that I'm now forced to find a co2 solution
Those GU10s look interesting - what kind of socket / ballast would I need to put them in? I've looked around for a GU10 'strip', with maybe 3-4 sockets, but can't find anything

Algae Beater, that tank is fantastic - love the plants out the top
12-12-2012 07:57 PM
Algae Beater i lit my little 10 gallon for under $50

a modified version of such a setup would work for a 75

12-12-2012 07:52 PM
Edub Cheap gu10 led bulbs may be an option, I've got the 3w models (3x1w LEDs) and they make a ton of light. So much so that I'm now forced to find a co2 solution
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