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jgc 11-13-2012 03:05 PM

The majic of LED's (are they really that efficeint-help deciding lighting)
I am tired. Tired of repairing and replacing failing lighting.

I started out with only minimal concern for budget. I have had my 250 watt hqi fail and be rebuilt at least 6 times now (and it's flickering again, so will be out in a week or so). I had my 2x96pc fail and be repaired 3 times, finally had a fire with one of my two odno's (water sprayed into fixture - not the odno's fault). That is all on the same tank (see sig line). I am tired.

Now for the math. I ran 250 watts with a good reflector and it was very nice :). I ran 192 with top of the line reflectors and they were nice as well (but lost the point source reflections :icon_cry:). I ran about 220 watts with the 4 odno t8's and it pearled like soda (and looked like a redneck shop rather than my living room).

So a new direction. Trying to decide between over the counter 36" 28watt Finnex Ray 2 (per various posts that would still be considered high light). and a diy using something like a pair of citizen 40watt 12x12's. I convinced myself 3 citizen 60watt 18x18 would be out of budget, hard to do the same if the 2 40's is going to put more useful light on my plants than my current system for 2/3 the price of the Ray 2. (fwiw considering using a meanwell ELN ballist. It will require wall wart for a 10v source - but will want that for a fan(s) anyway).

A tired mind request others input.
Just a follow up. Ray 2 should be arriving Friday. I might continue work on the citizen for another tank - but I did not feel that I could realistically collect the parts and assemble a diy project before I started loosing plants.

james1542 11-14-2012 11:06 PM

I'd suggest go to ebay and search for LED flood light. Depending on how much light you want.. there is anything from 10watts all the way up to 160+ watts.. They are pretty efficient too, producing around 90 lumens per watt. Most of them use SMD led's now I'm starting to see some using the CREE led. I am trying out the 30WSMD, it's bright enough, love the shadows it casts, and the shimmer when you have rippling water on the surface.

jgc 11-19-2012 03:21 PM

Well, I posted the pictures in my tank's blog. Time will tell how the spectrum agrees with the plants. It is not as much light as my old 250watt hqi. Hard to tell if it is more or less than 1/2 of my old 2xodno t-8 system (I was running 2 shop lights till one was shorted and caught on fire).

It is enough light to make the aquarium look good in person. It is a very attractive fixture. Likewise I simply do not have the time to maintain the tank as an EI extreme high tec anyway. So this this change is inline with many others I have made to the tank.

Anyway, some magic maybe, but does not violate laws of physics.

jgc 11-26-2012 04:12 PM

Did not take time for good new pics (quick pics are in the tanks blog) - but very encouraging 1 week growth with the Ray II.

jbrady33 11-26-2012 04:18 PM

Hard to go wrong with a Ray 2, you will be happy with it (and yes, much lower energy usage)

TexasCichlid 11-27-2012 07:20 PM

I read the title of the thread in the voice of Celine Dion.

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