Double Bright LED vs Reef Capable
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:28 PM   #1
smokaah
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Double Bright LED vs Reef Capable


I see that marineland LEDs look very similar. The reef capable has a lot more leds on it than the double bright.

Is it worth the extra money to buy a reef capable one for a fresh water planted tank? I'm assuming there is a lot more output.

Thanks
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:43 PM   #2
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My LFS was using the reef capable light on a frag tank and it seemed to be doing okay. The light it gives off is nice looking but I don't know if any PAR readings have been done for the lights yet to give you an estimate into how much light you would have.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:44 PM   #3
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Problem here is color rendition. May be too blue for a planted tank. This is noted in the sticky.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:23 AM   #4
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I think you can get by with one or more Double Brights. The person here appears to be using them and the tank looks spectacular.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:18 PM   #5
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Marineland is also coming out with a Plant Capable LED light. It's similar to the Reef Capable, but the lights are colored to be good for plant growth instead the blue/actinic look you get with reef lighting. It's supposed to be out this month.

For comparison, I have one 60" Double Bright light on my 55 gallon and I'm getting good growth from all of my plants. They are easy growing plants, but they seem to be doing great. I am tempted, however, to either get the Plant Capable system when it comes out or get another Double Bright and go "topless". The two Double Brights should put out about the same amount of light as one of the Plant Capable lights of the same length.
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:09 PM   #6
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I just bought the 18" double bright for a half-10 that I'm setting up, and I'm less than thrilled. The LEDs are so widely spaced that it winds up being like six small spotlights. I have suspended the light 4" above the tank, and even at 10" from the substrate there are clearly defined circles of light on the bottom. Worse than that is that this tank is only going to have floating plants, so my lighting is now concentrated in 6 2" circles on the water's surface. My problem really isn't one of brightness but of the optics that they chose for the LEDs, they are very narrow, perhaps 45 degrees. On a deeper tank and with more LEDs this might not be an issue.
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonpatterson View Post
I just bought the 18" double bright for a half-10 that I'm setting up, and I'm less than thrilled. The LEDs are so widely spaced that it winds up being like six small spotlights. I have suspended the light 4" above the tank, and even at 10" from the substrate there are clearly defined circles of light on the bottom. Worse than that is that this tank is only going to have floating plants, so my lighting is now concentrated in 6 2" circles on the water's surface. My problem really isn't one of brightness but of the optics that they chose for the LEDs, they are very narrow, perhaps 45 degrees. On a deeper tank and with more LEDs this might not be an issue.
I don't feel like you're using it as you should be. They can't spread the beam that much so it covers the whole surface, it would greatly reduce the effectiveness at the substrate.. Why not just use a stock light, makes no sense.

Seeing both of them, the reef one is substantially brighter, but as noted above the color might not be proper
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:25 PM   #8
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All of the Double Bright fixtures shorter than 36" have janky spacing issues and are, really, low-quality when it comes to producing lighting.

I have the spotlighting issue with the 24" fixture but not the 36" fixture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonpatterson View Post
I just bought the 18" double bright for a half-10 that I'm setting up, and I'm less than thrilled. The LEDs are so widely spaced that it winds up being like six small spotlights. I have suspended the light 4" above the tank, and even at 10" from the substrate there are clearly defined circles of light on the bottom. Worse than that is that this tank is only going to have floating plants, so my lighting is now concentrated in 6 2" circles on the water's surface. My problem really isn't one of brightness but of the optics that they chose for the LEDs, they are very narrow, perhaps 45 degrees. On a deeper tank and with more LEDs this might not be an issue.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:57 PM   #9
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As noted above, the shorter length fixtures are significantly lower quality than the longer ones. This is readily apparent from the par readings, the values significantly go up as the length does.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TWA View Post
I don't feel like you're using it as you should be. They can't spread the beam that much so it covers the whole surface, it would greatly reduce the effectiveness at the substrate.. Why not just use a stock light, makes no sense.
In what way is using a lighting fixture that was made for a 10 gallon tank at a distance that would be appropriate for a 10 gallon tank not as intended? I clearly said that the beams are still spotlights at the bottom of the tank at 10" distance. That is the problem, they've built the fixture using LEDs that are both relatively weak and too few in number and tried to correct it by using very narrow optics. As I also wrote, this might not be a problem in a deeper tank or with more LEDs (i.e. a longer fixture.)

I never wrote or implied that the light should cover the entire surface of the tank; I'm not sure where you got that from. However, it is useful to know that at 4" from the fixture, or roughly 8" from the bottom of a 10 gallon tank, the lights are so concentrated that unless a plant happened to grow into one of the six small cones of light that they do provide, it would effectively not receive any illumination.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:44 AM   #11
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Look up the Finnex ray 2. I was leaning towards Marineland but I think I'm gonna get the finnex now.
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