TruLumen Pro LED 24" 8000K PAR values
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Old 10-17-2012, 05:08 PM   #1
i4x4nMore
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TruLumen Pro LED 24" 8000K PAR values


Hi All,

I recently purchased several TruLumen Pro 8000K 24" LED strip lights. I've never used LED over a tank before, but loved the look of the extremely minimal profile of these lights! Have a look at TruLumen's product info here.

At any rate, I placed three of them over a ADA 60cm x 30cm x 45 cm tank - I purchased three because I wasn't sure what kind of light output and coverage I would get. After setting things up, I thought I would post my PAR values and general comments concerning the lights...

PAR Values:
Using a bare tank filled with water, the distance of the lights to the sensor at the bottom of the tank was about 19in. (48cm). The water depth was roughly 16in. (40cm).
  • 1 x 24in. = 40-50 umol/m2/s
  • 2 x 24in. = 70-110 umol/m2/s
  • 3 x 24in. = 100-160 umol/m2/s

General comments:

  • My first impression is that the lights are well made
  • One thing I liked was how the LEDs go to the VERY END of the light strip. So you get full coverage across a 24in. tank.
  • I wasn't excited about the color temperature (CCT) of 8000K. I would prefer 4000K for aesthetics, but they do not offer it.
  • Temperature-wise, the lights also run pretty cool. After several hours of operation, I could easily wrap my hand around the strip light. It was moderately warm, but not hot.
  • The lights CAN be daisy chained together using the built-in pig-tail connectors on the lights (which dangle off the ends). You do not necessarily need the 3-way splitter that is sold separately. However, you may choose to use the splitter so that all your electrical is interfaced from the same end of each LED strip. In my opinion, the aesthetic of the light is somewhat compromised by having the pig-tail daisy chain connectors dangling off both ends of the fixture. However, you can minimize their appearance by coiling them up neatly using zip ties and then tucking them under the light (if you are using the mounting feet).
  • It was tricky to mount the strip lights onto the separately sold mounting feet. Each mounting foot is secured into place via a very small screw. On the top of the light strip, there is a small groove running the full length of the light, so the mounting foot can be positioned wherever you need it. However, the small screw was very difficult to screw into the groove. I eventually had to pre-drill a small hole using a 1/16in drill bit. It didn't take much, but I was leery about drilling into the top of an already very thin structure housing the LED strip.
  • Altogether, the lights were not cheap... but how many nicely designed, off-the-shelf, aquarium lights are cheap?!? I spent close to $400: Three 24" strips, one 24V transformer (operates up to three 24" strips), one 3-way splitter, and 3 pair mounting feet.
  • I do like the fact that if you were running a low light tank, you could easily get way with just one of these LED strips. With its low profile, the effect over a rimless tank is very nice... your eye goes to the tank, not a bulking light fixture...
I know there will probably be requests for photos... Unfortunately, I didn't not take any during setup. However, installation looks very similar to the pictured light on the TruLumen Pro website.... except they must have digitally removed the electrical connectors for the promo shot. I can understand why... it does change the aesthetic.

Cheers,
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Last edited by i4x4nMore; 10-18-2012 at 03:51 AM.. Reason: Specified that the PAR sensor was at the bottom of the tank
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:37 PM   #2
chunkychun
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i4x4nmore, thanks for the great info! got the 36 in for similar reasons. Just curious did you get the dimmer?

Also glad to see you are back! Your CFL post and images were awesome!
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chunkychun View Post
i4x4nmore, thanks for the great info! got the 36 in for similar reasons. Just curious did you get the dimmer?
No, no dimmer. At the time I was buying the lights, I couldn't even find all the separately-sold parts on one website. I did see a dimmer by Current-USA, but it was for a different 12" LED product of theirs. After taking the PAR readings however, I don't feel the need to dim them - two strips give me the lighting range I want for this tank. And with the third, I now have a spare for the eventual day that one of them goes bad.

But, now, if you can point me to a non-DIY digital controller that I can use to programatically dim the lights up at sunrise, and dim them down at sunset, I would be interested in that.

One day, I may make one using an Arduino controller but I'm not in a position to be very DIY at the moment. But people have been making RGB LED controllers to do fun stuff with LED light strips. It seems pretty simple to use the Pulse Width Modulation outputs of the board and write some simple code to do what I want.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chunkychun View Post
Also glad to see you are back! Your CFL post and images were awesome!
Thanks! Appreciate it.

Cheers,
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Last edited by i4x4nMore; 10-18-2012 at 03:56 AM.. Reason: Missing word
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