pros and cons of LEDs
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:31 AM   #1
babydragons
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pros and cons of LEDs


Ok so me and my boyfriend have been looking at LED lighting. He really wants to buy one but can't find enough benefits of LED to justify spending so much money. So our question is what are the pros and cons of LED lighting?

Edit: Just want to clarify this would be for a freshwater tank
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:50 AM   #2
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its cheaper in the long run. problem solved.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:51 AM   #3
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Its a product of a more advance technology. LEDs are much more sufficient from bulbs.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:19 AM   #4
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Now that I have them over one tank I won't go back to T5 tubes.

However, I would advise you take a critical look at the size tank and decide what your commitment is to that size. If you have a 20L but, know you want to go to a 70gl.... wait. There is little benefit getting a LED fixture that will last 5-7years if you don't plan to keep that size tank that long. Used aquarium equipment is basically worthless.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:33 AM   #5
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Consider wattage/electric savings.
Over 1-2 years you'll end up saving money on electric.

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Old 11-25-2012, 04:41 AM   #6
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LED's
Pros
- On a properly made LED light, they should last 5+ years vs needing to replace every 6 months like T5HO
- Use less power
- Less heat generation

Cons
- There's no standard on converting watts into lumens, so you need to google a bit to find out what brand of LED light is giving you the level of output you are looking for
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AquaPipes View Post
LED's
Pros
- On a properly made LED light, they should last 5+ years vs needing to replace every 6 months like T5HO
- Use less power
- Less heat generation

Cons
- There's no standard on converting watts into lumens, so you need to google a bit to find out what brand of LED light is giving you the level of output you are looking for
Agree, 100%.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:08 AM   #8
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As said above, mostly greater efficiency, lower heat generation, and longer bulb life.

Plus, you don't need a reflector.

As to the bulb life, amazon has fugeray listed at ~40,000 hours. thats something like over 4 years, constantly on.

A typical light cycle will probably extend that to something in the range of 8-12 years useful lifetime, but a lot of that depends on how well the led's are cooled, and whether they are under or overpowered, etc.
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Old 11-25-2012, 11:16 AM   #9
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Led
Pros...
Thin and sexy profile
Lower power consumption
Depending on the model, medium to high light now possible with the RayII
Runs cooler than t5ho, ESP in summer.
Now available in 6500-7000 Kelvin spectrum.

Cons...
Slightly higher price than t5ho lamp.
Tall tanks may require a second fixture to achieve the same par rating as t5ho lamp.
Limited stock but plenty of vendor options.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:06 PM   #10
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Another con: some people (like me) just don't like how the light they produce looks aesthetically, so before you fork over the big bucks spend some time seriously looking at high-end LED lit tanks vs. high-end non LED lit tanks to make sure you're happy with the LED look.

Unless you run a ridiculous number of lights you shouldn't base your decision on power savings, since LED's will produce negligible savings (in financial terms) over an efficient non-LED system. But as for the coolness factor, LEDs kick everything else's butt.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:02 PM   #11
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T5 fluorescents generally dont need replacing every 6, 9 or 12 months. They need replacing when they fail.

Plants adapt well enough.

I use T5 and Led on different tanks. Youve got to get the right led unit, dont opt for cheapo makes. One of the downsides of leds can be colour rendition vs T5s.

There are mid range units comparable in price to good T5 units.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:27 PM   #12
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Leds are known to give the shimmering effect to the tank which i like. And lots of the leds have the lunar leds.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
....Unless you run a ridiculous number of lights you shouldn't base your decision on power savings, since LED's will produce negligible savings (in financial terms) over an efficient non-LED ....
I don't agree, 40,000 to 50,000 hours is a long time even if you are running one 1 duel T5 fixture. Even it if that isn't sufficient, the replacement cost of T5 tubes along justifies the LED initial cost. Even more true as LEDs become more popular and prices continue to drop
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:01 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DogFish View Post
I don't agree, 40,000 to 50,000 hours is a long time even if you are running one 1 duel T5 fixture. Even it if that isn't sufficient, the replacement cost of T5 tubes along justifies the LED initial cost. Even more true as LEDs become more popular and prices continue to drop
Last time I did the math for converting my large fixtures to LED (two years ago), the power savings was small enough that it would have taken over a decade to offset the added expense. I don't doubt that LEDs have continued to get more efficient and cheaper, and I don't deny that the savings can eventually add up to offset the higher initial expense when replacement costs are taken into account, I just think the savings angle gets over-hyped.

The actual reduction in the power bill an average hobbyist can expect is probably still pretty negligible - you'd probably get as much or more savings by just cutting the power to all your electronics when you're not using them (the stupid "stand by" setting everything is made with these days is not the same as being "off").

As to replacement costs - I guess that depends on what you're using. I don't know anything about T5s, but I use power compacts and they can be run until they die (mine average 5-6 years) and then replaced for around $30 (for 96W).
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Old 11-26-2012, 12:10 AM   #15
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I am noob here, so take what I write with a grain of salt.

I was really having a hard time figuring out which type of light to buy for my 55g. I knew I wanted plants, so I needed at least moderate power. One of the things that sold me on the LED fixtures was the lack of heat (or less heat anyway). You don't need fans, you don't need to worry about placement so much. The shimmer effect looked awesome too.

After buying a LED fixture (moderately priced one), it still does throw off a good bit of heat, but it's manageable without fans and nothing will burn. Also, 36watts of LED is more than sufficient lighting for most things in my 55g long tank...it's high light for sure. And I don't have to worry about those bulbs that can break and need to be replaced. I like that there is no glass, and the low profile of the light is very easy to work with.

I am at the point now that I wouldn't do anything but LEDs on my tanks, and my new 10gallon is testament to this. This is using cheap LEDs for a low light low tech betta tank, and it's really working great.
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