T5 vs LED - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 96 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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T5 vs LED

Currently I run LED lights on my tanks, AI prime freshwater on 1 and an SBreef on the other. They work fine but it seems like all the really great tanks on here are using T5HO

I am planning on buying a 72 gallon tank from Waterbox and thought I might switch to T5HO. That is until I started looking for bulbs. I'll be damned if I can find anywhere that has a good selection in stock
Was thinking a purple, a truelumen flora, power veg 660 and one more but I couldn't find a single source to get all

Add on to that I don't REALLY know what I'm looking for and I'm stuck

Where do y'all get bulbs? Any recommendations? I've also considered trying harrisseeds.com/products/41698-4-active-grow-4-tube-red-bloom-spectrum-t5-ho-led-fixture with 2 widespectrum but then I'm right back at LEDs and that kind of defeats the purpose...
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Last edited by aqua_rob; 10-24-2019 at 07:51 PM. Reason: fix link
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post #2 of 96 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 07:43 PM
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I've had the same thoughts as well. It seems like the members who have tanks that really pop with vibrant and contrasting colors are using T5HO, but the efficiency of LED's is also really appealing.


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post #3 of 96 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varanidguy View Post
I've had the same thoughts as well. It seems like the members who have tanks that really pop with vibrant and contrasting colors are using T5HO, but the efficiency of LED's is also really appealing.
Has nothing to do w/ LED vs t5 just spectrum vs spectrum..
silly marketing blurb to sort of show the point..
Same tank different "spectrum's" of LED.


Doubt if anyone would have an issue w/ this tank..



https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/light-3pillars.html

https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/light-t5vsled.html

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Last edited by jeffkrol; 10-24-2019 at 08:32 PM. Reason: edit
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post #4 of 96 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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No question there are a few LED lights out there that can produce amazing tanks but they seem to be the exception. There are few if no examples from members here on this forum
Jeff what is your opinion of the harris fixtures/leds linked above? How would spectrum compare to standard T5HO?
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post #5 of 96 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aqua_rob View Post
Currently I run LED lights on my tanks, AI prime freshwater on 1 and an SBreef on the other. They work fine but it seems like all the really great tanks on here are using T5HO

I am planning on buying a 72 gallon tank from Waterbox and thought I might switch to T5HO. That is until I started looking for bulbs. I'll be damned if I can find anywhere that has a good selection in stock
Was thinking a purple, a truelumen flora, power veg 660 and one more but I couldn't find a single source to get all

Add on to that I don't REALLY know what I'm looking for and I'm stuck

Where do y'all get bulbs? Any recommendations? I've also considered trying harrisseeds.com/products/41698-4-active-grow-4-tube-red-bloom-spectrum-t5-ho-led-fixture with 2 widespectrum but then I'm right back at LEDs and that kind of defeats the purpose...
I am one of the T5HO guys, don't think I'll ever switch out to an LED unit. Couple of reasons, first I do not like the "shimmer" that LED's create. Second, as you mentioned T5's have been proven by many including myself to grow plants well. Now all these nice tanks you talk about are not due to just the T5 lighting, trust me when I say a lot of work goes into these tanks you speak of. So don't think switching to T5 is going to instantly create a show tank!

As for where to get bulbs. Of course online, and some of the American guys can help you source them. I'm in Canada and buy all my bulbs including the Power Veg bulbs from my local hydroponics shop.

This is the combination I am running and have run for a while now. Works for me.....
Front to Back
Power Veg UVFS
Power Veg 420
Power Veg 633
2700K




Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Has nothing to do w/ LED vs t5 just spectrum vs spectrum..
Doubt if anyone would have an issue w/ this tank..
Just remember the fixture in the above photo is a BML LED and are no longer available. It was and probably still is the gold standard when it comes to LED's for planted tanks. If you can find a used one be prepared to pay the same price as when it was new.
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post #6 of 96 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aqua_rob View Post
No question there are a few LED lights out there that can produce amazing tanks but they seem to be the exception. There are few if no examples from members here on this forum
Jeff what is your opinion of the harris fixtures/leds linked above? How would spectrum compare to standard T5HO?
"Standard" t5ho (ie 6500k based) are about equivalent to the current breed of RGB led's..
now the catch is certain shortcomings of leds part in a lack of a broad based blue range.




Typical "high" CRI 6500k lamp
https://www.carnivorousplants.org/gr...escentLighting


As to what might be considered "common" among t5 users (w white/cool white/blue/red tube mixes) so it gets more
err complicated..


The "white" LED one is low K, the other is typical "full spectrum" diodes w/ royal blue pump and a broad spectrum red phosphor.




That light will grow things just fine. Combined low k R/B led will look OK but at a 2:1 ratio of white/r/b
1:1 is OK too..
Most LED people using those "full spectrum" reds suggest pairing w/ higher K whites like 10,000K to look more..err natural
but that's a natural look not a "punchy" look..



Personally I don't buy into "ballast run" LEd's and non-dimmable.
and you don't seem to get a mix/match choice so only this one would be useable on a visual perspective:

https://www.harrisseeds.com/collecti...ho-led-fixture


to be honest.. I'd go w/ 2-3 custom light bars from Orphek..
to be real honest, I'd just build my own..
https://orphek.com/or-bar-led-light/
Only need 2 to match wattage..3 is a bonus..
See fun thing about LEd's is the fact that they are lensed.. No hood really needed..
Sadly, those 48" bars run $180 plus I believe you need to add $10 to get them customized..
Truthfully, too expensive for non-dimmable bars.

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post #7 of 96 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by slipfinger View Post
I am one of the T5HO guys, don't think I'll ever switch out to an LED unit. Couple of reasons, first I do not like the "shimmer" that LED's create. Second, as you mentioned T5's have been proven by many including myself to grow plants well. Now all these nice tanks you talk about are not due to just the T5 lighting, trust me when I say a lot of work goes into these tanks you speak of. So don't think switching to T5 is going to instantly create a show tank!

As for where to get bulbs. Of course online, and some of the American guys can help you source them. I'm in Canada and buy all my bulbs including the Power Veg bulbs from my local hydroponics shop.

This is the combination I am running and have run for a while now. Works for me.....
Front to Back
Power Veg UVFS
Power Veg 420
Power Veg 633
2700K






Just remember the fixture in the above photo is a BML LED and are no longer available. It was and probably still is the gold standard when it comes to LED's for planted tanks. If you can find a used one be prepared to pay the same price as when it was new.
Thanks and good call on the hydroponics store, here I've been sitting for hours searching online for bulbs and there's a hydroponic store just down the road from where I work
Looking on their website they have the powerveg 420 and 633. Not sure on the other 2 but I'll be going to see them tomorrow
Thanks

As to the miracle of lighting I understand it's just one component of keeping a beautiful tank, I feel like after the last couple of years working at it I've really dialed in the ferts and CO2 but these damn LEDs just haven't been doing it for me or so I suspect

Jeff thank you for that info. I'm fairly ignorant on lighting and it's nuances so seems it would be a smart decision for me to go with the trusty T5HO option

Last edited by aqua_rob; 10-24-2019 at 10:40 PM. Reason: edit
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post #8 of 96 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 11:00 PM
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Hey no problem, I have more against how LED fixures are "designed" than about LED vs t5..

Quote:
Power Veg UVFS
Power Veg 420 basically
Power Veg 633
2700K
It's all in the spectrum..
https://eyehortilux.com/wp-content/u...NMpvHTL-UV.png
https://eyehortilux.com/wp-content/u...NMpvHTL-UV.png
https://eyehortilux.com/grow-lights/...powerveg-fsuv/
Quote:
ANSI RG-2: CAUTION

Product emits UVA and UVB rays. Possible skin or eye irritation can result from exposures exceeding 30 minutes when working less than 8 inches from the lamp. Use appropriate skin and eye protection.

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post #9 of 96 (permalink) Old 10-24-2019, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Hey no problem, I have more against how LED fixures are "designed" than about LED vs t5..



It's all in the spectrum..
https://eyehortilux.com/wp-content/u...NMpvHTL-UV.png
https://eyehortilux.com/wp-content/u...NMpvHTL-UV.png
https://eyehortilux.com/grow-lights/...powerveg-fsuv/
No worries, I always wear my sunglasses and sunscreen when ever Im working on the tank.
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post #10 of 96 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 02:11 AM
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Not to beat a dead horse, but it's sort of fascinating..

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post #11 of 96 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 02:29 AM
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I wish sb reef light had just a little better color. What I see in pics always looks too neony....or something. Those units are getting close to being a good show tank light, some good tanks already have them
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post #12 of 96 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 02:58 AM
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I wish sb reef light had just a little better color. What I see in pics always looks too neony....or something. Those units are getting close to being a good show tank light, some good tanks already have them

Seems they don't (or I missed it) post their spectrum anymore..


But I did find this thanks to the infinite memory of the internet..Need more channels and really, one can do w/ less if you use better diodes..

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post #13 of 96 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by slipfinger View Post
I am one of the T5HO guys, don't think I'll ever switch out to an LED unit. Couple of reasons, first I do not like the "shimmer" that LED's create. Second, as you mentioned T5's have been proven by many including myself to grow plants well. Now all these nice tanks you talk about are not due to just the T5 lighting, trust me when I say a lot of work goes into these tanks you speak of. So don't think switching to T5 is going to instantly create a show tank!

As for where to get bulbs. Of course online, and some of the American guys can help you source them. I'm in Canada and buy all my bulbs including the Power Veg bulbs from my local hydroponics shop.

This is the combination I am running and have run for a while now. Works for me.....
Front to Back
Power Veg UVFS
Power Veg 420
Power Veg 633
2700K






Just remember the fixture in the above photo is a BML LED and are no longer available. It was and probably still is the gold standard when it comes to LED's for planted tanks. If you can find a used one be prepared to pay the same price as when it was new.
I just flat out agree with every single thing said above.

Most of the best tanks I follow still use T5.

And that's not just here, it's all over the world. It seems to be a common denominator.

Not to say you can't have a great tank with LED. But to get the coverage, PAR, color, and plant growth from LED is a major investment. T5 is easy to set up and it just flat out works.

And like Burr and Slipfinger said, no question it is more pleasing to my eye. Warmer and no shimmer.

But who knows, maybe I am just an old fuddy duddy........but I am pretty sure that very soon T5 will be like tube amps, vinyl, and Polaroids........all the cool kids will be wanting them!!!!

P.S. PM me for sources of bulbs


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post #14 of 96 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Not to beat a dead horse, but it's sort of fascinating..
https://youtu.be/na63U1aQixo
You're not beating a dead horse. You're repeatedly (thank you!) trying to get people to stop spreading misinformation about light-emitting diodes.

It really is all about spectrum.

Anyone who thinks LEDs are too expensive should check prices and quality from a decade ago - was a nightmare then. My mind is constantly blown on a daily basis now that fixtures are better, cheaper and more attainable.

Some people are just always going to be set in their ways and resistant to change.

For those who dislike the shimmer effect: there are ways to mitigate that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aqua_rob View Post
No question there are a few LED lights out there that can produce amazing tanks but they seem to be the exception. There are few if no examples from members here on this forum
That's... what? Would encourage you to actually put in a bit of effort and read through some of the thousands of tank journals here, on YouTube, other social media channels before making such a wild claim.

I know you don't mean it as a joke but I certainly got a good laugh out of it. Plenty of amazing tanks lit by LEDs that produce equal or better results.
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post #15 of 96 (permalink) Old 10-25-2019, 07:40 PM
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Plenty of amazing tanks lit by LEDs that produce equal or better results.
This all comes down to personal preference of course. You might think a tank is amazing be it T5 or LED I might think it sucks.

I like "dutch" tanks and I have yet to see in my opinion too many great dutch tanks full of demanding stems grown with LED..
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