LED Incandescent Replacement Bulbs? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-07-2011, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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LED Incandescent Replacement Bulbs?

Is anyone trying or planning to try the new LED bulbs designed to replace incandescent bulbs? http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/0...ghtbulbs/all/1

I was reading that Philips have a decent 60 watt replacement bulb (uses 12.5 watts) for $40. Switch are coming out with a 60 watt replacement this fall which uses 10 watts and will retail for $30. They will have a 100 watt replacement bulb out by February as well

That still makes them a bit pricey, especially as it takes three 60 watt replacement bulbs to equal the lumen of one T8, but prices will come down relatively quickly I'm sure.

These bulbs however are designed to shine light in all directions so you'd still need a reflector to use them for aquariums.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 12:16 AM
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The PAR30 and PAR38's are in heavy use especially over reefs. I've seen a few planted tanks here and there as well. 6500K white LED PAR30s and PAR38's are particularly pleasing.

They use the same edison base as incandescents.


The forms you linked to are the types that are designed to scatter light over a broad range--- as you mentioned, and therefore NOT a good choice for us when we have so many directionally oriented LED lights. No need for extra reflectors with the PAR30/PAR38 bulbs.

The optics on LEDs are probably going to be a LOT more effective than a reflector wrapped around the incandescent-shaped LED bulbs.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 02:36 AM
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If you get the narrow angle spot lights ~30į, the lumen output will be concentrated within the illumination cone and not spread in all directions like a T8 so less might be more in this case. For the same reasons you won't need any reflectors, but a shade to block the lights from direct view will help reduce the side glare of the LEDs. I plan on hanging mine as individual pendants from an adjustable track on the ceiling.

Steve


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 10:13 AM
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Choose the PAR and MR 16 bulbs, they come with lens and can increase the intensity a lot.
With proper lens, in an aquarium environment, every 1 watt of LED can replace 2.5-3 watts of T8.

Here are some PAR values I charted for your reference.
Thefirst one is 6,700K suitable for planted tank
http://www.flickr.com/photos/5175109...57626054771511
The second one is 12,000K Super White suitable for SW fowlr tanks and SW refugium
http://www.flickr.com/photos/5175109...57626054771511
The 3rd one is suitable SW fish and coral mixed tanks
http://www.flickr.com/photos/5175109...57626054771511

For planted 3 to 4 15x1W can cover a 48" tank for almost any plants you wanna grow.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-08-2011, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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That's quite a useful PAR chart.

My guess is that these bulbs I linked to, generally aren't that much more advanced than say the PAR 38 bulbs, even if they are liquid cooled, though they do offer uni-directional light.

The one thing there is that I'm admittedly not that crazy about suspended lights over an aquarium, which puts me in the minority here, but I don't happen to like any light spillover whatsoever. So ideally I'd like to provide most of the lighting from sources right along the inside front rim. I suppose a row of these bulbs, with reflectors on the two sides above and in front of them would therefore suffice and result in good an attractive light spread. But I suppose there are still better and more discreet ways of achieving the same thing.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-09-2011, 04:54 PM
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Most of the lights that are designed to scatter light are actually quite a bit less efficient than some PAR38 and PAR30 bulbs.

The reason is that the "scatter" type lightbulbs use larger numbers of tiny LEDs, 1 watt or 1/3 watt (or anything in between). Typically, these are quite a bit less efficient than many of the 3-8 watt LED dies.

There's nothing magical about the 3-8 watt size LED, it's just that technology right now develops the most efficient LEDs you can get in this size (Cree XML for example, or XPG or XRE, all of which are more efficient that most of these tiny LED emitters).



Your idea of putting these in a close-fitting hood, using a reflector, is not a bad idea at all, but this can also be replicated using LED's with no optics at all. They put out (normally) a light spread that's around 120 degrees, which is quite wide.


My 11g tank is 36" long (and 9" high and wide), and it has a small hood that sits directly on the tank, and has 14 Cree XPG running at 500mA. No light spill at all, and no optics. Looks wonderful. It is, though, a DIY job and a bit more complicated than the edison-base option.


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