Should I even bother with LED? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-08-2018, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Should I even bother with LED?

For a nano tank should I bother with a LED light or should I just use a cheap CFL bulb
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-08-2018, 11:08 PM
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As LED have gotten better and cheaper, the question becomes more logical. But before we can really make a better decision, some things about the tank will help. Size is one as that changes the cost factor but also shape as odd shapes require odd solutions and deep tanks may need much stronger light. Does and LED reach the bottom better than CFL? Depends. Also does the lower cost of CFL upfront but less time before needing a bulb make a big difference to you? Upfront cost can be radically different on some tanks as a CFL may be as simple as screwing in a bulb in a lamp already on hand while LED might require shopping and buying a new fixture. More info on the tank and how you might view the idea? I like CFL but that is because I have them!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 09:19 AM
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The best thing I think about LED is the huge range of control you can have.

I personally am in love with the Fluval nano freshwater light you can connect to an app and set up sun rise, colour temp and such. Plus it should last a long time, realistically 3-5 years I would think so at £80 that is £16 pound a year. plus you would probably spend close to that on bulbs.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-21-2018, 12:02 PM
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Another thought on CFL vs LED: heat.

For a 1gal nano setup I have, I started with a CFL desklamp bulb, and things grew well. I switched to an LED bulb, though, because the CFL put out too much heat. That nano didn’t have the water volume to maintain temp, so the day/night fluctuations were huge. The LED fixed that, and still grew plants well.
And, I no longer cooked my fingers when I needed to move the light for maintenance etc.


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I can only grow plants when they're completely under water. Everything else is doomed.
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