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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I first started out I had only heard and seen pictures of amazing aquariums and aquascapes. I took home a 60p with just 3 big rocks, some fine gravel and a few java ferns expecting to make a great design like on the pictures. Obviously it didn't take long before I figured out that I was severely lacking in everything. So I went out and joined local communities and placed way too many ads. Somehow I ended up with 5 kg of basically every rock and stone available, a piece of most the popular woods and a wide range of plants. Some of these plants looked astonishing on pictures, deep vivid red leaves and densely branched out stems. I took out everything and designed and made a new a scape. A week or so passed and the beautiful red plants all turned green and some even withered and started to die. I once again reached out to the local communities and that's where my problems really started.

The community explained how lighting influenced plant growth and coloration. Apparently stronger lights meant being able to grow red plants. Still, having no experience I asked how I would know if my lights were strong enough for the plants I had. "Take 0,5 watt per liter and you have low light, 0,75 for medium and 1 watt per liter for high light" Alright, 1 watt per liter meant that I could grow lush red plants. I bought lights with the correct amount of wattage and placed them above the aquarium. For a long time I believed that this was the golden rule for picking lights.

While my plants did get reddish, the problem was that I was growing more algae than plants. I figured that I was still doing something wrong in maintenance and started looking into fert regimes and co2 influence. It was only then that a guy a on YouTube mentioned something called lumen per liter. A whole new world opened up to me and I delved into studies, forums and videos that helped me understand this foreign concept. After weeks of researching I ended buying an HPL DIY lights with what I calculated was to give 65 lumens per liter. HPL DIY lights are big in Indonesia due to the lack of variety and quality in factory built lights. I started getting less algae and after a while I was "algae free" but my plants still didn't reach deep red coloration. I chalked it up to me making a mistake in the calculation somewhere or the diodes having less lumens than advertised.

This brings us to the here and now. Recently I figured out that lumens also do not cover everything when calculating what kind of lights I need. It is instead a steady PAR rating across the tank and an ideal 80 PAR reading at the carpet. Now I do not have the budget to buy a PAR meter unfortunately so I can do not much more then guess in that aspect. I did however also discover that I need a full color spectrum in the correct wavelengths and in the right Kelvin range!

So now I am suspecting that my 12,000 Kelvin white LED lights are not doing anything useful for my plants. I read a lot on the topics and watched quite a bit of videos covering the material as well. Still I have a lot questions that I cannot find a specific answer to and I was hoping that this tight-knit community could help fill in some blanks!

For example, I read that 5,000 to 6,500 Kelvin emulate the midday sunlight the best. Midday sunlight is basically what we strive for in the full spectrum lights. So does this mean that all white LED's that fall between those Kelvin levels are automatically full spectrum?

I found that full spectrum lights come in blurple and pink next to the white. Apparently the white LED's are the least efficient when compared to the other 2 with blurple being the most efficient. While white lights are more visually pleasing to the eye they lose more of the useful lights. I believe this to be true as a lot of articles say the same, but how much do you really lose? Is it an significant amount or negligible?

I am planning to try and modify a light myself with the information I have and what I hope to learn from all of you. I will be a very standard light, aluminum heatsink, pcb heatsinks for the LED's stuck to the aluminum heatsink with thermal tape and thermal paste between the pcb and the LED. It will be a 60watt light with 60 diodes of 1 watt with 90 degree lenses and a frosted acrylic panel to disperse the light. I added a very simple drawing below of how I want to place the lights, any advice there would be greatly appreciated as well!

1032855


Sorry for the long read and I want to thank you all in advance for all the help!
 

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Just curious, why did you decide to build the lights yourself? I think you might be setting yourself up for (yet another) can of worms. Personally, I decided that it was a better use of my time and money to buy an off-the-shelf lighting solutions, i.e., planted aquarium specific grow lights or LED bulbs.

Can you give more info on your tank set up? Are you EI dosing? Are you using CO2? What are you using to dose micro-nutrients, particularly Iron (Fe)?
If the triad for plant growth is >Light<>CO2<>Nutrients<, adequate dosing and CO2 will take you farther than lighting. In fact, too much light will always be the reason for algae. Even if you have those 80PAR, not having enough Fe will still limit that red coloration you want.

Getting back to lighting, I used the Rotala Butterfly | Planted Aquarium Light Calculator to estimate PAR. I used LED bulbs made for growing plants and so I was assured that the wavelength distribution was sufficient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just a heads up. There seems to have been a glitch in the matrix. You have posted this 5 times. ;)
Wow, you're right. I thought the thread wasn't posted at all. I kept getting error message as I tried to post it. I'll take down the other threads, thanks for letting me know!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Fixed it for you!
Thank you! Though I feel bad for the guy that already posted on one the other threads. I'll find his user and mention him here instead.

@Greggz I saw that you replied to my thread but somehow the thread got posted 5 times in row. The mods were kind enough to delete the duplicates but I did lose your reply. If it's not too much trouble would you mind posted it again here?
 

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Thank you! Though I feel bad for the guy that already posted on one the other threads. I'll find his user and mention him here instead.
There unfortunately wasn't a way to merge his comment without causing this thread to go haywire. Had to pick the one with the most comments to save. Feel free to shoot me a PM if anything else goes wrong and we'll get it cleaned up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just curious, why did you decide to build the lights yourself? I think you might be setting yourself up for (yet another) can of worms. Personally, I decided that it was a better use of my time and money to buy an off-the-shelf lighting solutions, i.e., planted aquarium specific grow lights or LED bulbs.

Can you give more info on your tank set up? Are you EI dosing? Are you using CO2? What are you using to dose micro-nutrients, particularly Iron (Fe)?
If the triad for plant growth is >Light<>CO2<>Nutrients<, adequate dosing and CO2 will take you farther than lighting. In fact, too much light will always be the reason for algae. Even if you have those 80PAR, not having enough Fe will still limit that red coloration you want.

Getting back to lighting, I used the Rotala Butterfly | Planted Aquarium Light Calculator to estimate PAR. I used LED bulbs made for growing plants and so I was assured that the wavelength distribution was sufficient.
Factory made, off-the-shelves lights are incredibly limited here in Indonesia and even more so in Bali. We start at lights from "brands" such as Yamato on the lower end level and have Kandilla on the medium end level. The problem is that those are all incredibly cheap lights of which the medium end still only costs about 10 dollars because they are, at best, OEM level lights with no support center, website or additional information to be found on the company anywhere online. Then we immediately jump the very high end Twinstar SA model or Chihiros WRGB 2 that start at 250 dollars and are unfortunately way out of my budget. I'd love to buy the Chihiros at some point but would need to save up for quite a while to get one for all 3 tanks.

All my tanks are set up with full soil and mixed in with ADA Bacter 100 and Tourmaline BC. They are all running pressurized CO2 on 25mg/l, my drop checkers are nice and green as soon as the lights go on and stay that way throughout the day. I turn CO2 on 2 hours before I turn on the light and I turn it off an hour before lights out. The lighting period is 7 hours a day and I follow the EI dosing regime using macro and potassium 1 day and micro the next. I use Ferti One fertilizer because here too I am incredibly limited in options, available ferts here are either ferts from Indonesia or the ultra high-end ADA ferts. The tanks use RO water with Seachem Equilibrium to balance the GH/KH again.

I'll add some pictures below from my current tanks. The driftwood setup is still only a month old and is going through a diatom bloom so I'll use a picture from when I first set it up.

Plant Water Organism Grass Aquatic plant
Plant Purple Water Organism Aquatic plant
Plant Flower Water Botany Purple


As you can see I do have some pretty good red in there but those very undemanding ludwigia and some Alternanthera Reineckii. The carpets are really struggling to grow in healthily and even simple plants, among red plants, like the hygrophila Polysperma and some Rotala are barely displaying red hues.

Just curious, why did you decide to build the lights yourself? I think you might be setting yourself up for (yet another) can of worms. Personally, I decided that it was a better use of my time and money to buy an off-the-shelf lighting solutions, i.e., planted aquarium specific grow lights or LED bulbs.

Can you give more info on your tank set up? Are you EI dosing? Are you using CO2? What are you using to dose micro-nutrients, particularly Iron (Fe)?
If the triad for plant growth is >Light<>CO2<>Nutrients<, adequate dosing and CO2 will take you farther than lighting. In fact, too much light will always be the reason for algae. Even if you have those 80PAR, not having enough Fe will still limit that red coloration you want.

Getting back to lighting, I used the Rotala Butterfly | Planted Aquarium Light Calculator to estimate PAR. I used LED bulbs made for growing plants and so I was assured that the wavelength distribution was sufficient.
I just tried the calculator that attached, it seems to work quite well. This could definitely help get rough estimates for when I build the lights!

There unfortunately wasn't a way to merge his comment without causing this thread to go haywire. Had to pick the one with the most comments to save. Feel free to shoot me a PM if anything else goes wrong and we'll get it cleaned up.
Yeah no worries, already mentioned him by name here and will let you know if something goes wrong again.

As a super mod and over a decade under your belt you must bursting with knowledge by now. Any advise for me on the lights?
 

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@Greggz I saw that you replied to my thread but somehow the thread got posted 5 times in row. The mods were kind enough to delete the duplicates but I did lose your reply. If it's not too much trouble would you mind posted it again here?
Well I can summarize. Looks like the post is gone.

IMO, you are making this more complicated than it needs to be.

LED's have come a long way. A few years ago, DIY was a good way to go. Today you can get both high PAR and good color with many. Chihiros LED wrgb-ii is a good example.

Having good spectrum is not only good for plants, it affects the way our eyes percieve the tank. Has much more impact than most realize.

That being said I am a fan of T5HO. But you can have a great tank with either.

All that being said, light is only one component of a planted tank. There is also CO2, fertilization, maintenance, and horticulture. When you see a really spectacular tank, there is a LOT more going on than the light fixture.

Just saying don't get fixated on light. Study up and pay attention to everything else as well.

Good luck with the tank and I look forward to seeing where it goes from here.
 

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So another thing to do to get an estimate on par is to use a lux meter or lux meter app on the smart phone. Once you know lux you can divide by 80 to get a rough idea of par.

Also keep in mind that 1) some photos you see of crazy red plants are in fact photoshop'ed or otherwise edited. 2) Some plants you get brand new that are red have been grown out of water and have different characteristics when grown emersed. 3) The light you use should have some red leds in it not necessarily because red plants will grow more red under red light, but because red plants reflect red light so if you shine red light on them they will 'appear' more red.

The difference between running crappy leds on my shallow tank and running a twinstar were night and day as far as the vibrancy of colors were concerned. This is not because twinstar is the end all be all of lights but because it uses a good number of different colored leds and they did a good job of bringing out the different colors in my tank.

If making your own light look for leds with a CRI of 90+ to get the best out of your colors. Don't use burple. All that stuff about them being more efficient is leftover knowledge from the dawn of leds when they didn't know how to make white leds properly. It's a non issue today but people still buy burple lights because they think they are needed/better but this is not the case.

Good luck!
 

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While my plants did get reddish, the problem was that I was growing more algae than plants. I figured that I was still doing something wrong in maintenance and started looking into fert regimes and co2 influence. It was only then that a guy a on YouTube mentioned something called lumen per liter. A whole new world opened up to me and I delved into studies, forums and videos that helped me understand this foreign concept. After weeks of researching I ended buying an HPL DIY lights with what I calculated was to give 65 lumens per liter. HPL DIY lights are big in Indonesia due to the lack of variety and quality in factory built lights. I started getting less algae and after a while I was "algae free" but my plants still didn't reach deep red coloration. I chalked it up to me making a mistake in the calculation somewhere or the diodes having less lumens than advertised.

This brings us to the here and now. Recently I figured out that lumens also do not cover everything when calculating what kind of lights I need. It is instead a steady PAR rating across the tank and an ideal 80 PAR reading at the carpet. Now I do not have the budget to buy a PAR meter unfortunately so I can do not much more then guess in that aspect. I did however also discover that I need a full color spectrum in the correct wavelengths and in the right Kelvin range!

So now I am suspecting that my 12,000 Kelvin white LED lights are not doing anything useful for my plants. I read a lot on the topics and watched quite a bit of videos covering the material as well. Still I have a lot questions that I cannot find a specific answer to and I was hoping that this tight-knit community could help fill in some blanks!

For example, I read that 5,000 to 6,500 Kelvin emulate the midday sunlight the best. Midday sunlight is basically what we strive for in the full spectrum lights. So does this mean that all white LED's that fall between those Kelvin levels are automatically full spectrum?

I found that full spectrum lights come in blurple and pink next to the white. Apparently the white LED's are the least efficient when compared to the other 2 with blurple being the most efficient. While white lights are more visually pleasing to the eye they lose more of the useful lights. I believe this to be true as a lot of articles say the same, but how much do you really lose? Is it an significant amount or negligible?





Sorry for the long read and I want to thank you all in advance for all the help!
A lot to unpack.
Yea high light and/or low nm spectrum (blue/deep blue/violet/uv) seem to encourage pigment formation.
Then you need enough red to "express" that pigment to you eye.
Amount of algae depends on how well the tank is balanced between light/CO2/Ferts.

I suggest you go through this a bit as a guide:

To show the difference between creating pigments and showing pigments see #206
Tubes, leds ect. the spectral composition can drastically change your "perception" of red
as long as the pigments are present.

so as to your DIY fixture (I assume that is a simple 55 diode circuit board for Bridgelux diodes.)
you may want to reconsider white diodes or RGB = white diodes..

A lot will depend on what you want it to look like..
White aren't the "least efficient" by much but white leds w/ blue plus yellow phosphors are the least "showy"
High CRI whites can give you a better natural look w/ out err "faking" colors.

Play with this a bit..and tell me more about your DIY light like drivers and channels.

DIY and you can go way outside the box..
Sorry miscounted your orig board. Thought it was the "standard" 55 diode board like on the Vipaspectra and other Chinese black boxes..
Anyways for fun:
1032878


YOUR 60 diodes with corrections..Keep in mind these are just estimates.
1032879


Not sure what color choices you have but here is a bit wider pallette.

Yea keep in mind the "full spectrum" is usually royal blue emitter plus red phosphors..
You can use the full spectrum LEDs..
1032880


Lux to par..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well I can summarize. Looks like the post is gone.

IMO, you are making this more complicated than it needs to be.

LED's have come a long way. A few years ago, DIY was a good way to go. Today you can get both high PAR and good color with many. Chihiros LED wrgb-ii is a good example.

Having good spectrum is not only good for plants, it affects the way our eyes percieve the tank. Has much more impact than most realize.

That being said I am a fan of T5HO. But you can have a great tank with either.

All that being said, light is only one component of a planted tank. There is also CO2, fertilization, maintenance, and horticulture. When you see a really spectacular tank, there is a LOT more going on than the light fixture.

Just saying don't get fixated on light. Study up and pay attention to everything else as well.

Good luck with the tank and I look forward to seeing where it goes from here.
I honestly hope I'm not because I am grasping at straws at this point. I mentioned this in an earlier reply so I'll copy paste it here again to make it easier.

All my tanks are set up with full soil and mixed in with ADA Bacter 100 and Tourmaline BC. They are all running pressurized CO2 on 25mg/l, my drop checkers are nice and green as soon as the lights go on and stay that way throughout the day. I turn CO2 on 2 hours before I turn on the light and I turn it off an hour before lights out. The lighting period is 7 hours a day and I follow the EI dosing regime using macro and potassium 1 day and micro the next. I use Ferti One fertilizer because here too I am incredibly limited in options, available ferts here are either ferts from Indonesia or the ultra high-end ADA ferts. The tanks use RO water with Seachem Equilibrium to balance the GH/KH again.

Buying a Chihiros would be amazing but very far out of my budget, I have 3 tanks running and I can't spare 700 dollars to buy them.

At this point I spend hours upon hours researching CO2 influence, ferts, regimes and maintenance. I applied the knowledge I gathered to my tanks and even do a monthly full water parameter check at my LFS to see if I need to tweak my dosing regime. Still I have no luck growing lush carpets and bright colored lights, so lights are the only thing I can still think of that are not performing as needed.

So another thing to do to get an estimate on par is to use a lux meter or lux meter app on the smart phone. Once you know lux you can divide by 80 to get a rough idea of par.

Also keep in mind that 1) some photos you see of crazy red plants are in fact photoshop'ed or otherwise edited. 2) Some plants you get brand new that are red have been grown out of water and have different characteristics when grown emersed. 3) The light you use should have some red leds in it not necessarily because red plants will grow more red under red light, but because red plants reflect red light so if you shine red light on them they will 'appear' more red.

The difference between running crappy leds on my shallow tank and running a twinstar were night and day as far as the vibrancy of colors were concerned. This is not because twinstar is the end all be all of lights but because it uses a good number of different colored leds and they did a good job of bringing out the different colors in my tank.

If making your own light look for leds with a CRI of 90+ to get the best out of your colors. Don't use burple. All that stuff about them being more efficient is leftover knowledge from the dawn of leds when they didn't know how to make white leds properly. It's a non issue today but people still buy burple lights because they think they are needed/better but this is not the case.

Good luck!
I did read about the lux to par conversion but also read that it is very inaccurate? Have you ever tried to do the conversion and check it with a PAR meter? One of the biggest problems I find is that a lot articles mentioned some kind of conversion formula, product A being better or worse than B and so on. It bugs me that none of them mention how much better or how accurate the conversions are. Having a percentage rate on error margin would greatly influence our final calculations.

I know that a lot of pictures are either edited or made in just the right light but my red plants, outside of the Ludwigia, are displaying nothing but red hues. The majority of plants we get here come straight out of some else's tank or a plant farm. Though I read up on the plants I want before buying them so I can generally tell apart the emersed and submerged forms. My current lights have RGB in them as well just not as many as I'd like.

I know my writing and drawing is really bad but did you see the drawing? What do you think of that layout and the balance between the white and the RGB? I did base the drawing on the layout of the Chihiros WRGB 2 and the Twinstar SA.

To be very honest, I was never planning on using the blurple or the pink lights. I think they look really ugly. Was hoping to see if someone knows how much less efficient the white diodes are so I can adjust my layout and calculations. You already answered that by stating that those are facts from a bygone era so thank you for that, really appreciate it!

A lot to unpack.
Yea high light and/or low nm spectrum (blue/deep blue/violet/uv) seem to encourage pigment formation.
Then you need enough red to "express" that pigment to you eye.
Amount of algae depends on how well the tank is balanced between light/CO2/Ferts.

I suggest you go through this a bit as a guide:

To show the difference between creating pigments and showing pigments see #206
Tubes, leds ect. the spectral composition can drastically change your "perception" of red
as long as the pigments are present.

so as to your DIY fixture (I assume that is a simple 55 diode circuit board for Bridgelux diodes.)
you may want to reconsider white diodes or RGB = white diodes..

A lot will depend on what you want it to look like..
White aren't the "least efficient" by much but white leds w/ blue plus yellow phosphors are the least "showy"
High CRI whites can give you a better natural look w/ out err "faking" colors.
This is great! Thanks for all the information and links. I'll read through the articles and posts later as it is a lot to digest. The post from Hendy (#206) is a great reference point to show the difference and impact lights can have! I do not understand the Spektra link very well, is this used to create color combinations? I am guessing the idea is to have a good evenly balanced spectrum show up on the graph?

Yes I am suspecting that my current lights are creating a massive unbalance. Everything is set up to support high lights but the lights are now using:

45 diodes of 12,000 Kelvin white led
5 diodes of royal blue
5 diodes of deep red
5 diodes of green

The white LED's are definitely not full spectrum and their Kelvin levels are way too high as well. So I'm afraid that more than half of my lights are just for show and don't do very much for the plants. If this is correct, my tank is set up to support high lights but the lights themselves, even though they are 60 watt, are only giving enough useful radiation for a low light tank.

I take you didn't see the drawing or my handwriting is so bad no one but me can read it. I'll post it again here:

Rectangle Font Wood Handwriting Pattern


This is basically how I want the layout to be, full spectrum white around the outside with the RGB in the middle. It will have 60 Epistar diodes, those are best available diodes here, of 1 watt each spanning 5 rows, with each row having 12 diodes. It will run on a 36 watt and a 24 watt driver over 2 channels, allowing me to choose to run the light on either 36 watt, 24 watt or the full 60 watt. The middle 3 rows will be on 1 channel and the outter rows on the other channel. Though I won't actually run it on anything other than the full 60 watt. So I might change it to a 1 channel with a single 60 watt driver.

I don't have a certain preference on how I want the tank to look nor do I have the proper knowledge and experience to tweak the lights to that degree. So I will go for a more standard look that prioritized plant growth. As soon as I achieve good, lush plant growth and gain more knowledge and experience with lighting I do want to look into other options in terms of how lights can alter the perception of the eye.
 

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All the visible spectrum is used by plants.
Your high k diode choice is just err " color dulling".

My second chart is based on your orig. layout with ratio corrections so to be more colorful.
Though I did use plain red and blue not deep red and royal blue. Those changes would not be insignificant though.
Yes Spectra can simulate your diode choices but of course there are variables to consider including diode quality .
I can' t get it to work on android so keep that in mind.

You can use yours but I'd mix warm white and cool whites rather than rely on one k temp white. That boosts your red content.

Intensity is more important than spectrum.
Spectrum is more for looks.
Yes a generization but an important distinction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
All the visible spectrum is used by plants.
Your high k diode choice is just err " color dulling".

My second chart is based on your orig. layout with ratio corrections so to be more colorful.
Though I did use plain red and blue not deep red and royal blue. Those changes would not be insignificant though.
Yes Spectra can simulate your diode choices but of course there are variables to consider including diode quality .
I can' t get it to work on android so keep that in mind.

You can use yours but I'd mix warm white and cool whites rather than rely on one k temp white. That boosts your red content.

Intensity is more important than spectrum.
Spectrum is more for looks.
Yes a generization but an important distinction.
The second graph? I can only see one graph. I did manage to get to work, I'm on Android as well I think, just added 33 6,5k daylights with 11 royal blue, 8 deep red and 6 green. I get this as a result but I don't actually know what this means.

1032882


Should I try to get as close to dotted line as possible?
 

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The second graph? I can only see one graph. I did manage to get to work, I'm on Android as well I think, just added 33 6,5k daylights with 11 royal blue, 8 deep red and 6 green. I get this as a result but I don't actually know what this means.

View attachment 1032882

Should I try to get as close to dotted line as possible?
You must have a "sun" checked on Any purple line I see is what is being used in the calculations.
Also in " setup" change the graph from REEF to FRESH .
Currently the dotted line is the spectrum at like 10 meters in the ocean .

BEAM is generally 90 or 120.

You should eventually get something like this:
1032886
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You must have a "sun" checked on Any purple line I see is what is being used in the calculations.
Also in " setup" change the graph from REEF to FRESH .
Currently the dotted line is the spectrum at like 10 meters in the ocean .

BEAM is generally 90 or 120.

You should eventually get something like this:
View attachment 1032886
You're right, I had "Sun" checkes in Item menu. Changed it to Cree and LED now and the graph changed to this.

1032889


I tried to change it to fresh but stays stuck on reef for some reason. I still don't really know how to read this and what my goal should be. Was your graph an example or what I should strive for?

You must have a "sun" checked on Any purple line I see is what is being used in the calculations.
Also in " setup" change the graph from REEF to FRESH .
Currently the dotted line is the spectrum at like 10 meters in the ocean .

BEAM is generally 90 or 120.

You should eventually get something like this:
View attachment 1032886
I took a look on your profile and you are definitely the man to talk to when it comes to DIY lights! Hope you don't mind me asking so many questions.
 

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I took a look on your profile and you are definitely the man to talk to when it comes to DIY lights! Hope you don't mind me asking so many questions.
I'm just the noisiest one.. ;)

What one wants is dependent on a number of factors and what is important is also err "personal"
Here is a pattern that covers most of the major factors.
Area 1 is where most find appealing.. sort of like the old growlux flourescent tubes
Area 2 is more reef like but still usable as this is where your current light falls.
Area 3 is a green enhanced region that is popular with say ADA tanks i.e heavy green centric.
CRI total is only the average of the first 8 bars.
It's becoming obsolete.
Tone is what you may see on a white wall and gives an overall picture of prominent wavelengths.

1032891


I won't produce a chart but this is what I meant by a ww/cw mix..
* MIXING LIST
----------------------------------------
LED Blue (470nm) x6
LED Green (530nm) x7
LED DeepRed (660nm) x14
LED CoolWhite (8000K) x22
LED WarmWhite (3000K) x11
----------------------------------------

* SIMULATION DATA
----------------------------------------
Luminous flux : 4,990 lm
Radiant flux : 18,486 mW
PPF : 86.3 umol/s
TCP : 5780 K
CRI : 95
λp : 663 nm
Color : #FFD7CE
----------------------------------------

* PERFORMANCE @ 60cm & 90° (compulsory)
----------------------------------------
Irradiance : 16.3 W/m²/s
Illuminance : 4,412 lx
PPFD : 76.3 umol/m²/s
----------------------------------------
I picked plain blue over royal blue because rb is in the whites which you have a lot of.
Royal blues blue up a tank rather rapidly.
Mostly a matter of opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm just the noisiest one.. ;)

What one wants is dependent on a number of factors and what is important is also err "personal"
Here is a pattern that covers most of the major factors.
Area 1 is where most find appealing.. sort of like the old growlux flourescent tubes
Area 2 is more reef like but still usable as this is where your current light falls.
Area 3 is a green enhanced region that is popular with say ADA tanks i.e heavy green centric.
CRI total is only the average of the first 8 bars.
It's becoming obsolete.
Tone is what you may see on a white wall and gives an overall picture of prominent wavelengths.

View attachment 1032891

I won't produce a chart but this is what I meant by a ww/cw mix..


I picked plain blue over royal blue because rb is in the whites which you have a lot of.
Royal blues blue up a tank rather rapidly.
Mostly a matter of opinion.
Noisiest is fine if you can back it up.

By personal you mean the preferred lighting hues visible to the eye as per example from the post by Hendy you shared? That would make it difficult then... I have a vague idea of what I want. A balance between red and blue would be nice, as long as there is not too much green. When I started looking into color spectrum and the effect it has on growth I came across this study from the department of horticulture of the University of Michigan.

Organism Terrestrial plant Font Line Natural foods


Apparently a 50% green based light fixture would give the best overall growth but I like dense planting so I am leaning most towards the even RBG lights.

After you shared the Spektra link I started looking into the color graph a lot more as well and found this graph.

1032902


They mentioned this to be one the best spectrums to strive for in terms of plant growth only. Do you think this correct? You make your own lights as well right? Do your graphs look similar to this, or does it come down to personal preference again?

You advised not to use Royal Blue as it colors up the tank blue pretty fast and it is included in the whites, of which I use a lot. Should I use less white in favor of RGB?

Also, what is your opinion on the frosted acrylic that many lights use? I want to use it because it is said they fully disperse the light but if you say it is unnecessary it save me a few bucks.

Reading back, those are a lot questions in a row. Sorry about that, just getting excited learning about this.
 

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Noisiest is fine if you can back it up.

By personal you mean the preferred lighting hues visible to the eye as per example from the post by Hendy you shared? That would make it difficult then... I have a vague idea of what I want. A balance between red and blue would be nice, as long as there is not too much green. When I started looking into color spectrum and the effect it has on growth I came across this study from the department of horticulture of the University of Michigan.



Apparently a 50% green based light fixture would give the best overall growth but I like dense planting so I am leaning most towards the even RBG lights.
You can go down all sorts of rabbit holes chasing spectrum. Even adding IR.. BUT many of these effects are species dependent and terrestrials which live in a world that is backward to water plants..
Red = bright under water. B= dark.
Opposite of land plants




They mentioned this to be one the best spectrums to strive for in terms of plant growth only. Do you think this correct? You make your own lights as well right? Do your graphs look similar to this, or does it come down to personal preference again?
* MIXING LIST
----------------------------------------
myData fluencegreen.csv x1
----------------------------------------

* SIMULATION DATA
----------------------------------------
Luminous flux : 4,000 lm
Radiant flux : 12,489 mW
PPF : 57.6 umol/s
TCP : 4260 K
CRI : 77
λp : 448 nm
Color : #FFAB82
----------------------------------------

* PERFORMANCE @ 60cm & 90° (compulsory)
----------------------------------------
Irradiance : 11 W/m²/s
Illuminance : 3,536 lx
PPFD : 50.9 umol/m²/s
----------------------------------------

by SPECTRA 1.0β @ 1.023world
The fluence Greenhouse is a very warm spectrum

You advised not to use Royal Blue as it colors up the tank blue pretty fast and it is included in the whites, of which I use a lot. Should I use less white in favor of RGB?

Also, what is your opinion on the frosted acrylic that many lights use? I want to use it because it is said they fully disperse the light but if you say it is unnecessary it save me a few bucks.
I never said not to use a diffuser AFAICT.
Color blending can be an issue under certain circumstances..
My personal lights used mostly "native" 120 degree spread of the diode itself which is pretty well blended.
If one uses 90 degree lenses the best thing is to get it high enough to blend.
Diffusers are an art in themselves.
My "RGB" use a reflector and all colors inside.
7 small diodes inside a reflector.
My personal choice is never pure RGB. It works, grows stuff and is very punchy in color.
My own preference is DeepRedRoyalBlueCyanAmberLime.
BUT it is pretty much a Specialty and expensive to build.
No harm in borrowing from other fields.
Understanding RGBA vs. RGBW in Two Simple Steps
This is my lights currently. 14W each on full but technically most would dim the red channel (3 deep reds) a bit.
Another variation uses a 405 Violet in place of one deep red.
That puck is one of the the best color rendering at 100% I've built.
The violet 3w diodes is $8 US on it's own. I wasn't planning on using it but tried as a whim.
Unfortunately it is still a one of at the moment.

1032904

1032905


After all of this I'll still caution you on the fact that most spectrum choices are for you not the plants.
There are MINOR tradeoff between growth and color and look.
I ' don't chase red plants but most reds either come from intensity or genetics. There are tricks like nitrogen starvation that make some plants redder and possibly iron.

1032906


I prefer not to build lights that can't be adjusted..
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You can go down all sorts of rabbit holes chasing spectrum. Even adding IR.. BUT many of these effects are species dependent and terrestrials which live in a world that is backward to water plants..
Red = bright under water. B= dark.
Opposite of land plants





* MIXING LIST
----------------------------------------
myData fluencegreen.csv x1
----------------------------------------

* SIMULATION DATA
----------------------------------------
Luminous flux : 4,000 lm
Radiant flux : 12,489 mW
PPF : 57.6 umol/s
TCP : 4260 K
CRI : 77
λp : 448 nm
Color : #FFAB82
----------------------------------------

* PERFORMANCE @ 60cm & 90° (compulsory)
----------------------------------------
Irradiance : 11 W/m²/s
Illuminance : 3,536 lx
PPFD : 50.9 umol/m²/s
----------------------------------------

by SPECTRA 1.0β @ 1.023world
The fluence Greenhouse is a very warm spectrum



I never said not to use a diffuser AFAICT.
Color blending can be an issue under certain circumstances..
My personal lights used mostly "native" 120 degree spread of the diode itself which is pretty well blended.
If one uses 90 degree lenses the best thing is to get it high enough to blend.
Diffusers are an art in themselves.
My "RGB" use a reflector and all colors inside.
7 small diodes inside a reflector.
My personal choice is never pure RGB. It works, grows stuff and is very punchy in color.
My own preference is DeepRedRoyalBlueCyanAmberLime.
BUT it is pretty much a Specialty and expensive to build.
No harm in borrowing from other fields.
Understanding RGBA vs. RGBW in Two Simple Steps
This is my lights currently. 14W each on full but technically most would dim the red channel (3 deep reds) a bit.
Another variation uses a 405 Violet in place of one deep red.
That puck is one of the the best color rendering at 100% I've built.
The violet 3w diodes is $8 US on it's own. I wasn't planning on using it but tried as a whim.
Unfortunately it is still a one of at the moment.

View attachment 1032904
View attachment 1032905

After all of this I'll still caution you on the fact that most spectrum choices are for you not the plants.
There are MINOR tradeoff between growth and color and look.
I ' don't chase red plants but most reds either come from intensity or genetics. There are tricks like nitrogen starvation that make some plants redder and possibly iron.
I am still new to the whole lighting discussion so it's good that I also meet people that kind of go against flow of chasing only perfect spectrum. I also need to apologize, I found a lot of answers to the questions I asked you in the articles you send me.

I can't really see what lights you used in the Spektra Data but I can see the coloration.. It's pretty orange, how does that translate to real lighting and we see it. I played around in Spektra with the combinations but Hendy used but the colors I get from Spektra are very different than the colors you see on the pictures.

I tried a few combinations of colors including multiple blues and reds, royal blue and blue as red and deep red, in the same fixture. I never thought of adding amber the mix, I wanted to try Cyan as well but I can't seem to find it here so I stayed away from that for now. Mixed cold, neutral and warm whites in there too and basically got this.

1032951


1032952


It seems very balanced in the spectrum while slightly leaning to Red to bring out the colors in my red plants a bit more. The end color is leaning more to a slight darkish pink. If I hang my lights at about 25 cm/10" above the tank, how pink will my tank really get? I checked current light fixture,and I get basically get this.

1032953


The color of my tank however looks much lighter and more towards white than purple-ish blue.

If diffusers are art in themselves it probably won't end very well if I just buy a random 2mm plate of frosted acrylic will it?

What kind of light are you using? I've mostly seen strips, bars and t5 fixtures but never light like that..

View attachment 1032906

I prefer not to build lights that can't be adjusted..
Do you mean this in a way that you prefer t5 and DIY/custom LED fixtures where can easily take off and replace lights? Or do you actually prefer the diodes that can change colors?
 
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