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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Company: BuildMyLED
Website: http://www.buildmyled.com
Product: Pre-Configured Freshwater Planted LED Fixture
  • 48" Fixture
  • 75 Degree Lens
  • Freshwater Planted LED Layout
  • $269 USD

I have been doing a great deal of research on LED fixtures as soon as I saw the price tag to replace my PC bulbs on my Coralife 4x65W fixture. After extensive research and with the help of everyone here (thanks!) I narrowed it down to the BuildMyLED fixture.

For re-assurance I decided to give Nick Klase, (Co-Founder & CEO of BuildMyLED.com) a call to get some more details. I was blown away by Nick's desire to help the customer. Not only was he extremely polite and great to talk to, he knows lighting inside and out!

After explaining my tank and requirements to Nick, we quickly came to a design that would suit my needs. I went ahead and ordered a single 48” fixture with a 75 degree lens using the pre-configured freshwater planted option. It was built (In the USA) and shipped the very next day!

(I placed the order late in the evening which is the only reason it didn’t ship the same day)

I received the package a few days later, it was packaged very well. The first thing I noticed while taking it out of the packaging was how well it was built. This was not a cheap fixture made in China. Great care and attention to detail was put into the fabrication of the fixture.

I throw it on my tank and was even more impressed with the performance of the fixture. The shimmer was just gorgeous compared to my old PC fixture. The fixture has been online 4 days now and the plants have responded wonderfully to it! My swords have new growth at a much more rapid pace.

All in all I highly recommend this fixture to anyone that wants to upgrade to an amazing LED fixture. It also is great to support a USA based company!

Here is the LED layout for 12" of the fixture. It is then repeated for each additional 12" of the fixture.


Here is the performance data about the fixture, all of this data is available in realtime when you configure a fixture on the buildmyled.com site.
Estimated Electrical Watts: 71.9
Radiometric Watts: 19.3
Wall Plug Efficiency: 27%
Lumens: 4496
Lumens per Watt: 62
CIE X-Coordinate: 0.304
CIE Y-Coordinate: 0.263
CCT: 8535
CRI: 77
PPF (micromoles/sec): 88.3
PPF Efficacy (PPF/Watt): 1.2

Wavelength Summary
  • Blue (400 – 499nm): 30%
  • Green (500 – 599nm): 31%
  • Red (600 – 699nm): 37%
  • Far Red (700 – 750nm): 2%



I will post some pictures below, please ask me anything about this fixture.
I will do my best to answer promptly.

Thanks for listening!

Overview Shots:



Here is a comparison between my old power compact fixture and the new LED fixture:


Color Profile:


Color Profile Data:


Side Profile:
 

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Hey Ronald,

I'm curious about the color, and I know pictures aren't always accurate. Would you describe it as pinkish?

I have pc lighting with 6700k and the pink Catalina plant grow bulb. The pink bulb alone doesn't suit my tastes, but the mix is terrific...a full white light that makes reds pop. So where would you say this one stands?

Secondly, is your tank high tech, and, if so, does the strip put you in high light territory? I'm trying to light a 54 gallon corner tank (which sucks to light) and am wondering if a 24" up front and a 12" in back would give me high light and adequate coverage.

Again, though the pics didn't show up on this thread, the tank looks awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Careful not to review the actual vendor but the product itself.

Would love to hear more about PAR data and cost of the fixture. What about warranty? Any other specifics and technical data about the fixture?
While I agree you should not review the company it should play an important part into the decision. The fixture itself is top notch and so is the company behind it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm curious about the color, and I know pictures aren't always accurate. Would you describe it as pinkish?
It is slightly pink as you can see by one of the overview shots on the wall. That said when looking at the tank itself, it does not have a pinkish hue.

I have pc lighting with 6700k and the pink Catalina plant grow bulb. The pink bulb alone doesn't suit my tastes, but the mix is terrific...a full white light that makes reds pop. So where would you say this one stands?
I would say this fixture is a good mixture. The key here is the red and the blue for photosynthesis but a majority of 5700k LEDs for a more neutral white look. I absolutely love it. I would say it falls within a similar color profile as your described fixture.

Secondly, is your tank high tech, and, if so, does the strip put you in high light territory? I'm trying to light a 54 gallon corner tank (which sucks to light) and am wondering if a 24" up front and a 12" in back would give me high light and adequate coverage.
High Tech
  • 5lb Pressurized CO2
  • Apex Jr. Controller
  • Med-High Light
  • Auto Fert Dose

My tank is a 75G 48x18x21.

You might be able to get away with doing something like that. Give Nick a ring to see what he recommends. He might find that a 90 degree 24" and a 45 degree 12" will do the trick.

The high tech show tank on their site is 2x fixtures. One 90 and one 75 degree lens fixture.
 

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Are LED fixtures suitable for low tech tanks with low light plants? (no Co2) I love the idea of adding shimmer to the tank. American made is a HUGE plus in my book.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Are LED fixtures suitable for low tech tanks with low light plants? (no Co2) I love the idea of adding shimmer to the tank. American made is a HUGE plus in my book.
Absolutely, all the light performance ratings are listed when you configure a fixture on their site in realtime. If in doubt give Nick a call and let him know about your tank and ask what he recommends. He is a lighting guy and wont recommend anything that is going to be overkill for your low tech tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks! Maybe I can get a 6' light made for my 125...
Looks like they only make up to a 48" on their site.
Give them a call to see if they can do a longer one.

You might be better off making a square and doing something with a little more direct light than 75 degrees. I could be wrong though.
 

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"That said when looking at the tank itself, it does not have a pinkish hue" is exactly what I wanted to hear. How much surface disruption do you need to create the shimmer effect that you say is so nicely pronounced. My co2 goes into my filter, so I don't want waves at the surface.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
"That said when looking at the tank itself, it does not have a pinkish hue" is exactly what I wanted to hear. How much surface disruption do you need to create the shimmer effect that you say is so nicely pronounced. My co2 goes into my filter, so I don't want waves at the surface.
I actually don't have too much surface agitation. There is some for sure and the shimmer is more pronounced there. If you have movement but not waves it will shimmer. I definitely do not have any splashing at the surface.

I will take some pictures tomorrow when the light is on and upload a video of the surface movement and shimmer.
 

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A couple of you guy's questions relating to PAR can be found here:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=197270

^^That one is the 12" version but all length models are the same, just with multiples of the same board in a longer housing. ;)

As for color, I have a simular spectrum and it's pinkish. That being said, I would add bit green if I were to do it again. I got to see their show spectrum in person in and the green helped everything pop and tone down the pink.

Here's the configuration of my 36":






And my 12"





I like the color of my 36" better as it's not as pink, but if the plants are happy, I'm happy. :)
 

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I actually don't have too much surface agitation. There is some for sure and the shimmer is more pronounced there. If you have movement but not waves it will shimmer. I definitely do not have any splashing at the surface.

I will take some pictures tomorrow when the light is on and upload a video of the surface movement and shimmer.
My water is always lower then it should and mine shimmers like crazy. It's a nice effect. :)
 

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You know, I'd love to have a LED fixture for my 20L that would mimic the AQUASKY spectrum. I may need to get up with these folks. Their prices don't look bad at all and the customer service looks legit from the two reviews I've read.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You know, I'd love to have a LED fixture for my 20L that would mimic the AQUASKY spectrum. I may need to get up with these folks. Their prices don't look bad at all and the customer service looks legit from the two reviews I've read.
For what you get the prices are incredible IMHO.

For example, replacement bulbs for my PC was going to run my ~100 bucks.
In addition to that it was costing me ~100 bucks to run my PC yearly.

I can easily justify purchasing a new fixture for my tank that does not need bulb changes and uses 1/4 the power.
 

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ronald,

I like my light hanging a little higher. Maybe like 10" above my tank and I have a 29gal and a 20 gal I have plans for to switch to LED setup. That being said, the footprint is approximately 30" in length and about 12" wide for both. Overall distance from the 10" overhang to the bottom of my substrate is about 26". Do you think they have something that would provide medium light that will enable me to grow all the stems that I am growing now? In your experience, what is the growth rate like compared to your older fixture?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
ronald,

I like my light hanging a little higher. Maybe like 10" above my tank and I have a 29gal and a 20 gal I have plans for to switch to LED setup. That being said, the footprint is approximately 30" in length and about 12" wide for both. Overall distance from the 10" overhang to the bottom of my substrate is about 26". Do you think they have something that would provide medium light that will enable me to grow all the stems that I am growing now? In your experience, what is the growth rate like compared to your older fixture?
Growth rate has increased due to better spectrum for the plants. I would say 10% faster but that is by no means scientific analysis.

More importantly there is new growth on plants that originally wouldn't grow.

The addition of CO2 two weeks before the light also helped growth.

If you are raising it up you would want a more focused lens, that is my assumption at least.

I would rate these are med level of light from a visual point of view but the efficiency and performance would be closer to a high. IMHO.
 
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