LED Lights Question / Thoughts / Opinions......

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FishGuy456

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Was at a couple of big box pet stores recently, looking for a LED light for a 55 Gal. The prices in my opinion were outrageous. I saw prices in the upper $125.00 range and higher for the Fluval, which works with an App on your phone.

My question are these.

1- What brand of LED lights do most of you use, and what do you recommend?
2- Is there anywhere else I can go to purchase them, as opposed to paying the ridiculous prices being offered by the big box stores?
3- Have any of you tried the versions being sold on Amazon? Are they programmable? Are they any good?
4- The dimensions for a 55, as most of you know is 48''. I've seen shorter versions of these lights (30'') for a lot less, will it work?
I know it will light up the interior of the tank but, will it be enough for the live plants?
 

the loach

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I use led strips with good quality high CRI leds. They are not targeted at aquaria and therefore very cheap. Maybe $20 for 6 ft (for medium light you need at least 2 per ft) Aquarium specific leds are too expensive, weak, and almost always lack specifications, so you don't know what you're getting.
 

FishGuy456

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I use led strips with good quality high CRI leds. They are not targeted at aquaria and therefore very cheap. Maybe $20 for 6 ft (for medium light you need at least 2 per ft) Aquarium specific leds are too expensive, weak, and almost always lack specifications, so you don't know what you're getting.
I like the idea of that...Can you post pics on here showing some and how its installed on your aquarium? Also, are yours strictly on / off or is it programmable?
 

Sprinkle

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High cri is no necessary. I use desk lamp with day light bulb with low IP & CRI and plants do seem to grow like crazy. Check ur home for any desk lamp that is easy in use (all of them r but okay... 0.0) & get cheapest u can finds bulb that has the following:

6500k (if ya can find higher one than will b betters)
At least 500 lumens but always higher is betters.

This will cost u less than $25 or less than $5-$10 [$20 + additional $ for adapter for light strips). Led strips r useless and to expensive IMO.
 

FreshyFresh

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For a standard 4ft 55gal, the sky is the limit. There's tons of 4ft LED shoplights and strip lights you can find at home/hardware stores.

Other than that, as much as I like to shop my LFSs, I don't buy any hardware from them. Mail-order is the way to go for aquarium lighting. I've got a few no-name 48" LED aquarium strip lights and a Current Satellite LED+ Love them all. Nicrew brand off Amazon seems to be very popular these days.
 

the loach

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I like the idea of that...Can you post pics on here showing some and how its installed on your aquarium? Also, are yours strictly on / off or is it programmable?
I don't have any pics, but you don't need them it is so simple... they are led strips, it is a tape that you can just stick to your hood, or your old fluorescent fixture.


You need a 12 or 24 volt adapter (depending on the strip), I just have it on a $2 or $3 timer. Now these strips can be very cheap (like 12 ft for $10) do not get those. There are strips with very high quality that are just a little more expensive (±6 ft for $20) but still a fraction of the prices you listed, and they are more than worth that. Now the difficult part is led sellers hide poor specifications for leds. Look for a led strip with both a color temperature of 6500K and a CRI of 90+.
This will beat any light in how natural and bright the colors of your fish look, and will grow plants great.
For a 55 you need about 4000 Lumen for low light and 8000 for medium light plants... so depending on that it will cost you in the $20-$50 range.

High cri is no necessary. I use desk lamp with day light bulb with low IP & CRI and plants do seem to grow like crazy. Check ur home for any desk lamp that is easy in use (all of them r but okay... 0.0) & get cheapest u can finds bulb that has the following:
The "Dougall advice" is barely advice, but just knocking in open doors. When people ask for advice, they want to know what is the best value for money, not just "whatever".
I have yet to meet anyone that wants a low CRI light when I show the difference in one of my tanks. It will grow plants better as well, due to the spectrum being closer to sunlight.



6500k (if ya can find higher one than will b betters)
At least 500 lumens but always higher is betters.
Wrong in both cases. Higher isn't better for the color temperature, and also not for Lumen (that is tied to the type of plants, and the tank size/depth)
 
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Sprinkle

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Wrong in both cases. Higher isn't better for the color temperature, and also not for Lumen (that is tied to the type of plants, and the tank size/depth)
Pliz do explain y my plants already grow faster????
Foo the flowerhorn uses only 18w 6500k CLF light with low CRI i suppose and hes plants grow like bunch of mad mans???
 

the loach

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If I remember correctly you had a very weak light (CFL?) to begin with. Increasing the wattage will of course grow plants better as before. I think Dougall will agree with me CFL's are the worst lights you can get. They are not economic, powerful and have the lowest CRI of any lamp. Why would you want to be recommended the worst of the worst? Take a look at the comparison I posted above. In water it becomes more obvious. The lights I recommend are a very high light quality for a great price.
 
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FreshyFresh

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A lot of poor generalizations being thrown around here. Here is an example of a tank I had with nothing more than two 9 watt 6000K CFLs over it. Zero ferts. Zero CO2 added. It depends what plants you have and how close they are to the light source to name just a few things. This was a 10g setup I had some years ago. The light could look like absolute crap to the human eye. If it's pumping out radiation your particular plants can use is all that matters.

 
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the loach

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Which is the poor generalization? Doug is right that about any light will grow most plants, if you have enough of it. But that's not advice for someone who wants to know what the best light is. Why recommend someone the worst light you can find, just to make a point it can grow plants as well, or possibly save $2 or $3?
It is just a fact that CFL's have a terrible CRI. Most people want an aquarium because it is beautiful, to look at the fish. Why would you want to recommend them a low CRI CFL?

 
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