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Best LED

Blade7

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So having returned to the hobby recently, for my next project, I’m planning a 60 x 60 x 60 tank, I require a light that can successfully grow a decent carpet at that depth - any ideas.
 

zozo

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Depends on your budget and aesthetic wishes, of course, Kessil light likely will do... If on a budget some descent COB LED floodlights could be adequate as well.

Kessil also uses a strong COB, these LEDs perform best nowadays regarding surface area vs intensity and consumption...

Take a look at this also a very tall tank and using floodlights...
https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/2-000l-high-tech-beast.53176/

There are pretty strong relatively affordable and easy to install DIY COB LED units out there but they absolutely require descent cooling heatsinks and or fans. Depending on your budget and DIY skills there are quite enough options.

But IMHO the easiest and cheapest would be a decent floodlight. :) The best option would be a dimmable version.
 

Siege

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whats your budget?

best light bang for buck - Twinstar S (60cm depth it might be slow with say a hair grass carpet though).

Best light next one up (another league from Twinstar S) - ADA Aquasky RGB

Best light hands down - ADA Solar RGB
 

Blade7

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well that’s the issue, I don’t really fancy spending nearly 4 hundred for the kessil unit unless I really have to and that doesn’t even include the controller, esp if they’re equivalents out there. I do like the idea of floods, but penertaton, spectrum and aesthetics are relevant factors. I also like the Fluval 3.0‘s im using now, but Im looking to be more hands on with this tank and bars get in the way. I’m checking out now the dimmable floods and the ADA
 

Nick potts

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With 60cm depth you are going to need a light with a decent punch to get enough light at the substrate. Most lights are great up to about 30-40cm depth.

As mentioned above, kessils are good for deep tanks, or for a budget alternative you could look at these.

Amazon product
 

zozo

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1 or 2 of these might be an option, according to the reviews not bad and easily dimmable. Not explained with what but I assume he used a phase dimmer... A Variac would work better I guess.

50 watts and +/- 4000 lumen
https://www.banggood.com/50W-COB-LE...?rmmds=category&ID=233511715&cur_warehouse=CN

But as said above you need some punch, and lights with a punch get hot... And one thing LEDs don't like is heat, it will shorten its lifespan.

You could go for a DIY options like this.
https://www.banggood.com/High-Power...tom-viewalsoview__5&ID=48036&cur_warehouse=CN

https://www.banggood.com/50W-5000LM...uytogether-auto&ID=383748036&cur_warehouse=CN

I made a few lights in the past with this kind of COBs the intensity of these lights is unreal. But it runs very hot and realy needs a massive heatsink and there are the minus points massive heatsinks are expensive. But it works with smaller ones too and then it needs a fan cooling. Regarding electronics they are relatively easy to install directly hooked to the main VAC 220 and most can be dimmed with a VARIAC. (Variable AC voltage regulator) The you need some DIY skills fixing it all in a hood. :)
 
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Andy Pierce

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I grow a marsilea carpet with a Kessil "tuna sun" A80 at a distance of 45 cm ( Current setup, Fireplace aquarium ). At a distance of 60 cm, you could get two of the A80s which would give you about the same light at the 60 cm carpet in the region between the lights. The A80 is nice in that it only requires passive cooling so no fan noise or moving parts to break and it doesn't get very hot even on full power. I run it on a simple timer without an external dedicated controller.
 

Blade7

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Sorry for delay and thanks for all the comments, aquarium has arrived from aqua medic and I went for a 55cm height unit instead of 60cm. I’ve looked at the DIY possibilities ie floodlights which is doable, but in the end found a couple of cheaper ( Far East imports I’d say ) lights on eBay and Amazon for around £70 - £90 appx ea. Looks nicer and have a dedicated attachment for an open top aquarium. They’re not dimmable but I can work around that. See my other post on the actual units.

Not sure about them but that’s part of the experiment.

Why oh why are the kessils so expensive !!
 

rebel

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Why oh why are the kessils so expensive !!
Most of the RD you pay for is for the salt water lights. Their freshwater lights are just as a hobby (for them) and it is evidenced by loud fans and poor spectrum for the freshwater lights. It's similar to living in the 90s with a seperate controller for adjustment rather than built in wifi controller.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Most of the RD you pay for is for the salt water lights. Their freshwater lights are just as a hobby (for them) and it is evidenced by loud fans and poor spectrum for the freshwater lights. It's similar to living in the 90s with a seperate controller for adjustment rather than built in wifi controller.

Ran 4 Kessil A160 Tuna Sun units over a 4’x2’x2’ and will say they grow plants really well. By far the most natural shimmer effect of mass produced units in the hobby using LED chips and managed HC and Monte Carlo carpets at 2ft depth. Suited only to green plants because of spectrum but the mixing from the chips is great in that range. Expensive and the gooseneck arms aren’t ideal, but practical for getting lights out of your way.

@rebel ‘s point is more than fair though that they should have treated the freshwater design as a stand-alone rather than adapting their marine equivalent for freshwater. DiCon (the parent company) are far from a startup and make the bulk of their money elsewhere. Creating a freshwater light was purely to have a stake in that market. If you like shimmer though you’ll love Kessils. If you want even PAR/PUR across the footprint of your scape to grow carpet any of the previous options are more efficient.
 

Blade7

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I guess you pay for what you get, the time may come when I’m invested enough to need to purchase a high end light such as a kessil, but if I can get by sufficiently with a much less expensive product, while gaining adequate enough experience to enjoy the hobby, well only time will tell.

I don’t necessarily what if skimp on lighting, but need to balance effectiveness v cost
Now next issue slightly off topic - maybe theres a thread that I can be pointed too - co2 inline diffuser v in tank atomiser, I even found an old ozone reactor from my marine days, which I think I can easily adapt to use an a c02 reactor.
 

oreo57

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I guess you pay for what you get, the time may come when I’m invested enough to need to purchase a high end light such as a kessil, but if I can get by sufficiently with a much less expensive product, while gaining adequate enough experience to enjoy the hobby, well only time will tell.

I don’t necessarily what if skimp on lighting, but need to balance effectiveness v cost
Now next issue slightly off topic - maybe theres a thread that I can be pointed too - co2 inline diffuser v in tank atomiser, I even found an old ozone reactor from my marine days, which I think I can easily adapt to use an a c02 reactor.
What would an AI Prime Freshwater cost you?
Arguably the most cost effective expensive light..
Their sweet spot is more on the line of a 45x 45 cube though.

As to CO2 generally reactor is best, then in line then atomizer
There are factors to consider like filter tube size and type and max regulator pressure..ect..
This one was nice and alleviated me from worrying about an outside plastic unit failing.

I had one that developed crazing and a hole from possibly over pressurizing it.
atom2b.jpg

Grey plastic version never did this.
Actually was why I moved to all "in tank" stuff such as a disc atomizer.
BUT keep in mind that I was running the CO2 at about 45psi at least 10 over "normal".
Tubing was designed and to take that pressure but apparently the plastic wasn't.


I've used 3 different in-lines and 3 different atomizers.. Too lazy to build a good reactor and also don't want more places for accidents.

So a few observations and a suggestion since you are comfortable w/ reactors or more likely more "external reefy stuff"..go w/ one. Plenty of DIY designs to build one on the cheap.

To add a bit of exotica to this there is a CO2 delivery system that is built like an under gravel array using the theory that captured gas bubbles of CO2 are more efficient than dissolution of the gas .

your thread.. take it to where you want it to go..;)

Choose a reactor wisely..

Oh and Bell systems..
 
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Wookii

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I guess you pay for what you get, the time may come when I’m invested enough to need to purchase a high end light such as a kessil, but if I can get by sufficiently with a much less expensive product, while gaining adequate enough experience to enjoy the hobby, well only time will tell.

I don’t necessarily what if skimp on lighting, but need to balance effectiveness v cost
Now next issue slightly off topic - maybe theres a thread that I can be pointed too - co2 inline diffuser v in tank atomiser, I even found an old ozone reactor from my marine days, which I think I can easily adapt to use an a c02 reactor.

You do get what you pay for, you're absolutely right. I'm not personally a fan of the Kessil's - I would agree with @oreo57 the AI primes are far better lights, but there is no disputing the quality of both lights. You dead right too, you have to buy what is within budget, but I'd certainly recommend getting a light that at least has some degree of intensity adjustment otherwise you could find yourself battling algae in short order.

As for CO2, there are plenty of people that have success with in tank diffusers - I personally don't like to see any equipment in tanks so I go inline with a reactor. For the inline I'd recommend the JBL ProFlora unit - it's easy to use and maintain, and has an integrated check valve and bubble counter.
 
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Blade7

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You do get what you pay for, you're absolutely right. I'm not personally a fan of the Kessil's - I would agree with @oreo57 the AI primes are far better lights, but there is no disputing the quality of both lights. You dead right too, you have to buy what is within budget, but I'd certainly recommend getting a light that at least has some degree of intensity adjustment otherwise you could find yourself battling algae in short order.

As for CO2, there are plenty of people that have success with in tank diffusers - I personally don't like to see any equipment in tanks so I go inline with a reactor. For the inline I'd recommend the JBL ProFlora unit - it's easy to use and maintain, and has an integrated check valve and bible counter.
Thanks for that, I agree the only big drawback with these lights was the non dimmable functionality, but for now I’ll try and be creative with photo periods, and staggering / alternating between both units, as well as the usual WC routine. I’m researching the AI primes as they seem a tad more affordable - you recommend them?

any drawbacks to using a diffuser ?
 

Wookii

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Thanks for that, I agree the only big drawback with these lights was the non dimmable functionality, but for now I’ll try and be creative with photo periods, and staggering / alternating between both units, as well as the usual WC routine. I’m researching the AI primes as they seem a tad more affordable - you recommend them?

Yes, the Primes are very good lights - but very powerful - they are quite deceiving, and being a point source light will result in shimmer if you like that (I do).

On the cheap lights, if you can get one that feeds off a 12v power supply, than you might be able to use the S2 Pro controller that is used with the Twinstar and Chihiros LED's.

any drawbacks to using a diffuser ?

Which type?
 

jaypeecee

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Component quality, engineering, R&D, after sales . . .
Hi @Wookii

The only Kessil lighting that I saw 'in the flesh' used tie wraps to tidy up the supply wiring - and these tie wraps were on full view. It looked a mess. They were part of an installation at my local MA. Couldn't believe my eyes and the store manager wasn't too happy either - considering the money he'd had to fork out for these. When I re-equip my 125 litre tank, I'll almost certainly get my lighting from here:


Unless things have changed, I don't believe that Kessil provides much in the way of a technical specification for their lighting products. Compare that with the German company above.

JPC
 

Wookii

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Hi @Wookii

The only Kessil lighting that I saw 'in the flesh' used tie wraps to tidy up the supply wiring - and these tie wraps were on full view. It looked a mess. They were part of an installation at my local MA. Couldn't believe my eyes and the store manager wasn't too happy either - considering the money he'd had to fork out for these. When I re-equip my 125 litre tank, I'll almost certainly get my lighting from here:


Unless things have changed, I don't believe that Kessil provides much in the way of a technical specification for their lighting products. Compare that with the German company above.

JPC

Fair point on the cables, but then cable management has to be dealt with on any light used. I agree that I don't know why the cables can't be run inside the goose neck fittings - the AI Prime gooseneck is a little better in that it has dedicated clips that hide the cable on the rear of the gooseneck a little better - but with a bit of careful management and a bit of effort most cables can be tidied away well enough for a clean aesthetic.

My issues with the Kessils were the poor (very yellow) colour rendition that couldn't be adjusted out without extreme loss of output, the noisy fan, and the requirement for a separate wifi 'dongle' The AI Prime pulls ahead in all three areas; bags of output even with the warm white LED's turned off completely, fully integrated app control, and whisper quiet fan.

As to the lights you linked to, they look a decent enough light John, but to be honest I don't think I could go back to white LED based lights now I've used combination RGB chip based lights, they just can't match them for colour rendition. if they could swap out the white LED's they use for combination RGB chips (like those used by ADA, Chihiros, ONF etc) and keep the other red and blue chips they use to broaden the peaks in the red, green and blue sections of the spectrum, they could be onto a winner.

They also look fairly expensive once you factor in (if I'm reading it correctly) that you have to order a power supply separately for 35 Euro, and the web controller for an extra 195 Euro. That puts the price well over the Chihiros WRGB II which already offers app based control with almost infinite colour mix options, and better overall colour rendition.

Neither though is much use to someone looking at the Kessils and AI Primes who wants the shimmer that can only be produced from a point source light.
 
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oreo57

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Just for fun I ran an estimate for the aquaLUMix
Based on the 115cm version.
All channels on
aqualumix1.JPG
 

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