Expensive Lighting?

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There seems to be increasing numbers of folks succeeding in growing aquarium plants using inexpensive and easily available LED lights of one sort or another. I can’t help wondering if there’s going to be much of a future for some of the premium brand manufacturers unless they make them more attractive by cutting prices. I know there are always folks willing to pay a premium but for how much longer? I know some of them look very nice but can many folks really justify paying 10 times the price just because of the way it looks. I do realise that some options require a certain amount of DIY but many don’t. Just wondering what folks think. The hobby can be expensive without paying over the odds when you don’t need to.
 

Siege

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a few thoughts -

I think the demand will always be there and the products are beyond just about all diy or budget ones.

I liken it to any hobby. I can buy a fishing rod for £20 or I can spend thousands. You could even have posted this question on a fishing forum :) Just an example but the theme runs through just about any hobby.

A lot of it is maybe about the experience of the product. Similar to why people always want the new iPhone for example.

There is also the element of having and using the same product as the pros. Why does a 12 year old who is rubbish at football want the same pair of boots as Messi?

For many people diy is part of the fun of the hobby. That is part of their enjoyment.

Whatever, I donot think it is a hobby that is limited by budget. There are so many products at each price point. Manufacturers spot a gap and fight over it.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
using inexpensive and easily available LED lights of one sort or another. I can’t help wondering if there’s going to be much of a future for some of the premium brand manufacturers unless they make them more attractive by cutting prices
I think prices will carry on falling.
I know there are always folks willing to pay a premium but for how much longer?
That is the question. My guess would be if you looked at the designer clothes market (or @Siege's fishing rods or Binoculars etc ) as a proportion of the total market that would give you some idea of how big the "designer light" market is.

cheers Darrel
 

Siege

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Hi all, I think prices will carry on falling. That is the question. My guess would be if you looked at the designer clothes market (or @Siege's fishing rods or Binoculars etc ) as a proportion of the total market that would give you some idea of how big the "designer light" market is.

cheers Darrel


Thinking about going into my local cycling shop, there are tonnes of bikes at £2,000 +, a few at £10,000.
Now it is relative, I would call £2,000 high end.

Turning to the niche aquascaping part of the aquarium hobby. Not that many manufacturers. I can only think of
A couple of budget names
1 mid level
1 mid to high
and 2 of what I would class as high end

there are also the mass market aquarium light manufacturers that stick a ‘for plants’ sticker on the box and think they’ve covered the planted aquarium sector. These are donot designed for aquascaping tanks. Personally I think this is the unfair part of the market. Relying on the purchaser not doing their research.

Of course our hobby does benefit from the Chinese ebay budget range. Of them, there are millions!

Now, unsure of the point of my post! Just wanted to liken it to my local cycling shop and that hobby. In comparison we have far less high cost products to choose from!
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Now, unsure of the point of my post!
succeeding in growing aquarium plants using inexpensive and easily available LED lights of one sort or another
I think the point of it is if you can buy a 20W dimmable LED Cool (or daylight) white <"floodlight"> that grows plants perfectly adequately pretty cheaply, will people buy a light with similar plant growing properties (that might be more aesthetically pleasing and have better color rendition etc) for ten times the price?

I wouldn't, but I'm a cheapskate, have little interest in aesthetics, a financial controller with gimlet eyes (and a joint bank account) and no interest in designer labels.

cheers Darrel
 

Oldguy

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no interest in designer labels.

I have two 'LED proper tank lights' - both budget. Two banks of LED spot lights, some white and some 'growlux' type, and some patio decking LEDs. They are controlled by budget electro-mechamical timers. This gives Dusk and Dawn; Shafts of Light, General Lighting and High Noon. I like DIY and not spending much money. Non of the fittings and controllers can be seen.

Plants grow, fish swim and I sit and enjoy and have some pocket money for other interests, not to mention house hold bills.
 

jaypeecee

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Hi Folks,

I have always avoided designer labels. Ever since I was a kid in my teens when some lads would have to wear Levi's jeans. I've never owned a pair of Levi's in my life and I don't see that changing any time soon! As someone who worked in (electronics) product development and manufacture for thirty years, I look at a product and know what it's worth.

JPC
 

PARAGUAY

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I once mentioned on another forum possibly here about the speed at which aquarium specific LEDs had become the "go to" for planted tanks. James Findley mentioned ADA was not going the route and I think still using metal halide expensive run hot all the things we didn't want . Hey presto several months later ADA developed their own expensive range to match competitors. But in just a few years on suppliers dropped t8 especially t8 hoods and luminaires. T5s considered the replacement upgrade from t8s now are getting harder to obtain as more retailers drop them from their range. Ada and Kessil, Elos are all great lights and do the job but it's the balance of cost . T8s are good on on low tech tanks and as first light on high tech .T5s will grow anything if used right and a small powerhead or skimmer or basic floodlights will give the shimmer effect if that's what you want. Down to retailers and manufacturers a bit to quick to dismiss the basic flurescents IMO as said the cheap Chinese LEDs hit and miss
 

zozo

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Thinking about going into my local cycling shop, there are tonnes of bikes at £2,000 +, a few at £10,000.
Now it is relative, I would call £2,000 high end.

High-End Cycling industry is all about weight... We call the high-end amateurs with a gest "The Gram Nerds" They are under the impression that a bike with less weight is the best bike and makes them ride faster. But from a technical and mechanical point of view it isn't, it's 100% identical just less weight and therefore less strong and above all less durable. More weight is simply more material thus stronger and more durable and safer to ride. In the end, the cyclist with the heavier bike is the stronger cyclist.

It's the world upside down, you get less but pay a lot more... You actually pay for less demand and development costs for getting the same product with less or lighter materials.

For a professional who depends on a split-second photo finish to make a name or not, it's a different story. But he's sponsored and rides only 1 tour and probably in multiple day tours every day on a different new but the same bike. Because of every severe bump, over a pothole in the road is a punishment for a high-end bike and makes it unsafer to ride and it can only take so much. We all have seen headsets and saddle pins break during professional bike tours. Hence i remember seeing a frame crack during a climb.
 

Ed Wiser

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Expensive lighting will always have a market. People have different views on everything. With lighting there are control that inexpensive lights will not have. Expensive light will have better looking fixtures. Expensive lighting will be able to be repaired or even up graded. This is a hobby at if someone wants to buy nice equipment there is nothing wrong with that. Just as if one wants to buy cheap equipment that is their decision.
 

zozo

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able to be repaired or even up graded.

Suppose you have a plan to launch your own product design in aquarium lighting. Then have a close look at the LED industry.. You find out, before you're from patent tot prototype, you are already overdue regarding upgrade.

LED technique is developing faster than the marketing selling it. :)
 

mort

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In the marine world this is a massive issue. There are so many arguments as to what the best lighting is and they tend to revolve around just a few high end lights. The truth of the matter is Chinese black boxes (basically a nickname for all lower end lights) will grow corals, maybe not as quickly or with the same colouring but they will grow.
We need to remember that the higher end lights are generally the ones who do all the advertising, whether by giving them to you tubers, shops or using influential people in the hobby, and this means they achieve the cult following. I was shocked that everyone always says what a sexy filter the ada has when to me it just looks like a pedal bin that someone has balanced a pump on.
Unfortunately a lot of the planted lights seem to be an after thought from manufacturers that are predominantly marine but wanted a slice of the freshwater action (ie aqua illumination and radion).

I myself still use aqua illumination sol leds which were first released in 2008 (I'm cheap like Darrel and only have them because customers dropped them in their tanks and the manufacturer didn't want them back, so I fixed them) . Since their invention the biggest competitor radion has had 6 different iterations of their led (they also came out a few years after) which all arrive with pomp and parade. I can still grow sps perfectly well with my lights as can those with the first generation radion and it seems the initial selling point for leds no longer applies (at least in the marine hobby), which was to lower running costs but today it's actually cheaper to run halides for most people.
 

Ed Wiser

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Suppose you have a plan to launch your own product design in aquarium lighting. Then have a close look at the LED industry.. You find out, before you're from patent tot prototype, you are already overdue regarding upgrade.

LED technique is developing faster than the marketing selling it. :)

Well I come from the reefing world where this is all going on.

https://www.aquariumcomputer.com/usa/product-category/mitras-led-illumination/mitras-lx6/

I just spend time in the whole aquarium world. Since I started freshwater systems. I found that the whole freshwater equipment world is like 25 years behind saltwater.
 
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As I said at the start this is about growing plants, not illuminating reef tanks that can require seemingly very high light levels. I’m guessing reef tank owners have probably fewer options than we do to use cheaper lighting?
 

Ed Wiser

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In the marine world this is a massive issue. There are so many arguments as to what the best lighting is and they tend to revolve around just a few high end lights. The truth of the matter is Chinese black boxes (basically a nickname for all lower end lights) will grow corals, maybe not as quickly or with the same colouring but they will grow.
We need to remember that the higher end lights are generally the ones who do all the advertising, whether by giving them to you tubers, shops or using influential people in the hobby, and this means they achieve the cult following. I was shocked that everyone always says what a sexy filter the ada has when to me it just looks like a pedal bin that someone has balanced a pump on.
Unfortunately a lot of the planted lights seem to be an after thought from manufacturers that are predominantly marine but wanted a slice of the freshwater action (ie aqua illumination and radion).

I myself still use aqua illumination sol leds which were first released in 2008 (I'm cheap like Darrel and only have them because customers dropped them in their tanks and the manufacturer didn't want them back, so I fixed them) . Since their invention the biggest competitor radion has had 6 different iterations of their led (they also came out a few years after) which all arrive with pomp and parade. I can still grow sps perfectly well with my lights as can those with the first generation radion and it seems the initial selling point for leds no longer applies (at least in the marine hobby), which was to lower running costs but today it's actually cheaper to run halides for most people.

Mort I have a 1200 ADA it’s a super filter. I have had all the various canisters. I even know the SUNSUN USA distributor.
As I said it’s a hobby an being retired now I just like buying the nice stuff.
The GHL light I posted above have been around for years now. I don’t buy the china lights because they don’t last along time. I do lighting setup for my aquarium club so I spend a lot of time testing every type of light on the market. An have owned every light on the market.
 

Siege

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There are simply so many strands
As I said at the start this is about growing plants, not illuminating reef tanks that can require seemingly very high light levels. I’m guessing reef tank owners have probably fewer options than we do to use cheaper lighting?


I wish it was more like the reef scene. It’ll push the high end manufacturers even further, bring prices down and people will be more aware of specialist lighting.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
what a sexy filter the ada has when to me it just looks like a pedal bin that someone has balanced a pump on.
That is as truth, it is back to Clive's (@ceg4048) immortal description of a canister filter as, fundamentally, a <"pump in a bucket">. I actually like the simplicity and robustness of the ADA filter design (if not particularly the aesthetics) with the Iwaki pump and stainless steel clips etc., but the price........
Since their invention the biggest competitor radion has had 6 different iterations of their led (they also came out a few years after) which all arrive with pomp and parade
It is built in obsolescence. I'm pretty sure the way forward is a fitting where you can change the individual modular components (lamps, drivers, dimmers) rather than needing to re-solder a new LED or throw away the entire fitting.

cheers Darrel
 

Ed Wiser

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As I said at the start this is about growing plants, not illuminating reef tanks that can require seemingly very high light levels. I’m guessing reef tank owners have probably fewer options than we do to use cheaper lighting?

I reef tank can do well with T5’s lighting or MH. But a lot of people like the slimmer design of LED lighting my wife included. I would love a set of solar RGB lights but the lack of control over the intensity is a problem. The same issue with Twinstar lights no control over the lighting. Adding a dimmer inline is just 1980’s way of doing this.
 

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