LED lighting over planted tank...

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by George Farmer, 14 Jun 2008.

  1. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    2 x TMC AquaBeam 500. Swapped from T5 tubes in Arcadia luminaire.

    f_TMClightcrom_9b96871.jpg

    I'm testing these out for 4 months whilst I'm away. My eldest daughter is looking after it, hopefully...

    The glitter lines are pretty cool.

    I'll likely be giving them a review from a planted perspective in PFK later this year.
     
  2. Wolfenrook

    Wolfenrook Member

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    Your black neons look good under it, but it looks a bit brown and dull?

    Ade
     
  3. planter

    planter Member

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    This should be interesting George! I keep looking at them and wondering how they will compare with tubes.
     
  4. planter

    planter Member

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    Looking back at your pic George, Ive a question for you -

    Is there any way to eliminate the light reflection on the wall behind the tank when photographing without using a light box.

    That strip of light at the back annoys me in my pictures.

    Cheers
     
  5. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Cute, the glitter effect is very Metal Halide looking. So you are running a low light setup while you are away? Probably a good idea if your daughter is anything like my 10 year old she will only remember to dose and feed every other day, even if the tank is in her bedroom...

    The manufacturers blurb is here: http://www.tmc-ltd.co.uk/aquarium/aquaray-lighting.asp. Looks like they are only available in 50cm lengths for now.

    So George, does the 24w you have over there look like 48w as the manufacturer claims? Or is the reason it looks a little gloomy as remarked by Wolfenrock because you only have 24w over there?

    Cheers,

    Ray
     
  6. TDI-line

    TDI-line Member

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    Looks interesting George, look forward to the forthcoming article. :p
     
  7. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

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    I have a huge piece of matt black card behind my tank, actually on the wall rather than on the tank. So long as your not shooting a 'stand back' type composition, it works well to absorb any unwanted reflections. Its just cheap picture mounting card.
     
  8. Garuf

    Garuf Member

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    I have to say I am very interested, I'd think they need better reflectors to aim all the light into the tank though?
    Fingers crossed they'll tweek the LED's to get a greener spectral peak.
     
  9. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    Thanks for the comments. I'll try my best to answer you all.

    Hi Ade,

    Yes, it is a bit 'dull' compared to 4 x T5 that I normally use for photography, but it's comparable to 2 x T5 that I normally use the rest of the time. The colour rendition isn't to my taste with the yellow, resulting in the 'brown' you've observed.

    I have 2 x Marine White on their way from TMC that are better for green (and blue) rendition. It will be interesting to see how 4 units compare to 4 x T5, both light output and rendition.

    I did organise to borrow a PAR meter to perform actually light output comparisons, under water too, but I'm out of the UK for 4 months soon, so won't have time. Maybe when I get back.

    Hi Chris,

    Unless it's a photo for contest or client, I don't use any special techniques. What you see is pretty much what I see looking at the tank, as it is.

    For 'special' photos I'll use another light source to light the wall behind. It's important to have a source with less light output than the aquarium lights, otherwise your camera's metering system will get confused, resulting in a great white background, but very dark aquascape!

    I hope that helps.

    Hi Ray,

    Yes, I'll be running low light and non-CO2 (Easycarbo) whilst I'm away.

    24w LED is comparable to 48w T5, as I've mentioned in reply to Ade.

    Cheers.

    There are no reflectors. LED's don't need them due to their design i.e. all the light is point sourced.
     
  10. Wolfenrook

    Wolfenrook Member

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    Looking at that pic I would say that they are doing a better job of getting all of the light into the tank than a normal tube with reflector does. The light on the back wall etc seems to be coming from within the tank itself, much of which could well be from refraction. The absence of any trace of glare at the front of the image as well, I would say this isn't just testament to a skilled photographer, but also less light going in a straight line from the source to the camera. So that is 1 plus in the favour of the LEDs.

    I think for me, as for many other people, the biggest barrier is going to be the purchase cost of these units. Sure over time they may well save you money on electric bills, but the starting costs are going to be really high for 4 of those babies! Still, everything new starts somewhere, and usually starts out priced beyond most peoples reach. As research and original manufacturing costs are recouped, and more competitors start making units like this, we may well see a gradual reduction in price. Heck, I remember when T8s started to become popular and replacing T12s, the kit was quite a bit more expensive than it is now.

    I look forward to seeing how it all looks with the 2 marine white strips in situ George, hopefully they aren't marine white in the sense that 10,000k tubes are described as marine white, as in my experience they make things look 'cloudy' to my eyes. Fussy me. lol

    Ade
     
  11. Luketendo

    Luketendo Member

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    To be honest I like it a lot but I suppose the real thing looking brownish might be irritating.
     
  12. PM

    PM Member

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    In my opinion, they'll have to do a hell of a lot of development with these new LED lighting systems before I switch from T5.

    It'll never look as good as MH anyway - unless they used just one or two super powered LEDs :rolleyes:
     
  13. Nano Jake

    Nano Jake Member

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    How do they fit into the arcadia luminaire?
     
  14. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    Take T5 tubes out. Put TMC LED units in, resting on luminaire 'cover glass'.
     
  15. sanj

    sanj Member

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    Oh why didnt i see this before...


    So how is it going so far? I am actually considering them for a new set up, but it will be pretty big at 8'x2'x2'. I was thinking 8 units from information provided by Coventry Aquatics which they got from TMC.

    Apparently one 12w strip = 45 par
    150w MH is = 150 par

    I am assuming that this is at 50cm, the only reason being a mention on the TMC website when comparing against compact fluorescents.

    From gleaning of the web i have seen a minimum recommendation (apparently from TMC) of one 12w strip per 24"x12" and a maximum of two. These have been on Marine websites.

    The reason i started thinking about it is because the difference in cost between these and D&D T5 razor lights would easily be paid off within a year assuming that heaters dont have to operate more often due to lack of heat radiating from the lights.

    How big is that tank George (dimensions)?

    If I take your comparison of one 12w = 24W T5 then what i would prolly need double what i was thinking and thats a huge amount of money. :(
     
  16. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    60x30x36cm.

    Two is a minimum for this size I'd say. They're growing plants nicely, as we speak.
     
  17. sanj

    sanj Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply...

    well that would be 16 units for and 8 footer... that would be the biggest expense at £1,440! lol

    Even with replacing bulbs on T5s im not sure it would be an advantage for a few years.
     
  18. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    Yes, not cheap. It will be interesting to see the market in a few years...
     
  19. clint24

    clint24 Member

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    Hi George.The aquabeam you used were they the daylight or the fullspectrum.As Matts aquabeam looks brighter.
     
  20. George Farmer

    George Farmer Founder Staff Member

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    I am using Marine White units.

    Matt has twice the lighting that I do, so it may look brighter. Photography is also another issue.
     

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