LEDs - Good, Bad or just another addiction?

alrha

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good to know. still trying to sort through the various brands to choose a model for my 60"x24"x30" (currently 3x400W MH) - looks like AI is currently the top dog
 

pecan2phat

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Hey Mike,
It's $529 x2 + $75 for the controller ($1133) with no rails, roughly about the same in price range if you shop out the other controllable units on the market. What gives the AIs the advantage is the 2 modules over a single fixture or pendant/module for cube tank users, they can space out the units for better coverage IMO.
 

pecan2phat

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They use 40 degree optics in the center four clusters and 70 degree optics on the outer four (length wise).
As with any optics, your light beam will look cone like but I don't think that it gives an overall "round" illumination pattern.
 

mk4fan

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I've been thinking about LED's as well. I know you save $$$ in the long run, but my problem is am I really going to keep the same fixture for that long to see the savings........

I mean I buy a fixture, and I'm sure in 3-5 years time there is going to be a better model. So am I really saving money? :)
 

pecan2phat

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I finally took some PAR level readings for the Pacific Sun gen1 one watters with an Apogee MQ200 meter.
Lamps are hung at about 5" above the water surface, readings are distance from the lamp and not dead center but around the lamp's projection area:

6" - 653 PAR (top surface of the tank)
12.5" - 261 PAR
13.5" - 250 PAR (mid level of the tank)
15" - 175 PAR

Based on the readings, you can see that the PAR level is not insane yet the acros grow very well.
 

pecan2phat

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Thanks Andy & Brendan :)

On a sour note, my I5 Solaris that I had bought new 19 months ago is starting to crap out. The driver boards seem to be affected with prolonged exposure to high humidity. Guess that was a dump in the bucket :mad:
I'll probably construct a light frame to hang 3 AI SOL blues as an replacement since I have a few extra modules and I really do like the way they have lit up my 66g frag cube. I don't like the standard rails cause you have to mount all the modules perpendicular and all my tanks have the huge center overflows so I'll make it parallel in the center and perpendicular on the ends.
 

sdsaltwater

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Hi Warren,

You tank is amazing! Can you tell me what color temperature and time setting you are using with your Pacific Sun modules? I'm just trying to figure out how to get the best growth in my mixed reef tank with my Pacific Sun units.
 
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pecan2phat

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Welcome sdsaltwater,
I run them at 100% intensity for both the whites and blues which should be about 18k according to Pacific Sun.
The original software had the lamp at about 16k with full intensity IMO.
After the software update to version 5.2, I believe the kelvin went a little higher to the 18k look at full intensity. Slightest difference for the naked eye but I did notice it.
HTH :)
 

sdsaltwater

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Thanks Warren.

I have 2 of the Pacific Sun Black Python 160w units with 60 degree optics over my 150g tank. 48" wide and 34" deep tank. With this depth, I was expecting to have insufficient light in the bottom of my tank for most corals, but I've really been surprised by these 160w units. I initially started with my lights set to 19K at 75% and rather quickly started to bleach my green birdsnest coral at mid tank level. I have since cut back to 50% power and still a color of 19K.

Most of my corals are showing healthy growth. Overall, I'm really loving my Pacific Sun LEDs.
 

pecan2phat

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So besides the youtube video, the last updates were a Maxspect crow-barred into an AP24 canopy and the debut of AI SOL Blues on the frag cube.
Since then I have added an Ecoxotic all blue Panorama strip to the AP24 canopy for 2 reasons:
1) The Maxpect G2-60w is a little on the white side for my liking
2) The G2-60w is either on or off, no separate timers for the blues and whites like their bigger siblings.
The 1w Panorama strips does the trick to blend out the colors and also gives me some "tidy bowl" sunrise/sunset instead of harsh on and off. Because the strip had to be mounted a little lower in the canopy then I would have liked, there is a glare of the blue LEDs that you can see near the water line so I just used some black electrical tape on the front side that faces the glass and this did the trick :)






The 66g frag cube is doing well with the pair of AI SOL Blue modules. Im up to 70% intensity across the board and don't know if I'll go too much higher. One thing I do need to say is that you need to be careful with these fixtures especially with the center 40 degree optics. My modules are mounted 10.5" above the water surface and I can clearly see the hot spots. I had to move frags around so that certain corals did not bleach out. I clearly thought that the Oregon tort could take the ton of light after careful weeks of acclimation but it started to RTN from the base up. I never have luck with Oregon torts :sick: Other then that, the lights are doing well on this tank and it's getting a little crowded :wink1: :








The older H4 PFO Solaris is holding up well. In prospective, it is what it is since they are no longer in business. I've changed out 1 fan and a bunch of LED strips since I first obtained it and it's been behaving since. No real updates on this fixture but heres a recent shot. Excuse the stripes, it's light bleeding through my vertical blinds on the opposite end of the room:






What is surprising and disconcerning is the PFO Solaris I5 that I had purchased brand new. This spring, it started acting up with one of the panels blinking a bit and when in moonlight mode, the moonlights were not on or would blink. This eventually moved to a second panel and I said %#!*# great :banghead: . I pretty much knew that it was the driver boards acting up since the panels still came on during the main photoperiod. Sometimes some or all of the blues in the affected panel would either be dim of totally off. Over a course of a few weeks, I came to realize that the defect is directly associated with how high the humidity was in the room. As the humidity dropped below 72%, the lights were fine as if nothing happened. As the humidity hit near 72%, only the moonlight portion was affected. Over 76%, then the main photoperiod had dim blues.
Well, made in the US of A = great right? Not always, sadly. The well known problematic chinese assembled H4 fixture upstairs with a drier room has no driver board issues, at least not yet.
Fast forward to this past week, I ended up purchasing an extra AI module and since I already had 2 extra ones, now the 102g is AI powered :thrash: and down came the Solaris I5. Constructed a frame from 1/16 aluminum what-ja-ma-call-it. The PVC pipe behind the center module is filled with sand to counter act the weight displacement of the center module since it is not centered from front to back on the rack. I had intially ran all 4 AI modules on my 120g to see what it looked like and I wasn't impressed so I made the frame to mount the 3 modules a little bit different. The ends are perpendicular but the center module is parallel. I did this so the light blends in more and also because the tank houses a center overflow. Intially, I had the lights at 9" above the water surface but had to lower it down to 6" because of light spill. It's actually pretty good at this height. The 102g is 38.5"Lx25"Dx24"H if anyone wanted the specs. These modules are controlled by the single AI controller used for the 66g frag cube so the intensity is 70% across the board from day one on this tank and the Sunburst BTAs are loving it. (they are the majority)
Well here's some pics:










Next up, I'll update this thread on the Pacific Sun lamps :fish:
 

pecan2phat

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I wanted to update my progress with the Pacific Sun Pythons. These were the 1st generation fixtures that had non-Cree one watt LED emitters and no focal optics. The allure of these fixtures were the controlling software and also the introductory pricing for the US market. As shown in some of the recent pictures, these lamps were able to grow SPS extremely well. Most of the colonies were store bought ORA 2" frags or small frags from personal reefers. The Formosa on the overflow box has just ridiculously taken off.
Having had good success with the Pacific Sun brand, I was not afraid to try their product again even though there have been a few argumentative discussions about their products and support. I did not find this to be true personally regarding their product or support.
I had the opportunity to obtain their newest line, the Metis XM fixture. It sports Cree XM whites that can power up to 10 watts and Cree XP blues which I think stays at the 3 watt range. I have had this fixture for about 10 days now and have been very impressed. It's 34" with two LED panels that only contain 2 rows of emitters but can easily cover the 24" depth and the 48" length of the tank. It can do this without having to be mounted very high at all. There are no focal optics on this fixture but it also has a little less spread then the original Pythons which is good. The 120 or 140 degree spread of the original Pythons were a bit too wide for my liking. (I had to clean the glass quite often) Software is still Bluetooth controlled and still has the 40 set points, sunrise/sunset, lunar moon cycles etc. Moonlight has improved from the older fixture. There are no whites that come on as in the older Pythons and there is a continous row of blues to effect an erie glow.
Here are some pics of the fixture and some initial pics of the tank lit with the Metis XM. More to come after I find time to play around with the settings. It is currently at 19000k kelvin temperature and 100% intensity. The built in LED screen on the fixture relates these settings to be 60% whites and 100% blues. I'll probably bump the XM whites up 10% every 2 weeks till I like the color and PAR intensity. Tank is probably close but maybe a tad whiter then the pictures shown:

Nice powder coated finish, much improved over the 1st gen Pythons



Built in LCD screen display for date, PAR table setting and power consumption percentages of the whites and blues, also displays moonlight percentage at night


Vented sides for the 4 top mounted fans to draw air from


34" model with two LED panels consisting of 24 LEDs for each panel Equal amount of XM whites and XP blues



Back of fixture with 2 power ports, GHL port for Profilux, LCD screen on/off switch and button for instant on overide


Newly constructed light rack from angle aluminum for the Metis fixture


Fixture mounted and in place over tank





Here are some tank pics at 19000k kelvin/100%













Wattage draw for single LED panel when whites are at 60% and blues are at 100% (maximum draw is 150w for each panel)
 
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pecan2phat

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The 24g AP nano with the MaxSpect G2-60w/Panorama strip is stand alone.
The 180g with the H4 Solaris and the 102g with the previous I5 Solaris now AI SOL blues are tied to one basement sump.
The 120g with the Metis XM and the 66g frag cube with the AI SOL blues is tied to another sump separate from the 180g/102g. But the AI SOL blues for the 66g and 102g is using one controller for light settings.
 
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