LEDs - Good, Bad or just another addiction?

pecan2phat

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Manhattan Reefs
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Finally took down the 6' Solaris. It is still fully functional but I can see dropping more $ into this fixture soon. There were a couple of LEDs out and some others were getting dim. The fixture is IMO overdriven hence it was quite warm to hot and it blew a lot of warm air into the room. Also ended up using my last spare power supplies because during Irene's power outage, 2 of the 3 power supplies blew.
I ended up putting 4 AI SOL Blues in it place and it's about 1/3rd of the energy consumption, 100% quieter and runs much cooler. I've actually cut my energy consumption by more then 50% since swapping out all my LED fixtures, here's a quick breakdown:
120g) 1st gen Pacific Sun Pythons x 2 = 260 watts (ran at 100% intensity), replaced with 32" Pacific Sun Metis XM = 200 watts (running at 100% blues & 70% XM whites)

66g) Chinese branded LED fixture = 125 watts (ran at 100% intensity), replaced with 2 AI SOL Blues = 94 watts (running at 80% whites, 75% Blues & R. Blues intensity)

102g) 36" Solaris I5 = 330 watts (ran at 100% intensity both Blues & whites), replaced with 2 AI SOL Blues = 94 watts (running at 80% whites, 75% Blues & R. Blues intensity)

180g) 72" Solaris H4 = 650 watts (ran at 100% intensity both blues & whites), replaced with 4 AI SOL Blues = 188 watts (running at 80% whites, 75% Blues & R. Blues intensity)

Previous lighting power consumption = 1365 watts
Current lighting power consumption = 576 watts
Great bonus with the change overs besides the energy savings is ambient room temperature with less heat given off and about 30% brighter then previous fixtures :)
 

Aqua Pro Builder

Vendor: WingoLED
Manhattan Reefs
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Finally took down the 6' Solaris. It is still fully functional but I can see dropping more $ into this fixture soon. There were a couple of LEDs out and some others were getting dim. The fixture is IMO overdriven hence it was quite warm to hot and it blew a lot of warm air into the room. Also ended up using my last spare power supplies because during Irene's power outage, 2 of the 3 power supplies blew.
I ended up putting 4 AI SOL Blues in it place and it's about 1/3rd of the energy consumption, 100% quieter and runs much cooler. I've actually cut my energy consumption by more then 50% since swapping out all my LED fixtures, here's a quick breakdown:
120g) 1st gen Pacific Sun Pythons x 2 = 260 watts (ran at 100% intensity), replaced with 32" Pacific Sun Metis XM = 200 watts (running at 100% blues & 70% XM whites)

66g) Chinese branded LED fixture = 125 watts (ran at 100% intensity), replaced with 2 AI SOL Blues = 94 watts (running at 80% whites, 75% Blues & R. Blues intensity)

102g) 36" Solaris I5 = 330 watts (ran at 100% intensity both Blues & whites), replaced with 2 AI SOL Blues = 94 watts (running at 80% whites, 75% Blues & R. Blues intensity)

180g) 72" Solaris H4 = 650 watts (ran at 100% intensity both blues & whites), replaced with 4 AI SOL Blues = 188 watts (running at 80% whites, 75% Blues & R. Blues intensity)

Previous lighting power consumption = 1365 watts
Current lighting power consumption = 576 watts
Great bonus with the change overs besides the energy savings is ambient room temperature with less heat given off and about 30% brighter then previous fixtures :)

Interesting new info about the the savings. What do you think has been the major advances that improve your savings over the efficiency-the lens, new bred of LEDs or so forth?

To concur with your Solaris experience-I have been turning down people who want to repair the Solaris power for over a year because I am 100% sure it's a problem with the driver, putting new power supplies to it has not meaning.

BTW, it's kind of amazing you can use so little electricity in lighting so many tanks, especially just a moment ago I was looking at my storage room where I put aside 2 old 400W Mh that were used to light up JUST ONE 150G tank.
 
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pecan2phat

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Manhattan Reefs
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janely,
Yes the power supplies for the Metis XM fixture were mounted externally to dissapate heat. They are encased in an aluminum finned heatsink without cooling fans so they do get quite warm when the lamp is at it's peak intensity also no need to hide the power supplies since it's a fish room.

Wingo,
It's a bunch of reasons. The Solaris units I feel were overdriven hence the higher wattage use and higher exhausted heat from the units. In comparsion, the AI modules are most energy efficient and run quite cool IMO also the number of modules to produce the same or more light vs a Solaris fixture is quite impressive. The 6' Solaris utilized 150 LEDs vs the 4 AI modules with 96 LEDs and 2x the amount of light and 1/3rd of the wattage.
Pat from PFO was a pioneer in the field and without his initiative to dwell into the LED lighting market for aquariums, the playing field might be quite different at this point but at the end of the day, his product needs to be retired :lol:
It's hard to say what works. I have the Metis XM fixture with no optics and it works well with my standard sized 120g SPS tank. I had at one point tried 4 AI modules over this tank and did not like the look of the light output but yet the same 4 modules placed = = = = in a tank 2' longer vs || || || || in the 120g looks great to me. One thing about the Cree XM-L whites are that they are over powering. I told the owner of Pacific Sun that he should consider a ratio of 2:1 for the XR-E blues on each array and then people with sufficient tank height or dense population of a fully matured SPS tank can turn up the XM-L whites for it's full potential.
I like the mix of 40 & 70 degree optics that are standard on the AI modules vs all 40 or 70 degree optics. Most people that are trying to use less modules are changing over the center 40 degree optics to 70 degree & raising the modules over 12-14" above the waterline to achieve the lighting spread but I guarantee you that their PAR level is half of what they thought it would be with these modules. You also have to carefully balance how high you are willing to mount these modules and the amount of light spill that comes with this practice. As an example, I use 2 modules on the 30"x30" cube mounted 11.5" above the water line and due to PAR and light spill, I don't want to raise it any higher but it also does not quite sufficiently hit the edges on the 30" side to side because of the physical length of the module. I am good with front to back even though it is the same 30" but the difference is that I can space the 2 modules to accomplish the result but not side to side effectively creating the depth of the 2 modules slightly wider then the length of a single module and achieving good coverage from front to back for the 30".
Having said that, I do think that eventually the 39.5"x24"x24" 102g will need the 3rd module back. (I swiped the center module when I changed the 180g's Solaris to 4 AI modules) Interestingly enough even though the 180g is evenly and sufficiently lit with 4 modules, the 102g looks a bit dim compared with the 2 modules utilized now vs when I had 3 placed like: || = ||
I'm sure a lot has to do with aquascaping hence every tank would be different for applications of amount of modular units and also brand of lighting.

InfernoST, thanks :wink1:

cali,
You broke the rule of a "move" every 5 years so maybe setting the cube up is premature right now :D
I can't afford all the new technology out there unless the wife decides to get her rear back out there in the working world :banghead:
But I'm quite happy with the AI SOLs for now eventhough out of the 8 modules that I have, 5 of them were at the old price structure :irked:
With these at $399 now, is there a reason to even look at any chinese branded manual dimming fixtures anymore.
The 14 timer functions are great and I'm sure the newer stuff would be phenomenal for large tanks where each module can do different things vs a string of SOLs. I like that each timer setting can ramp for the desired amount of minutes vs the Metis XM's hard change but the Metis has 40 set points so it's a gradual change if the tables are well utilized. I really only have any of my fixtures at 100% intensity for 2 hrs a day, the rest is gradual ramping of either up or down.
Two of the Ecotech fixtures would be a nice fit for your 36" cube :)
 
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regal

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Manhattan Reefs
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New Rochelle
Can the base module alone without the AI controller be dimmable with the Apex? The VDM has a serial connector but I don't see one on the AI sol or the AI controller.
 

pecan2phat

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Last edited:

regal

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Manhattan Reefs
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No need for the AI controller, just the VDM module and you also need the AI to VDM cable:
http://www.aquacave.com/aqua-illuminations-to-vdm-bradapter-cable-by-neptunebr-systems-3237.html

It might just be me but for the cost of the VDM & cable at $118, the AI controller at $80 is just so much simpler with no programming commands needed, just my opinion.

Thanks for the info. I do understand your point. If there is no need to buy the VDM and DIY your own cable which should not be hard, I might start looking into the AI sol for my next upgrade. :shhh: Now, I just need to figure out the serial pin dimming voltage output and the correct jack to fit the AI modules.
 

cali_reef

Fish and Coral Killer
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cali,
You broke the rule of a "move" every 5 years so maybe setting the cube up is premature right now :D
I can't afford all the new technology out there unless the wife decides to get her rear back out there in the working world :banghead:
But I'm quite happy with the AI SOLs for now eventhough out of the 8 modules that I have, 5 of them were at the old price structure :irked:
With these at $399 now, is there a reason to even look at any chinese branded manual dimming fixtures anymore.
The 14 timer functions are great and I'm sure the newer stuff would be phenomenal for large tanks where each module can do different things vs a string of SOLs. I like that each timer setting can ramp for the desired amount of minutes vs the Metis XM's hard change but the Metis has 40 set points so it's a gradual change if the tables are well utilized. I really only have any of my fixtures at 100% intensity for 2 hrs a day, the rest is gradual ramping of either up or down.
Two of the Ecotech fixtures would be a nice fit for your 36" cube :)

rules are meant to be broken! :batangel:

You need to buy a few Ecotech fixtures and give us a report... How about the new cannon type light fixtures?
 

howze01

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Manhattan Reefs
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Bridgewater, NJ
There are a few people on our local forum that have ordered the Raions. Should have them in a week or so. Can't wait to see them in action!

I went with 2 AI Sols for my new 50 breeder. Got a used one with controller for pretty cheap and ordered the "slave" in a group buy with a nice little discount.
 

winsbxnyc

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Manhattan Reefs
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bronx
that first tank with the led light look amazeing im starting a second tank and im definitly going with led ty i loved the post
 

pecan2phat

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Manhattan Reefs
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Someone asked me about growth.
This is post #470 from 1/2011 and right below are pics taken today showing growth on a few corals that were circled:









Just some extra shots:










Extremely slow grower, ORA Blue Iris. This has got to be like 2 yrs and very little growth:



My 66g frag cube with the common sump:




The 102g:


 

pecan2phat

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Hey Matt,
I think the last time I tested with the previous generation Pacific Suns, the upper portion were in the low 600's.
Have not measured the PAR level for the XM Metis fixture yet.
 

Mattl22

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Garden city
Wow and do u run them at that par ??? I'm slowly raising mine now because wingo came by and fixed them for me we checked my par and determined that it was low like 230 in top of the tank !
We raised fixture all the way up and we where getting 560 should I slowly raise them all the way up?
My color is great just want faster growth!
 
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