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Old 01-23-2020, 06:35 PM
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Default Current Lighting Recommendations

I thought I'd start my own thread instead of piggy backing into another.

What are people currently using for lighting racks?

Last time I bought lights a few years ago I was getting 48" EVO Dual 3W 6500K from aquatraders (which no longer exists). They were pretty cheap for 96 watts of LED with good penetration spanning 48 inches. So cheap, in fact, that they are starting to die.

I see a few options from topdogsellers still, but they are either too much light, not enough light, or they have those awful actinic bulbs sprinkled throughout which make everything look purple. Fine for fish, hate them for frogs.

Does anyone know a super secret dark web source where I can still get 48" EVEO Dual 3W 6500K? Or an alternative product?

I have zero interest in dawn/dusk cycling and remote control multi color effects or thunderstorms or fancy timers. I want 12 hour cycles of cheap "daylight" at a decent enough intensity to color up bromeliads in an 18" viv.

Thank you for your consideration.
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: Current Lighting Recommendations

Definitely interested in the replies to your post. I use the same EVO lights (36 inch) and I'm planning a new build. Thanks for posting.

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Old 01-23-2020, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: Current Lighting Recommendations

I'm happy with a Beamswork I purchased, but with 1/2w LEDs, it may not be strong enough for your liking. It has the purple LEDs sprinkled in, but the 6500K ones dominate, so it looks like day-light to my eye.
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: Current Lighting Recommendations

Just checked my previous supplier (that big online auction site that starts with "e") of the EVO Quad 6500K with 3watt LEDs. There is a listing for the 48" model. No 36" models. I've used the EVO Quad to cultivate carnivorous plants with pretty good success. Many of the carnivores need lots of light.

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Old 01-23-2020, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: Current Lighting Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmb5245 View Post
I'm happy with a Beamswork I purchased, but with 1/2w LEDs, it may not be strong enough for your liking. It has the purple LEDs sprinkled in, but the 6500K ones dominate, so it looks like day-light to my eye.
Yeah, that was the one I was looking at too. Not sure it would be enough light.


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Originally Posted by Sstephenson View Post
Just checked my previous supplier (that big online auction site that starts with "e") of the EVO Quad 6500K with 3watt LEDs. There is a listing for the 48" model. No 36" models. I've used the EVO Quad to cultivate carnivorous plants with pretty good success. Many of the carnivores need lots of light.
Thatís double the light output Iím accustomed to. Too much.

Where is my Goldilocks light?!?!?
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Old 01-23-2020, 11:19 PM
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Default

I still really dig the green element ones. They don't last super long but they are cheap and keep my neos colored up. Use 2 if it's a big tank.
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Old 01-24-2020, 01:00 AM
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Default Re: Current Lighting Recommendations

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Originally Posted by Lokirathehunter View Post
I still really dig the green element ones. They don't last super long but they are cheap and keep my neos colored up. Use 2 if it's a big tank.
Yes, green element IS the evo. Iím just looking for the 48Ē 96W version (or equivalent)
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:12 AM
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Default Re: Current Lighting Recommendations

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Originally Posted by Broseph View Post
Yes, green element IS the evo. Iím just looking for the 48Ē 96W version (or equivalent)
If youíre looking for cheap and effective.. go for these.. A friend 2 per rack 1 6000k one 5000k and he says plants all grow very well, and broms are colored up. I personally use a bunch of different lights ranging from $25 leds to higher end ai primes.

Iíll be honest. While the fun features are cool.. like moon phases and sunrise / set.. if I was able to redo... Iíd go the cheap route and use WiFi timer boxes on and off.
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:15 AM
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Default Re: Current Lighting Recommendations

I now use cheap led shop lights (~20 per fixture) on my rack, which consists of non-display tanks and rearing tubs. They get the job done, but the light intensity can be too much for certain plants. There's also much more heat output than some of the fancy aquarium led fixtures I've used in the past.
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:03 PM
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Default Re: Current Lighting Recommendations

Building a 48" tall 340gallon tank. Going to use 10x 20W Uhop led strips from Dusk. They are a mix between 6000K and 4500K emitters and 145 lumens per watt. So at full power I'll have 200watt and 29 000 lumen of light. But I'll run them on a daylight cycle from a controller and I might not run them at full power, depending on how the plants like the light. They'll be dimmed from 0 at dawn for a couple of hours up to full and then back to 0 at dusk.
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Old 01-24-2020, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Current Lighting Recommendations

Have you looked at Spectral Designs? Without the controller, the price point is similar and they'll build whatever spec you want.
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Old 01-24-2020, 11:00 PM
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Default Re: Current Lighting Recommendations

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Have you looked at Spectral Designs? Without the controller, the price point is similar and they'll build whatever spec you want.
Nice. These might be exactly what Iím looking for. Iíll look into the 48Ē options.
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Old 01-25-2020, 11:14 PM
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Default Re: Current Lighting Recommendations

I should add:

I finally found the exact lights I was looking for... on aliexpress... for only $99... and $153 shipping and handling.

Looks like Spectral Designs might be the direction I go. I just really loved the penetrating power of those 3W diodes.
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Old 01-26-2020, 01:42 AM
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Default Re: Current Lighting Recommendations

You can try messaging topdogsellers he might have some or be able to get them. You can even send him the ali express link and see what he says.
It seems with these cheaper lights there is always volatility in the market. They just get rid of nice options for no particular reason.
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Old 01-26-2020, 02:01 AM
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Default Re: Current Lighting Recommendations

I went with Spectral Designs for a build I'm doing now. The light seems good, though I'm just getting the tanks set up and there are no plants in it yet so I can't comment on how well it does in that area.

I needed a semi-custom solution for a 48" light spanning two tanks. I called Kurt and he was helpful in making some suggestions.

The only issues I have are that the small fans placed next to the 20 watt spot leds are surprisingly noisy. They move very little air but generate quite a bit of sound. The other issue is that the DC power supply shipped with the light got very hot when the lights were running at 100%. His website states that these are basically cheap chinese no name power supplies and he does offer upgrades. I don't think that this would be an issue for most of his offerings but the light I went with was a slightly larger version of the largest light he sales (though I did go with only 20 watt led spots, not 30 or 40...)

Adding up the wattage as best I could, I figured that the light pulls about 120 watts at full power. The power supply was 150. You should generally shoot for about 80% of the power supply rating so this was about the absolute max you'd want to run on a power supply that size. But as I said, it's a cheap chinese no name power supply with a plastic housing.

I never contacted Spectral Designs / Kurt about this issue. He's on the opposite corner of the country from me and I figured there was nothing he could do anyway other than offer to sale me a bigger power supply. I just bought a 200 watt power supply off Amazon to give myself plenty of overhead. It stays much cooler.

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Old Today, 02:51 PM
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Default Re: Current Lighting Recommendations

There are new LED lamps out that are called Hybrid or Universal bulbs.

They come in various lengths and colors. The most common are 4000k and 5000K. 4000K is a little yellower and the 5000k is the most like daylight.

The advantage to these bulbs is they will "plug and play" which means they can be used with the ballast left in place. You do not need to remove the ballast for it to work. The ballast of course tends to be an energy hog and it produces quite a bit of heat load for the room and tanks. If you are nervous about playing with electricity this is your easiest way to go. They will work directly the tombstones (the plastic end pieces that the bulb plugs into) which are used your inexpensive shop lights & old light fixtures.

These bulbs also can be direct wired to 110 / 120 volts which will lower your energy costs and your heat load.

Lots of pluses with these bulbs. These bulbs with last tons longer than the fluorescent bulbs they replace. Typically 5 to 10 times longer than a fluorescent.

They also come in T-5 configurations as well.

Typical light output is about 2000 Lumen per bulb. They also produce a great deal more light at the end of their life. A fluorescent bulb at the end of it's life produces about 20 % of the light it produced when it was new. An LED at the end of it's life is producing roughly about %70 as compared to when it was new.

Lastly they cost between $5 - $10 a bulb.


Lots of reasons to go the LED route.
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Last edited by davecalk; Today at 03:03 PM. Reason: Added info.
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