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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I currently run a GroBeam 1000nd lighting tile from The Tropical Marine Centre, which has 6500k output CREE XPE LEDs.

However for my second tank, I have seen this TMC 1500 XG Ultima light which uses more powerful CREE XPG LEDs. It puts out 1850 lumens but is primarily 9000k output - however just how harmful is this to the plants? As i'm sure I read on here somewhere that anything under 20k is ideal.

Link to product :

TMC: Aquarium Products - AquaBeam1500 XG Ultima

And the LED spectra in this PDF :

http://www.tmc-ltd.co.uk/data/led-spectra.pdf

Obviously the main peak is outside the 'ideal' but it also has a peak near the 580nm spectrum also....

Would / could this work?

Cheers

Anthony
 

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9000K will grow plants just fine. They won't have quite as many Lumens as a 6500K LED or be quite as efficient, watt per watt, but it sounds like you have plenty of intensity. The color will most likely be a crisp icey white with a hint of blue. Not quite noon day sun color but nice, nonetheless. I currently have some 10K T 5 bulbs over a rack and the plants are doing fine.
 

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It could work, but it is far from ideal. Terrestrial plants need light in the blue and the red range. Most "daylight" bulbs have a spike in the blue/purple range, another in the Red/orange range, and one in the yellow green range(which plants don't use much, but it balances out the purple color). Your light doesn't have much red light at all.
In addition it is only 1850 lumens. That is less than one 24" HO T5 bulb. Anything less than 4000 lumens is pretty dim to try and grow plants.

5000K - 6500K is considered ideal. Anything over 10000K, depending on the spectrum, doesn't work that great.

I have read that a combination of 6500K and 3000K lights actually works the best, but it is not a very pleasing color for a viv.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
It could work, but it is far from ideal. Terrestrial plants need light in the blue and the red range. Most "daylight" bulbs have a spike in the blue/purple range, another in the Red/orange range, and one in the yellow green range(which plants don't use much, but it balances out the purple color). Your light doesn't have much red light at all.
In addition it is only 1850 lumens. That is less than one 24" HO T5 bulb. Anything less than 4000 lumens is pretty dim to try and grow plants.

5000K - 6500K is considered ideal. Anything over 10000K, depending on the spectrum, doesn't work that great.

I have read that a combination of 6500K and 3000K lights actually works the best, but it is not a very pleasing color for a viv.
Cheers for the reply.

*Ignore the link, wrong one*.
 

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In addition it is only 1850 lumens. That is less than one 24" HO T5 bulb. Anything less than 4000 lumens is pretty dim to try and grow plants.
With respect, I disagree... I'd say the majority of plants commonly used in vivaria will be fine down in the ~1000LM range. You are 100% spot on with the color temp info, tho.

I've had discussions like this on other forums, but at the end of the day the vast majority of popular terrarium plants would do fine with super cheap CFL or T8 lighting. We've used T8 lights in our breeding room for years and we've had excellent plant growth. ;) (We even used to use crappy & inefficient T12 lighting with very good plant growth.)

T5HO is EXTREMELY efficient, don't get me wrong. I'll move our stuff to T5s once it gets less expensive. The newer Zoo Med T5HO fixtures are on the cheap side of things, but still nowhere near the $30 4 foot T8 fixtures found in Lowes & Home Depot. Bottom line, while T5HO is the "best" in terms of efficiency and brightness, it's not 100% necessary.
 

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With respect, I disagree... I'd say the majority of plants commonly used in vivaria will be fine down in the ~1000LM range. You are 100% spot on with the color temp info, tho.

I've had discussions like this on other forums, but at the end of the day the vast majority of popular terrarium plants would do fine with super cheap CFL or T8 lighting. We've used T8 lights in our breeding room for years and we've had excellent plant growth. ;) (We even used to use crappy & inefficient T12 lighting with very good plant growth.)

T5HO is EXTREMELY efficient, don't get me wrong. I'll move our stuff to T5s once it gets less expensive. The newer Zoo Med T5HO fixtures are on the cheap side of things, but still nowhere near the $30 4 foot T8 fixtures found in Lowes & Home Depot. Bottom line, while T5HO is the "best" in terms of efficiency and brightness, it's not 100% necessary.
I use 2 - 4' 32 watt bulbs on my cuttings and things. Together they produce ~5000 lumens. Even 2 - 4' T12 bulbs give off ~4000 lumens. 1000 lumens sounds pretty dim to me, but I will bow to your experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Any other thoughts on this before I go ahead and purchase it? DIY route will cost me around £140 (approx $223), for the 9000k TMC fixture, the cost is $350, but with the added security of a warranty.

I can't use CFLs / T5HOs etc due to the lack of space on the rack, so it's the above two choices really.

Regards

Anthony
 

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Hey Anthony,

thanks for pointing out my thread. I would, you guessed it, go DIY, but that is just me. The main advantges are:

- cheaper
- repairable
- flexibility
- satisfaction

Concerning your 9000K LEDs, it is true that they are the least luminous of the range and lack a lot of the spectrum you need. I would recommend to use the R5 and Q5 XPG series mixed (that is warm and daylight white, which give you a lot of blue and red wavelengths) or use the XML (again mix warm whithe and day white) type which puts out 30% more light at 700mA and consumes 30% less power then an XPG at 700mA, but XML can only work with 700mA upwards and that makes a very bright spot.

If you are simply "afraid" to go the DIY route, shoot me a PM and I will help. It's time that LEDs get more common in this hobby...


Have a nice day

gluedl
 

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i will be doing a diy build with xml u2. i will be mixing 7k cool whites with some warm whites to get the needed red spectrum. you will probably get decent growth with the unit you described but would do better with a more balanced light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey Anthony,

thanks for pointing out my thread. I would, you guessed it, go DIY, but that is just me. The main advantges are:

- cheaper
- repairable
- flexibility
- satisfaction

Concerning your 9000K LEDs, it is true that they are the least luminous of the range and lack a lot of the spectrum you need. I would recommend to use the R5 and Q5 XPG series mixed (that is warm and daylight white, which give you a lot of blue and red wavelengths) or use the XML (again mix warm whithe and day white) type which puts out 30% more light at 700mA and consumes 30% less power then an XPG at 700mA, but XML can only work with 700mA upwards and that makes a very bright spot.

If you are simply "afraid" to go the DIY route, shoot me a PM and I will help. It's time that LEDs get more common in this hobby...


Have a nice day

gluedl
The only thing that worries me is that I have no soldering experience whatsoever - I don't want to mess up. I am thinking that a DIY construction is the way to go though.

So far (from led-tech)

5 x XP-G R5 LEDs
5 x XP-G Q5 LEDs
10 x CREE power optics (6*40)
10 x 51mm heatsinks
1 x Artic thermal paste
1 x Power Supply for 10 - 18 1w LEDs
1 x 4mm Aluminium sheet (to attach the heatsinks to for added heat dissapation)

I just need to get it ordered now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It could work, but it is far from ideal. Terrestrial plants need light in the blue and the red range. Most "daylight" bulbs have a spike in the blue/purple range, another in the Red/orange range, and one in the yellow green range(which plants don't use much, but it balances out the purple color). Your light doesn't have much red light at all.
In addition it is only 1850 lumens. That is less than one 24" HO T5 bulb. Anything less than 4000 lumens is pretty dim to try and grow plants.

5000K - 6500K is considered ideal. Anything over 10000K, depending on the spectrum, doesn't work that great.

I have read that a combination of 6500K and 3000K lights actually works the best, but it is not a very pleasing color for a viv.
To bump this thread, this might prove useful to you :

Aquarium Lighting; Reef, Planted Light Information. PAR, Bulb, Watt, Kelvin, Nanometers, MH, LED.

I am still deciding between the 1500XG Ultima (9000k) or the GroBeam 1000ND (6500k) which I own already.
 

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Thanks for the link. I just bought a light meter and I'm having fun comparing my LED's to the T5s as far as LUX at different depths and corners of the tanks.

If those are your choices, I think it is a no brainer. The spectrum of the 6500K tile is going to met the spectral needs of your vivarium plants much better than the 9000K tile based on the spectrographs.
 

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The thing about LEDs and their low lumens is that all 1800 lumens is pointed directly at your plants. With fluorescent tubes 2/3 of the light is facing the wrong way. You take a 4000 lumen set up with fl. tubes and only ~1300 of that 4000 lumens is directed at the plants. Now a good reflector can fix this... but most fixtures use crappy reflectors if they are even fitted with one.

To the OP, as mentioned 9000K is not ideal, but your plants will definitely grow.
 

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I can't argue that LEDs are the wave of the future, but lets take a look at their application for the normal frogger present day(at least for the fixtures you are talking about). If I am going to light my 4' rack I could buy a 4' 2 bulb HO T5 fixture for less than $120 including bulbs. It uses 104 watts and lights my vivs very well (good growth, good color on broms), with 20,000 lux (lux = lumens per square meter)directly under the bulbs and 5000 lux 20" below the bulbs. Literature rates the fixture at 10,000 lumens. Bulbs are $12 each. If they are replaced once a year for 10 years that is an extra $240.

According to the manufacturer's website (TMC) I would need 3 GroBeam 1000ND tiles to light my 4' rack. At ~$350 per tile, that's close to $1000. Each tile is 30 watts so that would be 90 watts total, so not that much of a energy savings. The LEDs are rated at 800 lumens each X 10 chips per tile gives me 8000 lumens. I don't know what they would be at 20", but since even focused light has to follow the inverse square law, I am guessing it would be less than 5000 lumens. The lights last 10 years no need to replace them.

The difference in energy costs is $9 per year based on $0.15 per kilowatt hour (Tier 3 in SoCal) so over 10 years the LED saved you $90.

So for 10 years the T5s cost you $360 plus $90 more on your energy bill for a total of $450 for more light than you really need for great terrarium plant growth.

During that same time the LEDs cost you about $1000 for pretty much the same light. Even if you want to argue that it is better light, the T5's are already giving you more than you need to grow anything that you would keep in a viv. Do you need more than more than enough?

Until the LED prices come down, I think I will take my $550 dollars and buy some more frogs. :)
 

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gex23 Re: 9000k LEDs - ideal for plants?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
Originally Posted by gluedl
Hey Anthony,

thanks for pointing out my thread. I would, you guessed it, go DIY, but that is just me. The main advantges are:

- cheaper
- repairable
- flexibility
- satisfaction

Concerning your 9000K LEDs, it is true that they are the least luminous of the range and lack a lot of the spectrum you need. I would recommend to use the R5 and Q5 XPG series mixed (that is warm and daylight white, which give you a lot of blue and red wavelengths) or use the XML (again mix warm whithe and day white) type which puts out 30% more light at 700mA and consumes 30% less power then an XPG at 700mA, but XML can only work with 700mA upwards and that makes a very bright spot.

If you are simply "afraid" to go the DIY route, shoot me a PM and I will help. It's time that LEDs get more common in this hobby...


Have a nice day

gluedl

The only thing that worries me is that I have no soldering experience whatsoever - I don't want to mess up. I am thinking that a DIY construction is the way to go though.

So far (from led-tech)

5 x XP-G R5 LEDs
5 x XP-G Q5 LEDs
10 x CREE power optics (6*40)
10 x 51mm heatsinks
1 x Artic thermal paste
1 x Power Supply for 10 - 18 1w LEDs
1 x 4mm Aluminium sheet (to attach the heatsinks to for added heat dissapation)

I just need to get it ordered now.
Watch this:


and this:


Get a soldering iron of max 25Watts and good, thin solder for electronics. Buy your LEDs on a star pcb, everything else is complicated for a beginner.

Hope that helps a bit

gluedl
 

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I currently use Gro-beams by TMC just not the tiles and have to say they are amazing. I used them primarily for my freshwater planted tank and then moved over to a Terrarium. All of my plants are healthy and doing very very well colours have turned out great.

I had a nice link a while back about the difference with LED's and T5/T8's if I remember correctly LED's are far superior for plants as they have higher PAR rates.

here it is:

Aquarium Lighting; Reef, Planted Light Information. PAR, Bulb, Watt, Kelvin, Nanometers, MH, LED.

TMC Spectrums for their CREED LED's: http://www.tmc-ltd.co.uk/data/led-spectra.pdf


Read it and decide for yourself, I can also link you to this forum post by many UKaps members who have seen how much better they are ;) : UK Aquatic Plant Society Forum • View topic - So LED's don't work??

As for myself I will always be using LED's from now on as they are so much more efficient, cooler running, longer lasting and controllable (that's right I have sunrise's and sunsets!). I can also recommend TMC's products as I have used them in the past and have spoke to them about getting fittings (which they sent me free of charge.

If you want to chat about it or clear up any doubts just send me a PM.



Woops looks like I didn't see the second page, glad to see the link I used is still about thought!
 
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