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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ideally, I would be installing the LED outside of the vivarium, but this is a PVC enclosure. I’ll preface this by saying there will be no frogs in the viv although the conditions will be similar. The dimensions are 4x2x2 ft.

The main things I’m looking for are:
-Waterproofness given the high humidity
-Dimmability
-How much heat it gives off
-Quality (I would rather spend more than throw the thing out in two years or less)

From what I’ve read on the site, this is a topic that hasn’t been discussed in a few years, so I’m hoping there will be insight on newer brands and models.
I would love to hear any information (such as how hot a specific model gets) or experience!
 

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Aquarium LEDs tend to be rated IP67, which seems waterproof enough to withstand humidity and misting. I used a Current Satellite Plus Pro for a year, and recently switched to a Finnex Planted+ 24/7 ALC, but there are much cheaper lights on the market if you don't need high PAR and sunrise/sunset effects. I also have 2 LED spot lights mounted in weatherproof sockets (meant for outdoor use, they have rubber gaskets that block most water from getting to the attachment point) that have been functioning for a year and a half now. The latter protrude about 5" into the tank, so they work best with a raised lid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Aquarium LEDs tend to be rated IP67, which seems waterproof enough to withstand humidity and misting. I used a Current Satellite Plus Pro for a year, and recently switched to a Finnex Planted+ 24/7 ALC, but there are much cheaper lights on the market if you don't need high PAR and sunrise/sunset effects.
I have looked at the Finnex Planted+ line but I’ve read that they can run quite hot. Has this been your experience? Also, if I may ask, what made you switch from the Current Satellite?

The aquarium LEDs do seem like the way to go. Any suggestions or experience with them would be much appreciated!
 

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Depending on your exact setup, installing a piece of glass in the top of the enclosure may be an option (though not so easy on stacked enclosures) -- cut an opening and set a piece of tempered glass in it, so lights can be installed on the outside.

I've been using a couple Fluval 3.0 on my FW planted tank for a few weeks, and I really like them. The app is easy to use, and they seem to run cool (no data on this, just how they feel when touched). There's a lot of electronics on board, though (bluetooth, dimmer circuits) so I would hope the waterproofing is all it is cracked up to be for in-viv use.

Are you trying to grow plants (and if so, which species/for what purpose) or is this just general illumination? For the latter, I've had good results from cheap 12v undercabinet lights of no particular brand inside PVC reptile vivs-- all the interesting electronics are on the outside of the viv, so water seems not to be much of a worry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I like the glass insert idea, but it might be more trouble than it’s worth given that I might stack the enclosure in the future.

Are you trying to grow plants (and if so, which species/for what purpose) or is this just general illumination? For the latter, I've had good results from cheap 12v undercabinet lights of no particular brand inside PVC reptile vivs-- all the interesting electronics are on the outside of the viv, so water seems not to be much of a worry.
This will have plants! Right now the plan is Pothos, Philodendron, Calathea, Alocasia, Peperomia, and maybe some broms and jewel orchids. The main goal is to provide cover and help maintain the humidity, but they do of course look nice as well.

The animal going in there is Epicrates cenchria cenchria, so there is always a good chance that the plants will be crushed. Although, I’ve had this individual for some time and he hasn’t dug up or killed any plants in those years.

I had heard word of there being LED strips made with plant-compatible LEDs which got me intrigued. Sadly, I haven’t been able to find anything like that in Canada. It is a good idea though!
 

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I have looked at the Finnex Planted+ line but I’ve read that they can run quite hot. Has this been your experience? Also, if I may ask, what made you switch from the Current Satellite?

The aquarium LEDs do seem like the way to go. Any suggestions or experience with them would be much appreciated!
My Finnex is warm to the touch on the LED side, and hot (but not uncomfortable to touch) on the top. I switched to it so I could have a color-shifted sunrise and sunset, I like a golden sunrise and a red sunset, and the Current Satellite didn't allow that level of customization. However, either of the fixtures I listed will be way overpowered for the plants you have mentioned wanting to grow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
However, either of the fixtures I listed will be way overpowered for the plants you have mentioned wanting to grow.
That’s good to know! If I can get away with a little less power, then the lights should run cooler.

I know some members use Nicrew lights, can anyone comment on build quality and heat given off?
 

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I did this with some larger viv panels. I put them inside a very tall viv to keep the temps down - and then added watercooling to keep the LEDs themselves down.

It's an acrylic enclosure so I just put the LEDs into little "pouches" of acrylic that I then added to a middle layer in the viv, about halfway up. If you check my profile you should see some example of how it works.

Running for about 2 years with no issues.
 
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