BRStv Investigates: Do LED light diffusers have a place in the reef tank?

October 28th, 2016
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http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/aquarium-lighting/aquarium-led-lighting.html Today on BRStv, we have a brand new episode for our series, BRStv Investigates. In this series we explore popular reefing theories, products, methods, and what the manuals are missing, with a focus on putting them to the test!

This week we are going to challenge the theory LED light diffusers can eliminate shadowing, reduce over-aggressive shimmer, and increase spread of the light over your tank.

We are going to find out if Kessil’s new diffusion kits live up to their claims. These are small magnetic white lenses that snap on to the AP700 and claim to reduce shimmer, reduce shading or improve spread , enrich color blending, and I know everyone is wondering what impact they have on overall PAR. If these simple lenses can bring it home on all these claims I think its going to really shake up how many of us approach lighting our reef tanks.

Proper color blending, insane flicker or disco-ball effects and shading from the single points of lights are the biggest challenges LED lighting and reef tanks face, solving all those issues would be a huge deal so lets put those claims to the test.

Let's get right to it. The first thing we would like to put to the test is enriched blending, specifically referenced as superior color mixing. This is something that all LEDs struggle with. With halide and T5 lighting the bulbs emit a wide spectrum of lighting that can cover anything from UV, to blue, green yellow, orange and red all within the same bulb.

With LED lighting each LED generally hits a very narrow spectrum peak. To create a full spectrum lighting source you need to use a whole array of different LED colors which peak at different points and blend them together to create a full spectrum light source.

There are different ways to do that but the most common is probably to create small clusters of LED’s which are packed fairly close together with or without lenses and hopefully the color or light of each individual LED will intersect with each other to create that blended spectrum of light we are looking for. However, the placement of each individual color LED and reflector or lens will impact the spread or blending of the individual spectrums.

So follow along as we answer today's question, provide some helpful insight, and help make reefing just bit more fun and easy for you and your tank.

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