Making the Case for Using LED Aquarium Lights
Today we are going to show you some of the most popular LED lights we offer and explain why more and more hobbyists are using LED lighting over traditional T5 fluorescent and metal halide fixtures.
LED aquarium lights are extremely energy efficient, using half the power of comparable T5 or metal halide lighting, which translates into lower electricity costs.
In addition, T5 and metal halide lights radiate heat downward into the water and can raise your aquarium water temperature. Most LED systems are designed so that heat radiates upward to dissipate into the surrounding area so your aquarium water temperature is not affected.
LED aquarium lights often have adjustable spectrums, which means you are able to change the color of the light to more white or more blue, depending on your preference. With T5 or metal halide lights, you are stuck with the color of the bulbs you purchased.
Many LED lights are dimmable so you can make the light as bright or dim as you like. You can even tune some down to 1% to use them as a moonlight. You do not need to change bulbs every 8-12 months like you would with fluorescent or metal halide lights. Most LED diodes will last from 3-5 years or even longer depending on usage.
LED lights also cast a beautiful shimmer into your aquarium, similar to metal halide lighting, which makes your tank look more natural.
We carry dozens of LED lighting systems and have something to fit just about any budget. Here are a few of our most popular options:
Starting off, we have the EcoTech Marine Radion family of LED lights. The current wave of Radions on the market are third generation models and considered by many to be the best LED system money can buy. They have been improved through the years with better LED chips, better fans and a better programming interface. Radions come with a USB cable that you can connect to your computer to do all the programming or you can control it wirelessly with a Reeflink or Neptune Systems Apex AquaController.
Next up, we have the controllable LED lights from Kessil which are very popular with hobbyists, fish stores and even aquaculture facilities. Kessil fixtures produce a very natural-looking light. It is a point-source light so you get almost zero disco effect and it creates a natural shimmer effect that is similar to what metal halides produce. The lights are super easy to use with the two knobs on top; one for color and the other for intensity. Kessil also recently released the Spectral Controller which allows you to program time schedules and adjust color and intensity. Kessil A360 and A160 lights can also be controlled using an Apex aquarium controller.
The Aqua Illumination Hydra TwentySix dropped in price from $399 to just $299 last week, making it very enticing and more economical for a lot of hobbyists. It is the smaller version of the Hydra FiftyTwo, although both are full spectrum light fixtures. The TwentySix uses 7 different colored LED diodes and covers a 24" x 24" area. It can be controlled wirelessly with the AI Controller (the controller itself must be plugged into a wall socket or surge bar) or you can use the AI Director which will allow you to control the light from your computer, laptop or mobile device.
In addition to using LEDs as the primary light source for display tanks, many hobbyists are opting to upgrade their refugium lights to LED lights as well. Traditional fluorescent refugium lights are not very resistant to moisture and the output tends to drop quickly over time. Two of our most popular LED refugium lights are the WavePoint Micro Sun and the JBJ Nano-Glo. Both have full spectrum LEDs and are moisture-resistant.
The Micro Sun has an adjustable mount so can easily adapt it to your refugium. It has a very secure clamp so the fixture will not go anywhere. The light is equipped with 8 x 1-watt daylight LEDs that are perfect for your 'fuge. This light could also be used as the primary light source over a freshwater planted tank.
The JBJ Nano Glo has a magnet mount so you can easily mount it to your refugium. These lights are popular for smaller refugiums or all-in-one style aquariums. You can easily clamp it with the magnet to the back of your AIO tank or refugium so it says securely in place. Since the LED diodes are in close proximity to your tank, you do not need as much power since the light is directed exactly where it needs to be.
It is easier and more affordable than ever to make your aquarium lighting more controllable, energy efficient and run cooler. If you have any questions about the products discussed in this post or any other aquarium gear, please don't hesitate to contact us. Until next time... take care and happy reefkeeping!
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