My new LED lights. (AKA "cheap Chinese" ones.)

Discussion in 'Lighting, Filtration & Other Equipment' started by Nonfamous, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    Okay, so the first of my LED units arrived today. Unit has 55 3w LEDs and came with hanging hardware. Unit is dimmable with twin power cords, on/off switches and dimmers. First lets show you the CRAP I am replacing. Sorry, I have a cheap camera and am a poor photographer.

    First is a general picture of the canopy. In it you will see what I'm replacing. Some is hard to see so I'll splain it to ya.

    1 Magenta/blue 12" stunner
    1 Blue 12" stunner
    1 Blue/white 48" stunner
    2 twin bulb Coralife 48" t5 units. Though these were up graded to ATI bulbs, they suck!

    [​IMG]
     
    Nonfamous, Jul 23, 2012
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  2. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    Next is a general picture of what the tank looks like under full current lighting. I'll shoot another with the new lights when the second unit arrives and is mounted. (Please excuse my thermometer. I'm trying to reduce the tank temp a little and have it mounted so I can keep an eye on it.)

    [​IMG]
     
    Nonfamous, Jul 23, 2012
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  3. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    Question for anyone reading:

    My current t5s are about 2 1/2" above the water. My 48" stunner is 1 1/2". The spread on this unit is said to be 120 deg. How far above the water should I mount these lights?
     
    Nonfamous, Jul 23, 2012
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  4. Nonfamous

    RockStacker

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    Can you post a picture of your new LED fixture?
    And does it have supplemental optics over the LED? or the 120 degrees is just how the LEDs themselves project the light?

    At 120 degrees, I would think it should not go any higher than 12" above the water or else you will be sending a lot of light towards your wood panels inside the canopy.

    We might have the same LED fixtures.
    However, It is hard to guess with these unbranded LED's. Each one you get could be built differently even if you bought them from the same vendor.
    I guess you just have to try hanging it at different heights and see which one works best without "spilling" a lot of light.
     
    RockStacker, Jul 23, 2012
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  5. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    I'll post up a picture of both of them when the other arrives. I went back and looked and it actually state 60 to 90 deg. I'm not sure what that means though. The highest I can go is 5 1/2" due to the canopy.

    So how do you like yours? Are they what you expected? I'll be adding at least one stunner to them later. I'm going to use my Blue 12" as a moon light.
     
    Nonfamous, Jul 23, 2012
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    moncapitane

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    That sounds very interesting. What brand are you?
     
    moncapitane, Jul 24, 2012
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  7. Nonfamous

    over my head

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    i have a single 3w*55 led sounds a lot like yours set mine at about 3inches over the water in a 50g tank
     
    over my head, Jul 24, 2012
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  8. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    Mine are ....... generic? There is no brand name on them. As I said, cheap Chinese ones I guess. I know, they are all made there, just some cost more than others!

    My task is to see how things progress and add to the spectrum if needed via the use of the stunners.
     
    Nonfamous, Jul 24, 2012
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  9. Nonfamous

    RockStacker

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    They are what I expected for the money I spent :).
    Other than the dimmer it is a no frills, no bells and whistles fixture. It does seem to be of solid construction though. I was half expecting the case to be as thin as soda cans and ugly fuzzball soldering.
    The two separate power lines for blue and white sets are nice. I am able to hook up two different timers for blue and white.

    They are no way comparable to Ecotech or AI but it fits my needs and my wallet thanks me.

    My lights are currently at 40% illumination for both blue and white and the corals that I have are responding nicely.
    I only have soft corals and a couple of LPS so I cannot provide feedback on performance for SPS.


    If you are curious about the light projection angle, what you can do is place the fixture against a wall in a dark room. You can even temporarily place the fixture on the floor pointing up, elevated a bit so the fans still work.
    From there you can see on the wall the angles produce by the light.
     
    RockStacker, Jul 24, 2012
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  10. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    I did my test mounting today. The bottom of the fixture is dead on 5" above the water. I might be able to get another 1/2" but it looks fine the way it is now.

    I fired them up and compared to my crappy t5's, its amazing! I have the dimmer turned on just enough for the lights to come on and its as bright as or brighter than the t5's. I don't see any spot lighting on the sand or rocks, but again, the dimmers are way down.

    For under $400 additional dollars, I think its going to work out well for me. I can still add my stunner strips if needed. I'm going to look and see what additional wavelengths I can get with them if my corals start doing poorly. I only have Zoas, Mushrooms, Frogspawn and one Favia.
     
    Nonfamous, Jul 24, 2012
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  11. Nonfamous

    Mattyice008

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    Are these by any chance the Taotronic fixtures?
     
    Mattyice008, Jul 24, 2012
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  12. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    You know, I have never seen a Tao in person, only in photographs. So I cant say for sure, but they look just like them just without an emblem. Why do you ask?
     
    Nonfamous, Jul 24, 2012
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  13. Nonfamous

    Mattyice008

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    Well I'm upgrading to a 70gal soon and I was thinking about getting 2 of these
    TaoTronics Aquarium Coral Reef Tank White Blue LED Grow Light 120W Black | eBay

    And then the dimmable version, which I will probably get.
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Aquarium-lights-Dimmable-Tronics-dimmable/dp/B0085Y6ZKW]Amazon.com: Aquarium LED lights 120W Black Dimmable same as Tao Tronics just dimmable: Home Improvement[/ame]
     
    Mattyice008, Jul 24, 2012
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  14. Nonfamous

    RockStacker

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    If you are going to get one of these, I would suggest you go with the dimmable version. They usually cost about $20.00 more than non-dimmable, but they work out better for acclimating corals.

    It is funny how they don't even make any attempt to hide the fact that they are just cloning another product. "Same as Tao Tronics just dimmable". :)
     
    RockStacker, Jul 24, 2012
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  15. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    Yeah, get the dimmable ones. I picked mine up for $180 each shipped.
     
    Nonfamous, Jul 24, 2012
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  16. Nonfamous

    Mattyice008

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    Please let me know how these work for you man, and pics would be awesome. Let me know what kinda corals you're growing also with the lights.
     
    Mattyice008, Jul 24, 2012
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  17. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    I'll post up pictures and try to up date from time to time. As for corals I have:

    1 lavender metallic mushroom colony
    1 green stripped mushroom colony
    3 different color Zoas
    1 frogspawn

    I have plans to add a lot more Zoas. I really like the colors but the ones I have need to show some growth first. I would like to add some more mushrooms too. Maybe, if all goes well with the lights I want to add some more LPS. I'm just not sure which ones.
     
    Nonfamous, Jul 25, 2012
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  18. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    Just a quick update.

    My second unit was damaged in shipping. No return issues from the seller and I should have the replacement within a few days. I have hung the first unit permanently. Its exactly 5" from the water's surface. I removed the damaged, half working t5 unit with one still in place as well as the 48" stunner. Just so the other side of the tank gets some light too.

    At 5" I have no spotlight effects. The colours are great. Heat is at a minimum. I did a test run with light intensities and wow these things can get bright! I'm glad I opted for the dimmable version. Its running about 40% power today. Had it at about 30% yesterday. The Zoas and mushrooms seem to be fine with where it is now, so I'll leave it alone for a few days. I'm really not sure how high I should go with the intensity. Something I'll have to learn about as I go I guess.

    My only concern at this time is coverage. Even with the other unit installed I think I may have a dim area in the center of the tank. Kinda shadowed. I didn't notice this with the t5s but since they were so dim it may well have been there. Once the second unit is installed I may make some adjustments to the side to side location of the units as well as a possible height adjustment. Hopefully I can work out the dim area.

    Some have expressed concerns about the fan noise from the units. Honestly, with my enclosed canopy, they can not be heard. The sound of the water going into the sump is much louder. (I happen to like that sound so I don't try to silence it.) The ONLY thing I wish was different with these units is the power plug placement. They are on the same side as the on/off and dimmer switches. I wish they were on the opposite side. It would just look cleaner in my application.
     
    Nonfamous, Jul 26, 2012
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  19. Nonfamous

    cvcdrk

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    Wow that's a great price!

    I have the Marineland Reef Capable LED lights right now and am not immediately looking to upgrade but pleas let us know how these dimmable ones work out for you because I might consider them over the AI Sol lol
     
    cvcdrk, Jul 30, 2012
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  20. Nonfamous

    Mattyice008

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    Yea im using a marineland reef capable as well. But ill be getting these in a few months
     
    Mattyice008, Jul 30, 2012
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