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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello CF friends, I need help.

I am a firm believer in LED lighting and even suggested using them over T5's on here before. That being said, I have been burnt, twice :x , over the last year and a half. I have had three LED fixtures go out. This is the most recent casualty https://www.amazon.com/KZKR-Upgraded-Aq ... light&th=1. The other two were DIY - Flood lights do not make good aquarium lighting.

I'm totally over it. Who makes dependable lights? Even when I ran T5's, PC's, VHO's I always made my own inside my canopy. I have no idea about who makes respectable plug and play fixtures.

Any suggestions are appreciated.
 

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Aquarium LED lights are quite a ripoff for most people's uses. Do you want to simply light up your tank to see your fish? Get a t8 hood and 3 dollar 48 inch bulb from any big box store. Done.

Do you have corals? Then get some shop lights and LED bulbs of the right temperature. Done.

Do you have a big show tank full of lots and lots of plants, or a big reef tank you want to look just right? Then you might consider an LED setup designed for that purpose, but you will run into problems here too as it is very difficult to get something with just the right amount of lumins and just the right color for your needs. Often you can't even look up the lumens, they want you to use PAR instead, but PAR requires a meter and there is no such thing as a PAR rating for the fixtures themselves so in reality this is a very deceptive practice that induces you to spend way too much money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cyphro said:
Aquarium LED lights are quite a ripoff for most people's uses. Do you want to simply light up your tank to see your fish? Get a t8 hood and 3 dollar 48 inch bulb from any big box store. Done.

Do you have corals? Then get some shop lights and LED bulbs of the right temperature. Done.

Do you have a big show tank full of lots and lots of plants, or a big reef tank you want to look just right? Then you might consider an LED setup designed for that purpose, but you will run into problems here too as it is very difficult to get something with just the right amount of lumins and just the right color for your needs. Often you can't even look up the lumens, they want you to use PAR instead, but PAR requires a meter and there is no such thing as a PAR rating for the fixtures themselves so in reality this is a very deceptive practice that induces you to spend way too much money.
So I have been looking at your first two options. Do you think 5k is to warm for a fish only setup? I found some really neat options for led t5 bulbs, but can't find them in more than 5k.
 

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Lee79 said:
Cyphro said:
Aquarium LED lights are quite a ripoff for most people's uses. Do you want to simply light up your tank to see your fish? Get a t8 hood and 3 dollar 48 inch bulb from any big box store. Done.

Do you have corals? Then get some shop lights and LED bulbs of the right temperature. Done.

Do you have a big show tank full of lots and lots of plants, or a big reef tank you want to look just right? Then you might consider an LED setup designed for that purpose, but you will run into problems here too as it is very difficult to get something with just the right amount of lumins and just the right color for your needs. Often you can't even look up the lumens, they want you to use PAR instead, but PAR requires a meter and there is no such thing as a PAR rating for the fixtures themselves so in reality this is a very deceptive practice that induces you to spend way too much money.
So I have been looking at your first two options. Do you think 5k is to warm for a fish only setup? I found some really neat options for led t5 bulbs, but can't find them in more than 5k.
Color mostly matters for plants. They mainly like 6500k, or around 10k for corals. For viewing it doesn't matter much but having a very high temperature color like 8k-10k can make them look weird because cool means blue and warm means red., so that range is very blue. 5k is pretty neutral in color so is fine for viewing.
 

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Lee79 said:
ironspider said:
I use beamswork, love it.
Have you had it very Long? I've been looking at those, my only concern is will it last.
I also have one of these - set it up on a 20 long, and I like it. Only been about 6 months, but it comes on, I can see the fish and the tank, and it goes off. Repeat.

Nothing overly fancy, and like you, I wonder about it's longevity. But for the ~40 bucks, it was worth a risk. I will say that I had no light for this tank, so even a florescent light was not that much cheaper. At this point, I'm strongly considering a pair of 36" beamswork for my 125.
 

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ironspider said:
I use beamswork, love it.
Not long, just a few months, but it doesn't really matter, it was so inexpensive I can go through three before it equals the price of some of the big names. It looks great though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ironspider said:
ironspider said:
I use beamswork, love it.
Not long, just a few months, but it doesn't really matter, it was so inexpensive I can go through three before it equals the price of some of the big names. It looks great though.
That was my experience with a similarly priced unit, great light, but not long lasting. And at $80-100 that is more expensive than buying fluorescent bulbs two or three times a year - which I will never go back to.
 

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If an LED light totally goes out the main reason is probably a failure of the power supply. If you have the specs for the power supply (usually printed on the label) you can get new ones through a number of sources and your light will be back to normal.

If you have individual chips going out on your LED fixture then there isn't much you can do unless you want to remove and resolder in new chips. In that respect fluorescent is better as you can always switch out lamps.

Andy
 

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I've had the 72" beamworks for probably 4 years, no problems yet. I've also replaced my 20,40, and 55 with beamworks over the last year or 2. Everyone has work great.
 

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I added a 48" Beamworks EA to my cichlid only tank a few days ago and love it. I also purchased the optional timer. I can't speak for longevity, but for the price it was worth the risk and the tank looks awesome. I had the horrible Marineland lights that came with it, so a flashlight would have been an upgrade. The fish look great and the timer works. I will be happy if I only have to buy one a year. I was replacing one of the two Marineland lights every six months on average. That adds up over an eight year period.
 

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I would look at any LED strips that fit into a t5 or t8 fixture very carefully and determine its watts and lumens compared to actual t5 and t8 bulbs.

Theoretically LEDs are more efficient but the t8 and t5s are already highly efficient as it is, and cheap LEDs can be less efficient and often put out much less light. So if you go that route make sure to find out what wattage and lumen output you can expect from the LED strip.

t5 HO is totally unnecessary unless you have lots of plants or corals that need a huge amount of light because it uses 54 watts. It does put out over 4000 lumens but a standard t8 puts out around 2850 lumens for much less energy use at 32 watts.

A few years ago I wanted to move into LED but every single option I could find was either inefficient compared to what I had or else massively overpriced. Now I do use some LED shop bulbs in clamp on lamps in some tanks, because things have improved.

It may be that some various LED lighting kits are much improved now but they are generally very opaque about what you are getting probably because the very efficient stuff is cutting edge and costs big bucks, so you probably get less output or less efficiency in most of them. If someone is looking to replace a t5 or t8 then I would just suggest to get another bulb and the next time it burns out in 4-5 years you will have a plethora of cheap and efficient LED options.
 

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The beamswork led lights we use are as listed.
1- 72"
2- 48"
3- 36"
3- 30"
They have been in use for about 4 years. We had one power source fail, picked up a new comparable power source and back in business. That's the only problem we encountered.

The current usa plus we use are as listed.
3- 48"
We had about half of the leds burn out on one of the units at the 2 yr. mark. Called the manufacture for replacement leds and they replaced the entire unit for us. They have "EXCELLENT" customer service. They have been in service for about three years now.

We've had one fluval led for about 3 months and about half of the leds are burned out. We are in talks with the manufacturer at the moment and it's not looking good so far.

That about sums up our led experience.
 

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BlueSunshine said:
The beamswork led lights we use are as listed.
1- 72"
2- 48"
3- 36"
3- 30"
They have been in use for about 4 years. We had one power source fail, picked up a new comparable power source and back in business. That's the only problem we encountered.

The current usa plus we use are as listed.
3- 48"
We had about half of the leds burn out on one of the units at the 2 yr. mark. Called the manufacture for replacement leds and they replaced the entire unit for us. They have "EXCELLENT" customer service. They have been in service for about three years now.

We've had one fluval led for about 3 months and about half of the leds are burned out. We are in talks with the manufacturer at the moment and it's not looking good so far.

That about sums up our led experience.
Just wanted to follow up on my comments about fluval. All is good, they stood behind their product!!! =D>
 

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I've had Beamworks and Finnex units. The power supplies on every unit had to be replaced. Overall, I find Finnex to have a good build quality.

The benefits of LEDs are that they are cheaper to run and throw off less heat.
 
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