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Lighting Suggestion For new Tank


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#1
hamiltonra25

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Really lost here on how to light up the new tank from Pico...

Ive read some awful reviews on the Radion, colors are not needed, overpriced, not good for coral.

Then Ive read some reviews about the Al Sol.

Looked into the DIY and that seems like its going to cost just as much as OEM light.

I guess my initial question, is would a Radion be enough to penetrate all the way down to the bottom of the tank.

I know the recommended length of the tank is 24'', but if 3'' on each side of the tank is a little dimmer, then fine.

Thanks for any input, just lost in this world of light, even after researching

#2
ajmckay

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I'm confused... DIY costing as much as an OEM manufactured light?

I have a similar sized tank, here is what I'm doing (scaled down to your size tank):

That size tank will need approximately an 18x5 heatsink $50 shipped from heatsink USA
10 CREE 3up stars from LEDgroupbuy $140
3 meanwell ELN 60D-48 drivers (one for the white channel and 2 for the blues) $80 from the internet (these are the drivers a lot of ppl use so there are really good instructions/documentation on how to hook them up)
$30 for solder, project box, wire, screws, thermal adhesive, potentiometers, etc...

Total $300.... That's a quality light source with room for upgrading without having to buy new drivers. Later on you could add more leds (though consider tapping the heatsink for screws if you want to do that instead of using adhesive), add optics, or whatever should your needs change...

Edited by ajmckay, 05 April 2012 - 08:53 AM.


#3
hamiltonra25

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I'm confused... DIY costing as much as an OEM manufactured light?

I have a similar sized tank, here is what I'm doing (scaled down to your size tank):

That size tank will need approximately an 18x5 heatsink $50 shipped from heatsink USA
10 CREE 3up stars from LEDgroupbuy $140
3 meanwell ELN 60D-48 drivers (one for the white channel and 2 for the blues) $80 from the internet (these are the drivers a lot of ppl use so there are really good instructions/documentation on how to hook them up)
$30 for solder, project box, wire, screws, thermal adhesive, potentiometers, etc...

Total $300.... That's a quality light source with room for upgrading without having to buy new drivers. Later on you could add more leds (though consider tapping the heatsink for screws if you want to do that instead of using adhesive), add optics, or whatever should your needs change...


I would also need to throw in a controller. So that puts me at $400 ($80 for a typhoon)

Would adding the controller be a massive issue in terms of a noob connecting it up

Guess its not the same price as a radion

#4
miniwhinny

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I'm using a kessil on my 15 gallon build and couldn't be happier. More importantly - my corals must feel the same way because I've never seen them look so good.

#5
Jacob042426

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and kessil is coming out with a new version.
a kessil or two might be best. :)

#6
hamiltonra25

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So you have no spotlighting issues with the kessil?

#7
Jacob042426

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look at her tank and see for yourself!

another tank to check out with a kessil is shallow's 30 gallon shallow reef.

#8
Veng

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I would also need to throw in a controller. So that puts me at $400 ($80 for a typhoon)

Would adding the controller be a massive issue in terms of a noob connecting it up

Guess its not the same price as a radion

There are quite a few ways to controll it in the 75-80$ price range (RKL/RKE ALC, Audrino, Apex, etc). The above setup is 25% more light than a AI, and the AI units are 480 w/ a controller. You could probably go with 2 correctly sized inventronics that would let you drive the 3-ups even harder and only use 2 controllers.

I've seen the AI in person at both LFS and a friend's tank. They are really really nice. If you want a turn key solution, it's a great solution. Is 100$ worth all the extra time and trouble of the DIY? That's something only you can answer. I will DIY my next light purchase, but that's because I enjoy the DIY. If I didn't enjoy DIY, I'd buy the Sol.

#9
miniwhinny

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So you have no spotlighting issues with the kessil?


Not at all.

Do you just have one kessil? I have a 20 gallon nano with AI Nano that might need to be replaced. Bummer that the Kessil doesn't have a controller to dim the power, it's either on or off, right?


Yes, just one. Two would be way too much light for a standard Aqueon 15 (24 x 12 x 12). It is just on and off.

#10
ajmckay

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A controller isn't really necessary though. Personally I think they're cool, but have somewhat limited use for lighting. You add a moon cycle and you can do a sunrise/sunset effect...

I'm not saying that they're not worth it, but you can achieve a similar effect by using some standard outlet timers and some manual dimming knobs.

Also I'm not sure how many of the commercially available units actually have full "controller" function. Many just have a way to adjust the channels (manually or with an electronic button). Some may also have a timer.

Oh, and I think the typhoon is only $57... They give you the option of buying drivers there too, but they're cheaper at other places.