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LED Lighting for 1 Gallon Tank


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interested in this as well -- tagging along :)


Help! I know there are people on this forum who know this stuff!

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something's not right.....


He's reporting the lights as having an output of 480,000 mcd - but doesn't indicate which color. Different colors will have different output intensities, but what's probably being reported is the output of the white light.


480,000 mcd also means that each LED is a 20,000 mcd LED, which do exist, but always have a small viewing angle - around 12 degrees or so. mcd is a funny measurement, as the same amount of light, with a smaller viewing angle, results in a higher mcd measurement.


What they may have done is take 24 LEDs with a 20,000 mcd output, and mount them at different angle so that the light has a wider beam than a single led. They then added the mcd of each led to get 480,000 mcd - but that isn't accurate. If you have two 20,000 mcd LEDs side by side, and the light pattern from each doesn't intersect, then your output, in mcd, stays at 20,000 mcd - but your viewing angle is now wider.


The issue really lies with the definition of mcd. mcd is not truly the "output" of the LED, the measure of lumens is the output of the LED. mcd is a measure of the "brightness" of the LED, which is not the same as the output. If you have two LEDs with the same output, in lumens, but one focuses the light into a smaller viewing angle, it will appear brighter. This results in an increase in the "brightness", measured in mcd.


Basically, a light that produces 480,000 mcd in a 100 degree viewing angle, while only consuming 1.44W is not likely to exist, or at least cost only ten dollars.

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Wow--- holy cow.


Okay so given he has fabricated his sales pitch some, is it still worth buying? Would one or two of those lights be enough to light the 1 gal and keep a variety of corals like shrooms and zoas alive?

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Argent-- were you still thinking of doing one of these?


Anyone else have advice if this is enough light?

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if I did -- it's only a hermit crab and a snail that I'd be keeping in the tank anyway so lighting isn't that big of a concern for me.

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I think he's using the warped lens cover to widen the LED angle. If you want to make a good system you can try and get 40 or so leds. 60,000 mcd/led should be plenty and build your own light... bit its a bit of work.

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Thats why I was debating spending $20 on these LEDs and not having to do all the work for it! 2 of those lights would be 48 LEDs-- But I honestly dont know how much light that would be equivilent to.


If I got 2 should I get one white and one blue?

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lol well yeahn if you decide to go out on a limb and try it you should get one white and one blue...I am sure everyone has bought something without a full knowledge of a product

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Ok so I sprung for the lights. And after looking at the seller's store I found some other lights that I got with it. Heres what I have:


o O o


o = 8 blue LEDs

O = 24 White LEDs


So in total I will have 8 blue LEDs next to 24 White LEDs next to 8 blue LEDs = 40 LEDS. I decided to do that so that I still get the same amount of light but with 2 smaller blue fixtures I will have that light spread out equally in the tank. I am very exicted. Now to build a hood for these guys....

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If you check out my thread for the 1 gal pico reef under the pico forum you can see what i was able to find that nicely doubles as a LED light case.

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  • 11 months later...
Insane Reefer

Did these work out for you? Can't find any new info about this project, so thought I'd revive it...


If it did work out, how about some photo's of the completed light array?



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