Looking for a LED Light for my Planted tanks Help

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by sambofish, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. sambofishValued MemberMember

    Good afternoon,

    I have a marineland 56 gallon column tank  .
    It is a dirt planted tank with 13 plants of varying lengths (will be adding more soon). I know the light I presently have is not adequate and I am looking to get enough light to be in the Med to High range. I am looking to replace it with an LED light that can hit the bottom of the tank.

    Would any of these be a good one for it:



      (I'm liking this one because it has a moonlight and I can watch the pleco's and catfish at night....I know I know its silly)

    If none of these are good please recommended one.

    Thanks is advance.
  2. oscarsbudWell Known MemberMember

    I am looking to upgrade my lights also. I went to the aquatraders site. This is the light I am getting. I like the idea of the timer for the fixture and the cooling fans on the one I am getting.I thought it was a great price for what I am getting. I originally wanted to get the ones with the blue light also but was advised that for a planted tank, the 6500k bulbs were better than the 10000k bulbs.


    I think this is what you are looking for. They have a lot of different combinations.


  3. RogueAgent94Fishlore VIPMember

    If you want a good LED light you'll have to make one yourself IMO. Well.. I suppose you could buy one but they are REALLY expensive. With LEDs, if you buy a cheaper fixture the LEDs won't be as good. If you're interested in that I could recommend some good sites to buy LEDs from.

  4. sambofishValued MemberMember

    How hard is it to DIY? what is the average cost for a good LED DIY Light? It seems like a fun project that I would be interested in doing?

  5. RogueAgent94Fishlore VIPMember

    DIY seems fairly easy. I haven't done it yet but I plan to! Average cost changes depending on what kind of LEDs you want and such.
  6. sambofishValued MemberMember

    Rogueagent94- what are some of the sites you are talking about?
    oscasrbud- Forgive me if I'm slow..what you are buying is a T5 with LED right?

    Also would I need to change my canopy...It came with the aquarium.
  7. oscarsbudWell Known MemberMember

    What I am buying is a T5HO 4x39W light fixture w/ 3 Bluemoon LEDs. So if you are looking for LEDs all the way across, it probably isn't what you want.
  8. sambofishValued MemberMember

    OscarsBud- I have a   which is a column tank, could I but the lights directly over it or would I have to replace the top/cover that came with it to glass? How often do you have to change bulbs?
  9. RogueAgent94Fishlore VIPMember

    Here are a couple links:


    Also I believe there is a seller on ebay with some nice LED lights. I think they're called Tao Tronics but they sometimes have loud fans. But that's easy to switch out if you can snip a wire and put it back together lol.
  10. oscarsbudWell Known MemberMember

    I have glass tops on my tanks now and will be putting the lights on that. I don't think they would work if you have a full hood. And this is a first for me also so I don't know how often the lights need to be changed. I think I read every 6 months but I'm not sure.
  11. RogueAgent94Fishlore VIPMember

    T5 bulbs? I change mine every 8-10 months.
  12. outlawWell Known MemberMember

    If going DIY, I would recommend Rapid LED. They aren't the cheapest but so far they have been more than helpful and everything came as described. Unfortunately I don't have any plants yet to show what they can do.

    stevesleds.com is another retailer for leds. I've never ordered from them but heard they are good.

    The cree leds that rapid sells are 5w leds compared to most fixtures and other retailers of 3w or less.

    If you have the time, diy is a good choice because of the customization options you have. If you dont have the time/skills, prebuilt may be the route to go.

    diy note - With a deep tank (24"), you may need optics depending on leds, but this may require more leds depending on your spacing to prevent 'spot lighting'. prebuilts usually come with some type of optic but is technically not optional as a diy.

    I just built a diy led for my 20 cube and am quite happy with it.
    Whites on own dimmer and timer
    Blues on own dimmer and timer
    moons on own timer

  13. sambofishValued MemberMember

    Outlaw- What was the approximate cost for you?

    hank you everyone for the information, I will look into everything.

    Thanks again.
  14. AquaristFishlore LegendMember

  15. outlawWell Known MemberMember

    Roughly $195. Most of this is because I wanted to use the original light fixture. i probably could have done cheaper but I was ok with the quality of the parts and service I received.

    5w Cree Led
    6 cool white
    6 royal blue
    4 warm white
    2 neutral white

    Most of the details on my build should be in my blog if you need but feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer.

  16. sambofishValued MemberMember

    Outlaw- Just read your blog...Yeah....I'm not ready for that...HAHA....I might burn the house down...HAHA
  17. outlawWell Known MemberMember

    lol, it looks worse than it was. The pictures definitely make it overwhelming but after doing it, it wasn't that bad. :D

    If your steady with a soldering iron, there isn't too much else you need but patience lol. The pre-built, you may need to run 2 fixtures depending on what you get.

    When looking at fixtures make sure they are for planted aquariums and high output (3w or higher led) because of your deep tank.

    Good Luck,

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