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  #11  
Old 10-24-2018, 05:25 PM
cvrle1 cvrle1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogger View Post
I think in this world you really get what you pay for. I believe there is a marked difference in buying a quality fixture that uses quality parts (Cree or Osram led's), quality optics and a quality dimmable driver.
Reefbreaders fixtures use CREE LEDs as well, and cost less than 1/2 the price of Radions or AI lights. There was a a CBB unit (Micmol Aquapro) that used CREE LEDs as well, and was around $200. Majority of these units use same optics. What is more important is degree they use (80, 90, 100, etc) On CBBs optics are easy to replace and dirt cheap if you really want to play around with that. Most dont, as there is no need.

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Many of the lower end or black box leds don't produce as much quality light per wattage as does a fixture with a quality driver and cree or osram led's. Therefore it cost more to produce the same amount of light.
This is false. There is no such thing as better quality light. 3W LED will produce same quality of light as 3W LED. There has been 0 actual proof to this, yet people still believe it. Just look at the PAR readings and you will see that CBBs and Radions/AI/etc produce very similar amount of PAR (difference, if any is negligible) Again, bigger difference will be optics, but like I said that is easily changed.

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There is also the issue of warranties and longevity.
Thats fair enough, although units like Reefbreades do have same warranty and better customer service than some higher end units from what I read.

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Many people believe that if your light is producing the correct spectrum you are either wasting energy or worse encouraging unwanted algaes to grow.
AI for example use full spectrum on their units, it is even listed on their site. This is same spectrum as majority of CBBs use. Majority of CBBs copied spectrum from higher end brands and called it a day. Why spend money on R&D when you can just copy what works well from others haha

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My original leds I bought didn't last more than a year and a half before they were burning out and the fans had conked out. That was the original maxspect led. Back then they made a cheap unit. They did warrantee them and gave me a break on a replacement razor fixture.
Not sure when you had your unit, but I did hear they were quite bad when they 1st started coming out years ago. They are much better now than say even 5 years ago.

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If you don't believe me take a look at what 3 or 4 year radions are selling for on this site. Only a few hundred less than they paid for them. You can't give away a 3 or 4 year old black box led.
Of course they will, and I would sure as hell hope they would. You are talking about a $700 fixture vs $120. In 3 to 4 years I can just buy new fixture if need be, and do that 5 times. That gives me 15 years of new lights compared to one $700 fixture that wont last that long (LEDs do have limited lifetime)

Last edited by cvrle1; 10-24-2018 at 05:27 PM.
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  #12  
Old 10-24-2018, 07:57 PM
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Frogger Frogger is offline
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I am no expert these are only my opinions.

Watch the following BRS video on Black Box and low cost LED's and you make up your mind. There are lots of other sources for information out there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCSbukB3Ieg

Granted BRS does not sell Black Box units but for the most part I have found their videos to be informative.

Last edited by Frogger; 10-24-2018 at 08:03 PM.
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  #13  
Old 10-24-2018, 09:36 PM
cvrle1 cvrle1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogger View Post
I am no expert these are only my opinions.

Watch the following BRS video on Black Box and low cost LED's and you make up your mind. There are lots of other sources for information out there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCSbukB3Ieg

Granted BRS does not sell Black Box units but for the most part I have found their videos to be informative.
BRS does have some really informative videos, like their 52 weeks of reefing and new one BRS/WWC System. I do find their videos at times sounding like sale adverts, which kinda irk me, but they are a business trying to sell stuff, so I take good with the bad.
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  #14  
Old 10-25-2018, 04:52 PM
Serpantkeeper Serpantkeeper is offline
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Thanks for all the info!!!
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  #15  
Old 11-13-2018, 03:13 PM
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Worth mentioning there are many options beyond the 3 watt commonly used. My 10 watt multi chip diy fixture has been running for many years. Generic chips & have only recently had several burn out.
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  #16  
Old 11-14-2018, 02:14 AM
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Madreefer Madreefer is offline
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Bahaha listen to all the experts and their years of experience. Listen to that guy who last posted. I' ve tried several LED Fixtures and my opinion is too stick with T5. Less bull**it to deal with. Opinions are like a**holes though
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  #17  
Old 12-31-2018, 04:23 AM
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Iím sure itís been said already, too lazy to read all replies. Watts per gallon can be misleading. PAR is the magic answer. Beg, borrow, or steal a PAR meter and keep your corals where they get ideal PAR numbers. If you decide to go with Radions be VEY CAREFUL. Radions are very powerful and you can cook your corals if you do not acclimate them properly to the light intensity.
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  #18  
Old 05-01-2019, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvrle1 View Post
When it comes to LEDs. majority of them will grow coral just the same, as long as they are 3W LEDs. That is the most important part of LED fixtures. There are some fixtures out there, like Current USA Orbit that use only 0.5W LEDs, which are only good for fish only tanks, or really, really, really low light needing corals and shallow tanks.

In terms of 3W LED fixtures, there are many options out there, at many different prices. As mentioned, they will all grow corals just the same, different cost comes with all the extra features that you want your unit to have. Units like Mars Aqua and Viparspectra, which are quite popular are Chinese Black Boxes. They are very basic, as they only have 2 channel control and Viparspectra has a timer. That is it, no other features. Then you have units like Ocean Revive T247 which are nicer looking, and have mounting brackets (still only 2 channels) Then you go to something like Reefbreaders V2+, which are even nicer looking and have a lot more features. 6 channels, sunrise/sunset, WiFi control and so on. And finally you have top of the line Radions, AI, Kessil and so on, which have all the bells and whistles you can think of.

In the end it really comes down to what features are a must have for you. I decided that I dont need 6 channels, WiFi and all the extra gadgets, so I went with 2 Bloomspect 165W fixtures. They are almost identical to Viparspectra I mentioned above, but have 2 UV LEDs as well. I will use 2 of these over my 120G 4x2x2. That should give me more than enough light to keep whatever I decide to. The way I saw it is: 2 Bloomspect units cost <$200, 3 Radions or AI would be over $1K. Pretty easy decision for me.

There are also hybrid units with T5s as mentioned by Frogger, however I didnt want to deal with T5's as they need to be replaced 12-18 months.

Just because I hate misinformation, I have to chime in. Most Chinese LED box's use a lower quality LEDs that where binned low grade because they didn't meet a standard during QC and are sold for cheap. You can buy these LEDs yourself on ebay, have a search. And yes there is a difference. You will find posts in many forums where people replace the LEDs after 2 years of use because the color spectrum shifts or because the LEDs start burning out prematurely. I also found the color spectrum produced in general to be rather poor compared to the higher end brands I have used. Colors just don't pop the same. In 2 channel Chinese boxes the white channel is overpowered. I run my whites literally at %1 because my coral cringe at anything more. Would have been nice if the second channel was blue with some white. That said, nothing wrong with using Chinese LEDs. I have 2 Viparspectras. They work, grow coral and have way more power then I need. They are cheap too. Even replacing the entire unit after a couple years is still cheaper then buying high end. But in now way are the LEDs the same. You get better LEDs with better brands. Even if the Chinese LEDs say Cree. They are low grade Cree.
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  #19  
Old 05-01-2019, 11:03 PM
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I run a SPS mixed reef.

I was running 2 x250w mh on the same sized tank. I wanted more shimmer. I got an sbreeflights actinc bar and was very happy with it. when it came time to ditch the mh I went with their ULTRA light, its basicaly a CBB full spectrum razor, I went with this choice as like t5 i wanted the lights all the way across the tank.

they have the default optics on them <80 or 90 degrees im not sure> i run the 2 units side by side@19" above the water line. i run them side by side to widen the sweet spot a little, but i can grow sps from the edge of the tank where my frag rack isl at 2/3 up the tank down to bottom of the tank. lower light sps and corals cook at that height.

it is wi fi controlable, the old interface is not as intuitive as say radions interface but it works, and they have a newer easier to use one shipping on the new units.

No mater what you get if you can get a par meter to match your existing lighting do it, if not take it slow.
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