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Hello all,

So I currently have a 46 gallon bowfront light up with 36" 4x39w T5 HO, 2-10k and 2 atinic bulbs. My goal is a reef tank so the lights must support a mixed coral reef.

I know that eventually I will want to upgrade to LEDs, but I am somewhat confused on what to get or what to plan for as an upgrade. It seems that there are endless options with prices ranging from reasonable to outrageous (it would seem).

So my question is what LED light fixture should I put on my wish list?

Thanks for your input.

Cheers,
Aaron
 

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NVES - you and I both are in the same boat wanting to upgrade our lighting for the 46G. With that center brace I think your T5 is the best option for reef. That's what a few people have been telling me at least.

However, I want to upgrade to a larger tank in the future with LEDs.

The most affordable so far are the D120 (China built) - Reef Supply Canada has them and will offer a 3 year warranty. Unfortunately, there is not enough information on the quality of the LED but you get what you pay for. Most likely require 2 fixtures.
http://www.reefsupplycanada.com/d120-v2-dimmable-120-watt-full-spectrum-led-light-16-light/

Another option I looked at is the Maxspect Razor 160W 10K or 16K options. Lots of good Youtube reviews. Bonus it comes with the tank mount legs and a hanging kit. Low to mid range price and one fixture would probably do it.
http://www.maxspect.com/

Lately, for me it's a toss up between Kessil 360W and the Ecotech Radion G3 (generation 3 just released). It's obviously the expensive options. I'm leaning towards the G3 because it's new, modular (upgradeable lens) and it has the reef link wireless network capability if you ever want to get fancy.

Here's a short read on the G3
http://reefbuilders.com/2014/01/09/radion-g3-pro-leds/

So... what do we do now?
 

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The first generation of Radion is
-Modular
-can attach to reeflink
-can upgrade the lenses
-can be found used for under $500
 

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I have a G1. Great light. No UV in the LED cluster, still a great light. I pick mine up used over a year ago for $450.
 

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I built one two years ago and still holding up pretty well. I used to have a FOWLR with several LPS corals and have had no problems until the recent ice storm and perished all my livesotkc including the corals.

I bought myself a dimmable LED kit from AquaStyle Online and built a canopy. I purchased
1/2" thick aluminum bar from Metal Supermakets.

http://www.aquastyleonline.com/products/36--LEDs--DIY-Dimmable-Kit.html
 

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The maxspect razor 160w has a middle led bank so if you have a center brace this won't work. Also with the radeon lights they won't throw 36" wide without raising your light up a few feet above the tank and then running your lights at 80% which will give you a headache.

If you don't mind the corners of the tank dark then I would go for the g2 since its an awesome light. I own the maxspect razor 120w and its pretty amazing although its meant for a 30" tank

With the kessil lamps you would need 2 but they would look amazing!!!
 

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I would stay away from Chinese fixtures. Not only can they be a fire hazard of unknown electrical components, but trying to get them services a few years down the road, you can forget it.

I went with Texas build BuildMyLED full spectrum fixture over my 50g mixed reef last year and it has been fantastic. I'm only running it at around 60% brightness.

Their website has a nice calculator to help you figure out how many and what type of fixture they recommend for your tank.

Highly recommended.
See: http://www.buildmyled.com/saltwater-products/
 

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I would stay away from Chinese fixtures. Not only can they be a fire hazard of unknown electrical components, but trying to get them services a few years down the road, you can forget it.

I went with Texas build BuildMyLED full spectrum fixture over my 50g mixed reef last year and it has been fantastic. I'm only running it at around 60% brightness.

Their website has a nice calculator to help you figure out how many and what type of fixture they recommend for your tank.

Highly recommended.
See: http://www.buildmyled.com/saltwater-products/
I think it is very poor for anyone to group all "chinese" fixtures under one banner. The reefbuilder/evergrow fixtures have received very good reviews, as an example. They are also very easy to have the leds swapped out and are built quite well (google some reviews and youtube vids).....Yes there are some crappy fixtures but then there are some very good ones.
 

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hands down the best LED unit available is the Vertex Illumina, both in terms out output, features and looks. Pricey, but just like most things in life, you get what you pay for.
 

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I'm thinking LEDs used have something to do with both spectrum and colour rendering. I'm surprised to find that Vertex uses only three kinds of LEDs: white, blue, and royal blues. "Fluorescence is the emission of light by a substance that has absorbed light.." namely harmful uv or near UV redirected as another spectrum of light. So does Vertex give that actinic "pop" that high end T5s give? Or that it is sufficiently strong enough to grow corals but doesn't have that "pop"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

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I recently had a conversation with someone at Ecotech. I asked what is the main difference with the new g3 and g2 pros. He said other than the new outer case it's more powerful. And you wouldn't need the extra power unless you had a really deep tank. Really deep! If you were gonna go with the radions, I would recommend at most the g2pro. I bought 2 a few months and pretty much paid what the new G3s are goin for.
 
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