Are my fluorescent lights working?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by joe333, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. joe333

    joe333 Little Fishie

    I’m considering switching from fluorescent to LED lighting. Most of the info I’m seeing is for reef tanks, so I’m having a hard time understanding how all of the various specs (color temperature etc) translate to a planted tank. Also do the same general guidelines on wattage apply, or is LED a different ballgame in that aspect? Any general feedback on LED lighting or suggestions on systems would also be appreciated.
     
  2. ImUnderYourSubstrate

    ImUnderYourSubstrate Administrator Staff Member

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    Oh no @joe333 , there are lots of differences and the change to LED is definitely preferred of fluorescents is well-deserved and needed for that matter. Here's the skinny:

    The difference of a fluorescent lighting to an LED lighting is more about the skill level that you wish to partake in. Fluorescent lights are known to be more of a beginner and basic lighting source that can light up your tank. The four general light bulbs are Full spectrum/daylight, High-Intensity, Plant, and Actinic. Each emits its own style for different tanks, so make sure to read up on them before usage.

    LED lights tend to be more advanced, and tend to be a bit more complicated. Instead of needing different bulbs for each one, they can generally be programmed to different lightings to help illuminate your plants. Depending on the types of bulbs, though, one will need to keep an eye on the PAR levels, or Photosynthetically Active Radiation levels, that lights need to be at for the plants to actually utilize the rays during photosynthesis. As such, you must be able to read and calculate what range of LED lighting is needed through the tank depth and distance.

    Both lights tend to be great, but again, the LED is generally the more advanced style.
     
  3. PlantMan

    PlantMan Administrator Staff Member

    LED produces less heat and arguably better colors these days. It's also nice being able to adjust LED lighting up or down which is very useful in combating algae.
     

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