piker wrote: ↑
Sun Jan 05, 2020 0:05 am
I suppose to open up more coral choices lighting is something that cant be done cheap.
That's very true. I intend this to be an SPS-dominated tank, and it's a 2-foot cube so I need good penetration of the light.
This is quite a useful website:
The most commonly used quality lights seem to combine two LED clusters in a unit. The models include the following:
AI Hydra 26 (roughly £300)
AI Hydra 32 (roughly £350)
Radion XR30 G4 (roughly £600)
Radion XR30 G4 Pro (roughly £750)
The Radions cost twice as much but produce about twice as much light.
The problem with these (in my mind) is that the two LED clusters are very close together, about 6" apart. So when considering a 2-foot cube tank, almost all the corals will receive bright light from just one direction, and the other side will be in shadow. That might not be ideal for growth, and there could also be a problem for viewing because if you put the light in the middle then the viewer sees the shadowed side of any foreground corals.
Ideally I'd like distributed lighting a bit like what Joe has done on his tank with four smaller units:
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201910 ... 7fbc5e.jpg
However, the cost of four individual lights seems to be a lot more than a combined unit with similar output.
The AI single unit (Prime) looks a bit dim for my purposes, and still costs £200 each so a set of 4 would be £800.
The Radion single unit (XR15) is nice and bright, but at around £350 each it gets very expensive if I want 4 of them!
The AI Hydra 32 costs about the same as one XR15, and provides slightly more light with a better distribution.
So I think the Radions are pricing themselves out of the running.
Maxspect produce some lights including the 'Ethereal' (£450) and the the RSX100 (£400) which might be suitable and have slightly better spaced LED clusters. I need to look out some reviews of these.
One thing I haven't really considered yet is the control and progamming methods, and whether I need to buy additional hardware or software to control the lights.