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Thread: LED light strips?

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr phuchuynh92's Avatar
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    LED light strips?

    Hello,

    I was scrolling through a lot of forum as well as google online, and there aren't a lot of posts talking about people using the LED light strip that people can easily buy from Amazon or anywhere. Anyone has experience on this? is there a reason that its use isn't more popular? the way I see it, you buy a strip (15 ft for example), and you cut out a few ft and hot glue it to just about anything that can sit above a tank and it will work. You are spending like 20 bucks for lights that can be used on like 8 tanks.

    Another thing is the RGB light strips, this will let the user adjust the intensity of each color to get the right light frequency they need.
    Anyone has any opinion on this? I would love to know. Right now, I have 2 2G planted shrimp tanks that I'm using scrap white LED strip for (I just tape it where I want the light to go), and it is working pretty great. Only down side for me is that I have duckweed on top so I taped the light in the middle around the tank and kind of make it ugly. Other than that, I think my plants are growing fine. Let me know what you think.

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    Moderator Master SCAPER Nick Shades's Avatar
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    For my recessed, in stand lighting for my new reef, I bought several prr cut strips (i wanted to see how they were configured first) of the 425nm blue LEDs so that I could have radiant lighting during night hours.

    These particular strios come embedded into a silicone sleeve and are (non certified) water resistant.

    So far they work very well. I can provide you the vendor I purchased them from on ebay later.

    The problem with the RGB strips that are marketed to say, go behind your television or under your cabinet, is that they are usually less than 1 watt per LED. They are powered by USB on anything above a 1amp transformer.

    These, if you used enough, would be fine for supplemental lighting, but are so inconsistent that it might not be worth anything other than some breeding or culturing setups.

    I have heard they are good for macro algae reactors.

    The higherend ones use a CCTV style 12vDC power connector, and those strips are ussually above 1 watt per LED, and sometimes up to 3 watts.

    As long as the strip is about the 4700k spectrum, they can be effective for a planted tank or better - but - find out what the optics are. If it is more than about a 120 degree of light flooding, it will lose too much par value.

    Conversely, you can paint its enclosure white, make a highly reflective metal rail housing system, or just double or triple up.

    Because these strips avoid an independent LED driver and are transformed via a wall wart, there is a limit to the number of LEDs that can be powered on each plug, and the economy is ussually 18 to 35% less efective than a dedicated LED driver, not to mention benefits there with cooling, dimming, etc.

    I think they area great means to supplementing light, testing light, or niche projects.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr phuchuynh92's Avatar
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    hi Nick,

    Thank you for your information, it is great information.

    I am talking about the 12VDC strips with CCTV style power connector. I think I will try your strategy with the reflective enclosure. I want to try using something like reflective tape or something similar and redirect all the lights straight into my tank and see. I will also make sure there is a beefy power supply that can push as much power as the strip will need.

    Personally, I do not like the silicone that makes it "water resistant" because they yellow over time and decrease the brightness a bit. With my tank being low tech without filter or air, I do not think I have to worry about water splashing.
    Here is my tank with light on top only and light on top and in the middle. Note that the camera makes the light on top only looks much brighter than it is in real life so yeah

    IMG_1866.jpg IMG_1868.jpg

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    Moderator Master SCAPER Nick Shades's Avatar
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    The one i got guaranteed no yellowing for 24 months, which, tbh, by that time i should have a better alternative in place.

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