More recently, the main types of lamps used in lamps for an aquarium were:
– Fluorescent lamps. Very cheap and most common, do not require special care and allow you to place the lamp right in the aquarium cover.
The disadvantages include low light output, diffused light that does not penetrate deeper water, a narrow luminescence spectrum and as a result is not ideal for plants, and perhaps the main drawback is the fixed size of the lamp for a certain power, and therefore in some cases it was necessary to mess around compact fluorescent lamps and chokes to them, because “Standard” tubes did not fit into the dimensions of the water.
Incandescent lamps. Have a great wide range. This pluses end.
These lamps have the lowest light output, and therefore consume a huge amount of electricity, heat everything around, including water, can not be installed in the lid of the aquarium, a separate hinged luminaire is required. They are used mainly for additional illumination of plants complete with fluorescent lamps.
Metal halide lamps. Lamps with perhaps the highest luminous efficiency, a wide range of light beneficial for plant growth, directional lighting penetrates deep into the water.
The disadvantages include the fact that the lamp is small and has high power, which is why it gets very hot, so the luminaire for these lamps is mostly metallic and is suspended at a certain height from the surface of the aquarium water. The biggest disadvantage is the high price of these lamps.
Recently, the market for aquarium lights have become increasingly appear LED (LED). This is due to the fact that the price of high-power LEDs drops significantly every year, and their light output is becoming stronger.
Nowadays, one-watt LEDs with a light output of 140 lumen and more are not uncommon, i.e. in terms of efficiency, they are already superior to metal halide lamps, though at the price too.
LEDs, unlike other types of lamps have their advantages:
- greater luminous efficiency, therefore saving energy and generating less heat in the room;
- high “concentration” of light, the lower layers of water will be very well lit;
- the light spectrum of white LEDs is much wider than that of incandescent bulbs, therefore the plants should grow many times better;
- LED color temperature can be very different, moreover, there are LEDs separately of the red and blue light spectrum, so that the LED lamp can shine with a different spectrum, the color temperature can reach up to 20 thousand kelvin. Therefore, these LED lamps can be used in both freshwater and saltwater aquariums;
- the possibility of dimming (smooth power control) that is not available with some other types of lamps.
- Due to the peculiarity of the LED, it should not be allowed to overheat during operation, it must be well cooled, so the LED lights have a large radiator with them, which add considerable weight to the whole structure, and often fans are also installed on the radiator, which also adds noise.
- Proceeding from the previous minuses, another one comes out, under the aquarium lid, the heat removal from the LEDs will be significantly hampered, and therefore their service life will decrease. That is why it is absolutely not advisable to make the LED lamp in the lid of the aquarium, the LED lamp can only be mounted, as well as metal halide.
But do not draw conclusions that LED lamps for the aquarium at this time can be positioned only as competitors metal halide. The latter lamps usually have a power of 150 watts and above, while the most common LED lamps are a little more than 100 watts, so you should consider them as a replacement for pendant fluorescent lamps in such volumes of an aquarium where the metal halide will give a large excess of light.
Let’s compare prices in online stores for metal halide lamps and LED (LED).
The power of this metal halide lamp is 150 watts, the price is 10350 rubles.
The power of this LED lamp is 100 watts, the price is 9,600 rubles.
So On the face of the competitiveness of LED products relative to metal halide. These LED lights are perfect for open aquariums of about 200-250 liters, as a replacement for fluorescent lamps, or in aquariums of a smaller displacement but a depth of 50 cm, since the light from the LEDs will be excellent “punch” to the bottom.
Modern LED luminaires are often completed with two types of LEDs. For example, a 100 watt luminaire can have 50 white and 50 blue LEDs, as well as a dawn function, i.e. smooth increase in power at the time of inclusion, such lamps will be ideal for sea aquariums. There are also specialized LED lamps for freshwater aquariums.
The development of LED products is currently accelerating, in this segment competition is increasing every year, which has a positive effect on the prices of finished products. Perhaps in a couple of years, the light output of high-power LEDs will exceed all reasonable limits and will be above 200 lumens per watt (here I’m not talking about laboratory samples, but commercial ones), and prices will be a bit cheaper than they are now.
If this happens, the LEDs will easily force out powerful metal halide and fluorescent lights in open aquariums.
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