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SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:40 PM
The slides below document research I've done into coral lighting requirements in support of my upcoming DIY LED project. I developed them initially for my own use, but I later realized that someone might be interested in some of my findings.

Tremendous gratitude to Dana Riddle for taking the time to help a mere hobbyist by providing a significant amount of technical information and constructive feedback on my slides. I'm hoping this will spark a lot of conversation and experimentation.

If you can't read the images, I can provide the file via soft copy in PowerPoint 2007 or earlier format.

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:41 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide1.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:42 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide2.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:44 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide3.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:45 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide4.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:45 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide5.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:46 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide6.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:46 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide7.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:47 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide8.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:47 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide9.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:48 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide10.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:48 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide11.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:49 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide12.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:50 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide13.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:50 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide14.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:51 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide15.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:51 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide16.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:52 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide17.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:52 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide18.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:53 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide19.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:53 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide20.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:54 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide21.jpg

SpaceOps
04-18-2012, 05:59 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide22.jpg

SpaceOps
04-19-2012, 07:52 AM
I wish I had the wherewithall to do a side-by-side experiment. Maybe I'l do it on a small scale in my sump. The tank is 8' long, so I'll have plenty of room underneath to try something with variations of the blue wavelength spectrum, white, and even red LEDs.

Martin's Reef
04-19-2012, 07:57 AM
I read this on the masc site, good info.

hooked
04-19-2012, 09:09 AM
I wish I had the wherewithall to do a side-by-side experiment. Maybe I'l do it on a small scale in my sump. The tank is 8' long, so I'll have plenty of room underneath to try something with variations of the blue wavelength spectrum, white, and even red LEDs.

A project that I'm gathering supplies for is to set up a series of tanks, most likely 20g tanks plumbed together. Having different light sources for each tank. Seperated in a way that light will not bleed over to the adjacent tanks. My plan was to compare metal halide -vs-T5 -vs- LED. Documenting growth and color. I will add the option for differrent LED spectrums as well. I will definately use these findings to influence my research. This is good stuff. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

SpaceOps
04-19-2012, 10:32 AM
There's already good info on MH here: www.advancedaquarist.com/2008/12/aafeature1 (http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2008/12/aafeature1). You could save time and money with the MHs and pick the 14000K or 20000K in the article (they had the best growth rates) and see how the growth stacks up against the T-5 and LEDs.

I'd be interested in the results. I don't know if anyone has done that kind of side-by-side comparison before.

I think the fluorescents and MHs would have to be far superior to LEDs to be worth switching back to. The cost savings of LEDs is massive compared to the high operating cost of MH and the high replacement rate/cost of MH and fluorescents. Replacing a good $90 MH bulb every 9 months equates to an annual expense of $120 a year per bulb, not including the cost to power them.

Murfman
04-19-2012, 12:58 PM
I read an article where they did something similar, with different bulbs and wattages. They used the same coral, and cut frags off of it. All the water was the same so you couldn't say it was water quality. The tanks were far enough apart to where the light bleed over didn't affect the one next to it.

SpaceOps
04-19-2012, 01:30 PM
Can you find the link? Sounds interesting.

Murfman
04-19-2012, 02:37 PM
Can you find the link? Sounds interesting.

I will try. No promises though.

SpaceOps
04-20-2012, 09:07 AM
If anyone's wondering about fluorescent pigments, more than half of fluorescent emissions are stimulated by wavelangths between 400 and 500nm (violet, indigo, blue), A very small percentage are stimulated by 340-399nm (UV-A), and about a third by 500-583nm (green and yellow) wavelengths. Since I'm not a fan of the visual appearance of aquarium lighting in the green-yellow range, I'll stick with the violet-blue range, supplemented by white. I doubt that I'll be missing much.

I got the data on fluorescent pigments here: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2006/9/aafeature

SpaceOps
05-08-2012, 05:13 PM
So I've been thinking about my research, and I'm thinking that I might get similar or identical results whether I'm using just royal blue, blue, violet, or a group of LEDs spanning the 400-500nm range (if I adjust them so I get the same photosynthetic response), but with one exception--fluorescence is extremely wavelength dependent. If nothing else, I'll see pigments fluoresce like crazy if I use a wider range of wavelengths.

I also have a feeling that I may get more color depth by using different LED wavelengths instead of just one.

SpaceOps
05-11-2012, 12:40 PM
Someone asked me if I was saying that whites and blues are the same as whites and a bunch of violet-to-blue LEDs. This was my response:

I definitely think blues are more important to photosynthesis than warmer whites because they provide more energy that directly stimulates photosynthesis in corals. It's entirely possible that you can do without whites, especially in light of (no pun intended) one study performed in the ocean in which they filtered sunlight with blue, red, and green, and and uncolored filters. The corals under the red filters were clearly growing poorly, while the blue topped the filtered light list. The uncolored filter corals did just slightly better, which makes me wonder whether non-blue wavelengths are somehow contributing, but not enough to make a significatn difference. I'm guessing that the unfiltered light provided a slightly higher amount of photosynthetically usable light, since the filters removed all but a narrow band of light.

If you look at the light penetration slide (Photosynthetic efficiency vs. wavelength penetration), you'll see that the light with the greatest penetration depth is around 460-470nm. That's a pretty good match to the blue LEDs on the market.

I've been talking to Dana Riddle about my assumptions. He thinks that the wavelength of the blue light doesn't really matter as long as the photopigment can absorb it. I tend to agree with that. The carotenoids (see the slide with the title, 4. Are there any additional pigments that aid in the photosynthetic process on the preceding page). As long as the carotenoids can receive the energy from the blue wavelengths, they will pass that energy to the PCP. Some of those same carotenoids also protect the photosynthetic apparatus from temporary or permanent damage. That is, at high blue light intensity, the diadinoxanthin/diatoxanthin cycle shunts energy away. These two carotenoids only provide protection up to about 500nm. It's interesting that there appears to be no protective mechanism above 500 nm (most noticably in the red spectrum, where so much has been observed/reported regarding bleaching and slowed growth).

Regardless, it's my opinion that white light is primarily for aesthetics in aquariums. Face it, we all want to see the natural colors in the tank in addition to the fluorescent pigments. Even so, I plan to see how the corals look and grow under the full 400-500nm spectrum. Everything looks kind of flat under just blue, and I know I'll get more pigment fluorescence under a wider range of violet-blue light.

Anyway, my studies continue. There's a lot of free peer-reviewed info out there yet to be read. Most of it's Greek to me, but there's plenty that's somewhat understandable.

SpaceOps
05-11-2012, 12:41 PM
Sorry, here's the study comparing acropora growth under red, green, blue and clear filters in the ocean. Figure 5 shows the realtive growth rates. http://jeb.biologists.org/content/212/5/662.full

Note that the acros under the blue filter grew roughly 4 1/2 times as fast as they did under red or green. I believe the growth under the clear filter was due to the fact that it allowed even higher levels of PAR to reach the coral, which makes sense. Higher PAR (below photosaturation points) means more photosynthesis.

I don't advocate using all blue light though. Shallow-water corals have higher rates of photosynthesis under full-spectrum light, and deep-water corals have higher rates of photosynthesis under the blue spectrum. See here: http://jeb.biologists.org/content/213/23/4084.full

The problem is that you really don't know whether you have an all-deep water or all-shallow water coral tank, so a compromise is necessary--a combination of blue and white LEDs. Your corals will have a slightly slightly slower rate of growth than matching each coral to its specific lighting needs, but it's the only solution short of limiting your coral selection to all-deep or all-shallow water.

SpaceOps
05-18-2012, 06:58 PM
The research continues.
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide1-1.jpg

SpaceOps
05-18-2012, 06:59 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide2-1.jpg

SpaceOps
05-18-2012, 06:59 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide3-5.jpg

SpaceOps
05-18-2012, 07:00 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide4-1.jpg

SpaceOps
05-18-2012, 07:00 PM
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide5-1.jpg

Murfman
05-19-2012, 08:27 AM
Good info Dan. You have put a lot of time into this!

SpaceOps
05-19-2012, 08:51 AM
Thanks Paul. The graph was easy to make in Excel. It's really for my own use, but you never know who might want to know more about lighting, photosynthesis and fluorescence. The research will help me decide which LEDs to use over my 8' tank later this year.

The next step (an easy one) is to design the actual LED setup. I've built them before, so there's really no guesswork. I've seen the analysis of all kinds of LED and MH systems, and can't figure out why the retail systems are using LEDs clustered together. It must be for ease of manufacturing, because clustering just increases the spotlight effect, and complicates cooling when the heat is all in a small area. I found that an even distribution of LEDs provides great lighting, reduces the number of places with shadows where corals can't grow, and helps with passive cooling. I had a ton of LEDs mounted on 1/8" aluminum sheet metal and never needed a cooling fan.

hooked
05-19-2012, 09:17 AM
Great info Dan.
I agree with the spacing of the LED's. I think the tight grouping from the manufactures is a cost cutting thing. Smaller PC board = less initial cost and saves labor because they don't have to solder any wires. My diy fixture has the LED's spaced at 2" on centers. The result was no spot lighting and a 10" x 16" source of light. This resulted in a real nice appearance of depth in the tank.
I like your research on the fluorescent pigments and spectrums that emphasize them.
What are your thoughts on the ratio of each spectrum? Are you going to go with equal numbers of each on your next application? Have you found a single source for all of your LED's? I have found that there is no manufacture that produces all of the required spectrums.

SpaceOps
05-19-2012, 09:19 AM
Fixed a major typo on the third new slide.

SpaceOps
05-30-2012, 04:18 PM
I should make one point. I'm not recommending that anyone go out and build an LED system tht covers the entire 400-500nm range. It's probably not any better for photosynthesis, because the antenna pigments can collect energy from a wide range of wavelengths, although some wavelengths produce a much greater photosynthetic response than others. As you may have experienced, you can get some pretty significant growth from just blue and RB LEDs. I can predict two significant advantages from using a broader waveband of light. First, you'll cause more pigments to fluoresce. Second, you'll get a different aesthetic look with more wavelengths of light, and will have an opportunity to adjust those different colors to get the look that you prefer.

SpaceOps
10-21-2012, 07:55 PM
Here are 5 slides on fluorescent pigments to supplement my lighting research.
http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide1-1.jpg

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide2-1.jpg

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide3-1.jpg

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide4-1.jpg

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/Research/Slide5-2.jpg

SpaceOps
10-21-2012, 09:12 PM
So now that I know which LEDs are required for photosynthesis and fluorescence, how many LEDs will be required for my needs?

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/HowmanyLEDs1.jpg

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g46/coloradorocket/HowManyLEDs2.jpg

codeman01
10-21-2012, 09:17 PM
This is great info! Now I just need to learn how to actually build a fixture for LED's and wire them.

SpaceOps
10-21-2012, 09:20 PM
Since I'll have to dim some LEDs of various wavelengths to obtain the desired visual effect, I definitely need to have more LEDs than the minimum required. I can grow healthy corals with just the blue LED range, but I'll also want some white LEDs for when I want to see the tank under daylight conditions.

SpaceOps
10-21-2012, 09:21 PM
We're getting there, Codeman.

Joe
10-21-2012, 11:08 PM
Great info SpaceOps. What do you think about this layout of lights? 15 14000K white (not sure of nm for them), 4 green 530nm, all on one channel that dims. 20 Blue 470nm, 8 blue 440nm, 2 UV 400nm, 3 cyan 495nm on one channel that dim. 3 moonlights blue 460nm on third channel that dims.

codeman01
10-21-2012, 11:29 PM
Great info SpaceOps. What do you think about this layout of lights? 15 14000K white (not sure of nm for them), 4 green 530nm, all on one channel that dims. 20 Blue 470nm, 8 blue 440nm, 2 UV 400nm, 3 cyan 495nm on one channel that dim. 3 moonlights blue 460nm on third channel that dims.

If and when you get this built I would love to see it. I got 50 blues, 50 whites, and 5 reds (also not sure of the nm) but after reading SpaceOps info I am rethinking how I want to do this.

reefmaster719
10-21-2012, 11:35 PM
Reds will cause algae growth. "Thank space ops for that fact"

codeman01
10-21-2012, 11:45 PM
yeah, I may as well throw those in the trash.

Bigfoot610
10-21-2012, 11:51 PM
naw use them for a halloween decoration :) wire them up to a battery and make it look like the devil himself is coming out of a pumpkin LOL
spaceops Very nice and informative work here!!!!!

codeman01
10-22-2012, 12:14 AM
naw use them for a halloween decoration :) wire them up to a battery and make it look like the devil himself is coming out of a pumpkin LOL
spaceops Very nice and informative work here!!!!!

hahahaha....great idea!

SpaceOps
10-22-2012, 09:17 AM
Great info SpaceOps. What do you think about this layout of lights? 15 14000K white (not sure of nm for them), 4 green 530nm, all on one channel that dims. 20 Blue 470nm, 8 blue 440nm, 2 UV 400nm, 3 cyan 495nm on one channel that dim. 3 moonlights blue 460nm on third channel that dims.

What size tank?

Green does nothing for photosynthesis. Consider that plants reflect green wavelengths, which is why they look green. If green was beneficial, it would be absorbed.

Stay away from UV. It causes genetic and tissue damage. That's quite a sacrifice just to experiment with pigmentation.

Cyan is ok. It doesn't do much for photosynthesis, but it can help significantly with photosynthesis.

SpaceOps
10-22-2012, 09:38 AM
Reds will cause algae growth.

Add bleaching/stunted growth to the list. There are 2 articles that demonstrate these.

Stunted growth: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2009/2008/12/aafeature1. It's been established that blue light promotes coral growth, so you'd think the bulbs with more blue would result in greater growth rates. So why does the 10000K bulb yield the slowest growth rate?
- Figure 2 shows relative growth rates under 5500, 10000, 14000 and 20000K MH bulbs.
- Figure 5 shows the levels of red light produced by each bulb. Do you see a correlation between levels of red and coral growth?

Bleaching: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2003/11/aafeature. The experiment yielded two results: red light caused bleaching, and blue light promoted coloration. One note was that low level UV-A (370nm) had no visible effect, positive or negative, on the the pocillopora meandrina used in the experiment. I'll look for data regarding other coral species.

SpaceOps
10-22-2012, 09:50 AM
Here's some UV data: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2004/8/aafeature.

The botton line summary is this: "Some corals will be just fine in coping with relatively high UVR doses (which has led to the myth that UVR is harmless). Others will offer silent testament to the effects of UVR, and may grow relatively slowly or perhaps not at all. We do not know the long term effects of artificially-generated UVR on coral health. Some could die as a result of prolonged exposure."

Another article: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/blog/the-effects-of-uv-radiation-on-the-health-of-porites-furcata.

"The researchers found that increased [UV radiation] had a negative impact on both growth rate and photosynthetic pigment concentration in P. furcata."

SpaceOps
10-22-2012, 10:00 AM
As far as red light promoting algae growth, just do a quick Google search for LED plant lights and you'll see that red and blue LEDs are used in combination to promote rapid plant growth.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&biw=1024&bih=612&q=plant+light+LED&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bpcl=35466521&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=jmyFUM7hEuaDywHoyoC4Bw

Joe
10-22-2012, 10:02 AM
The tank size will be a 220- 72 x 24x 30. I'm thinking 3 fixtures. Maybe I should mix the whites to have some 20k in there instead of the UV, and maybe no greens. Any thoughts on the ratio of blue based on the wavelength listed?

SpaceOps
10-22-2012, 05:59 PM
"To have some 20K in there?" I'm not sure what you mean. 20K (20,000K, actually), is a color temperature; that is, it's the temperature (in degrees Kelvin) at which a black body would emit radiation of the same color as a given object. If you were to heat a black body to 20,000 degrees Kelvin, it would glow with a certain blue light.

Joe
10-22-2012, 06:34 PM
Yes, I mean 20,000 K. I'm familiar with color temps, it just gets old typing in all the zeros, so I am using 20K on my Excel spreadsheet of the LED layout, and I used it here. I was talking about replacing the greens and UV with the 20,000K whites to get deeper penetration for the 30 inch depth.

Joe
10-23-2012, 12:14 AM
yeah, I may as well throw those in the trash.

You could use the reds in an algae scrubber to grow algae there on purpose.

reefmaster719
10-23-2012, 12:55 AM
Or put them in your fuge! Macro algae will grow like crazy with the reds and bring your nitrates down to ~0

SpaceOps
10-23-2012, 08:29 AM
Yes, a combination of red and blue would be great for growing green algae in a scrubber or fuge.

ReefLEDLights
10-25-2012, 04:26 PM
Totally agree.

450 and 660nm LEDs work best with my preference being a 3:2 Ratio for scrubbers...Lots of debate here...

SpaceOps please contact me about sharing information. Your research parallels what we have done...I have a few presentations coming up and would like your input.

I'm new to the forum and could not find a way to contact you privately. My apologies... I caught your power point on a different forum.

Bill

SpaceOps
10-25-2012, 07:38 PM
Is it a commercial venture?

Bigfoot610
10-25-2012, 07:44 PM
Is it a commercial venture?

http://reefledlights.com/ i would say yes and to mr reefled lights 25 post b4 pm ability

ReefLEDLights
10-25-2012, 11:14 PM
Is it a commercial venture?

Yes for the last couple years.

Both Me and Rick turned a hobby into a commercial venture. We do not drive Bentleys...

I cannot send you a PM must be forum rules.

We often brief frag swaps on LEDs. Our Briefings do not include our products. Only Facts totally non sales related.

I thought your points hit the spot better than we have done and would like to present your work with ours.

I believe in ownership of intellectual knowledge property and would like to use some of the information in this post with SpaceOps Permission.

It Parallels what we and others have been doing, but better said...

Mods...if anything here in inappropriate please pull the posts

Bill

ReefLEDLights
10-25-2012, 11:18 PM
Forgot to mention one thing

We make available our PPT briefings so others can run with them.

Bill

SpaceOps
10-26-2012, 03:48 PM
I sent a PM but it said you've elected not to receive them. Maybe we can work something out that will benefit both you and SCMAS. There are several people looking to get into DIY LEDs.

I'd like to see your PPT briefings. Dana Riddle reviewed mine and provided some great insight.

I like some of your DIY subject matter. I see some good designs.