The choice of lighting for a reef tank will have a significant impact upon coral growth and coloration.
When selecting a lighting system for a reef aquarium, the main factors to consider are:
- Light Intensity
- Tank Inhabitants
The intensity of the light depends upon the type and wattage of lighting, depth of the tank, and distance of light source from the water surface. LED aquarium lights are design to reef tank perfectly, the LED light replace the fluorescent light is the 2011 lighting trends. Nowadays LED aquarium light no longer expensive, at www.ledgrowlight-hydro.com, a 120W LED aquarium light with 2W chip only $269.85, and USA and CA FREE SHIPPING.
In order to begin to understand the available spectrum choices of lamps suitable for aquarium use, we must first analyze how light naturally penetrates water. Red light is the first to be filtered out and can only penetrate a short distance. As light waves penetrate deeper into the water, orange and yellow are lost next. Of all the colors of the spectrum blue light penetrates the deepest.
Light spectrum is measured by the Kelvin scale. Natural sunlight on a clear day registers at 5500 Kelvin degrees. Kelvin temperatures less than 5500 become more red and yellow and the higher the Kelvin temperature the more blue the light is. Photosynthetic invertebrates should be kept under lamps rated at or near the Kelvin temperature where the invertebrate was collected. Shallow water species should be kept under 10000K lamps while deep water species would prefer 20000K lighting. Longer photoperiods will not compensate for incorrect light spectrum or intensity.
Actinic lighting peaks in the 420 nanometer range and emits a LED blue light and is usually used as supplemental lighting. Not only is actinic lighting beneficial to photosynthetic invertebrates, it is also aesthetically pleasing to the eye when used to supplement daylight lighting.
Refugium plants benefit from lighting with a Kelvin temperature in the range of 5500 – 6500 degrees.
Coral Species Light Requirement Chart
Hydroponic gardening or soilless gardening can be defined as growing plants in nutrient solutions, rather than using soil as a growth medium. At times, inert medium such as gravel, perlite or rockwool is used in soilless gardening. Usually, hydroponics is practiced as indoor gardening. The necessary plant growth factors like temperature, light and humidity are maintained in controlled conditions, so as to promote the growth and development of plants.
For better efficiency, artificial lighting systems called grow lights are used to supplement the scarcity of sunlight. These grow lights emit electromagnetic spectrum similar to the sun rays, which enhances the photosynthesis of the plants. Previously, metal halide and high pressure sodium are used as hydroponics lighting systems. Though these grow lights provide an ideal light spectrum for the plant growth, they generate excess heat and consume large amount of electricity. Thus, these traditional grow lights are very expensive to maintain. A more energy efficient lighting system is the LED (light-emitting diode) grow light.
In recent times, LED grow lights are becoming very popular for hydroponic gardening due to various advantages. One of the major benefits of this lighting system is low cost of maintenance. The technology of LED grow lights is to emit only the color spectrum required for the plant photosynthesis. Hence, they consume less amount of electricity in comparison to the traditional lighting system and other grow lights. On an average, a LED grow light consumes less than 5 watts of power for operation.
In LED grow lights, wide-spectrum red light and narrow-spectrum blue light of specific wavelengths are configured in a particular manner. The red spectrum supplements natural sun rays, whereas the blue spectrum makes an ideal light for the plant growth. Thus, 600W LED grow lights provide ideal light conditions for the better growth of all types of plants and/or crops. In addition, this lighting system contains no toxic mercury, which is used in fluorescent lights and metallic vapor.
There are several models of LED lights, each suitable for various types of plants and their successive stages. For example, 90W UFO LED grow lights with 3W chip are designed for vegetative growth, whereas some are specially configured to promote flowering and/or blooming. Speaking about the installation, LED grow lights should be hanged or mounted in hydroponic gardens, as per the manufacturer’s guidelines. While using LED grow lights, the height should be maintained in such a way that it covers the maximum plantation area.
Another advantage of 300W LED grow lights is the less production of heat. With minimum heat production, water requirement also reduces due to less evaporation. The problem of high temperature root damage and plant dehydration is thus solved by using LED grow lights. Hence, with this lighting system, there is no need for installation of fans or cooling ducts.
As this grow lights are available readily with plugs, no ballast is required for the initiation and regulation of the lights. Thus, there is no problem for ballast burning and/or replacement, which is so in case of fluorescent bulbs. LED grow lights are long-lasting; a superior quality may last for 10-12 years. Overall, LED grow lights are easier to maintain and cheaper than other lighting systems used for hydroponic gardening.