LED Aquarium Lights Spectral Analyses

The Heart of the Aqua Illumination System – Powerful LEDs and Lenses

AI incorporates into their luminaires some of the most powerful LEDs on the market– Seoul Semiconductor’s Z-Power ‘P4’ white LEDs (3.8 watts each) and blue LEDs (2.5 watts each). These, in conjunction with Khatod lenses manufactured especially for use with Seoul Semiconductor’s LEDs, result in focusing light into strong ‘beams’ which put light where you want it – into the aquarium and not on the walls and floor.

The white LEDs are ~6,500K, and the ‘blue’ LEDs peak at a wavelength of 460 nm.

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Photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) was measured with an Apogee Instruments quantum meter with cosine-corrected submersible sensor. This instrument is within its recommended 2-year calibration period.

A hand-held Project Star spectrometer demonstrated a visual display of light energy between 400 and 700nm, and was recorded by an Olympus C-5050 digital camera in ‘macro’ mode.

Spectral quality was analyzed with an Ocean Optics USB-2000 spectrometer and cosine-corrected CC-3 collection lens. Raw data from the spec was interpolated to 1nm increments. This information was further analyzed for color percentage in a proprietary Excel program.

Temperatures were measured with a ‘laboratory grade’ mercury thermometer and a laser-sighted infrared temperature ‘gun’.

Comparison of the LED and metal halide PAR were made under similar conditions. Distance from the lamp(s) was 5 inches. LEDs were, of course, housed in AI’s luminaire.

The metal halide (an XM 250-watt 20,000K; burn time ~100 hours) used a polished aluminum parabolic reflector and was driven by a Coralife ballast. There was no ‘shield’ between the lamp and sensor. PAR measurements were taken every 1” across a black grid.

Spectral Analyses

See the ‘Methods’ section for a description of spectral analyses protocols.

White LEDs

The AI luminaire houses 16 white LEDs. Generally, white light is produced by a LED generating blue light in combination with fluorescent phosphors. These phosphors absorb some of the blue radiation and fluoresce it as broad spectrum light, resulting in a ‘white’ light. See Figure 2 and 3.

Figure2. Spectral Signature of the Seoul Semiconductor ‘white’ LED.

Figure 3. A visualization of the spectral qualities of the Seoul Semiconductor ‘white’ LED.

Blue LEDs

See Figures 4, 5 and 6 for analyses of the Seoul Semiconductor ‘blue’ LED.

Figure 4. Spectral Signature of the Seoul Semiconductor ‘blue’ LED.

Figure 5. A visualization of the spectral qualities of the Seoul Semiconductor’s ‘royal blue’ LED.

Figure 6. A break-out of light produced by the blue LED.

White/Blue LED Combination

See Figures 7 and 8 for analyses of the light produced by the AI LED array (all ‘day’ lamps at 100% power).

Figure 7. A break-out of light produced by the blue and white LED combination.

Figure 8. A visualization of the spectral qualities of Seoul Semiconductor’s ‘blue’ and ‘white’ LED combination.

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