LED aquarium lighting presents numerous advantages over methods of traditional aquarium lighting. Until recently, many aquatic life enthusiasts have had an extremely limited choice when selecting a light source suitable for their fish or reef tanks. For many years, fluorescent bulbs have been popular due to their cost efficiency and high luminous output. However, fluorescent bulbs also have numerous disadvantages ranging from lifespan deficiencies to safety hazards. Lunar Accents Design has been conducting ongoing field tests over the past several years, to evaluate the effectiveness of LED lighting for reef tanks and other closely related light emitting diode applications. In addition, we have established business relationships with several companies who specialize in manufacturing various aquarium related products. These relationships have been a tremendous help during our evaluation and research for LED fish tank lighting solutions. In the near future, we believe custom LED lighting will play a critical role in all aquarium related lighting environments.
LED lights are most suitable for aquatic life tank-lighting and reef tanks because they offer superior flexibility when compared with traditional fluorescent lighting. When LED lights operate, the photometric radiation remains within a narrow band on the electromagnetic spectrum. Specific photometric wavelengths are often beneficial to some aquatic plant life and reef tanks. Controlling specific wavelengths becomes possible through a basic network of colored LED lights connected to a digital LED controller. Since LEDs emit light only in very specific direction, the installer has the option to illuminate a precise area by simply rotating the polycarbonate tube casing. The water resistant casing also provides the LED circuitry with adequate protection against moisture and chemicals found within the fish tank or reef tank. Most fluorescent bulbs operate directly from a high voltage power source. This can present a hazardous situation if the electronics should encounter contact with the aquarium water. Not only could this be dangerous to aquatic life within, but also to any person nearby. LED lighting is much safer thanks to low voltage direct current. A twelve-inch LED array can operate directly from a standard twelve-volt DC power supply, and draws approximately 120mA (0.120 amps).
LED aquarium lighting has many other distinct advantages over fluorescent tube lighting. Extended lifespan is one of the greatest benefits offered by LED technology. LEDs will usually outlast fluorescent tube lighting by many years. As a result, little or no maintenance is required. Custom LED lighting is also much more durable when compared with delicate fluorescent tube lighting. Our LED arrays feature a rigid polycarbonate tube casing, which can endure impacts far beyond that of glass-enclosed lighting fixtures. LED lighting technology falls into the solid-state lighting classification. Since solid-state devices do not utilize a filament, there are no components to weaken due to external impacts. At Lunar Accents, we have conducted a variety of drop and impact tests in order to determine LED reliability statistics. A specific test involved dropping an LED lighting design from a level of 100 feet above ground level, onto a concrete surface. The test resulted in damage due to scratching of the tube casing, but did not affect the affect operational characteristics of the LED circuitry.
Many white LEDs currently utilized in fish tank lighting applications, feature a much higher color temperature closer to 6500K. LEDs within this range project a slightly bluish tint similar to that of a fluorescent light bulb. Many people use the generic term "cool-white" to describe lighting devices that produce such an effect. When utilized in aquatic tank lighting applications, the underwater environment may appear slightly unnatural. For example, a solid white fish can suddenly appear a shade of bluefish-grey. However, the warm white LED can resolve this issue thanks to its lower color temperature. In fish tank lighting applications, warm white LEDs allow the human eye to interpret colors as if viewed under natural sunlight. Lunar Accents offers a warm white LED light rated at 2800K, ideal for viewing aquatic life as if existing in a natural environment. All colors within the fish tank or reef tank seem to appear brighter and more contrast, when viewed under the light of the warm white LED. Most people have never experienced this type of LED aquarium lighting in person because of the frequent use of fluorescent bulbs. Anyone with a true passion for aquatic life should experience a truer color rendering index under an array of spectacular warm white LEDs.