The image above show an 8ft long, 3ft deep reef tank being illuminated solely by 48 watts of pure actinic LED goodness courtesy of the new Reef Brite striplights which have begun shipping. Several nights ago I had the pleasure of groping a few of these actinic LED striplights and even with haphazard placement over some fairly deep reef tanks it was very impressive to see these lights absolutely blow away the standard VHO actinic 03 lamps. Not only that, but the Actinic LED supplementation was very noticeable on corals in another deep reef tank while the thousands of watts of halide were on. We’ve been keeping an eye on this new product and it’s one thing to see them at the reef events, either standalone or placed on some of the short lived reef aquaria but to see these lamps in action over real reef tanks and having a strong fluorescent effect while competing with 400 watt radium halides was something else. Over the weekend I’ll be installing 200 watts of the actinic LED strip lights from Reef Brite over a 1200 reef tank and I look forward to seeing how the whole tank looks once the lights are in place and competing with 5000 watts of halide light. Follow the break for a comparison shot of what a war coral looks like at three feet deep with and without the LED actinics fired up.
Update: Here’s an animated GIF of the war coral with and without actinic LED light through three feet of water.
Both pictures were taken with white-balance that was adjusted prior to turning on the LEDs. The first image is without the LEDs and the second image is with the LEDs on, again at 3 feet down in the tank. However subtle the differences in the images may appear, I feared that the LED Actinics would be drowned out by the many halide lamps but that simply was not the case.