While many aquarists and some stores are busy holding onto technologies of the past, even the big time coral wholesalers on LA’s infamous one hundred and fourth street are adopting LED lighting in a big way. While in SoCal for the big Reefapalooza conference we had the chance to swing by Pacific Aqua Farms and Sea Dwelling Creatures on our way out via LAX and it was awesome to see them reinvesting in their coral holding and display capabilities. It seems like over the past few years both of these companies were focused on other areas of their business but something changed, and now there’s banks of LED lights lighting up vast fields of coral holding.
For Pacific Aqua Farms (PAF) the narrow beam angle of the EcoRay LED allows the lights to be mounted high and giving and unimpeded and unshaded view of their well stocked troughs of corals. PAF may have had to use a ton of EcoRays but it’s light years beyond the crummy nearly burnt-out metal halides they used to have spaced every couple of feet. Hopefully PAF will have the foresight to periodically shop-vac the air intakes of the many fans of the EcoRay LED lights but what’s most important is that the corals look great.
For Sea Dwelling Creatures‘ (SDC) hot new Coral Boutique tanks they’ve opted with a different Chinese made LED light that has two channels of color dimming. Without secondary lenses SDC had to place their Chinese LED box much closer to their corals but once again the corals look great, and they can even fine tune the color spectrum and intensity to suit the needs of whaty’s currently basking in the Boutique.
While it may seem like coral slingers using LEDs has very little to do with the day-to-day reefer you’re wrong. LEDs are here to stay in the aquarium hoby and market whether you like it or not. There will always be a place for metal halides but the technology of T5 lamps has all but stagnated. Sure some aquarists love their pastel colored corals but its only a matter of time before LED manufacturers figure out the right combination of LEDs to please all tastes.
Zooming out to see the bigger picture, the fact that SDC and PAF are both reinvesting in the coral side fo their business is just another sign that the aquarium hobby and industry is doing great. There are more coral dealers than ever before and together with the huge success of the last several large reef shows it’s a sign that more good days are ahead for this awesome aquarium world of ours.