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Thread: Why red LEDs ?

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    Reef Head's Avatar
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    Why red LEDs ?

    Hey all, I'm new here. Thanks for all the advances you have made for the love of our hobby and the animals we love to keep. Please don't all frag me but I have a question, maybe I have missed it somewhere along the line. I've been researching this algae scrubber thing for quite sometime now on various related sites as a guest and still have not found out why you use the red LEDs?

  2. #2
    Peter
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    Algae grows best when illuminated by light in warm color spectrum. There is no "warmer" spectrum than red LED lights.

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    Spectrum: photosynthesis happens predominantly in the deep red and somewhat in the blue-violet spectrum. Google "chlorophyll spectrum"

    With fluorescent sources, "warm white" provides the best quantity of this bandwidth. LEDs are different - element specific vs phosphor specific, so you need to choose one that zeros in on the bandwidth, in this case, 660nm Deep Red

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    What would the blue spectrum be?

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    440-450nm royal blue LEDs usually hit both A&B spectra

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    Great thanks gents! I'm on the tail end of a 150g build that I've been working on for 2 1/2yrs now. It will be quite the system when complete. To date I haven't seen quite anything like it. I have spent literally thousands of hours researching, designing and constructing everything from cabinetry, electrical work, acrylic/polycarbonate work, lighting, filtration, sump design, plumbing and now on to algae scrubbers.

    That being said, here is another question...for SM or maybe Floyd or anyone else that can provide me with a rational explanation. I noticed that in the earlier generations of SM's scrubbers as well as others on line from around the world, the ones that were constructed out of acrylic were usually black...why not use mirrored acrylic (aside from cost)? Why not make the most out of the light being emitted? Black absorbs light. I even noticed or it appeared that the lid to the new SURF2 had a black background. Baby bird here...

    Thanks again Floyd for feeding me the red/blue LED info earlier.

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    The mirror on the acrylic will not last too long; it's just a coating. Plus light will escape everywhere.

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    How/why would it escape?

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    The ends of mirror acrylic are not coated.

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    One might use white acrylic, and I've seen that done, but even 1/4" opaque white will show light. The box would glow. Black blocks all light.

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