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TOPIC: LEDs fading over time.

LEDs fading over time. 2 months 4 days ago #69683

  • FreshyFesh
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I know many of us have swapped out fluorescent fixtures over the years for LED because of the power savings and the fact you don't have to change lamps. This is huge for planted tanks because of the way fluorescent lamp's PAR/PUR output fades so badly over time, you had to change them yearly or sooner.

Based on some conversations I've had and reading I've done, it seems this fading issue will also effect LEDs over time. Higher power units being effected quicker than lower power of course.

I'm just curious if anyone who's had the same LED fixture over a planted tank for some years has noticed this?
75g a tiger oscar and a green severum
55g community tank with plants
55g goldfish tank
29g community tank with plants
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LEDs fading over time. 2 months 3 days ago #69709

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I'm really curious about this topic as well.
125G - Two Oscars, X2 Emperor 400W, X2 Ehiem Jager Heater 200W, DIY LED Light.
55G - One Oscar, Ehiem Jager Heater 200W, Emperor 400, Fluval 305, DIY LED Light.
10G- Otocinclus Catfish, Neon Tetras, Aquaclear 30, Aqueon Incandescent Strip Light,
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LEDs fading over time. 2 months 3 days ago #69719

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Found this artlicle a while back - and to be honest, me and wife were talking about this a couple of months ago. Nothing changed in our main tank, but plant growth started slowing way down - and we were discussing the possibility of LED's losing their PAR rating, similar to Fluorescent fading out... Not a long read, but makes the point...

Dont-be-fooled-leds-lose-brightness-over-time
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LEDs fading over time. 2 months 2 days ago #69742

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On an closed tank with T5 under a lid you basicly save nothing.
Lets say you have an 5 feet 100 G tank with 2x 42 Watt tubes and swith to LED. That what you now save on light gets added back to your heaters.

LED get only interesting if you need high amount of lights while than they become more effective or you just like the effects it adds by shadowings
We need to stop talking about the people as if they were the crown of creation.
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LEDs fading over time. 2 months 1 day ago #69746

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toom wrote:
On an closed tank with T5 under a lid you basicly save nothing.

That could be toom, when you consider T5's heat the water, so your heater doesn't need to run.

The unknown is the cost of replacing T5 lamps on planted tanks. Quality lamps are pricey, especially on something with more than 2 lamps.
75g a tiger oscar and a green severum
55g community tank with plants
55g goldfish tank
29g community tank with plants
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LEDs fading over time. 2 months 17 hours ago #69762

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But which is the better buy is actually the question? I mean a top tier LED light can run up to $400, but if they only have 1 year of viable light, what is the point??

I cannot believe there aren't more tests out there, LED's have been out long enough?
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LEDs fading over time. 2 months 17 hours ago #69764

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I would be surprised to see a top shelf LED fading in less than a year. I've been doing and have in the past research on LED fixtures for my reef tanks past and present. I have read of several accounts of members from Reef central purchasing the old cheapo Chinese LED fixtures for you know, 2-3 hundo less than the gold standard here (Radions, Maxpect Rzrs, RB photons, Kessils) and these cheapo fixtures are still going strong. PAR readings are still well within the effective range to keep fussy corals up and running.


Now I cannot speak for some of the lower tier LED lights, but I have Finnex brand LEDS over all of my planted tanks - most of them since I bought the house so... almost four years? Plants still going strong. Now days, algae is too but I don't have any suspicion that my LEDS have lost their punch. Not saying it's going to never occur, but debating whether or not you save money buying a solid reputable LED fixture vs a t5ho is still not a question. It's still hands down LED.
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LEDs fading over time. 2 months 16 hours ago #69768

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Yeah, I don't think even a cheap LED fixture would fade in as quickly as a year. Time will tell if it's going to be an issue for the planted tank, but I think it's a valid concern.
75g a tiger oscar and a green severum
55g community tank with plants
55g goldfish tank
29g community tank with plants
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LEDs fading over time. 1 month 3 weeks ago #69825

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FreshyFesh wrote:
I'm just curious if anyone who's had the same LED fixture over a planted tank for some years has noticed this?

Yes. I've had these 460/660nm grow LEDs running 8 hours/day for about 2 years. I compared them to new ones and the new LEDs were almost twice as bright. I supplement them with other lights but it's still hard to believe I didn't notice it sooner.

Here's 36W of those LEDs over a 29GL.


They're encased in glass so they build up a lot of heat.


These LEDs run extremely HOT so it supports what I've read about higher operating temperatures resulting in LEDs dimming more quickly.



Defects called threading dislocations occur during all manufacturing. Thermal expansion from higher operating temperatures causes greater dislocations to form. Photons cannot be emitted as a result of these dislocations so energy is released in the form of vibrations. These vibrations create more heat, greater dislocations and, in turn, further diminish LED brightness.



Correction: There are 36 watts over the tank in the 1st picture, not 72.
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LEDs fading over time. 1 month 3 weeks ago #69857

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FreshyFesh wrote:
Yeah, I don't think even a cheap LED fixture would fade in as quickly as a year. Time will tell if it's going to be an issue for the planted tank, but I think it's a valid concern.

I agree. I don't think this would be a good generalized study though. You would need to isolate a particular fixture, or a particular LED, like Crees, or Bridgelux and test their longevity specifically. Generalizing that LED's fade over time is an oversimplification.

But like you said, time will tell.

When I jump back into the salty side, I'll keep you updated freshy.
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