Recently, LED lighting company Ecoxotic sent us a bunch of goodies to do a product review on, including the Stunner Strip supplemental lighting systems. We originally photographed and tinkered around with the lights to get a feel for how well they work. Diving further into the review, we broke out the Apogee PAR meter and have done some pretty extensive testing on the strips.
The tank the measurements were made on is a small, cube-shaped nano aquarium measuring approximately 17″L x 17″W x 17″H. The lights sit approximately 3″ off the surface of the water. The PAR numbers weren’t out of this world, but there are a few things to keep in mind when reading these numbers. For one, the Stunner Strips are designed to be add-on supplemental lighting, not the primary source of light. Secondly, the lights emitted from this combination of LED strip lights is a bluer hue. Bluer light puts out less PAR. The last thing to consider with these lights is that each strip only uses 6 watts of electricity. This is quite a bit less than a four bulb T5HO light fixture of similar length.
At the very bottom of the aquarium, approximately 18″ from the light source, the PAR readings ranged from 49 PPFD (photosynthetic photon flux density) to 51 PPFD.
Approximately 3 inches off of the bottom, or 15″ from the light source, we measured 59 – 61 PPFD.
Our third measurement was taken 6 inches up from the sandbed, or about a foot away from the light. The LEDs were emitting 71 PPFD.
Seven inches from the light, the PAR meter was reading 82 PPFD and peaking at 86 PPFD.
At the water’s surface, the PAR was at its highest, ranging from 102 – 105 PPFD.
The numbers were somewhat impressive considering the little amount of energy required to power these LEDs. When initially gathering all of the results from these tests, I decided to view PAR output data others collected from different types of light fixtures. I scoured the net and found that a majority the T5HO fixtures put out approximately 180 PPFD at 12″ from the surface of the water. Additionally, 250-watt metal halide systems put out anywhere from 220-300 PPFD at 12″ from the water’s surface. The LEDs obviously put out less PAR than the other fixtures, but at the same depth, these energy sipping bulbs were emitting PPFD in the low to mid-70’s.
Stay tuned for more Ecoxotic product reviews when we do the PAR readings for the Panorama Module.