LED lighting has taken the aquarium world by storm. The first appearance of this light source in our hobby was a bit dismal, as LED technology was nowhere near able to compete with T5HO lighting or metal halides. The LEDs hung around, but only as accent lighting in the form of blue and white moonlights because their output was so little. Fast forward several years and these lights have really started to take hold. Developments made by companies like Cree have really put LEDs to the forefront of aquarium lighting, right up there with the classics lighting schemes. PAR output is way up, with energy uses still very attractive to anyone paying through the nose to illuminate their aquarium.
At the Marine Aquarium Conference of North America (MACNA), almost every vendor used some form of high efficiency LED lighting. Corals in various display tanks were bathed in the a healthy glow, with more and more companies are coming out of the wood work trying to get their own little piece of the LED lighting market. There are still doubters out there sticking to their halides and fluorescents, but our reef tanks can now be sufficiently lit by a far more efficient type of lighting.
Our good friends, and AquaNerd sponsors, Ecoxotic were at MACNA and they seemed to have their products over a large number of aquariums, including all of the ORA aquariums. Aqua Illumination and Acan Lighting were two other companies who supplied a large amount of lighting for the event.
All images courtesy of David Harmontree of Reef2Reef.