Orphek LED Going Head to Head with 400watt Halides


LED lighting, if you still have doubts, is very quickly outpacing other aquarium lighting sources…even the seemingly timeless metal halides. Halide setups have been around for decades, and many people still senselessly cling to these energy hogs to illuminate their reef tanks. But as the video above shows, LEDs are taking over the formerly metal halide illuminated aquariums of even the most hardcore aquarium hobbyists. And not only are these hobbyists seeing reductions in tank temperatures, electrical consumption, and operating costs, but these hobbyists are also seeing positive responses from their corals.

The aquarium above was previously lit by two 400watt metal halide fixtures with twelve 54watt T5HO bulbs for supplemental lighting. Doing some quick math, that’s over 1400 watts! The owner of the tank replaced half of the lighting scheme with a trio of Orphek PR-156 LED fixtures as part of an experiment and a fairly slow transition away from metal halides. The three Orphek fixtures total about 360 watts of electricity, dropping the total on this tank down to a little over 1000 watts. That’s not a huge reduction in electrical usage, but keep in mind that half of the tank is still being lit by one 400watt halide and several T5HO lamps. Once all of the original lighting equipment is replaced by LED fixtures, the total will be down around 720watts, which is around half of the original consumption. Now that’s a huge number.

Judging from the results this reef keepers is seeing from switching to LED fixtures, it looks like the rest of the metal halides and T5HO lamps will be replaced by Orphek LEDs shortly. The hobbyist experienced several significant benefits to using LED lighting a mere two weeks into the transition/experiment. These benefits include a significant drop in water temperature, increased polyp extension, increased coral growth, no browning or dulling of coral coloration, and a reduced amount of algae growing on the front glass. LEDs are here folks. It’s no longer a doubt that these fixtures can provide for all of your corals’ photosynthetic needs.


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  • Is it me or is there no video as mentioned in the post?

    • i’m seeing a video. what browser are you using? i’m on firefox, the most updated version. i can also view it in safari.

  • chuck c

    how do these fair against the Maxspect lights….been waiting on the G3's to come out to see what they're coming up with next. what im really concerned with is light spillage. my tank is in the living room and i dont want to light up the whole room, just the tank. im still a bit lost on optics angles,and if this can alieve the previous concern.

    • i’ve never played with the maxspect lights, but keep in mind that the orphek fixtures were designed to replace 400watt halides. they put out huge par numbers and seem to do very well over even large aquariums.

  • Matthew

    How much are they? i own a shop and am looking to upgrade to LEDs. I'm looking to start pushing customers towards them. How much power do they use?

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  • I use these on my tanks and my installations – awesome lights, definitely the best LED lights on the market. More efficient than the maxspects, they use a better emitter, and better build quality. (120w fixture btw). If you're worried about light spillage, get the 90 degree (standard PR-156) version.

    They post all of their info on the site and blog (www.orphek.com) – gotta love an LED lighting company that releases all the info, including full-fixture spectrographs.

    Also remember that PAR doesn't tell (nearly) the whole story, especially with LEDs…

  • JW3

    I don't know how bright are those LEDs, but I curious to know how old is the MH?
    I have been using 400W MH, the one using in this moive is very weak, it looks like 150W.

    • Moe

      JW3 you're joking or trolling? Do you think on this highly stocked reef aquarium, a normal or an orthonormal reefer will play with his corals just to convince you to move to LED?
      What about the T5 there? Are they off? Or from your knowledge they are 24 W each? Do us a favor.

      I guess you sell MH bulbs and Halide fixtures for your living. Move to LED and stop fooling people. Led is here and here to stay.

  • The lower power usage of these lights is another benefit which will be
    important to look at before making a decision as to whether or not you
    want to get them.