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Lights & Lighting Systems Information

Although there are a few basic guidelines to follow when deciding on which and how much lighting to use, each aquarist has to evaluate what is in their tank, and then research all the lighting options available to choose one that is best for particular saltwater system.
  1. FAQs & How To's
  2. Lighting Supplier Resouces

Reef Tank LED Lighting
Saltwater aquarium reef tank LED lighting has come a long, long ways in the last few years. What began as a simple 1 watt LED moon light with an on/off a switch has evolved into fixtures with multiple LED's, both daylight and actinic, with computer controlled timers for every contingency, including thunder/lightning storms.

The Importance of the PAR/PUR of Your Reef Lights
PAR, or Photosynthetically Active Radiation designates the spectral range (wave band) of solar radiation. PUR, or Photosynthetically Usable Radiation is that fraction of PAR that is absorbed by zooxanthellae photopigments. If your reef tank lights aren't in the right ranges, your corals won't grow very well. If they are in the right ranges, your...

VHO Fluorescent Lighting for Your Marine Aquarium
VHO Fluorescent Lighting is still very popular for Saltwater Aquariums. The low cost of both the fixtures and bulbs make them the fixture of choice for beginners and advanced aquarists alike.

Top Aquarium Power Centers/Timers
Aquarium power centers and timers are essential for efficiently controlling tank lights, pumps and other electrical devices in a saltwater aquarium.

Is It Time to Go to LED Lighting on Your Reef Tank?
Is It Time to Go to LED Lighting on Your Reef Tank? Reef tank lighting has taken a quantum leap forward with the invention of the LED (Light Emitting Diode) light bulb. Very long bulb life combined with extremely low power consumption make these new lights well worth looking at.

Saltwater Aquarium Lighting - Chapter 2 - Page 1 - Introduction - The Fundamenta
The Introduction to Chapter 2 in Saltwater Aquarium Lighting by Don Carner, Learning the Basics about Fluorescent Tubes.

Coral lighting
Coral lighting - How corals grow. Explains the relationship between lighting and coral growth, how lighting changes affect corals.

Saltwater Aquarium Lights and Lighting
Saltwater aquarium lighting isn't really all that difficult, once you understand what each type of lighting has to offer. From fluorescent to metal halide to power compacts, the basics are explained so you can make a wise choice for your tank.

Power Compact (PC) Lights
PC (Power Compact) lights offer a number of advantages over VHO fluorescent and even Metal Halide for reef tank lighting. Relatively cool running, compact in size and reasonably priced, these lights could solve your reef tank lighting problems.

Kelvin Ratings of Fluorescent Light Bulbs
Kelvin ratings of aquarium fluorescent bulbs vary quite a bit. Here is what they mean and how they pertain to saltwater aquarium lighting.

Reef System Lighting - What to Buy and Why
Don Carner discusses about Reef System Lighting: What to Buy & Why - Using Pre-Manufactured Hoods on Reefs, the pros and cons of using Metal Halides and Power Compacts.

Before You Buy Reef Tank Lighting
Most novice and many experienced saltwater aquarists are hesitant to start a reef tank or upgrade their Fish Only or Fish Only with Live Rock tank to a reef tank because they don't understand the lighting requirements of corals and/or they believe the high price of reef tank lighting is out of their reach. Here is a simple explanation of how...

Types of Aquarium Light Fixtures
With all aquarium light systems available today, it can be a headache trying to decide which one is best for your reef tank. Each type of lighting fixture has its own advantages and disadvantages. If you are planning to have reef grade lighting you might want to read ...

Top Aquarium Lighting Products
This is the place to shop for and compare prices on all kinds of top quality basic saltwater and advanced reef aquarium lights and lighting products, such as power compact fixtures, ballast and retrofit kits, standard light hoods, and replacement bulbs.

Lighting Fundamentals
Don Carner discusses The Fundamentals of Fluorescent Tubes - Understanding Tube Wattages, CRI and Kelvin Ratings. If you are going to spend your hard earned money on tank lighting, you might as well know what you are getting.

Lighting Poll
Participate in this quick poll created by your About Guides to tell them and other aquarists what type of lighting you use, or just view the polling results to get a concensus of which types are most popular.

Coral Lighting
Don Carner discusses about Coral Lighting: How Changes in Lighting Effects Corals - Avoiding Sudden Changes in Lighting - About SPS Corals.

Tank Lighting - Reef Systems
Tips and information about choosing lights for a reef tank system.

Fish-Only Tank Lighting
Don Carner discusses Fish-Only Tank Lighting Requirements - Using Pre-Manufactured Light Hoods - A Basic Outline of Various Methods Used for Reef Aquaria Lighting.

FAQs & How To's
Are you looking for some basic answers to questions you may have about getting started, setting up, maintaining, or other things you want to know about keeping a saltwater fish aquarium or reef tank system? Browse these FAQ and How To resources.

Top Metal Halide & PC Retrofit Kits
In the constant quest for more wattage in the same space, many saltwater aquarists choose to upgrade their existing fluorescent lighting to either Power Compacts or Metal Halides, rather than buying a complete new hood or canopy. There are even retrofit kits made to upgrade Eclipse tanks.

Top Metal Halide Fixtures
Metal halide lighting is most often the best choice for those keeping stony corals and other marine life that requires intense elimination. Relatively small for their size and the amount of light they put out makes these top choice units very popular. They are well designed, add a stylish look to any aquarium, and most even include lunar lights.

Top Fluorescent, VHO, PC and Metal Halide Ballasts
Top Fluorescent, VHO, Power Compact and Metal Halide ballast Picks for when you are ready to either upgrade or create your aquarium lighting system. Price comparisons for Coralife, Electro-Lite, Perfecto, IceCap, and Visi-Lux replacement ballasts and complete ballast kits.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps
From Don Klipstein's Lighting Info page, not aquarium related, but has some good basic information about Compact Fluorecents in general compiled Don Klipstien and Samuel M. Goldwasser.

Lighting FAQ's
From the FINS Reefkeeper FAQ's section, General, Detailed and Data Discussions about reef aquarium lighting.

Reef Aquarium Coral Propagation Lab Lighting Report
GARF has been conducting tests of many reef aquarium products for years. They claim their success in coral propagation is greatly contributed to by using Triton and Blue Moon tubes, and give their reports on these lights.

Sam's Fluorescent Lamps FAQ's
From Don Klipstein's Lighting Info page, not aquarium related, but you can find answers to commonly asked questions about Fluorescent Lamps, Ballasts, and Fixtures from Samuel M. Goldwasser.  Content includes great detail about their principles of operation, circuity, troubleshooting, and repair.

Summary of Ligthing Costs
From The Cyber Reef Guru site by Thomas Sasala, a chart listing various types of lighting systems reflecting the cost analysis on each one.  To access this info, click on the Reef Lighting link on Thomas' Home Page, then go to "The Summary of Comparison" link.

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