Terrible Advice Tuesdays: The Most Misleading Part About LEDs


Terrible Advice Tuesdays: The wattage of LEDs doesn’t matter because half of the watts are for cooling fans.

The rest of the story: Let’s fact check this one:

1) A lot of LEDs for aquariums don’t use cooling fans. The lack of cooling fans means no watts are dedicated to a cooling fan.

2) The cooling fans I see on aquarium LED fixtures are usually cooling fans borrowed from the computer industry. A quick scan of 120mm computer fan yields an average wattage draw of about 4 watts. If the terrible advice was true, then most aquarium LED fixtures would max out at about 8 watts, which isn’t a lot. 8w might get the job done for a pico tank.

If you happen to run across a LED fixture for an aquarium and half the watts of the fixture are going to a cooling fan, RUN!

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Comments for this article (4)

  • George Barsi says:

    This one just about takes the cake! I would really love to know who said something like this. Sources like this one are scary and I wish there was a place where such craziness could be reported.

    I suspect that this like many others came from an LFS somewhere. It really bothers me when I hear someone at a LFS provide advice that basically insures the death of marine life. Crap like this is why so many are against our hobby, if it were dogs and cats the pet stores as well as the owners that were neglectful would be in legal trouble.

    Does anyone have any ideas how such terrible advice coming from LFS / pet stores can be reported. At the very least people can be aware of potential issues at a given store and the store can respond or not to such reports. I realize there are a lot of potential legal ramifications to such a thing, but if we want to help protect our hobby we have to start protecting the livestock that we care about so much. If we can make a dent in the needless death due to bad advice from ignorance, or the drive to simply make a sale, then the livestock that is harvested from the wild will have a better chance of finding a loving home and living a decent life.

  • DeeFromBrooklyn says:

    More and more of the newer LED units come with smaller and smaller fans. Mine have no fans. I’d be more concerned with retailers that sell the tanks gravel, no heater and dozen fish to the consumer in one day.

  • 50seven says:

    Wow. I always enjoy reading the TAT articles to remind me that no matter what stupid mistake I make with my tank, there’s always some retard out there blowing even more smoke.

    I built a 300 W LED fixture. 3 computer fans drawing about 5 watts total. Running for 3 years now, no burned out LED’s yet…

  • jason says:

    I would say the most misleading part of LED advertisement is going with the total wattage of the led’s (either class eg. 3 watt or even the driven wattage) rather than par and more importantly PUR measurements and taking into account the spread received from a fixture.

    I could build 2 led fixtures both drawing 100 watt’s from the wall and have vastly different results depending on how I design the layout, led selection and led quality

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