home Aquarium How many lumens does it take to light an aquarium

How many lumens does it take to light an aquarium

Table of Contents

Dependence of illumination on the location and height of the lamp above the surface of the aquarium

For example, if the light source is located in the center of a rectangular aquarium, then the most illuminated place will be directly under the lamp, while on the sides the light level may drop several times. All this should be taken into account when choosing a place to place live plants.

How to calculate the lighting level (amount of light) of an aquarium

Novice aquarists often have a question. how to correctly calculate the lighting level of the aquarium. The question is especially relevant for aquariums with live plants.

The recommended lighting level is indicated in the description of the conditions for keeping fish and plant growth. Usually, it is labeled as low, medium and high.

Traditionally, the “watts per liter” rule is used, which has been used in the hobby since the end of the years. This method is based on a simple principle. that it consumes a lot of electricity and also produces a lot of light. According to him, the lighting level is determined by dividing the total power of the lamps by the volume of the aquarium. If the obtained value is at the level of 0.25 W / liter, then the lighting is weak, 0.5 W / liter corresponds to an average level, and at values ​​of 1 W / liter or more, the lighting level is considered high.

Although this method of calculation is found everywhere, by now it has lost its relevance. The “watts per liter” rule no longer applies to modern aquarium lighting systems, as at the same wattage, different types of lamps will produce different amounts of light. For example, LED energy-saving lamps are brighter than fluorescent or metal halide lamps, but they use less energy.

The number of lumens per unit of energy depending on the light source

Thus, the lighting of the aquarium is more correctly calculated using generally accepted physical light values. For simple calculations, it is more convenient to use the luminous flux measurement unit. Lumen (denoted as lm). Manufacturers usually indicate this characteristic on the packaging in the description of the lamps. Calculations are made in a similar way. The total amount of lumens is divided by the volume of water. The following aquarium illumination levels have been empirically derived from the ratio of lumens per liter (Lm / L).

Aquarium lighting levels

Low. 15-25 lumens per liter
Medium. 25-50 lumens per liter
High. more than 50 lumens per liter

It is worth remembering that the aquarium illumination level calculated in this way gives only average values. In most cases, the aquarium is illuminated unevenly, with one part receiving a lot of light and another less. It depends on the location of the luminaire, its height above the water surface, the shape and the presence of additional reflective elements.

basic information

  • How to choose an aquarium
  • Equipment
  • Filters and filter media
  • Lighting system
  • Calculating the illumination of the aquarium
  • Colorful temperature
  • Heating systems
  • Aeration system
  • Design elements
  • Dutch aquarium
  • Natural aquarium
  • Iwagumi Aquarium
  • Jungle aquarium
  • Soil (substrate)
  • Water parameters
  • Hydrochemical composition of water
  • Determination and modification of dGH and pH
  • How to make soft water
  • gases
  • Nitrogen cycle
  • Redox potential
  • Fish nutrition
  • Launching the aquarium
  • Aquarium care
  • Information of the “Fish” section in terms of scientific names and habitat conditions
    matches FishBase materials. global catalog of fish species,
    coordinated by the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences.

    Do I need to turn off the light in the aquarium at night and why it depends?

    many, lumens, does, light, aquarium

    In order to bring the living conditions of fish and algae in an aquarium as close as possible to natural conditions, several important conditions will need to be fulfilled. One of them is lighting. Perhaps the population of the home reservoir does not really need it: fish and other inhabitants of the aquarium live at a depth under water, where sunlight does not penetrate. But if there are living plants, then you need to take a very responsible attitude to this issue.

    Choosing the ideal lighting mode for your aquarium will require a lot of experimentation, observing the behavior of the inhabitants of the tank and the vegetation.

    Optimal aquarium lighting times

    The aquarium does not need constant lighting. The operating time of the backlight is selected individually, depending on the species of fish and plants, the arithmetic mean value is from 10 to 14 hours. The season plays an important role in determining the length of daylight hours, since in the autumn-winter period the daylight hours are shorter and this means that the regime should be adjusted.

    As already mentioned, plants need lighting to a greater extent. In order for the algae to develop properly, you should constantly monitor the operation of the lamps. If the daylight hours are longer than in natural conditions, algae will develop faster than necessary, water bloom and more rapid reproduction of harmful bacteria will begin in the reservoir, which will affect the behavior and health of its inhabitants.

    Light sensors, alarms, or timers can be used to optimize daylight management. With these devices, the light will turn on and off at the specified time.

    There are some rules that must be followed when using aquarium lighting.

    • The lighting in the aquarium must be turned on and off at the same time every day.
    • The transition from light to dark should be gradual.
    • The duration of the lamp operation over the seasons should be constant, but not more than 14 hours.

    Who needs night illumination

    Everyone makes a choice for himself whether the aquarium needs lighting at night. But before making a final decision, you should take into account the advice of experienced aquarists and the species composition of fish living in your home pond. Violation of the conditions for caring for pets can lead to diseases of animals and premature death.

    For the inhabitants of the aquarium, the presence or absence of illumination at night does not really matter. When feeding fish, no lighting is required: they find food with the help of other senses. Plants also do not need constant lighting. The light in the tank should not be on around the clock. You can leave it at night if the aquarium is in a room without windows.

    If the backlight works in the dark, then the aquarium should be darkened during the day.

    There are several species of fish that are nocturnal. During the daytime, they mostly hide in shelters, behave sluggishly and unnaturally. If you breed such fish and still decide to use night lighting, then you should pay attention to the natural night lighting under the moonlight. It imitates the natural light of the moon and has a wonderful effect on the biological activity of plants and nocturnal fish species.

    At night, as a rule, predatory fish, catfish, loaches and some others lead an active lifestyle. It is not recommended to keep day and night fish in the same aquarium, as they will experience the inconvenience of living together, and peaceful fish will suffer from predators.

    Is it possible to do without light at night?

    In the natural habitat of fish, round-the-clock lighting does not exist. Many species of fish live underwater at great depths, where sunlight cannot get in any way. There are some groups in which development is inhibited from too long daylight hours.

    Excessive light has a negative effect on the well-being of pets and other inhabitants of the aquarium. Without rest, the fish will be lethargic, lose their appetite, may start to get sick or show aggression towards neighbors.

    The main species of exotic fish come from warm seas, the sun shines there brighter and longer than in our climatic conditions, but the light they receive during the day is quite enough for them. To understand if fish can do without lighting at night in an aquarium, you just need to imagine their natural habitat.

    Living conditions that are as close to natural as possible allow the inhabitants of a freshwater reservoir to develop better, and their life expectancy will not decrease.

    Nature has laid down the change of day and night, pets also need rest, so uncontrolled night lighting can interfere with them. From all that has been said, we can conclude that there are no significant arguments against turning off the light at night.

    For information on how to correctly calculate the lighting in the aquarium, see the next video.

    What you need to create DIY lighting?

    DIY aquarium lighting

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    Thus, we see that the spectrum of LEDs is not the best. And the point here, not even in the peaks of red and blue, but in the fact that aquarium plants actually absorb the entire visible spectrum in the process of photosynthesis, and it is inferior in SD.
    What are the similarities between MG and SD? Why make such “low-quality” lighting in the first place? Answers to these questions will reveal the advantages of LED floodlights.
    1. Like metal halogen floodlight, LED has directional illumination. That is, the efficiency of LEDs is much higher than, for example, of fluorescent lamps, the effective use of which is possible only with reflectors. If we speak in everyday language, the SD and MG-searchlights “hit” in one direction, and not “sprayed” at all. It is this property that allows MG and SD spotlights to penetrate the deepest aquariums and a water column of 60 centimeters or more.
    2. Unlike MG, LED floodlight does not emit excessive heat. Checked! On the front side, the LED floodlight does not heat up at all, and the back part does heat up, but it is tolerable (tolerable for the hand and the plastic cover). Some aquarists advise putting the cooler on the SD to remove heat, but so far, even now, when it’s 36 on the street, I don’t see the need for this. Again, this is not a constant, everyone has their own specifics.
    3. LED lighting is by far the most economical lighting. You will save 3, 10 times on electricity.
    4. A significant disadvantage of fluorescent lamps is their flicker with a frequency noticeable even for the human eye. In this connection, with prolonged exposure to LL on a person, his eyes get tired very quickly. LED sources are powered by constant current, so they do not flicker.
    5. Other positive aspects of LEDs: safety (they work at low voltage, which is important for the aquarium business) and a long service life (up to 100,000 hours).

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    Naturally, this lamp was installed with a reflector / reflector. Note that I originally wanted to install 2 such lamps, for uniformity of illumination and good power, but alas, the dimensions of the cover did not allow me to do this.

    Note 2: The average Lumen figure for a good herbalist is 50-70 Lm / l. However, I ask you to take into account the individual specifics of your aquaruim: the height of the water column, the density of planting, the species characteristics of a particular plant. That is, above the indicated figure. this is a rough guideline. If you have a tight, super-scale, then you can easily accelerate to 100 Lm / L and 150 Lm / L.

    How much is it?

    First, you need skillful hands, you can’t do without them. As well as tools: drill, electric jigsaw, grinder, other small tools (screwdrivers, keys, pliers, etc.). If you don’t have a jigsaw or grinder, don’t despair. You just have to do everything with your hands, for example, with a hacksaw or a file.

    I “modernized” the TM “Priroda” aquarium cover (plastic, with two built-in LL T8, ballast and starters), like this:

    Cover. in stock.
    Floodlight (30W). 2800 rubles 2 = 5600 rubles.
    Aquaelevsky electronic starter. 1200 rubles.
    T5 JBL Solar Ultra Color T5, 28 W, 60 cm. 750 rubles.
    Reflector. I used a homemade one, because standard did not fit.
    Relay socket. 400 rubles.
    Timer socket. 350 rubles2 = 700 rubles.
    Extension cord with off buttons = 400 rubles.
    Power adapter 12W. 210 rubles.
    Fasteners, wires, plugs, silicone, tie, other little things. 500 rubles. (about).

    Cool videos about plants and herbalists from FanFishki

    Aquarium lighting. 3 calculation methods.

    Light is one of the most important elements that directly affects the life and development of aquarium plants.

    In order for plants to begin to form useful organic substances that contribute to their development, a large amount of light is required.

    But if the illumination turned out to be small, then these same plants, instead of producing O2, on the contrary, begin to actively absorb it.

    over, the aquarium starts to release carbon dioxide, which kills all the nutrients in the greenery. As a result, decomposition processes begin.

    What kind of light sources can be used in aquariums? Previously, the following were common:

    Today, the following are more common:

    But the main thing is not what type of source you choose, but with what intensity it will shine. And will it be enough.

    That is why here it is required to make a preliminary calculation and not buy what is called at random or choose the lamp that shines the brightest. Your fish and plants, as well as you, do not like being under the light every day like from a welding machine.

    Although lighting is primarily needed for plants, and not for fish. They can coexist without any problems in the twilight. Indeed, in natural conditions, no one specifically illuminates them with searchlights.

    Before proceeding with the calculation methods, it is worth mentioning some terms and characteristics directly related to lighting equipment.

    It indicates exactly how much the power source consumes when it is glowing at maximum brightness.

    Let’s say you have a surface of 1m2 and a luminous flux of 1 lumen falls on it. This is exactly the same illumination of this surface and will be equal to 1 Lux.

    Measured in Kelvin. details about its effect will be discussed below.

    Here is a breakdown by wavelength and what color is better to “irradiate” the plants.

    How does all this relate to calculating the amount of light for an aquarium? Let’s take a closer look at the three main methods.

    Oddly enough, many still calculate the lighting level for aquariums, only based on the power of the bulbs. And this method really works in certain cases.

    But this is for a slow herbalist or a small amount of plants inside the tank.

    It would seem that it could be simpler, take and simply multiply the volume of the aquarium by 0.5 or 1W. And voila. lighting choice made.

    Such advice was replete with books and textbooks on aquaristics in the pre-Internet era. Today this is true if the main light source is simple incandescent bulbs or round fluorescent T5 and T8.

    It is impossible to apply this calculation method to LED models and strips, which were then just entering into use.

    For example, you can have two light bulbs with the same watt parameters, but one will be fluorescent and the other LED.

    Do you think they will work with the same intensity and performance? And if you compare an incandescent lamp and an LED? Here the gap will be even more significant.

    Therefore, this method is considered quite working, only for fluorescent models and simple incandescent lamps.

    To make a calculation with this method, again you need to know a certain constant. a constant from which you will actually have to “dance”.

    Many experts use these averaged indicators and they are right. But at the same time, there are certain nuances here.

    First, as you can see from the above data, the number of plants in the container and the types of this greenery play a significant role.

    Secondly, all light sources shine in different ways. For example, fluorescent lamps emit light in all directions, and LEDs at an angle of 120 degrees.

    What does this mean for the aquarium? Simply put, if you choose sources with LEDs and fluorescent lamps, then with the same indicators in lumens, in the second case, not all lumens will get into the aquarium water.

    Of course, the problem is solved in some way by installing reflectors, but it is not always possible to mount them in the cover of a factory lamp.

    Thirdly, do not forget about the size of the aquarium, its width and height. The higher it is, the less light will penetrate to the very bottom.

    In the end, it is more important to you how well the surface of the plants and their leaves is illuminated, and not how well the lamps themselves glow.

    And plants are different. Some like more light, others a little less.

    Here is a table summarizing the selection of some lamps, depending on the size of the aquariums (recommendations from ADA):

    It turns out that sometimes both methods give not entirely correct results. In this case, when using fluorescent, and most often LED lighting, the calculation is made in lux.

    What are suites? Imagine a light source that has a luminous flux of one lumen. At the same time, this luminous flux evenly floods with light an area of ​​1 square meter. This is 1 suite.

    So how, knowing this formula, calculate the minimum required lighting for your aquarium? Here again, some calculation constants will be required, which are taken from what is called from experience.

    If you have a standard aquarium, whose height is less than its length, and at the same time ordinary plants that are not demanding on light grow in it, then for them this value is 6000-10000 lux.

    That is, the order is as follows. Initially, you calculate the bottom area based on the dimensions. the width is multiplied by the length. Next, multiply the resulting number by the illumination value specified by the standard in lux. That’s all.

    Watch this Video Before Buying Lights For Your Planted Tanks

    As a result, you get what you need, but already in lumens. Lumen data for each lamp, the manufacturer usually does not indicate either on the housings or on the packages.

    However, they can be easily found on the Internet in the summary tables of correspondence for different types of bulbs. A similar plate has already been given above in the text.

    Here is a rough estimate for a 60 liter aquarium with a bottom area of ​​0.18m2. Light-loving plants at the bottom (10-15 thousand lux).

    Substituting the data into the formula for calculating the illumination, we get the following result:

    This turns out to be 2700 lumens. That is, for a 60 liter aquarium, you need a light source that emits at least 2700 lm.

    Do not forget about the depth loss. A certain percentage of the light flux is lost with every centimeter. Here are the calculated loss data depending on the depth of the aquarium.

    And also the reflection from the surface plays a great role. In practice, it can reach up to 40% in an open container. These losses can be reduced by up to 20% if the aquarium is closed with a white lid from the inside.

    And if you use reflectors, then even less.

    If you have several bulbs, then the calculation is the same, only all lumens are summed up according to your liters.

    Not everyone likes the calculated minimum data. Therefore, they are taken as a starting point and a light source is chosen with some margin, taking into account the depth and effect of reflection.

    But you don’t need to overdo it here either. And then some will plant 3 bushes per 100 liters, give 5000 Lm inside and hello swamp.

    And if, on the contrary, there is not enough lighting and only one lamp is provided in the lid, what to do? Then you will have to give up the cover and switch to suspended and hinged models, with the possibility of increasing the power and their number.

    But it is not always possible to do this. For example, if you have active fish, then without a cover you will often have to collect them from the floor.

    It is widely known that the sun shines with a spectrum that we see as supposedly “white”.

    At the same time, sunlight during the day, constantly changes its color temperature. At 12 noon, it equals 5500 Kelvin.

    Therefore, if you want plants and fish to look natural in your aquarium, try to choose light sources close to this value.

    If your light is about 5000K, then the aquatic plants will look unhealthy and give off yellowness. Although they’ll actually be okay.

    Luminaires with a temperature of more than 7000, sometimes used for marine aquariums.

    But in the light of 10,000K, the plants become too green and begin to look like artificial.

    Here are the recommendations for different aquariums:

    At the same time, do not be confused, this parameter (color temperature) does not mean what color the light source shines in. It mainly shows how your eyes will perceive colors in a lighting object.

    In fact, the 6500K value plays a more decorative role. She is, as they say, for beauty.

    Someone bothers even more and wants to get a beautiful picture not only from the inside, but also from the outside. To do this, using lighting, an indescribable play of the sun on the waves is created. Just like the sea.

    To create such an effect, Led floodlights are used, with the formation of water vibrations on the surface from the filter.

    And here is another light parameter. spectrum, not only clearly demonstrates a certain color and is responsible for the beauty of the picture, but also significantly affects the health of underwater greenery.

    As you know, light. it’s a wave. For our eyes, visible waves are in the range of 380-780 Nm. If the wave is longer or, on the contrary, shorter, then we simply will not see it.

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    But it is in this range that we perceive all other waves as different colors. Yellow-green-red, etc.

    At the same time, we came up with the names for them ourselves and agreed among ourselves on such a gradation.

    And in between there are a whole bunch of shades and colors. So, unlike the color temperature discussed above, there are already significant differences in what color to shine on underwater plants. Basically, the same applies to ground.

    Depending on this, their photosynthesis will also change. Here is this dependence in the form of a visual graph.

    What conclusions can be drawn by looking at it? If you have a light-loving plant in your aquarium, give it more red and blue. And then everything will be all right with him.

    But if you have attached to the bottom, the so-called shade-loving soil-coats, then it is enough to shine only blue on them.

    But if you make a mistake and choose sources with large peaks of red and blue, where they are not needed, the plants will have big troubles in the form of thread, beard, etc.

    When buying light bulbs, pay attention to the packaging. It usually indicates the spectrum that prevails in a given light source.

    However, choosing the right power and color of lighting is not the key to success. It turns out that you need to take into account another third parameter. daylight hours.

    In natural conditions for plants, it is 8-12 hours. There will be a lack of lighting time, and this will all again affect the greenery.

    They will stop accumulating nutrients, their growth will slow down. And if, on the contrary, to make it almost round the clock, then algae will appear.

    Time adjustment can be made very easily through an inexpensive mechanical or electronic timer plugged into the socket.

    It is enough to connect all the lighting exactly through it. Settings are set with literally two button clicks.

    What conclusions can be drawn from all of the above? Think about the plants themselves before calculating the lighting in the aquarium.

    What kinds will you keep. light-loving or shade-loving. How much? How big is your aquarium, how deep is it??

    For different types and calculations will be different. At the same time, it will not make much difference which lamps to use, fluorescent or LED. And with both, the growth will be the same.

    Of course, progress does not stand still and LEDs every day win in many advantages:

    How much light do you need? Calculation of LED aquarium lighting

    The calculation of the number of LEDs should be started by calculating its area. If your aquarium depth is less than its length and width, you can neglect the loss of light in the water column, and make calculations with a margin of 1.3-1.8 times.

    Let’s say we have a capacity of 1×0.6×0.4m, which gives us a volume of 240 liters, and the area of ​​the illuminated surface is 6000cm 2 or 0.6m 2.

    • If there are mainly fish in the aquarium, 3000-6000 Lux is enough;
    • 6000-10000Lux for algae and fish;
    • 10,000-15,000 lux is needed for herbaceous and bright plants.

    The exact values ​​of the required illumination for specific species of fish / plants can be found in modern guides of aquarium flora and fauna.

    Chinese LEDs from the lower price segment produce from 80 to 100Lm / W, expensive LEDs of famous brands (OSRAM, Philips, etc.) up to 140Lm / W.

    E = F / S, where E is the illumination Lk, F is the luminous flux Lm, S is the area m 2.

    Let’s apply the formula. Let us express the luminous flux:

    Take, for example, the required illumination of 10,000 Lx, we calculated the area. 0.6m 2.

    The propagation of light and the change in brightness, with a change in distance, is influenced by the inverse square law. Those. with an increase in distance TWO times, the illumination will fall FOUR times, and this is provided that the environment is transparent, not smoky and not dusty.

    6000Lm. the required luminous flux, provided that light passes through clean air, at a distance of 1 meter. In our country, water is a denser medium, so the luminous flux should be several times stronger. On the other hand, the depth (distance from the luminaire to the bottom) is almost half the calculated one (1m) and the luminous flux (according to the inverse square rule) at this distance will be 4 times stronger. Therefore, these two indicators exclude each other and do not affect the result.

    Now you need to select the LEDs for the aquarium according to the spectral composition. Take a look at the graph:

    Correct calculation and manufacture of LED aquarium lighting with your own hands

    Aquarium lighting is a must when breeding fish from tropical or subtropical climates, where daylight hours are long throughout the year.

    The microclimate is created using water heating and lighting systems. If with the heating of the water everything is more or less clear and with the help of the air flows of the compressor it will mix and the heating will be more or less uniform, then with the lighting everything is somewhat more complicated. Depending on what fish and plants you will keep, the necessary conditions will change.

    light for planted aquarium guide part 3, watts per gallon

    Lighting with powerful diodes (1-3 and more watts)

    Such diodes must be installed on a heat sink, it can be either an aluminum sheet, a common heat sink, or heat sinks for individual LEDs. The LEDs can be mounted on the aquarium lid. Install diffusing lenses on them to ensure more uniform light output.

    There are no special nuances here, detailed manufacturing with photos and examples is discussed further, in the “do it yourself” section.

    Choosing the power of LEDs for the aquarium

    Photosynthesis is influenced by red and blue colors. As a basis, we will choose a white tape 5730 60pcs / m, its luminous flux is about 2000Lm / m, and its power is 14.4W / m. This means that we need about 2.5 meters of such a tape, this will be more than 5000 Lm. Let’s add LEDs of red and blue color 5050 30pcs / m, 2 meters of each color. Luminous flux of each about 300 lm / m, power 7W / m.

    In total, it turns out 2.5 2000 4300 = 6200 Lm, which is already enough.

    When illuminated with discrete LEDs, the technique is the same: divide the required luminous flux by the luminous flux of one diode and get the required number of discrete LEDs.

    (14.4 2.5 4 7) 1.25 = 80 W

    It’s with a decent quarter power headroom.

    Here you can read about calculating the power supply, but here’s how to do it yourself.

    What brand of LED strip should you choose for your aquarium? It doesn’t matter, you just need to take into account important rules:

    • Remember the dust and moisture protection class. When the tape is immersed in water. IP68, when installed from the inside of the cover above the aquarium water. IP65;
    • cheap Chinese ribbons always overestimate the real indicators of luminous flux. Take them only on a tight budget and as a temporary solution;
    • give preference to trusted manufacturers such as Philips or Osram. The high price is offset by high performance and service life.

    Aquarium lighting with LED lamps and spotlights

    The easiest way is to use a finished product such as an LED floodlight. It provides good brightness and quality of light, and the wattage range in which they are sold will allow you to choose the ideal LED lighting for your aquarium.

    Lighting with conventional LED lamps is also possible, but the main task will be their placement and protection from moisture. If the lamps will not come into contact with moisture, this is a good and budget solution.

    Types of LED luminaires

    The variety of LED lighting options for the aquarium puts a person in a stupor when choosing. Let’s figure out the types of LED light sources and how to mount them. This will help you make the right choice when making your own lighting.

    Why LEDs are better than halogen, fluorescent and incandescent lamps?

    Before the advent of new generation luminaires, lighting was done on:

    • Fluorescent lamps;
    • halogen lamps;
    • incandescent lamps.

    Now everything has shifted towards lighting the aquarium with LED lamps, why is this? Incandescent lamps and halogens emit a lot of heat, which causes additional heating of the water, sometimes excessive, therefore heat removal is required. Heat was removed using forced air cooling, i. E. cooler (fan). This caused additional noise and costs.

    Lighting your aquarium with LED strip produces less heat and more light. It is especially important for plants requiring strong illumination: from 6000 to 10000 and more lux of illumination. An incandescent lamp for each watt of its power produces from 9 to 20 lumens.

    Let’s compare classic and LED aquarium lighting, using the example of the simplest calculations of power and illumination.

    How to count incorrectly

    In the network, the calculation of illumination is ubiquitous based on the volume of the aquarium in liters. This is fundamentally the wrong approach. The W / L numbers were empirical and were previously only used for incandescent lamps. Today, the luminous flux of LEDs is an order of magnitude stronger than the luminous flux of incandescent lamps, at similar powers (W).

    For example, it is often advised to use a ratio of 0.9-1W / L. Those. with our calculated volume of 240 liters, a light source with a power of 216-240W is needed. And this is 3 times (.) than necessary. Be careful not to make this mistake.

    LED lightening

    An additional light source is created by underwater illumination. The place of attachment is the walls. Often these areas are decorated with vegetation or stones.

    Watts or lumens

    Lighting is one of the most important conditions for keeping an aquarium. To calculate the required light, a universal method is used. in lumens per liter. Lumen is a measure of light output. The higher the indicator, the brighter the light bulb and the more volume it covers. When choosing a lighting device for a container, you must rely on lumens or lux. Illumination of the surface is measured in lux. 1 lux equals 1 lumen.

    Many people are interested in the question of how many lumens per liter of water should be used when illuminating an aquarium.

    The lumens are calculated as follows: if the power of the incandescent lamp is 100 W, it creates a luminous flux of 1300 lm. Manufacturers indicate the coefficients of light output depending on the power. Since the models differ from each other, the choice should first of all be based not on watts, but on lumens.

    There are several levels of how many lumens per liter you need for your aquarium:

    • at a low level of illumination. 15–25 lm / l;
    • at an average level. 25–50 Lm / l;
    • at a high level. above 50 Lm / l.

    How much light does it take

    Several factors depend on the final value.

    Select the type and number of plants you plan to grow. For photosynthesis, 1000–10,000 lux of illumination above the water surface is sufficient. When this range is exceeded, the plants stop growing normally. A slight excess of indicators contributes to the appearance of a brighter color.

    For an average system, a figure of 3,000-4,000 lux is suitable. It is suitable for growing light-loving plants.

    The next criterion is the depth of plant growth. For narrow-leaved Cryptocoryne, for example, 400 lux is sufficient.

    Incandescent lamp

    They have a low efficiency and generate a lot of heat. Luminescent lighting is chosen because of the coverage of the glow area. A number of products are distinguished for which there is no thermal radiation.

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    The disadvantage is that the devices are not powerful enough to properly illuminate aquarium systems.

    Lamp T5

    This type is installed in an aquarium cover with T5 base type for 70 liters. 80 liters. They have good luminous efficiency, high power rating. The use of this type saves space in the container.

    Calculation of lighting depending on the type of lamp

    The level of LED lighting for an aquarium depends on depth, presence of inhabitants, plants, volume. Among them are spotlights, tapes and lamps.

    The LED floodlight provides high illumination. It is used for deep systems or dimensional products. Install (depending on the volume, size) 1-3 projectors. Their power is 25, 50, 100 W. For 100 liters, 2 floodlights of 25 W are installed. Alternative. installation of one 50 W appliance.

    LED strip for an aquarium is installed from 30 liters. Modern LEDs are very powerful. They emit 18, 40, 45 lm. Thanks to them, you can illuminate a system of 100-200 liters.

    In this case, it is necessary to equip a cooling system, since the LEDs heat up during operation. It is considered a plus that the tapes are glued in water, creating a uniform backlight.

    With the help of LED bulbs, the system capacity of 50 liters is illuminated. In this case, power and color temperature must be taken into account. LEDs pick up at 0.2 W.

    Light calculation: how many lumens per liter is needed for an aquarium

    The creation of a currently popular plant aquarium requires a lot of work and care. In order for the system to exist and develop favorably in it, special conditions must be created for an aquarium with plants.

    Lamp T8

    Installed in aquarium covers with T8 base type. This option is compatible with other types of lamps. Their advantages lie in acceptable strength, minimal energy consumption.

    Approximate lighting calculation

    As I already noted, in order to understand how much light is needed, we will focus on the suites. To calculate the illumination, you need to know the size of the aquarium, the luminous flux of your lighting in lumens.
    For example, let’s take a 45cm x 45cm x 90cm aquarium.
    Let’s take a conventional T5 fluorescent lamp, let’s assume that the manufacturer has specified a luminance of 2800 lumens. But this luminosity is perfect, which means you have to have a perfect reflector. In reality, for an approximate calculation, you can build on the following coefficients:

    • Without reflector. 0.2
    • With an ordinary reflector. 0.33
    • With a special reflector. 0.5
    • LED lamp without reflector or secondary optics. 0.6
    • LED lamp with reflector or secondary optics. 0.8

    Of course, these are not exact values, a benchmark for assessment.

    So, we have 4 T5 lamps of 2800 lm each with ordinary reflectors, the distance from the lamps to the water surface is about 15 cm.

    We calculate the area of ​​0.45m 0.45m = 0.2020 m2.
    Luminous efficiency of lamps 2800 lm 4 0.33 = 3686 lm.
    Illumination on the surface 3686 lm / 0.2020 m²

    We got the meaning under the surface of the water. Now let’s estimate how much we will have at the bottom, if the thickness of the water layer is about 40 cm. The fall in illumination in the water is not uniform and for the red part of the Spectra is maximum, we will be guided by it. For our case, this is 50-70%, for a total of about 5000. 7000 lux. It all depends on the degree of purity of the water, as well as its composition. The value obtained is sufficient for most plants, even excessive for such an aquarium.

    In order to please the aquarium with beautiful green plants, it is necessary to create comfortable conditions for their growth. This primarily concerns lighting. Indeed, only with the appropriate spectrum of lamps, correctly selected power and location, plants will be able to grow. In this case, taking care of the aquarium will be simple and easy.

    Illumination characteristics

    Aquarium plants thrive in different light conditions. Some of them need bright light, and some require low light. That is, the choice of lamps depends on what will grow in the aquarium.

    Lighting power standards in watts fluorescent lamp:

    • 0.1. 0.2 W / L. used in containers without live plants.
    • 0.2. 0.4 W / L. Installed in aquariums with catfish and other nocturnal fish. With this power, such plants will grow well: vallisneria, cryptocorynes, mosses.
    • 0.4. 0.5 w / l. used in cans with unpretentious higher plants. At the same time, the greenery grows slowly, and stretches up to the light.
    • 0.5. 0.8 W / L. with this light you can make a beautiful aquarium. Plants will grow well and their leaves will have a bright color.
    • 0.8. 1 W / L. such powerful lamps are used only in densely planted herbalists with ground cover plants. Such aquariums are called aquascapes, Amanov or Dutch.

    Recently, with the advent of new technologies in the production of lamps, the illumination in the aquarium is usually considered in lumens. Watt standards are outdated. After all, incandescent, fluorescent, LED and halogen lamps with the same electrical power of 50 watts shine with different intensities.

    Lighting power standards in lumens:

    • Low illumination. up to 30 lm / l.
    • Moderate lighting. 30-50 lm / l.
    • Preferred illumination. 50-70 lm / l.
    • High illumination. 70-100 lm / l.
    • 100 lm / l and above. very high illumination.

    Lamp T5

    This type is installed in an aquarium cover with T5 base type for 70 liters. 80 liters. They have good luminous efficiency and a high power rating. The use of this type saves space in the container.

    How many lumens do you need for a plant aquarium

    In this post I want to tell you about the approximate calculation of lighting for a plant aquarium. As a first approximation, so to speak. And also to dispel some myths. I absolutely do not pretend to be the last resort, but just want to share my thoughts on this matter. The question is complex enough to fit it into one note, I can cover it very superficially. I will not touch on the issue of the spectral composition of lighting. Recent studies say that the spectral composition is not very important for plants, but the uniformity of the glow intensity over the entire spectrum is important. That is, a sufficient amount of all three components (red, blue, green). At the end of the post there will be a link to a good article on lighting, spectrum, etc.

    Incandescent lamp

    They have a low efficiency and generate a lot of heat. Luminescent lighting is chosen because of the coverage of the glow area. A number of products are distinguished for which there is no thermal radiation.

    The disadvantage is that the devices are not powerful enough to properly illuminate aquarium systems.

    How much light does it take

    Several factors depend on the final value.

    Select the type and number of plants you plan to grow. For photosynthesis, 1000–10,000 lux of illumination above the water surface is sufficient. When this range is exceeded, the plants stop growing normally. A slight excess of the indicators contributes to the appearance of a brighter color.

    For an average system, a figure of 3,000-4,000 lux is suitable. It is suitable for growing light-loving plants.

    The next criterion is the depth of plant growth. For narrow-leaved Cryptocoryne, for example, 400 lux is sufficient.

    Lamp T8

    Installed in aquarium covers with T8 base type. This option is compatible with other types of lamps. Their advantages lie in acceptable strength, minimal energy consumption.

    How many lumens do you need for home cultivation?

    I searched all over the Internet and found out that you can ask about indoor lighting for cannabis bushes? I guess my question will not bother you: how many lumens of light does it take to grow one or two plants at home? I have a small room and want to use a 4×4 or 4×8 grow tent. I will be glad to any hints on lamps and their power! Thanks a lot and good luck! Jonathan W.

    Thanks for reading and interesting question.!

    Lighting system selection can be daunting for any grower. Sometimes it seems that the garden lighting industry is deliberately trying to confuse us in the hopes that growers will buy more lamps, and not the cheapest ones, than they really need.

    A good example of this is the fact that many bulbs still have lumens on their packaging. And if the amount of light can be measured with lumens, then they are of no value to gardeners.

    Lumens are worth paying attention to if you need to illuminate a scene or highlight a specific object. For photosynthesis, it is more important to know the quantitative assessment of light. PAR or photosynthetically active radiation. It provides information on both the quantity and quality of the emitted light in relation to its effectiveness for plant photosynthesis. It takes into account not only the strength (the number of photons), but also the spectrum (color or wavelength).

    But instead of delving into the details of the PAR, I will answer the question asked in simple words, since they still asked about the lumens and illumination of an area of ​​a certain size. If we need to light a 4×4 grow tent, then first we need to understand the optimal amount of light for the growth and development of the bush. To do this, consider the process of photosynthesis, during which light energy (photons) is converted into plant energy (glucose or sugar).

    Most plants photosynthesize best at 3000-4000 lumens of sunlight per square foot. Suppose an average 1000 watt high pressure sodium lamp produces 100,000 lumens. With a maximum output of 4000 lumens per square foot, such a bulb can be used on 25 sq. feet or a plot of 5 × 5.

    However, scientifically speaking, a 1000 watt lamp should be sufficient to illuminate a 4×4 or 17 sq. feet. But there is another factor that is often overlooked when choosing lighting. radiated heat.

    A 1000W light bulb provides an incredible amount of heat, especially for a small tent garden. If you study photosynthesis in even more detail and deeper, you will find that it also has an ideal temperature. specifically, 68 ° F-74 ° F is considered the “golden interval” for photosynthesis, while temperatures above 84 ° F slow down markedly.

    Therefore, if at first glance a 1000 W lamp seems suitable for a 4 × 4 awning, in fact it gives too much light. In it, it will instantly raise the temperature by 25 degrees, and it will jump from 68 ° F to 90 ° F and higher! Even with a good draft, you can hardly get it below 80 ° F.

    The solution is very simple. use 400 or 600 W lamps. A 400 watt light bulb produces approximately 50,000 lumens. In a 4×4 awning, this would be 3.125 lumens per sq. foot. A 600 W lamp is 80,000 lumens or 5,000 lumens per sq. foot.

    So for a 4 × 4 awning, it would be wiser to take a 400W light bulb, because the excess heat factor cannot be underestimated. But if you are going to keep more than 4 plants in it, make a good hood and put in something for cooling, then you can think about 600 watts, although this idea is a little risky. If you fail to cope with the heat generated, your harvest will be worse than it would be with a 400W lamp.

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